Weeks of work and tons (literally tons) of weight have been lifted. It is time to test your mettle and destroy old PR’s. There are several ways to attack this scenario, but a few proven methods which will help you push the big weight.
Back Squat: Perform a bottom sit; we have been doing this for weeks so there should be no question on form. Remember to stay tight and support the weight, but avoid death gripping the bar. Listen to the coach when warming up for your max effort (ME) attempt. After you decide what weight you WILL hit perform a walk out with a belt. This should be done at 10 to 20% more than your target weight and performed with a belt. Make sure and rest 2 to 3 minutes before attempting your new PR. Approach the bar with an attitude; lifting is as much mental as physical. If you approach with a negative attitude you have a better chance at failing. Get under the bar, stay tight and back out of the rack. Remember to take a ¾ breath into your stomach to help tighten you midsection and squat. Make sure to hit full range of motion so you are not wasting time and precious energy on a rep which does not count. When you hit the bottom exhale and lift the F@#%ING WEIGHT!
“There is simply no other exercise, and certainly no machine, that provides the level of central nervous activity, improved balance and coordination, skeletal loading and bone density enhancement, muscular stimulation and growth, connective tissue stress and strength, psychological demand and toughness, and overall systemic conditioning than the correctly performed full squat.” — Mark Rippetoe
Snatch: We have been working hard at developing the snatch over the last few months. Athletes are picking up cues and starting to get comfortable under the bar, and it is amazing. Besides the obvious, there are a few things to take into account when shooting for a new one rep max. Approach the bar the same every time. Like was discussed before, lifting is just as much mental as it is physical. You also want to snatch the same from the beginning, or lighter weights, to the end, so hit that squat just like you would with the heavy weights. As you start to warm up, make five to 10 pound jumps in weight and work your way up until you are ready to try for the new PR. Stay tight, hit the pockets, push and sweep the weight! Here is the progression of the snatch: the bar is on the ground, you push and sweep, magic happens and it is over your head. I know, pretty amazing! Remember to grunt, scream, stay tight and HIT THE LIFT!
Front Squat: The reason we were given a collar bone is for front squats and cleans, use it! We will keep this short and simple. Approach the bar with an attitude (do you see a theme?), get under the weight, take the weight off the rack, and step back. Take a ¾ breath into your abdomen and descend. Keep your elbows up, weight in your heels and chest proud. When you hit the bottom exhale and drive up. When you complete the lift, re-rack the weight, do a fist pump and give out free hi-fives all around. You earned it. Make sure you listen to the coach while developing a plan on working up to your new PR, and always remember to stay tight.
I will throw another Mark Ripptoe quote out there to close this out:
“Strong people are harder to kill than weak people and more useful in general”