11 weeks out, squat and deadlift day

After the past weekend's cardio activities, I was curious to see how my legs would feel today.  On the schedule was speed squats (5 sets of 3 w/75% of my 1 RM) and an AMRAP (as many reps as possible) set with 505 lbs in the deadlift.

dork riding a segway
This picture has nothing to do with anything, it's just a picture of a dork (me) riding a Segway.
My melon isn't designed for helmets.  But at least I got to cross "riding a Segway" off the bucket list.  This actually took place last March but I didn't think the world was quite ready for the dorkiest Great Gazoo ever.

great gazoo
at least he could fly
Anyways, back to tonight's session--I didn't train in the morning because the gym was supposed to be closed yesterday for the installation of some new floors and I didn't want to show up this morning and find the gym not ready.  Turns out they didn't change anything at all.  On a positive note, my session went so well tonight that it more than made up for not reinforcing my change in routine.

Speed squats were as easy and fast as they've ever been.  Whereas my previous speed squat session felt like every set felt different and no two squats seemed to hit the same groove, today's squats felt identical and very strong.  I also worked on emphasizing a cue to get my hips into the lift.  Instead of just pushing my abs out against my belt, I also concentrated on feeling like I was doing a reverse crunch out of the hole.  The thought of trying to rotate my pelvis posteriorly out of the hole seemed to really help keep my hips under my shoulders better and kept my weight pushing through my heels.  It sounds like I was trying to butt-wink on purpose but there wasn't any actual movement of my hips, it just seemed to work to activate my glutes out of the hole and keep my torso more upright.

I would imagine that lifters naturally good at squatting don't have to think about such things as they mechanically just do it but so far the form and technique work I've been doing over the past couple months seems to be creating new patterns.  If they're on the path of being correct, I should be able to see evidence of a higher ceiling soon.  I'm hoping that the improvement in the speed squats is first evidence of this.

Squats:  135x10, 225x10, 275x5, add belt, 315x5, 340x3x5 sets

Deadlifts were originally scheduled to be 4 sets of 2 with 500 lbs, the last set of 2 actually being an AMRAP set.  However after feeling as explosive as I did after the speed squats, I decided I would just hit the AMRAP set first and then finish up with barbell shrugs with a floor pick up.  I also decided to use 505 lbs since it was easier to load two more 25's on the bar after my warm-up progression.

Deadlifts:  315x5, 405x2, add belt, 455x2, 505x4, 405x1, 405x1, 405x1

Barbell shrugs:  405x8, 405x8, 405x8 picked up from the floor (hence the 405x1x3 sets of deadlifts)

The speed singles and the shrugs both felt super easy.  The AMRAP set of 505x4 was also nice and tight.   I hope my speed and form in tonight's workout is representative of how my future sessions will go.  It's been a long time since everything moved as fast and as easily as it did tonight.

I finished up with a poundstone curl set.  I ended up using a fixed barbell weighing 40 lbs because a father and son were waiting for my rack and I didn't want to set a poor example by curling in front of it.

Poundstone curls:  40x70 reps

I'm also definitely keeping some steady state cardio in the schedule as it really seemed to help my recovery or something.  All I know is my legs and back felt amazing tonight and the only thing I added compared to previous weeks was some extra conditioning work.  Vivian and I are planning another bike ride this weekend so I'll get to test out the effects for next week's heavy squat/speed deadlift session.


  1. Hi Craig, I think some of the Speed Squats thing could also be that your body is slowly being condition to do this naturally and then when you go in to do in this case speed squats the body naturally just wants to "operate" properly, which then allows you to either do things easily or in your case quickly without to much effort. Good to hear that since you are concentrating on your technique you can see the results starting to come. Will be good to keep up to date with how you are going over the next few weeks.

    1. Thanks Keith! No reason a full grown male can't raw squat at least 500 lbs and since I've not done that yet, I still have work to do. Feels like I'm on the right track though.


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