Brent Belts Big Ones

I’m glad to hear that you guys are listening about belts. I had a talk with Brent, who is an Olympic weightlifter, last year about wearing one while squatting, and he listened. ‘Twasn’t long before he was squatting more than the rest of the Asian population in Wichita Falls combined. This video is from earlier this year (he would later unintentionally break the Texas State Raw Record on his third attempt at the USAPL Texas State Meet in April with a 458 pound squat):

Brent is 5’5″, so a conventional four inch belt doesn’t fit him. He bought a belt from Elite FTS that is 2.5 inches in the front. Yes, it is one of those belts that tapers from a wider back to smaller front (look at the links below to (re)learn why this is silly), but it is one that he can wear comfortably and take advantage of the strength building benefits of wearing a belt.

To review some information that I have written in the past on belts, click the following links:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

40 thoughts on “Brent Belts Big Ones

  1. LaHabra,

    it’s rust. i chose rust because it has a close resemblance with orange, which is kind of a crazy, vibrant color, but is tempered with a little brown to keep it earthy and under control. i just felt that rust reflected my personality, i’m a little weird and unique and can be excitable but am really a pretty reasonable, grounded, easy going guy

  2. That reminds me;
    I bought a belt recently.
    I also have a question: how long does a belt take to break in? (Assuming I will be squatting 3 times a week, pressing 1.5 times a week, and deadlifting Once a week and using it on the work sets)
    Mine is quite hard and tough atm (or should I just break it in with my hands?).

  3. Nicolas, it depends on the belt. If it is too hard, you can break it up like Mike Hom did on a video a year or so ago. My Elite belt leaves bruises on my hips on squat days. No biggie.

  4. “‘Twasn’t long before he was squatting more than the rest of the Asian population in Wichita Falls combined.”

    You mean there’s more than one?! You’ve got to sort that shit out, Brent – you can’t have more than one token Asian guy kicking around town! See example:

    BTW, nice squats and congrats on the record!

    One time Chris, Brent and I were eating at Whataburger around 11 PM. There was a table of 12 Asians or so, and they were all horrendously skinny and horrendously emo. I informed Chris and Brent that all three of us could “take them”. Brent disagreed, and this agitated Chris and I. Ok, maybe just me. I then continued my claim by saying that Chris and I alone could take the 12 Asians. They were so small. I likened Chris’ fighting style to the beast from Beauty and the Beast, when the wolves jump on him to attack him, he just picks them off and tosses them (I’m pretty sure that happened). In any case, Brent staunchly opposed my viewpoint for at least 45 minutes. Later, he relented and wholeheartedly agreed.


  5. Been reading this site for awhile now and plan on doing Starting Strength when I finish the book. Right now all I own is a tapered cheap-o belt. I’m only 5’7 and I think a 4″ belt is going to be uncomfortable, just by measuring. I’ve done some searching for 3″ wide belts but haven’t had much luck, anyone offer any advice on where to pick up a good 3″ belt? Thanks.

    Have you tried a 4 inch belt before?


  6. @Justin

    Sure I’m not the only one here who would’ve paid to see that matchup. If Chris fights like Beast (I’m not gonna ask how you knew about that movie in such detail…), how would you describe your (and Brent’s) fighting style?

    I’m convinced Brent wouldn’t have fought, but stared at the whole thing while blinking.


  7. Why is Brent the only one sporting 70’s hair? Where’s the damn solidarity? Way to mesh Farrah Fawcett volume with Beatles shag, Brent!

    I believe this was before he had to cut his hair for work. Do you have 70’s hair?


  8. Badass squats Brent!

    Question: is that chalk on his shirt? I’ve seen that before, and just wondered if that’s what it was, and why it’s used.


  9. Brent,

    I have a black belt to represent my bubbly outgoing personality but it doesn’t work as good as yours. Maybe if I rub it down with some metal shavings and leave it out by the beach(2 min from work, California mutha fucka) it will gain the power of the rust.

  10. Awesome Squats Brent!

    Im trying to decide what color belt to get. It seems that you have a pretty good grasp on what makes sense in the color world and I was wondering if you would do me a favor and pick out a color for me? Perhaps we could get together for a consultation so you can get to know a little bit more about who I am and hopefully the decision will be much easier.

    Also, Im not so sure about how the fight between Justin and Chris would have gone. I think a computer simulation of the senario would be best to answer this question. If anyone has the ability to do so, I think we should us Street Fighter 2 as our calculator. Justin=Sagat, Chris=Zangief, 12 Asians=12 Fie Longs. If anyone has a better idea let’s hear it.

    Sagat? Are you kidding me? You my as well have called me E. Honda or Balrog. Sagat is too tall.


  11. isn’t using a harbinger nylon velcro belt better then a leather thin at front wide at back one?

    I use a harbinger, and it is more forgiving then a leather one. Wouldn’t that suit brent more?

    the downside is that they are not allowed in meets, for some wierd reason. They don’t even allow blue rehband knee sleeves.

    Why do you want it to be “more forgiving”? This would make sense on the Oly lifts, but not the strength lifts.

    The Harbinger cannot support as much as a leather belt because it isn’t as stiff.


  12. SMC, most of the people in my gym buy belts from inzer.

    And the 13mm belts the guys really don’t like. They find them too stiff, and hard to break in.

    They really like the 10mm ones as they are nice a pliable when new.

    I am not what an extra 3mm does, since i primarily o-lift and use a really flexable nlyon/velcro one.

  13. From what I’ve gathered, the 13 mm ones are sometimes preferred by guys doing crazy numbers — y’know like a 700+ squat. There’s always the small possibility of an equipment failure, and that extra thickness gives them peace of mind.

  14. If you want a good belt, you can try They are made to order and your specifications. Before I continue, I DO NOT have any attachment to them, just think that provide a good belt and service.
    They are not cheap, about 2x the cost of an economy belt elsewhere.
    I ordered one at the first of the year and got it about 5 weeks later, it is great and well made, it took about 2 months of squatting/deadlifting 2x a week and pressing to break it in. Their service was excellent too, responding to questions and helping to select/design the right belt.

  15. Taking a quick look at Bob’s site, he has a 3″ belt for $99 called the junior. Might be of interest for those who can’t find it elsewhere.

  16. “Why do you want it to be “more forgiving”? This would make sense on the Oly lifts, but not the strength lifts.

    The Harbinger cannot support as much as a leather belt because it isn’t as stiff.


    What i meant was, that if you can’t fit 4″ of leather inbetween your rib cage and hip bone. The a 4″ harbinger one i feel is better than the tradional 2.5″ weightlifting belt.

    I say this because i found the 4″ nylon harbinger better to push out against when squatting then, my 2.5″ weightlifting belt

  17. First time poster. I just started using a belt after reading your excellent articles. I was starting to top over 300lbs raw dead-lift 5×5 with no belt and had been following the insane advice that my back would be stronger without a belt. I tried my new belt with squats first and it feels like I have worked my core as well! This is the one I got from Amazon and it works very well
    for $36.

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