I’m old school on this point and am not anything close to a power lifter. Therefore, I speak for the average Joe in the weight room who is looking to improve quality of life. If the weight is too much for you to lift without compromising your back than you shouldn’t lift it. Strengthen the muscles that support your core and try a manageable weight. A weight belt kicks in to support the muscles in the back just like a cast supports an injured region. I work with a clientele that needs those muscles to engage on their own and not rely on an external apparatus to move a load.
Good question. I have never used any belts, but then again I don’t lift very heavy weights. I prefer to use my own body to do the work and using belts or any other type of external support equipment it means you either lifting too much weight or your form have been compromised and you also not using the full potential of your body to do the work. This could lead to an injury down the road and some type of muscular atrophy. Maybe an exception can be made for the professional power lifters due to the heavy weights they are working with, but not for the amateur, begginer or so-called weekend warrior :-).