I only use a belt if at all when I’m going above 90% of my max or maybe for a max set for reps with a lower percentage . I feel it’s important to not become reliant on using a belt as I feel it takes away from strengthening your core if you use it every time you want to max out.
If you feel like you need a belt to be safer or because your back feels sore than I would argue that actually the opposite is true . Using a belt does not improve your form and if you feel after a warmup you are not ok to lift them you are not ok to lift. A belt won’t change that so do something else . Using a belt regularly does not improve your core strength in fact I believe regular use of a belt actually inhibits the training of your core and long term will hold you back.
I’m guilty of this and I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad thing.... Ego 😬. Using myself as an example. If I was to take part regularly in classes, let’s use Barbell as an example I may feel the need to slip on my weightlifting belt too often so I can compete in the rack with another member who’s challenging my ego. Now and again I don’t think this would be bad for my development but too often and I think it would hold back my progress and even make me susceptible to injury.
Now for my favourite reason to use a belt , Stimulus. Using a belt for my last set allows me to use more weight, I know it does . If squatting for example I can perform more reps at a heavier weight and create I different stimulus on my body. Less core engagement arguable but my legs will definitely feel the difference . Stimulus and adaption is what we train for if we want results .
Conclusion , if you use a belt all the time then stop using it build the weight up without and strengthen your core.
If you don’t use a belt but want to then give it a go and see how it feels . But don’t rely on it too often and use it because you feel it will improve your form or save you from injury, because it won’t .
Technique first , then consistency and then intensity . This is how you should approach lifting and your sweaty workouts.
Also have Fun 😬