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Many weight lifters contend the use of a weightlifting belt during strength training. But no one can deny the effectiveness of powerlifting and weight lifting belts in lifts. In fact, scientific data shows you can lift 10% more with a belt on. As a result, a weight lifting belt will make you stronger and help you smash PRs.
In this article, we review the Dark Iron Fitness Weight Lifting Belt, one of the most popular belts on the market. The highest rated belt in the market, many lifters love the belt's effectiveness combined with its lightweight style. Read on and learn all about the belt's features, materials, and how it performs in lifts.
Dark Iron Fitness Weight Lifting Belt Review
We are super excited today about reviewing the Dark Iron Fitness Weight Lifting Belt. We ranked this belt top on our list of best weight lifting belts of 2020 and we think it will continue to impress us every year.
Dark Iron Fitness is not new to the weight lifting arena and has been producing high-quality products since 2015. In fact, their first product was a 5mm weight lifting belt which serves as the prototype for their current highly rated version. Within the first year of launching the 5mm Dark Iron Fitness Belt, it became the top ranked weight lifting belt on Amazon.
So, how does the Dark Iron Fitness Weight Lifting Belt compare to its numerous competitors? Does it deserve the Muscle Lead Top Product designation?
We did extensive research to provide you with an in-depth review PACKED full of information for you to decide for yourself.
Who is this Product For?
Dark Iron Fitness Weight Lifting Belt started in 2015 and improved over the many years. They are now one of the premier fitness companies in the world. Selling all their weight lifting products exclusively online, the company takes advantage of Amazon’s FBA program. With no physical warehouse, Dark Iron Fitness is able to pass on the savings to their customers.
Many of the top fitness athletes around the world rely on Dark Iron Fitness for their weight lifting accessories. In 2018, Dark Iron Fitness sponsored their first athlete: Tyler Everrett. Doing a quick search on Instagram for #darkironfitness will show you the thousands of athletes promoting the weight lifting belt.
Dark Iron Fitness has a unique way of operating that helps them achieve top notch results. Founded in the USA, Dark Iron Fitness focuses on making athletes better by letting them be responsible for their own success. Dark Iron believes in designing the highest quality products so weight lifters can focus on one thing: giving all your effort in the gym.
Dark Iron Fitness holds themselves to a higher standard than many companies out there. This is why their products have a reputation of long-term dependability. This is evident in the positive user experience and customer satisfaction through thousands of customer reviews.
To completely breakdown the Dark Iron Fitness Weight Lifting Belt, we start at the materials. The belt has 100% genuine top-grain cowhide leather. No cheap leather parts glued together or low grade nylon here. The belt is one big piece of leather that will not wear and tear because of the high quality material. The leather is also non slip which is great during the heavy movements where you need support the most.
Now unlike other genuine leather weight lifting belts on the market, the Dark Iron Fitness version is significantly more flexible. The main reason being the belt’s 5mm thickness. The belt is not stiff at all and many strength athletes enjoy the comfort of the thinner belt.
When I held the belt I also noticed how compact and light the belt is. The belt is so pliable right out of the box despite it being made of 100% genuine leather. I could easily put the Dark Iron belt in my gym bag, and it would barely add any weight.
The closure of the fastening mechanism is reinforced with rivets to increase durability of the belt. The rivets also provide stability for the buckle and prong system, especially during heavy lifts.
A worthy mention is how much I liked the overall look of the product. The double stitching of the leather all around the belt gives it a clean finished look. I am a fan of the gladiator logo and red-black color scheme. The belt has a sleek look to it which I appreciate. However, this is also one of the few drawbacks we found of the product. The Dark Iron Fitness weight lifting belt is only available in this ONE style. Some users may want an option of styles to choose from to match their personal preference.
Overview of the Features
The Dark Iron Fitness Weight Lifting Belt has a double prong buckle fastening system. We talk about the various fastening systems in the best weight lifting belts guide. The advantage of the double prong system is more security and stability. With the reinforced rivets, the buckle will not degrade over multiple uses.
