Introduction: Worlds Strongest Dip Belt?
Hi guys, today I’m going to be sharing a design I have made for a dip belt* which I believe to be one of the strongest you can make, while being lightweight, comfortable and a lot cheaper than most commercially available versions.
Let me give you some background; for the last 3 years I have been training weighted calisthenics (dips, pullups, chinups), and until recently I used a regular cotton belt such as you'd use on a pair of trousers. While this did work, it was very uncomfortable but I never got round to spending the money on a proper commercial dip belt. Eventually, however, my belt snapped so I decided to have a look at what was available online.
This proved to be a lot more complex than I'd expected, since the vast majority of the commercial belts had quite low maximum weight limits of 30-60kg (70-140lbs), with even the most expensive ones claiming only around 100kg (225lbs) strength limits. Now, although I’m nowhere near the top end of the weighted calisthenics game, this was a bit worrying since my weighted chinup is currently 70kg and I do dead-hangs with well over 100kg; even though I was sure that most belts would probably stand more than their stated limit, I didn't want to take the chance. Eventually, though, I found that unless you spend about £100 or so you cannot find anything with a really substantial weight limit, so I gave in and bought one with an acclaimed limit of 100kg.
The very first time I used it with 70kg, not only did one of the links of the chain start to open up, but the webbing of one side started unravelling and the carabiner stopped working... In general, the whole thing was poorly designed and very shabbily put together. From the research I did, it seemed like most of the belts available were designed in this same way: with cheap chains, thin single layer webbing straps and bad stitching.
Well, that's when this design started to come into being; I decided to make my own belt, which would need to be affordable, comfortable, and most importantly, able to hold with ease far more weight than I'd ever use it with.
So, in the words of Jörg Sprave from the famous slingshot channel, “This is what I came up with”.
*For those who don't already know, a dip belt is a belt which allows you to attach weight plates, dumbbells and kettlebells onto yourself for added resistance when doing bodyweight exercises. They are incredibly useful for people who want to increase their strength in body weight movements, whether to increase your total reps or to train for harder movements like the one arm chinup.
Step 1: What You'll Need
So, after a good bit of trawling through Amazon, I decided that lifting-slings were the way to go.
These are used mostly in industrial settings to attach and lift large crates, palettes etc, usually with a forklift. Because of this they are made to be highly durable and stronger than you'd believe possible for how small they are.
They also have convenient loops at each end and come in a range of lengths and widths; they are also flexible enough to be easy to use and handle. At first I thought of using a thick one for the belt portion and a chain to attach the weights onto but after some more Amazon digging, no chain that would fit through the 1 inch hole in the center of a weight plate was strong enough to fit my needs.
Therefore, I decided to use these exact components which I've found to be the best all round - I've linked the Amazon UK store pages for each of them so you can make sure to get the right ones. If for any reason they are not available on Amazon, a simple google search of the item name and dimensions should yield results.
Oh also, did I mention, the total cost of these components, which could happily hold the weight of a family car: £15 ($20)... ,which is around half the price of commercial models that hold approximately 20 times LESS weight.
For the belt, 1 meter by 12 cm lifting sling, weight limit - 4 tonnes, breaking limit - 28 tonnes (that should be enough…)
For the strap, 1 meter by 3 cm lifting sling, weight limit - 1 tonne, breaking limit - 7 tonnes
For the carabiner, 12 kn (kilonewtons) open-gate carabiner, weight limit - 1.2 tonnes, breaking strength - unknown
Step 2: Putting It Together
Another advantage of this design - assembly couldn't be simpler; I've shown above two of the ways you can use this, which should be fairly self explanatory. Both work fine but I personally prefer the first one, since the belt holds more comfortably around your waist. Go ahead and experiment with different methods, though, and see what works best for you.
The 1 meter strap gives you plenty of space to fit more than enough weight onto the belt with ease and, as you can see, it fits fine through the 1 inch hole of home-gym plates. The heaviest I've tested this with so far is 140kg (315lbs), shown in the last picture, since that's the heaviest thing I could find and, as expected, it held up absolutely fine; not only that but the width of the belt meant that it was still pretty comfortable, believe it or not.
Anyway guys, that's pretty much it - I know there wasn't much making involved in this tutorial but that's not really what it was meant to be about; for me this was about spreading the design for anyone who wants a damn good dip belt. Of course, the vast majority of people don't need something that can hold 2 tonnes, but what I've found so good about this design is that it is incredibly strong while still being cheaper and more comfortable than any other dip belt I've found. Also, the materials are readily available and the minimal assembly needed really makes this choice a no-brainer.
I really hope that this concept and design will prove useful and do feel absolutely free to share it with others and tweak/improve on it (if you do I'd love to see the results).
If you did like this idea please show your support by voting for this in the Exercise Speed Challenge
Well that's it for now people, stay safe, keep training and have a great day!
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