While not every person who lifts weights needs a belt, powerlifters definitely need the added support and protection that a weightlifting belt offers. Powerlifting belts are commonly made of thick leather, designed to restrict mobility in favor for increased support. Powerlifting belts are an even width, while regular belts taper off toward the front. The added material in powerlifting belts is often rigid and needs to be broken in for it to be at all comfortable for you to wear.
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Wear the belt as often as possible. The leather will become more flexible the more times the belt is worn, especially during lifting sessions where you will break a sweat. The sweat will help soften the leather and the belt will begin to form fit to the curves of your body.
Soak a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and then rub into the belt to help break down the fibers of the belt. After using the rubbing alcohol, you can follow with a coat of petroleum jelly to further help soften the belt.
Roll the belt up as tight as possible, with the prongs facing inward. Place a heavy weight on top of the belt, which will help break in the leather. Cinder blocks work well, as you can leave the block on for a long period of time. Some weightlifters even drive their car over a rolled up belt in an effort to break in the belt as much as possible.