Some lifters see the use of belts and straps while lifting as cheating due to the fact that they increases the weight that you are able to lift while using them but they are in fact very beneficial and should be used when possible. Along with improving strength they are also great for preventing injuries so I see no reason as why not to use them.
Weightlifting belts are great to use when performing squats and dead lifts in the gym. For one example they help you lift more weight than without one so that is a major benefit of course. However, people say that it is cheating since it makes your muscles do less work when lifting the weight when in fact that is false. Rather what it is actually doing is working your abdominal muscles more than ever before while stabilizing your back to prevent injury from occurring. It doesn’t support your torso but rather creates a reaction by your body to the belt which in turns creates proper form that allows for proper healthy movement of the weight. So next time you think you are being a tough guy by not using a belt just remember that you are instead putting a lot of unnecessary stress on your back that is preventable.
Yes, straps do help you lift more weight off the ground but is that really a problem. The way I see it is that it is only unfair if you are competing against an opponent who doesn’t have them. Other than that they are fair and beneficial to wear. It allows you to lift more weight without having to worry about the weight slipping too much out of your grip which in turn allows you to focus more on making gains on those targeted areas of your body. The straps can take away slightly from strengthening your grip and forearms but their are plenty of exercises out their that can replace that. Its important to focus on strengthening the main areas of your body rather than the minor ones. So it is completely manly to put on them straps while lifting heavy weight.