Loads of lifters feel more stable with the double prong buckle system than the single prong system. Stability can assist in excelling your performance by making sure you can really push your limits. With more security comes more support especially where it counts: your core and spine.
The double prong buckle system helps weight lifters increase bracing power which generates more intra-abdominal pressure (IAP). The higher IAP can help you lift more safely and securely. Many strength athletes report the ability to increase at least 10% more after wearing a proper weight lifting belt.
Dark Iron Fitness Belt Sizing
One of the most important decisions you will make about your weight lifting belt is sizing. The best weight lifting belt is one that fits you snugly without interfering with your lifts. The Dark Iron Fitness sizing guide can help you choose the perfect fitting belt just for you. Check out our weight lifting belt sizing guide for a detailed article.
Dark Iron Fitness’ Belt sizing guide is based on your waist size. DO NOT use your pant size for this measurement. You will need to use a measuring tape around your navel. Do not suck in and measure in a relaxed state. Make sure the tape is tight around your waist overlapping your navel. Use this number as the size of your weight lifting belt. Dark Iron Fitness belt sizes come in 5 different variations from XS to XL. The XS size is ideal for waists measuring 23” to 31” and the XL size is for waists measuring 41” to 49”.
How to Use this Weight Lifting Belt
With the added mobility, the Dark Iron Fitness weightlifting belt suits many lifts. After putting on the belt I immediately felt how comfortable the leather was around my torso. This belt is thin but that doesn’t take away from the quality of the product. From first look, it's clear that Dark Iron Fitness intentionally chose this design to suit a vast number of strength athletes.
When we tried the belt out during squats and deadlifts we found it to be effective. The weight lifting belt’s purpose is to provide a brace for your core to push against when you lift. During squats, we didn’t find the belt to be overly stiff and it had a little give. The belt did not pinch or dig into my hips at all. Though I didn't test the following theory out myself, it seems that the belt could potentially be used shirtless. I say this because of its quality in comfort and non-slip material.
We found similar results during deadlifts and other power movements as well. Extra mobility but enough stiffness to serve its purpose. We believe the belt would be ideal for CrossFit competitors and even some Olympic weightlifters.
The Dark Iron Fitness weight lifting belt is the Honda Civic of belts. It's super popular and made of high quality materials that most people love. The belt is ideal for recreational lifters and heavy weight lifters alike. The Dark Iron Fitness website states the belt has been used for weights up to 600lbs and I can believe that.
What About Powerlifters?
If you plan to use this belt for powerlifting make sure you test it out on lighter weights first. We recommend testing the belt for safety reasons. Our best weight lifting belts for powerlifting are all at least 10mm but the Dark Iron Fitness belt is half this thickness. You may find the 5mm thickness suits your powerlifting needs but some may not. This belt will still help you lift heavy but if you don’t like how thin the belt is, check out our best powerlifting belts to ensure which belt is right for your purpose.
We used our comprehensive review system with many of the weight lifting belts out there and made our best weight lifting belt list. If you are starting out your weight lifting journey the Dark Iron Fitness belt is a great option. If you’re looking for a weightlifting belt that is more heavy duty, check out the RDX powerlifting belt or the Hawk Weight Lifting Belt.
We also have a full article outlining the best weight lifting belts for beginners, intermediate, and advanced lifters. We break down the difference in each type of lifter and how the belt is critical in suiting their different needs.
As our top ranked weight lifting belt this year, the Dark Iron Fitness weight lifting belt does not disappoint. With superior quality materials and a fine attention to detail, the craftsmanship of the belt is gorgeous. The materials also provide functionality with a durable and non slip surface which is ideal in all your lifts. The belt performed great in squats and deadlifts with no pinching or digging into the skin.
The customer service and commitment to users is superb. Dark Iron Fitness offers a 100% lifetime warranty with free replacement in case your belt ever wears down. Considering the price, the Dark Iron Fitness weight lifting belt will last your whole career and serve you well.