Originally Posted by MikeM
I've never used a belt either, and never thought I would use one.
What's is the point when you should use one for safety? When you get up around 1.5 body weight? Less? More? All the time, regardless of weight?
And for what execises? I can't imagine now using one for Squats or Deadlifts, but Push Presses can sometimes be a little dicey if I don't concentrate. Then again, in the future when I put up bigger weights hopefully, I should expect to use them for Squats, etc.?
Bottom line, when should you even use them?
Whenever you feel like it, I suppose. I personally didn't start using one till I hit a 300lb squat and 385lb deadlift.
The thing is, you shouldn't use it as a crutch. It's a useful tool for safety with heavier weights, but until you're nearing 90% of your max, you should really be doing it without a belt to get your body used to the weights. Using a belt doesn't mean that you weaken your midsection at all either. My beltless max goes up along with my belted max all the time. I'll usually start using a belt when I get over 315 on squats and 405 on deadlifts, and any sets after that.
I don't use belts at all for any other exercises.