At the close of the second squat-wave, we talked of the importance of spotting for your fellow athletes, as well as the responsibility of the lifter to ensure someone was spotting for them, and the responsibility of the group to ensure a lifter was being spotted (“TIRED AND WIRED“). So, it was a welcome sight to see so many athletes coordinate their spotting-methods this past Sunday. Job well done. Attention to detail is what will see us all through to the end.
However, as we approach the end of our squat cycle, collectively aiming for PR’s, we need to address the lingering detail regarding legitimacy. A legit squat is relatively easy to judge, as the only real factor is depth. Freddy Camacho, owner and coach at CF One World, recently wrote an entry regarding this exact same subject (“WHEN A SQUAT IS NOT A SQUAT“), from which I am liberally going to borrow:
There are many ways to do a squat. There is a high bar position or a low bar position. Some people prefer to keep their feet shoulder width apart and some prefer a wider stance. There are people that preach pointing the toes slightly outward, and there are those who prefer the toes pointed straight forward. Regardless of all these squat techniques, a squat can only be a squat if you squat below parallel.
To paraphrase and repeat: A squat can only be a legit squat if the squat is below parallel.
It would be foolish to expect everyone to move the same, and each of us experience different limitations that require us to squat slightly differently. However, there really is no excuse for not squatting below parallel. Either continue to drop lower to make depth, or, if you can’t get lower, take some weight off the bar until you can make depth. As a group, we are all capable of squatting below parallel. So why don’t all of us always do so? Mr. Camacho has some follow-up thoughts about this:
Okay, so clearly he didn’t write CFDC at the end of the last paragraph, but you get the idea. (I may also have short-formed the F-bomb to keep it sorta family-atmospherish).
The above is funny at times, but the best, and the part that really rings true, is the closing paragraph:
The moral of the story is don’t cheat yourself now, and it will pay off in the end. … Walk before you run. Get the mechanics down and the strength will come. I promise!
Warm-Up for the day’s working sets was roughly programmed at 1 x 10 @ 30%, 1x 8 @ 50%, 1x 5 @ 65%, 1x 3 @ 75%, and, 1 x 2 @ 85%. “Roughly,” because the higher in weight you’re climbing, the more warm-up sets you may need to take (add sparingly, however, as you don’t want to exhaust yourself before you get to the actual work).
Sunday’s accessory work was programmed as “heavy” KB Swings utilizing the Russian-style swing (to eye level only, rather than the overhead American style swing). This would allow people to go much heavier than usual, but would also demand more hip power and more core stability. The first two sets were set as standard swings, meaning one KB, on your own. Sets 3 through 5, however, were opened up to two different options:
Option 1 – Double KB Swing, using two KBs instead of one; and/or,
Option 2 – partner assisted power swings, where a partner stands in front of you and “assists” by pushing the KB into the back-swing (this requires increased tension through the back in order to control the back-swing and maintain balance).
For a quick finisher, we worked the mid-section with a dynamic vs. static core work-based work-out (that’s a lot of “work”). While one partner did the dynamic work (the sit-ups), the other partner did the static work (the hollow holds, planks, and v-sits), with the two trading places until each partner had completed a set of 40 sit-ups, 30 sit-ups, 20 sit-ups, and finally, 10 sit-ups. Thanks to Julia and Peter for leading the way on some immediate post-metcon stretching via the cobra pose to open up the abs and hip-flexors!
Well done all – rest up the legs and come ready to for the heat and burn that’s in store for Tuesday.