"How to Hit a Squat PR with Minimal Sleep and High Stress"

I want to tell you a story about how one lifter broke through plateaus, set a NEW PR, and gained more confidence…


And how easy this is for you to do as well!

The story I am about to tell you, is about an experienced male weightlifter and one of my close friends who took his back squat to 455lbs (206.8 kgs) in under 2 months just by implementing the Element 26 Self-Locking Weightlifting Belt in addition to his hard work.

I had met this athlete at the gym I worked at as a physical therapist and I had gotten to know him pretty well over a period of several months.

When I met him, he was living nearby and studying for his MCAT exam for literally 10-12 hours at a time, sometimes all night….

 What was even more shocking was that he would spend a couple nights a week working as a DJ to pay the bills… Again, another activity that would keep him awake until the early morning hours.

His lifting was mixed in between the studying and DJ-ing and it consisted of a variety of linear squat progressions and Olympic movements.

And yes, if you are wondering, he did get tired. And if you’re an experienced lifter then you know sleep needs to be prioritized to see improvements in the gym, box, and weight room.

His devotion to lifting surprised me because after a full day of studying he would still manage to load up the bar and proceed to snatch with 90% of his 1RM and SUCCEED!

A couple months after getting to know him, I had mentioned to him that my best friend and I started a brand called Element 26 and our first product was a self-locking weightlifting belt. I mentioned the design and what it can do for him.

INSTANTLY he became interested because he could never find a belt that he liked or was comfortable wearing.

So we placed the order for the belt and it arrived a couple days later.

He started wearing it right away with squatting and heavier olympic lifts above 80% of his 1-Rep Max. He would note how light, comfortable, and durable the belt was and how he felt a lot more stable with it once the weight started increasing.

He would wear the belt during every training session in that two-month period while training hard and living his MOTIVATED, yet mildly sleep-deprived lifestyle.

Then one day he came to me at the end of a long studying session and said:

Phil, come with me, I want you to film this set.

I was like sure… (truth be told, I had no idea what rack he was on or what he was doing, I was just following him).

So he led me to a rack loaded with 405 lbs on the bar. I asked if he had done it before and he answered yes.” He squatted it, came back up and the weight just flew.

Not an ounce of effort...

He mentioned how it has never felt that light. So he loads up 435 lbs on the bar, same thing, smoked it! I was in awe because this was a high-bar deep squat.

He then mentioned that 435 lbs was a PR and he had never squatted that much. It was definitely a little harder than the 405 lbs but a solid lift nonetheless.

Five minutes pass and he loads up 455 lbs on the bar says watch this.” He pulls the belt tight, sets up under the bar, and unracks the weight. I film the lift again and admire how smoothly he moves 455.

Of course it was difficult but there was no shaking, no hitching, no bouncing...just smooth muscular tension.

He had never thought about loading up a bar that heavy without a belt, so I asked him what changed?

He mentioned it’s only been the belt and the slightly more consistent routine he was on. That’s it!

Even I was skeptical.

How does a someone who studies for the MCAT all day with a lack of sleep, improve on such a big lift that requires the opposite: low stress and more sleep?

But all in all, that didn’t matter, he was exhilarated with CONFIDENCE and thanked me for help of filming and the belt.  

I figured if the belt can help this lifter become more confident and successful while setting a PR, then this belt can help anyone and I would be selfish not to share this experience with YOU.

Now I don’t condone staying out all night and not sleeping, but imagine if you sleep well, practice maintaining periods of low stress, and then use the belt in training???

The sky’s the limit!!


I wish you all the best in your training and only want the BEST for you!!

Train hard and let Element 26 help you along the journey no matter what your situation is.

To purchase the Self-Locking Weightlifting Belt, visit Amazon or The Element 26 Store online.



Dr. Phil Gauthier


Element 26    

PS. Check out our awesome, highly interactive, weightlifting community on Facebook called The Athletic Weightlifter!

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