And my squat groove is back.

After having excellent squat workouts on November 28 and December 6 and despite doing lots of singles to practice form, I still managed to get out of the groove.  I finally traced it back to an effort to sit back into my squats more and break from the hips first rather than the knees.  I realized I was poorly implementing that strategy and turning squats into a good morning while also getting the weight out over my toes.

Two workouts ago I realized my mistake and started sitting down instead of back.  Immediately everything felt easier and more 'centered' if that makes any sense.  In a previous workout post, I likened it to feeling like all my levers were shorter--visualizing a rhino versus a giraffe.  In my 5' 9", 230lb body, squatting like a giraffe goes against all form and it's no wonder I was suddenly 10% less strong.

Today's workout was almost a repeat of my workout from December 6.  I again did cluster singles with 405 lbs but stepped up the pace a bit.  I ended up getting 8 singles in a total time of 9 minutes 20 seconds.  I thought about going for 10 singles but the 8th one grinded a bit so I finished with three sets of 3 with 365.

Squats:  135x10, 225x5x2 sets, 315x3, 365x3, 405x1x8 sets, minimal rest between singles, 365x3x3 sets.

I know virtually every article on squatting includes advice about not starting the squat from the knees but for me that works best--I'm still bending at the hips but I'm no longer trying to limit knee movement.  This recent training video by Henry Thomason describes the feeling I have when I squat.  It certainly seems like he starts his squats with a break at the knees--at the very least they move quite a bit at the inception of the squat motion.

After squats, I worked on overhead press volume work.  I moved my grip out an inch on each side to see how it changed the location of the sticking point.  I'm not sure I'll stay with that grip width as it seemed to stress my shoulders in a similar way to my problematic bench press.

Overhead barbell press:  45x10, 95x10, 135x5, 185x2x3 sets, 155x5x3 sets

Today was a good workout and none too soon with my next competition less than 6 weeks away.   I was starting to worry about my squat problems but I've seemed to have corrected my issues.  I'm looking forward to Friday's deadlift workout of heavy singles to see if the groove work I've been doing for deadlift has been beneficial.


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