Larry Wheels is a well-known strength athlete who made his mark as a powerlifting prodigy by performing shocking feats of strength. If you have dreams of lifting like Larry, you’re likely wondering what type of belt he uses for bracing under these heavy loads.
The lifting belt that Larry Wheels wears is the PR Powerlifting 13mm Belt with a stainless steel lever buckle (PR is a company that he co-owns). Larry’s belt, as the name suggests, is a fairly standard 13mm leather belt that has a suede-type finish and a lever buckle for a latching mechanism.
The question now becomes, should you get the same lifting belt as Larry Wheels? Larry is a strong guy, but there are some downsides to his belt that you may want to be aware of before purchasing.
Keep reading to find out what kind of belt is best suited to benefit you on your lifting journey.
Larry Wheels' Lifting Belt: An Overview
Larry Wheels is one of the co-founders and co-owners of his very own brand of lifting equipment, called PR Lifestyle (known on Instagram as @teampersonalrecord). He worked on launching this brand many years ago, so the belt that you’ll see him wearing almost exclusively is from the PR Lifestyle line.
As you can see here, the PR Lifestyle Belt is a 13mm leather powerlifting belt with a standard lever mechanism, which is typical in the powerlifting world.
You can see Larry using this belt in all of his Instagram and YouTube lifting videos, where he has it cinched on tightly every time he is squatting and deadlifting.
You can also see Larry using his brand’s belt on the competition platform in this YouTube video.
However, it’s important to note that Larry is only able to wear this belt to compete because he competes in untested powerlifting federations where the equipment does not require approval.
So, even though his brand’s belt is not on the approved list, he can use it both in training and in competitions since he does not compete in tested federations, like the IPF.
Why Does Larry Wheels Wear A Lifting Belt?
The primary purpose of wearing a lifting belt, particularly for a powerlifting athlete like Larry Wheels, is to provide torso support by improving intra-abdominal pressure (IAP).
IAP is a build-up of tension that you create by breathing in, holding that breath, and bracing outward in a 360-degree fashion. This breathing and bracing technique is reinforced by the use of a belt because the belt cues you to brace out into it as you lift.
Ideally, this improvement in IAP and torso stability allows the athlete to produce more force and lift more weight.
A leather lifting belt with a lever clasp attachment, like the one Larry uses, is one of the most common types of belts amongst powerlifters. This is because they are very quick to put on and take off, cinch to the same tightness every time, and are more convenient to use than some other types of belts (i.e. prong belts).
Larry Wheels likely prefers this type of belt for these reasons and utilizes it by tightening the belt around his midsection, which then gives him some physical support to help him brace tighter when squatting and deadlifting.
This tighter brace, along with greater IAP has many benefits. It allows Larry, and other powerlifters, to create more rigidity in their torso, keep their spine stable, create more force by activating more muscles, and reduce the risk of injury when used properly.
Related Article: What Lifting Belt Does David Laid Use? (And Is It Good?)
Who Would Benefit From Wearing The Same Belt As Larry Wheels?
Larry Wheels’ belt works very well for most powerlifters because it is made of thick leather material, similar to most others in the sport, and has a lever latching mechanism. This makes it a decent option for those commonly performing heavy compound movements, such as the squat and deadlift.
There is a lack of specific information as to how the belt is constructed, but images online make it look remarkably similar to the 13mm Inzer Forever Lever Belt.
Assuming this is an accurate comparison, this would mean Larry’s belt is of a standard design that is 4 inches thick, made of one or two pieces of genuine leather, and is finished with a suede-like material.
While this specific belt isn't revolutionary, it is the type of belt that would be ideal for any powerlifter aiming to increase their squat or deadlift.
Who Would NOT Benefit From Wearing The Same Belt As Larry Wheels?
Those who would not benefit from Larry Wheels’ belt are:
Powerlifters Competing in Tested Federations like the IPF
As I mentioned above, Larry Wheels does use his own lifting belt in his powerlifting competitions; however, this will NOT be possible for anyone who wants to compete in the IPF, or another drug-tested federation with approved equipment lists that PR Lifestyle is not included on.
