Tag: Weight Lifting

Powerlifting Lever Belts: Key Pros & Cons

Powerlifting Lever Belts: Key Pros & Cons

Powerlifting lever belts are an essential tool for many weightlifters looking to maximize their performance and strength. These belts are designed to provide support and stability to the lower back and abdominal muscles during heavy lifts, such as squats, deadlifts, and bench press. By helping to support the core muscles, lever belts allow athletes to lift heavier weights with increased stability and safety.

In addition to providing support, lever belts can also help improve technique, form, posture, and breathing by providing a secure fit around the waist. Whether you’re a seasoned strength athlete or just starting out in the world of powerlifting, a lever belt can be an invaluable tool for helping you reach your strength and performance goals.

In this article, we will delve into the benefits and drawbacks of using a lever belt for powerlifting, and offer tips on how to choose the best one for your needs.

What is a Lever Belt?

A lever belt is a type of weightlifting belt that is designed to be fastened and unfastened using a lever mechanism, rather than a traditional buckle. Lever belts are often used by powerlifters and other strength athletes, as they allow the athlete to easily tighten and loosen the belt during training sessions or competitions.

Lever belts are typically made of leather or synthetic materials and are designed to provide support and stability to the lower back and abdominal muscles during heavy lifting. They are worn around the waist and are tightened using a lever that is located on the front or side of the belt.

Lever belts are typically used during heavy compound lifts such as squats, deadlifts, and bench press, where proper technique and form are essential for safety and performance. They can be particularly useful for lifters who are attempting to lift heavy weights and need extra support for their lower back and core muscles. Lever belts can also be used to help lifters maintain proper technique and form during lifts, as the added support and stability can help to reduce the risk of injury.

Pros of a Powerlifting Lever Belt

Improved Support and Stability

One of the primary advantages of a powerlifting lever belt is the increased support and stability it provides to the lower back and core muscles during heavy lifts. This can help to reduce the risk of injury and improve performance, particularly for lifters who are attempting to lift heavy weights.

Set it and Forget it

One of the key benefits of a powerlifting lever belt is its ability to be easily adjusted using the lever mechanism. This allows the lifter to customize the fit of the belt to their individual needs, and once the desired tightness is achieved, the belt can be locked in place using the lever. This “set it and forget it” feature can be particularly useful for lifters who need to adjust their belt between sets or during competitions, as it eliminates the need to constantly readjust the tightness of the belt or struggle to pull it tight enough. The customizable fit of a lever belt can also be useful for lifters who have fluctuating waist sizes, as it allows them to easily adjust the fit of the belt to suit their needs.

Easy to Use

Lever belts are designed to be fastened and unfastened quickly and easily using the lever mechanism. This can be particularly useful for lifters who need to adjust their belt between sets or during competitions.

Cons of a Powerlifting Lever Belt


Lever belts can be more expensive than traditional weightlifting belts, particularly if they are made of high-quality leather. This may not be an option for lifters who are working with a limited budget.

Size Limitations

Lever belts are not always easy for multiple people to share, as the tightness setting is not usually simple to change mid-gym session. This means that each lifter may need to purchase their own lever belt in order to ensure a proper fit and maximum benefit during training. It is important for lifters to carefully consider their size and fit needs before purchasing a lever belt, and to try on different sizes and brands to find the best option for their individual needs.


Some lifters may become too reliant on their lever belt for support and stability, which can lead to a reduction in core strength and stability over time. It is important to use a lever belt as an aid, rather than a crutch, during training and competition.

Limited Use

Lever belts are primarily used for powerlifting and other strength-based sports, and may not be appropriate for use in other types of training or activities. They may also be restricted for use in certain competitions or events.

Key Factors to Choosing a Lever Belt


Look for a belt that is made of high-quality materials, such as leather or a durable synthetic material. This will help to ensure that the belt is strong and long-lasting, and will provide the necessary support and stability during heavy lifts.


Make sure to choose a belt that fits well and is comfortable to wear. Look for a belt that is wide enough to provide ample support, but not so wide that it feels cumbersome or gets in the way during lifts.


Choose a belt that has a lever mechanism that is easy to use and allows for precise adjustment of the tightness of the belt. This will allow you to customize the fit of the belt to your individual needs and make it easy to adjust the belt between sets or during competitions.


