4 weeks out, day 3, squats and deadlift assistance

My squat groove felt the best it's ever been but it was so good the heavy singles felt strange.  Ever since I was cursed with a strong back for a local lifter but not a strong enough back for a national level lifter, I've had a terrible squat.  After many years of being stubborn and squatting with poor form but being bailed out by squat-morning everything, I finally figured out that the bar needs to travel pretty much in a straight line and that the hips need to stay as close to under the bar as possible.  This transition has taken a couple years and tonight it started to feel like it needs to feel.

It's taken me a while to keep my hips from shooting back out of the hole in the squat and the next form improvement I've been trying to make is keeping the bar from migrating towards my toes on the descent.  I know it's just my body's way of shifting the weight to what it thought was the strongest muscles but it's responding to the inefficient movement patterns from previous years of lifting.  One benefit of the heavy eccentric only squat work I've been doing is it's much harder to let the weight shift forward on the descent.  While it's what my body has wanted to do in the past, with supra-maximal weights, it just isn't feasible since the weight really wants to fold me over.  Instead, I've been able to keep the bar weight just back of midfoot all the way down.

Tonight that improvement on my squat descent carried over to my full ROM squats.  Every rep felt nice and centered and didn't shift forward into the hole.  The part that was strange was the different feel in the hole.  Instead of the weight feeling heavy because the bar was closer to my toes, it felt stable.  The hard part was trusting the big muscles to work the weight out of the hole.  A few reps got pitched forwards slightly because I didn't trust it.  It's a bit close to the meet to still be tweaking form but there's still 2 good weeks of training left that should allow me to feel comfortable.

I didn't do any eccentric only reps because things felt a little crispy but I was able to do more volume with higher intensity than any session in the meet prep cycle.  After the squats, I was able to hit the stiff legged deadlifts with some extra volume and a higher top work weight.

Squats:  135x10, 225x5, switch to lowbar, 295x3, add belt 345x3, add wrist wraps, 385x3, 425x1, 455x1, 475x1, 455x1, 435x2x4 sets  21 total work reps, 81.2% avg intensity

Stiff legged deadlifts:  225x8, 295x8, 345x8, 375x6

Rope pushdowns:  80x12, 80x10, 80x8


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