As you may know, the IPF, and other drug-tested federations, are very strict about what equipment, brands, and personal items are to be allowed on the platforms in their competition. Unfortunately, PR Lifestyle’s equipment does not fit the approved criteria.
As such, any lifter who wants to compete in the IPF (or any affiliated federation) would not benefit from Larry Wheels’ belt, as they would not be able to wear this belt on the platform.
For an athlete that fits into this category, here are two more suitable belts (both of which are IPF-approved, leather belts with a lever latching mechanism):
CrossFit, Strongman, and Olympic Weightlifting Athletes
Larry Wheels’ powerlifting belt will also not benefit any CrossFit or Strongman athletes, as well as any other athlete that may wear a belt but participates in more dynamic compound movements that require speed, agility, or flexibility.
Larry’s belt is a rigid, stiff, and thick leather belt made solely for powerlifting. Typically, athletes that compete in CrossFit, Strongmen, or Olympic weightlifting will require a more flexible, nylon material.
These types of belts are thinner, easier to maneuver around in, are typically cheaper, and usually have a velcro latching system instead of the thick leather and bulky lever latch that powerlifters prefer.
For someone that fits into this category, here is a belt recommendation that may better suit your needs:
- Gymreapers Quick Locking Weightlifting Belt. Premium back support, a wide variety of colors and patterns, and prioritizes versatility, comfort, and a lightweight design.
Larry Wheels' Belt VS Gymreaper’s Belt: Which Is Best?
Price and Warranty
According to PR Lifestyle’s website, Larry’s PR Powerlifting 13mm Belt with a Stainless Steel Lever Buckle retails for $120.99.
This price is quite similar to Gymreaper’s 13mm Lever Belt, which retails for $130. However, Gymreapers does gain a slight advantage here by offering a one-year warranty on their belts for any manufacturing defects. There is no mention of any such guarantee on PR Lifestyle’s website.
Further, Gymreapers also offers free domestic shipping on orders that amount to $150 or more, which is an added saving advantage.
Finally, the Gymreapers Belt comes with the comforting knowledge that the belt is IPF and USPA-approved, which means that you can use it in essentially any competition, in any federation across the world.
Winner of the Price Comparison: Gymreapers
As far as one can tell, the materials used by PR Lifestyle are of good quality. Their belt is leather, with suede lining, seemingly adequate stitching, and a stainless steel lever mechanism. This is all par for the course with leather powerlifting belts.
However, there are some written reviews and YouTube videos that speak to small deficiencies in the PR Lifestyle belt. The video, specifically, mentions that the lever mechanism is prone to getting quite loose throughout the user’s squat session.
The rest of the video was quite positive as to the quality and material of the lifting belt, but this small critique could signal some durability and longevity concerns.
This gives the Gymreapers 13mm Lever Belt a slight edge in durability, as this belt has passed the strict testing of multiple federations, is double stitched, undergoes serious testing, and has no such negative reviews.
Winner of the Durability Comparison: Gymreapers
Customer Service and Transparency
Finally, while not a direct reflection of the belt itself, we can consider and compare Gymreapers' customer service and product transparency with that of PR Lifestyle.
Firstly, PR Lifestyle, unfortunately, does not currently have an operating website. As such, much information has to be learned from their social media and third-party reviews and videos.
In contrast, Gymreapers has quite an expansive website, offering information regarding the belt’s features, product details, design specifications, intended use, material care, consumer warranty, and a size chart.
This is all valuable information that indicates a professional brand, and a well-made product, and helps the consumer make the most informed choice possible.
In addition to these factors, and as mentioned above, Gymreapers provides belts of multiple styles to ensure that each athlete has a belt best suited to their needs.
In addition to the heavy-duty 13MM Lever Belt, we also provide at least 8 different color selections for the 10mm version, a similar quantity of the 10mm Single Prong Belts, and a wide variety of thinner leather and nylon belts for other types of athletes outside of the powerlifting scope.
All of these options, in addition to greater customer service and transparency in the product specifications, suggest that consumers can make the most informed choice possible with Gymreapers lifting belts.
Overall Winner: Gymreapers