Consider your budget when choosing a lever belt. There are options available at a range of price points, so be sure to shop around and find a belt that fits your needs and budget.


Look for a reputable brand that has a good reputation for producing high-quality weightlifting belts. Read reviews and ask for recommendations from other lifters or strength coaches to find a belt that has a proven track record of performance and durability.


Ultimately, the best lever belt for powerlifting will depend on your individual needs and preferences. It may be helpful to try on a few different belts and experiment with different sizes and brands to find the one that works best for you.

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Rotator Cuff Exercises for Strength

Rotator Cuff Work


  • Increase Rotator Cuff Musculature Strength
  • Improve Shoulder Integrity

Prime Movers:

  1. Infraspinatus (Shoulder)
  2. Teres Minor (Shoulder)

The shoulder joint is the most movable joint in the body and can obtain an injury relatively easily if not treated properly. Knowing this, Rotator Cuff Work is crucial for complete shoulder health.

The rotator cuff musculature is composed of multiple small muscles that hold the shoulder joint into its socket. If these muscles are weak or out of balance then your shoulder health is compromised and you are at high risk for injury.

With this in mind, doing some shoulder mobility and rotator cuff work will allow you to move better and get stronger.

Commonly, our shoulders have enough, or even too much, internal rotation strength from things like Bench Pressing, and we need to increase the external rotation strength to help establish balance.

How To Work The Rotator Cuff Properly

  • To work the external rotators of your shoulder, you must go through an external rotation of the humerus, or upper arm bone, with appropriately added resistance.
  • It is best to use a band or cable with light resistance to keep constant tension on the muscle while doing many repetitions.
  • Begin by grasping a band, or single cable attachment, with one hand. Have the band or cable anchored near hip height.
  • Go through multiple movements that include external rotation of the humerus such as with your elbow out horizontally from your shoulder to where you rotate your hand back over your shoulder, or to your side where you rotate your hand out laterally.

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Lower Body Accessory Exercises

Lower Body Accessory Exercises

Below are the most effective lower-body accessory exercises to build muscle and strength! Plus, how to do them with proper form and technique! Use these exercises to improve your main power lifts, the squat and deadlift, by building up your assisting muscle groups; legs, hips, glutes, calves, back, and biceps! 

Lower Body Accessory Exercises for Legs Back and Biceps

Learn about the Top Accessory Exercises to improve your:

Accessory Work

The Mathias Method Strength System only uses the most effective strength and muscle building lifts. All exercises after your main lift are considered “accessory work” or “accessory exercises”. These exercises are meant to increase training volume and improve weaknesses by focusing on individual muscle groups.

Learn more about Accessory Work >>

Lower Body Muscle groups include:

Also, check out our upper body accessory exercises and our complete exercise library!

“How To” Exercise Descriptions

One of the simplest and most effective ways to quickly improve your strength is to perfect your exercise technique. If you can lift better, you can lift more! Simply improve your lifting technique and get stronger, instantly!

Also, by learning how to do lifts and accessory exercises properly you will help to decrease pain and prevent injury!

These are the best Lower Body Accessory Exercises for your Legs, Glutes, Back and Biceps.

Click on the lift or exercise you want to know how to do properly!

Leg and Glute Exercises


Hamstrings and Glutes

Back Exercises

Upper Back

Lower Back

Biceps Exercises

View All Strength Training Exercise Descriptions >>

Mobility Stretching Exercises >>

Are you looking for other lower-body accessory exercises? Request an exercise description!

Or you can check back soon. We are always adding more exercises!

Main Lifts and Compound Exercises

The Main Lifts for Strength

Main Lifts Big 3 Compound Exercise for strength the Squat

Compound Exercises How-To Guide

The main lifts are the main compound exercises for any powerlifting or strength training workout program. The Big 3 are the squat, bench press and deadlift. Learn how to perfect your technique and lift more weight than ever by clicking on each exercise below!

Learn how to Master the Big 3 in just 12-Weeks!

The Big 3

Main Lift Variations

More Exercises >>

Programming Your Main Lifts

Every training session needs a Main Lift, Compound Exercise, or movement.

This compound exercise is the focal point of the workout and the reason you are training for that day. All of the training before and after these main lifts is set to better improve the main exercise

The main exercise should be a standard motion that improves performance in your chosen sport. This can be any movement that makes you stronger.

