getting ready for the 100% Raw Easterns

This week is the 9th week out from my next competition, the 100% Raw Eastern Championships on September 17-18. Since I like to train in 4 week mini-cycles, this week involves some final testing and determination of which weak points I'm going to focus on for the next 2 mini-cycles.

One tool I decided to add is pause squats. The ongoing technique and power cue work is going well as I was able to work up to very comfortable single reps with 415 and 435 (91 and 95% of my current max). I got the idea of doing pause squats after reading a reprint of Rickey Dale Crain's routine from the classic powerlifting book, Inside Powerlifting by Dr. Terry Todd. As in Crain's routine, I decided to use approx 100lbs less than my 1 RM max for the set of 5 pause squats or 345 for a set of 5 reps, 3 count pause at the bottom of each repetition.

Verdict: I like them. Not only do they significantly increase time under tension, I believe they will address a weak point with my core stability. It takes some discipline to hold tight at the bottom squat position without losing posture. I believe this should build postural stability with heavier weights as well as eventually help with holding posture in geared squats--should I ever compete in gear again.

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