Congratulations to all of the Olympic weightlifters for some great lifting on Saturday – be sure to check the end of this post for more on the competition. There was also some great lifting in Sunday’s class.
After warm-up, the entire class was given one goal: in 30min, find a one rep max back-squat. The time constraint and bar sharing meant that it would take planning to achieve a max effort number. For those who had never attempted a 1RM before on the back squat, it was a good time to see just what they were capable of.
1 Rep Max: Testing or Training
We spend a lot of time trying to get stronger, and use a variety of approaches, yet we rarely attempt 1 rep max lifts. As a training method, however, this is far from efficient. It is important to KNOW your 1RM; the vast majority of strength programs (and all of the proven upper-tier programs) base their workload off of it. When we undertake strength workouts, heavy sets should not be a random crap-shoot of numbers and missed lifts. Rather, it should be a logical progression of weight based on what you are capable of and where you want your program to get you to. As such, it is important that you remember your 1RM from Sunday – we will start working-in percentage-based lifts and exercises based on your 1RM.
Spotting: Part & Parcel to Max Effort Training
While the use of bumpers makes dropping the weights fairly easy and can promote safety, the back squat is one lift where spotting can be a necessity. Ideally, in a heavy back squat, the weight would be pushed backwards off the lifters shoulders when they were in trouble. However, in reality, the tendency of an exhausted body in a heavy back squat is to lose core (mid-line) stability, causing the weight to pull the lifter forward. In this position, dropping the weight behind is impossible. Instead, a spotter is needed to step in, curling their arms under the lifters and placing their hands on the front of the lifters chest and shoulders, thereby righting the lifter and then guiding them into the rack. For heavy weights, it is also a smart idea to have two additional spotters at each end of the bar to help lift the weight.
To finish things off, teams of four were created for a team met-con:
1-15 Squats, 1-12 Sit-ups, 1-9 Burpees; 2 teammates performed 1 squat, then the other 2 performed 1 squat, the the first 2 performed 2 squats, then the other 2 performed 2 squats. This continued until all reps in the ladder were completed.
CFDC rolled into Dumbarton Gym on Saturday with 6 lifters, 2 coaches, 6 supporters, and a lot of determination. It was a great experience; the Dumbarton crew put on really good competition and for those of us who competing for the first time, it was an eye-opening glimpse into a unique portion of the fitness community. Many thanks to Mike and Tom for coaching, including massive amounts of time spent coordinating warm-ups and lift-attempts, which is a confusing process of “hurry-up and wait” style-planning. Also, a lot of thanks and appreciation to Sara, Julia, Steph, and Sophia Arend & friends for cheering, encouraging, and picture-taking. Speaking of pictures, be sure to check back for results to go along with everyone’s photos: