It’s not every day you see a weightlifting belt with the manufacturer being a gym franchise.
Let’s try that again.
It’s not every day you see a weightlifting belt with the manufacturer being a gym franchise known as the “Mecca of Bodybuilding,” the place the Governator himself pumps iron.
The Gold’s Gym Leather Weight Lifting Belt is a belt that usually flies under the radar.
But maybe it’s time to shine the spotlight on this belt to see if it lives up to Gold’s Gym standards (the gold standard, if you will).
Let’s see what this thing is all about.
Table of Contents
- About the Manufacturer – Gold’s Gym
- What is the Gold’s Gym Leather Weight Lifting Belt?
- Belt Details & Features
- 3 Benefits of the Gold’s Gym Belt
- 3 Negatives of this Belt
- Wrapping Up This Gold’s Gym Weight Lifting Belt Review
About the Manufacturer – Gold’s Gym
Gold’s Gym — the type of place you picture when you think of the cliche American gym.
Here’s the backstory of this historic fitness landmark.
The year was 1965.
A man named Joe Gold, a former military serviceman and bodybuilder created the first Gold’s Gym location in Venice Beach, California.
It was an instant hit in the local bodybuilding community.
Rising bodybuilders like Arnold Schwarzenegger — AKA: Austrian Oak, the Governator, and John Kimble in the classic “Kindergarten Cop” — and Dave Draper called Gold’s Gym “home.”
By 1977, the gym reached global fame thanks to the eye-opening documentary about the secret world of bodybuilding, Pumping Iron.
The gym was eventually sold to Ken Sprague, who turned the single location into a global franchise by 1980.
Now with 700 locations in tow, Gold’s Gym has attracted plenty of members with household names, including Tiger Woods, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and Morgan Freeman.
Gold’s Gym has also expanded its reach in the fitness community — the franchise now sells fitness gear like T-shirts, supplements, gym bags, and even a few weightlifting belts.
Everybody knows that Gold’s Gym is the real deal.
Though, they were hit pretty hard financially by the COVID-19 pandemic. The franchise is now in the process of downsizing and permanently shuttering some locations.
What is the Gold’s Gym Leather Weight Lifting Belt?
On paper, the Gold’s Gym Leather Weight Lifting Belt has a lot to offer. Here’s what Gold’s Gym claims to be the significant benefits and promises of this belt.
- Unrivaled core and back support (leather & chrome combo)
- Comfortable fit (contoured padding)
- Long-lasting construction (heavy-duty leather)
- The only thing you need to lift heavy and have a good workout (lofty, huh)
Based on this, we can tell that Gold’s Gym has high hopes for this leather belt.
If we take Gold’s Gym for its word, you can expect this belt to be comfortable during long workouts, supportive through heavy lifts, a lifelong investment, and the reason your workouts are cranked up a notch.
That’s a lot of confidence, but we’ll let ‘em have it since they are the Mecca of Bodybuilding.
Now, to find out if Gold’s Gym holds true to its word….
Belt Details & Features
The Gold’s Gym Leather Weight Lifting Belt isn’t the most popular belt on the market. And you probably wouldn’t catch any of the guys at the gym sporting anything other than an Inzer belt.
But this belt does have a good deal of features that make it a potentially good investment.
Given the combination of features that this belt boasts, this Gold’s Gym option can handle heavy, light, and fast-paced workouts.
We’re talking powerlifting to CrossFit to resistance training, and back again (not yoga though).
Now, for the fine print.
The Leather Construction
At 7.1mm thick, this belt is somewhat of a middle ground.
It’s thick and rigid like a leather powerlifting belt, so it can support heavy jerks and squats without having to take it easy in the squat rack.
But it’s also thin and comfortable enough that it doesn’t get caught on the barbell during cleans or leave bruises on your hips, just like a nylon weightlifting belt wouldn’t.
This stiff leather is meant to bring more power out of your core instead of your back.
The Contoured & Padded Design
The tough guys at the gym are finicky about their belts. They need their belts to be thick as hell, stiff as a board, and able to provide insane pressure on the core during squats and deadlifts.
We gotta be honest….this belt is the exact opposite of those standards.
What this belt does have to offer is a contoured design, meaning the belt is wider around the back — where you need the support and pressure — and thinner around the sides and front.
This style will curve around your ribs and hips.
We’re talking no bruising on your ribs or hips as you’re pumping out rep after rep on the snatch. Hit the gym hard on day one, and don’t waste your time teaching your body to like the belt.
The padded design is either hit or miss for you, depending on what your ideal belt is.
Padding is fantastic if you find the cliche leather belt to be tough on the back, especially during long workouts. Though, padding does reduce the firm support this belt can provide.
These features are fantastic if you prefer comfort over all else. But these features take away from what this belt can handle in regards to heavyweights.
So serious powerlifters, beware.
The good news is that this belt is 4” around the back, which is standard for casual lifters.
Closing the Belt
Let’s face it: A belt doesn’t make a difference in a workout if it doesn’t fit or close just right. You might be unimpressed thus far, but this is where the belt shines.
This Gold’s Gym belt boasts a pretty sweet chrome buckle.
First things first: The chrome buckle looks high-end. You’ll definitely catch a few sets of eyes at the gym if the sun or light above hits the buckle just right.
The double-prong chrome buckle is also durable and, since it’s a double-prong belt, you can count on this belt to give you even pressure along the back and core.
So no more worrying about the belt losing pressure at the top as your gut pokes out.
