#SweatStrongChallenge month one is almost in the books and soon it will be time to award some prizes to those who are posting to FB along w/ building their strength.
Not suprisingly, we have all made great strides in month 1 but prepare yourself mentally for the work ahead in month 2. Your gains will come slower and will be harder fought so I want to show you how I’m handling my front squat plateau so that I get stronger, keep depth, and NOT RISK injury!!!
Lateral movements on non heavy lift days.
If you come to Sweat regularly you have probably noticed more skaters, plank jacks, side lunges, new jacks, cross over lunges etc. programmed into our classes where we do not go as heavy. This is purposeful and in an effort to ensure that the ligaments, tendons, and muscles that surround your knees and hips can keep up with the extra load. Balance is CRITICAL if you want to stay off the operating table!!!!
Spend extra time under tension at your old benchmark.
In order to make a new benchmark feel old you need to allow the muscles to become accustomed to that load. In addition you need to work through the angles at which you feel the biggest struggle.
We’ve practiced two techniques this month at Sweat in order to do that (5 x 5 or 5, 4, 3, 2, 1) but as the second month approaches and heavy takes on a new meaning here’s a technique I’m incorporating for myself this month. I hope you can make it to our open gym Thursday night or Saturday morning and try this out with us.
a. Warm up- about 10 minutes- slowly increasing weight to the new benchmark.
b. New Benchmark- 1 rep (deep and controlled)
c. Scale back to “old” benchmark- 5 reps, rest, 4 reps, rest, 3 reps, rest, 2 reps, rest
d. Increase back up to new benchmark 1 rep (deep and controlled)
e. Turn your front squat into back squat using your the new benchmark weight and do 5 for 5.
All in all this will take you about 30-60 minutes to complete but it will be worth it. While the back squat is definitely different than a front squat, changing your squat will allow you to keep your muscles under tension using the new benchmark weight and allow you to safely adapt to the workload.
***As the new benchmark begins to feel more at reach I will increase (b) and (d) until eventually hitting my goal.
Keep those pictures and posts coming weather they are hits or misses. It’s all part of the process!!