Schiek Lifting Belt Review: Pros, Cons, Is It Worth It?

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schiek 2004 lifting belt is the current best nylon belt on the market

Nylon weightlifting belts are the most popular lifting belts among weightlifters and bodybuilders, mainly because of their comfortable softness and hassle-free closure systems.

Today, I’m reviewing the Schiek 2004 lifting belt which is the current best nylon belt on the market. The best feature of the Schiek lifting belt is that it’s wide over both the abdomen and back, yet it tapers on the sides to allow for free movement. It also features the patented One-Way velcro system, which will enable you to reach the tightest setting with the least effort.

Such amazing features make it ideal for Olympic weightlifters, bodybuilders, and general gym-goers.

Here’s a quick rundown of the most important pros and cons:

Pros

  • Tightens with two velcro layers
  • Features a steel buckle with a slide bar
  • Anatomical design
  • Equipped with extra-thick back insert

Cons

  • Slightly expensive compared to other nylon belts
  • Not approved for professional powerlifting competitions

Recommended For

  • Beginner and intermediate lifters who are purchasing a belt for the first time
  • Competitive bodybuilders
  • Competitive Olympic weightlifters
  • Crossfitters
  • General gym goers

Not Recommended For

  • Competitive powerlifters since they will need a thicker leather construction (not nylon) for maximal loads
  • Those who prefer a “lever” style belt (if you don’t know what this is, then it’s not a concern for you) 

Things To Consider Before Buying A Lifting Belt

The most important thing you need to consider is the belt category — do you want a belt for powerlifting or weightlifting? The differences are too many to mention here, but they can be summed in two factors: material and shape.

Powerlifting belts feature sturdy leather construction, which can power you to lift massive loads. Weightlifting belts are mostly made from nylon, which trades off performance for comfort and ease of use.

As for the shape, weightlifting belts are designed to follow your body’s contour, granting better freedom for the dynamic snatches and cleans. The powerlifting counterparts feature a consistent width, which is essential for proper bracing in squats and deadlifts.

Schiek Lifting Belt: Detailed Review

detailed review schiek lifting belt

Now that we’ve established the basics, let’s see what this belt has to offer.

Design And Basic Construction

The Schiek lifting belt is made from two parts. The first one is the nylon core frame that encircles your body and provides the actual support. The second part is a webbing strap that holds a velcro pad and a metal buckle at its ends.

The basic version of this belt comes with an all-black finish. Shciek provides seven additional versions that sport bright colors like yellow, pink, red, etc. However, it’s only the core frame that changes color; the webbing stays black.

The Angled Alignment

Most, if not all, weightlifting belts assume a vertical shape when wrapped around your body. This alignment is bad because your lumbar back isn’t straight. So, the belt won’t contact your back in some areas, detracting from the amount of support.

To overcome this issue, Schiek designed its 2004 Model belt with a cone shape. If you wrap the belt on itself, you’ll notice that both the back and front parts curve inward, making up a “V” shape.

schiek designed its 2004 model belt with a cone shape

Best of all, Schiek incorporates this design in almost all of its belts!

The Contoured Edges And Reverse Tapering

Almost all weightlifting belts feature a tapered design where the widest point lies over the back and the thinnest point at the edges. To understand why this isn’t ideal, you have to know how a lifting belt improves your workout in the first place.

The Science of Lifting Belts

Contrary to common belief, the belt itself provides incredibly minimal support — your muscles actually do all the work.

When you take a deep breath and press it against the tight belt, your intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) increases. You can think of this pressure as a balloon inflating inside your belly. As it gets bigger, the pressure will support your spine from the inside, keeping it in the ideal injury-free position. This is why it’s crucial to stay mindful of your breathing, especially during squats.

Why the Schiek Belt Is Brilliant

The Schiek 2004 belt features a wide back, just like any other belt. It then tapers at the sides to grant wide leeway for your hips and rib cage to move without chafing, which is extremely important for snatches and cleans.

The unique thing here is that the belt widens again at the front. Pressing your abs and core against that wider area will build up your IAP faster and bigger than usual, leading to better spinal support.

The Patented Closure System

This closure system is my most favorite feature in this belt. Most belts have only one set of velcro pads. The Schiek 2004 Model has two: one on the webbing and one on the core frame.

To tighten the belt, you should start by hooking the pads on the core frame. Then, you should thread the webbing into the buckle and return it back on itself.

Obviously, having two layers of velcro provides much better security. It’s almost impossible for the belt to snap off while lifting. But this isn’t the greatest part.

