For the entire time I have been lifting, I have always felt the belt gives me a huge advantage in my lifts. For instance, the other day on squats my top set was 335. I like to warm up without the belt...Well, when I unracked 225 it felt like the weight was going to crush me. Then I added the belt and got 335 for a solid 3 reps and the weight actually "felt" lighter.
Then yesterday, my top deadlift set for the day was 365. I was warming up and again, even 225 and 275 felt pretty damn heavy. I thought there was no way I was going to hit 365...Then I strapped my belt on and hit 365 for 9 reps....I was like WTF? How did I do that? I felt like a cripple warming up.
I have had back injuries my entire life since I was 16. Two herniated discs, fused lower vertebrae, and a stress fracture. I also have just come off a back injury last April that sidelined me for 3 months....could not bend over the sink or tie my shoes in that time. This leads me to believe this is *probably* just a mental hump I cannot get over. But that damn belt just makes me feel SO much more stable than when I am not using it....
I really want to get to the point where I can lift the weight without a belt. I lift because I want strength for real life. Has anyone experienced something like this? If so, what did you do? I want to get that beast core....that "natural" belt. I am just not sure how to go about attaining that.