Just remember, your main power lift should be something that builds the most overall strength. It can be a Big 3 compound exercise like the squat, bench press, deadlift, a close variation or something like sprints for running. It just needs to be helpful for you to build the strength necessary to be better at what you want to be better at. 

You should also do the most amount of work with this particular compound exercise. If you want to get good at something, then you need to do it a lot. You should spend the most time on this exercise and try to perfect it while still pushing forward.

Try to increase the overall workload or weight every few weeks so that you never stop progressing. 

Compound Exercises for Strength Training and Athletics

Heavy Training Days

For heavy training days, every other week your compound exercises should rotate between moderate and high intensity.

One week the goal should be to work up too or past 90% of that given exercise’s maximum (relative to the # of reps being performed) to build absolute strength. Example: 3 Rep Max = 300 lbs. Use ~270 for most of your work. IF you are moving properly, then you may carefully work up in weight to a maximum of 310 lbs. on occasion.

The next week should focus on repetitions using less than 85% of the maximum, to build muscle and constantly improve technique. This will rotate each week, and skip over week 4 which should always be of low to moderate intensity relative to the main compound exercise focused upon the other 3 weeks (4-week cycle).

If there are two main lifts for your heavy training day (such as squat and deadlift, or bench press and military press), then the two main lifts should also be rotated.

The higher intensity lift should always go first. For example, if the squat exercise is of high intensity the deadlift exercise should be of lower intensity. The next week the deadlift exercise should be performed first at a high intensity, while the squat exercise should be performed afterward with lower intensity.

The same intensity rotation should occur between the bench press only if there is another main lift you do that day, such as Military Press or an Olympic lift.

Most people do not bench press heavy enough to need 2 weeks of rest afterward before going heavy again, so if you recover enough, then you may bench press relatively heavy 3 weeks in a row while using every 4th week as a recovery week with light-moderate weight.

Light Training Days

The main lifts on light training days are still the focus of the training session. Everything should focus on improving this compound movement, which in turn is focused on improving your main lifts utilized on heavy training days.

During light training days the goal is to accumulate volume and practice technique, creating a better potential for strength gains on heavy training days.

These sessions will focus on building muscular size, speed, and endurance while bringing up weaknesses. This allows for different stimuli created through varying intensities.

As your muscles grow and adapt to lighter loads, they will have an increased potential to grow more absolute strength.

Together, light, moderate and heavy loads utilized on the main lifts will allow for continuous growth without stagnation. Keep growing stronger.

Compound Exercises for Bodybuilding

Bodybuilding Athletes generally focus each muscle group one time per week. However, aesthetics athletes can also benefit greatly from adding strength training into their routine as part of their Mathias Method Programming.

During the last 8-12 weeks before a show, it would be best to stick to the techniques that work best for you, but strength training must be a part of all other training times for optimal improvement. 

Bodybuilding Athletes should make their first main movement a strength movement in which they focus on strength along with aesthetics. This should be done by using a moderate amount of weight and training volume that slowly increases over time, as to not waste too much energy on only gaining strength.

An example would be doing 5 sets of 5 repetitions on a main compound exercise, like the squat or bench press, in which the weight stays the same in a given workout, but increases by 5-10lbs every week. This will give proper stimulus for strength along with improving overall growth.

After this movement, all other training may be focused on muscular development.

Main Lift Variations

Variations to the main lifts allow for a different stimulus to the base lifts and can allow for new growth. Any variation used can create an opportunity to build up different areas of the lift or prime mover muscles from different angles.

Variation can be simple or complex, but to build strength towards the main movements, it is important not to vary too far from the original lift.

Start with simple variations such as the addition of pauses and boxes or changing the positioning of hands or feet before moving into more complex lifts with numerous changes.

Examples of some valuable variations to the main lifts are:

  • Stance or Grip
  • Bar Positioning
  • Pauses
  • Boxes or Boards
  • Specialty Bars
  • Range of Motion
  • Accommodating Resistance (Bands or Chains)
  • Assistive Gear

Variation is best used with advanced lifters who have already mastered the main lifts and progress is slowing.

Beginners should rarely use variations in the main lifts if at all.

Intermediate lifters can try some compound exercise variations infrequently but most work should be done to perfect the main lifts.