We also want to mention the number of hole placements this belt has.
In the typical weightlifting belt, you’ll see ten or so. This belt has 15 — this feature makes a good fit more likely, as there isn’t so much of a size difference from one hole to the next.
The “perfect” fit may be hard to reach (compared to a lever belt), but you’ll get damn near close.
Sizing & Color
This belt is as simple as they come regarding both size and color.
From what we can see, there are two sizes to choose from (S/M and L/XL) and one color option (black exterior and white interior).
The white interior is pretty sleek, even though you’re the only one who’ll see it.
Here’s a look at the sizes offered.
- S/M: 22” to 33”
- L/XL: 34” to 42”
There’s also a nifty “Gold’s Gym” logo imprinted into the belt’s back so you can show your buddies at the gym that, 1) You know what Gold’s Gym is like every other gym rat, and 2) Your weightlifting belt is from a legit brand.
3 Benefits of the Gold’s Gym Belt
1. It Fits Comfortably (If You Give It a Chance)
Though just 7.1mm thick, this belt will be pretty stiff on day one. And it’s rigid enough that it’ll take you a few days for your body to get used to this belt.
Once you do, this belt will be as comfortable as they come!
The combination of the padding and the contoured design is risky in the weightlifting community. That’s especially the case given the reputation these belts seem to get from serious lifters.
Serious gym-goers want stiff and rigid belts that provide insane support!
But this belt is truly pretty comfy and can hold off those gnarly bruises and jabs in the sides that come with the typical leather belt!
It’s not the most durable belt, but it’ll make your workouts easier.
2. It’s Very Much Affordable
Let’s be honest: Weightlifting belts are far too expensive to be buying a couple each year.
Now, without getting into the nitty-gritty details and crunching the numbers, we’ll tell you this: This Gold’s Gym belt is a tiny fraction of the average weightlifting belt cost.
So when this belt finally gives breaks — and it probably will — you won’t have to worry about digging deep into your bank account to replace it.
Lifting shouldn’t be hurting your financial health, right?
3. The Support It Provides is Great for Beginners
If you’re a beginner, weightlifting belts are a whole new breed.
You have to get used to wearing something around your waist at the gym, deal with the digging into your sides with each rep, and pack something new in your gym bag!
We have to admit: This belt is awesome for beginners.
It provides decent support thanks to the rigid leather and durable chrome buckle, so it’ll support low weight lifts on the clean and jerk and squat.
It’ll also get you accustomed to wearing a belt in the first place, making the eventual transition to a legit belt in a few months much easier.
Give ‘er a go if you’re a true novice, but be prepared to buy a new belt soon!
3 Negatives of this Belt
1. It’s Probably Not the Belt You Want
Okay, this belt is a decent option for some people.
For example, you’ll appreciate the padding and the contoured design if you’ve never worn a weightlifting belt before. Or if you’re slowly working your way back to the gym.
Eventually, you’re going to ramp up your PRs and take your workouts to new extremes.
This belt is good for now, but it won’t be the belt you need when you plan to step it up a notch. The padding and the contour won’t provide enough support for the gains you want to see.
Beginners…have at it!
Experts: Go for an Inzer belt, Dark Iron Fitness belt, or even a ProFitness belt!
2. It May Just Be One of Those Fake Leather Belts
You know where this one’s going.
We’ve all seen those “leather” belts that are technically leather on the outside. The inside is some poorly-made cardboard material that shows you exactly why the belt failed mid-deadlift.
Many people have touted this belt as looking “cheap.” Other people have noticed that the belt inside looks like it’s cardboard.
Take from that what you please.
Just know that this belt probably isn’t going to hold up if you’re squatting 300 pounds or more! Don’t be surprised if it tears in half.
3. It Lacks Popularity
Popularity isn’t everything, whether we’re talking about high school, trendy Netflix series’, or weightlifting belts.
This belt isn’t the most popular out there…it’s not even close!
Now, there’s nothing that says that an unpopular belt sucks or that a popular belt will blow you away. But the fact that it’s not making waves in the lifting community by now is concerning.
How is it that a product from a bodybuilding Mecca like Gold’s Gym can’t draw crowds?
We aren’t sure, so you might want to err on the side of caution when buying this belt. There’s probably a good reason people are keeping their distance.
Wrapping Up This Gold’s Gym Weight Lifting Belt Review
Here’s the deal: The Gold’s Gym Weight Lifting Belt isn’t popular despite the popular brand’s logo, and you probably didn’t even know that Gold’s Gym also sold fitness gear in the first place.
But this belt does have a place in the gym for certain people.
If you’re just getting started in the gym and need a little extra support as you work on proper form, this belt might be the one for you.
This Gold’s Gym belt is supportive, comfortable (contoured and padded), and will help you get used to applying proper form during the compound lifts.
But (yes, there’s always a “but”).
Many users see this belt as a good short-term solution in the novice stage. The belt seems cheap and like a good belt for the time being, but it won’t give support on super heavy lifts.
Serious lifters, look elsewhere — this belt is for the true noobs!
Rating: 7.0 out of 10
But if you’re looking for the top leather lifting belt, we recommend the Dark Iron Fitness Genuine Leather Pro Weightlifting Belt.
This belt is capable of improving your lifts by up to 10%, supports over 600 lbs of resistance, and the real durable leather prevents wear and tear.
And if you want to see the top belts we recommend across multiple lifting categories… check out our massive strength training equipment list with the best weightlifting belts available on the market!