Hard to believe that the squat cycle is already coming to an end. A large majority of you have followed this program weekly and have seen enormous gains. Before we reset our 1RM’s this week, I wanted to point out a few things for you to keep in mind.
1. Don’t measure the success of the cycle based on makes/misses. Some of you had days where you missed multiple reps and the weight felt much heavier than you expected. In my opinion, sometimes misses are more beneficial than makes. Many of you were mentally unprepared to successfully navigate heavy front squats, before you even backed up from the rack with that heavy load, you were already thinking about how to get out from under the barbell once you failed. Many of you missed a rep and then immediately attempted that same weight again, this time successfully. You are starting to realize just how mental the game of weightlifting really is.
2. Mechanics matter. Doing things correctly will make you stronger. Shortcuts will not. When we first started this cycle, I told you how important it was to be in the right positions for squatting. Foot position, shin position, back angle, elbow height, and depth are all equally important in getting stronger. Some of you worked on these things and got exponentially better, others, wanted the immediate gratification of squatting heavier and went back to their old ways of not getting deep enough or working on front rack mobility and had marginal gains, getting stronger in BAD positions. I can’t stress enough how important it is to engrain proper movement patterns with these foundational lifts.
3. Central Nervous System (CNS) Matters. Many of you found out how tough it is to do multiple sets of HEAVY squats. It is one thing to get your mind/body ready for one heavy set, but to do it over and over again, that’s a different story. Your CNS takes a beating with work like this, some of you I am sure went home and were more exhausted from 18 heavy front squats than you were a 16m MetCon. This is another reason I love squatting heavy as a group, it forces us to focus. So many of you after a miss, immediately looked at me and knew exactly what you had done wrong. This is why all misses aren’t bad, you recognized and learned from the failure and then applied it to your next set. This is why we “train”, to “learn” about our human potential and how to tap into it. The mental part is the hardest to train as it usually causes the most discomfort. Any of my Program Design clients will admit that the first few months of my design is more of a mental hazing than physical.
4. The Power Of Routine. The overwhelming majority of you all have given me some very positive feedback to this recent squat cycle. Sure, there is always my small, special crew that has some kind of complaint about how they will never fit into shorts after this and are wondering when I will be getting the pads for the barbells so it stops hurting their shoulders…but that’s why I love them:) It’s amazing with just a little structure, how many of you were much more focused coming into the box. You need to have that type of focus no matter what it is we are doing in here. Wether it is working on squat therapy with no load, or we are working on getting T2B. Everything is easier when you can focus. Tweaks mainly happen when we lose our focus, we miss a box jump, we forget to keep our back tight on a deadlift, etc. etc.
Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday we will be resetting our maxes. I am going to get with Paul and come up with a way to easily track your improvements on this so we can see how we did as a gym. More to come on that in the next day or so.
In about 3 weeks we will be starting a new strength cycle. It will be a Press and Ring Dip cycle. I am pretty excited about it and think the majority of us could benefit greatly from this. Keep up the good work and stay tuned!