The One-Way Velcro: The Easiest Tightening System Ever

If you hook any velcro pads together, you can’t slide them back and forth over each other, right?

Schiek was able to tweak this design. The velcro pads stitched to the core frame can slide in only one direction, hence the name “One-Way”. But how is that helpful? It’s useful because it allows you to tighten the belt with the least amount of effort.

After threading the webbing into the buckle, just pull it as hard as you can. The One-Way velcro will easily slide with you. If you need to stop and hold the webbing from a better position, the One-Way velcro will maintain the established tightness, allowing you to ramp it up as much as you need.

The Slide Bar Buckle: An Extra Securing Feature

When threading the webbing inside the buckle, make sure to pass it around the plastic slide bar. Because this creates more friction at a larger surface area, it increases the amount of support.

If you don’t use this slide bar, you’ll be loading too much pressure on the velcro, causing it to wear out quicker.

Sizing

To measure yourself for this belt, grab a cloth tape measure and wrap it around your body at the level of your belly button. Don’t suck in your stomach or tighten your abs; just relax and breathe normally. Also, you should pull the tape measure just until it starts to dig into your skin. Don’t pull it too tight, and don’t leave it loose.

Now pick a suitable size according to the following table:

SizeMeasurement
X-Small24–28 inches
Small27–32 inches
Medium31–36 inches
Large35–41 inches
X-Large40–45 inches
XX-Large44–50 inches

Approval For Competition

Sadly, you can’t use any of Schiek’s gear for professional powerlifting competitions organized by the IPF, USAPL, or USPA.

Does that mean the belt isn’t strong enough? Well, yes and no. Even though this belt features an incredibly durable design, the fact that it’s made from nylon limits its potential to a great extent. But that’s not the reason why it’s not approved for competition.

See, the powerlifting associations set strict rules about the allowed gear mainly to ensure fair competition. Additionally, some federations, such as the IPF, will reject your gear if it isn’t produced by an approved manufacturer.

Alternatives You Can Buy Instead Of The Schiek Lifting Belt

alternatives you can buy instead of the schiek lifting belt

As I said earlier, the Schiek 2004 Model is the best velcro belt that money can buy. But if you don’t think that velcro can live up to your needs, check out my hand-picked list of the 10 best powerlifting belts.

If you don’t have time, check the following picks:

1.   Inzer Forever Lever Belt

Thanks to its rigid leather construction, the Inzer Forever lever belt is the best option for professional powerlifters, especially those preparing for competitions. I’ve owned this belt for 13 years and counting; it holds up amazingly well! All those years of use have left only superficial scuffs in the exterior suede.

By the nature of the beast, such high quality must come at a high price. This belt is 2 times as expensive as the Schiek 2004! If you can’t afford that, check the upcoming picks.

How It Compares to the Schiek 2004 Lifting Belt

  • Made from leather
  • Provides heavier support
  • It’s not tapered, so it might dig into your hips and torso
  • Tightens with a lever (there’s a prong version)
  • Approved for professional competitions
  • Expensive

2.   Lifting Large Economy Belt Review

Simply put, the Lifting Large Economy belt is the “economical” lookalike of the Inzer Forever. But the lower price doesn’t mean lower quality. In fact, this belt functions just like the Inzer Forever. The only difference might be the not-so-ideal durability.

How It Compares to the Schiek 2004 Lifting Belt

  • Made from leather
  • Approved for competition
  • The lever buckle is more secure
  • Not tapered

3.   Schiek L-2004 Leather Contour Belt

After the 2004 belt was widely praised in the lifting community, Schiek decided to make a leather doppelganger. The L-2004 model features the same cone shape, reversed taper, and contoured edges.

But since it tightens with a prong buckle, it doesn’t feature the one-way velcro. You don’t really need it here, especially because of the sturdy double prongs.

How It Compares to the Schiek 2004 Lifting Belt

  • Made from leather
  • Provides more support
  • Tightens with a double-prong buckle
  • Comes in only one color (brown)
  • More expensive

The Final Word

Is the Schiek 2004 worth the money? Absolutely! It’s more expensive than other nylon belts because it packs a lot more features. I specifically love the One-Way velcro because it absolutely facilitates the tightening process. I also like the anatomic contours and the unique V-shaped core.

The only issue worth noting is that it’s not approved for powerlifting competitions. In that case, you can opt for the Inzer Forever or the Lifting Large Economy.

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