Monday, March 10, 2014
Advice on squatting:
-Squat frequently in some variation or another. It doesn't necessarily need to be heavy all the time. But squatting heavy and squatting frequently should be done on a consistent basis in some way or fashion.
-Squat as deep as physically possible. This includes unloaded and loaded settings. If you can squat perfectly ass to grass without a load, then why wouldn't you with a load? Do you catch heavy cleans and snatches above parallel? Then don't train yourself to squat to that depth. If your reason to quarter squats is that you are "scared" that you won't be able to get out of the bottom, take some weight off and re-train your squat. Start light and build to where you are ONLY able to sit down in the bottom position for 5 seconds before standing on each rep. That'll unscare you.
-Have one squat stance, for everything. Front squats, back squats, overhead squats, goblet squats, air squats, squat cleans, squat snatches, squatting to eat, squatting to dump (shout out to squatty potty), squatting to pick up a heavy stone/object/child. The width of your feet and angle of your toes should be equivalent on all these lifts whether light or heavy. Why? Because you should never compromise range of motion and Because Greg Everett says so
-Increase your squat so that you can increase your clean, your snatch and your overall strength. Its magical how that happens.
Ways to improve your squat:
-If you are unable to squat deep, find out why and address your issues. Ankles, hips, quads, everything tight? Smash the tissue, mobilize and stretch those bad boys out consistently. 30 years of terrible posture/positions and lack of/non-exsistent stretching and mobilization won't be un-done with one or two 10 minute mobility sessions every other week. It takes consistent exposure to the stretching and mobilizing of your tissues to really make a change AND it takes pressure. Heavy med balls on the chest, barbells, thick PVC pipes, super friends, all these are excellent tools to really get ourselves into better positions. Don't think your body weight is enough, because its not. If a foam roller gives you pain, you should be embarrassed. If you don't have time, make time. If you can't make time, its not that important to you so stop complaining to your coach.
-Sit in the bottom of the squat more. If you suck at something, put yourself into that position more often to improve that position. This can be accumulating time throughout the day in the bottom of your squat. Start with 10 minutes a day then move onto 20 and 30, its amazing how much your squat will improve the more time you spend down there.
-Adding tempos to your loaded squats helps build the type of body awareness needed to know where your bottom position is. If you need someone to tell you whether you're squatting deep enough or not, most likely you aren't, luckily for you this drill will help. Like stated above, sit in the bottom for 3-10 seconds to really learn how to sit comfortably in YOUR deepest possible position. If you can't find comfort down there, its a mobility problem, address it and fix it. Use this drill until you no longer have to ask someone whether your at depth or not, find comfort and confidence in your rock solid bottom position.
Squat deep and heavy more often. Get strong.
Friday, February 21, 2014
"My 150lb clean isn't that good because Megan did that for 2 reps and she's a girl!"
"10:40 on today's workout...but I used 95 (most people were using 185)"
"My son Jake sucks at baseball because he didn't make the all-star team like his friend Danny"
"I made $100,000 this year, but Jenny made $110,000"
Sound familiar? Regardless of how you look at it, I think we can all relate with those statements above whether they're accurate to our profession or something we have thought/said once before. We'll never be satisfied with our own unless we let go of comparing our actions and achievements with that of other people. Focus on yourself and stop caring about what the person next to you is doing. A friend and role model of mine (shout out to Heidi) has once compared this to growing a garden. If you are constantly focussed on other peoples garden's and not your own, what happens to yours? It withers and dies. Now translate this to your goals, personal achievements, children, job, relationship, etc. Keep focussing on other people's and carelessly watch yours go to shit. This is easily avoidable as long as we can focus on ourselves and learn to celebrate our own personal gains and achievements without peeking over the fence to see who's doing what. Be happy with everything you do, whether it be big or small, because it's good enough. Trust it, believe it, and watch yourself make strides like never before.
Final thoughts. The Open is around the corner. Remember how YOU did last year and try to improve off of that. Don't let Rich Froning dictate your efforts. His, along with the other top scores are irrelevant to yours. Understand this and you will feel better about your efforts at the end of the 5 weeks.