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Bad thoughts during heavy squats
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H1N1 Offline
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RE: Bad thoughts during heavy squats
These thoughts are irrational, and you should just let them go. It's certainly undesirable to get injured, but not world-ending. You are not going to be killed by 250lbs that is already on your back. If needs be, you can just roll the weight back off your shoulders once you are in the hole. 250lbs is about the weight of a large adult male. If you look at a large adult male, you'll probably feel that you ought to be able to squat one without that much trouble. Certainly you wouldn't feel that having one on your back would kill you. In fact, if one fell on you you'd probably be able to laugh it off and go about your day. Of course steel on a bar has certain important differences, but one of those works in your favour - the weight is evenly distributed across something you can comfortably support and hold on to.

Beyond this, a lot of what seems to hold people back in their training is a fixation with a certain number - almost as if this number is an actual thing. For me, it took me forever to bench my bodyweight. I could crush 185lbs for a few reps. But I'd stick 190 on there and get stapled. I had 190 set up in my mind as this huge milestone weight, and it would get the better of me every time.

The way to get past this is to recognise that there are many ways to get strong that do not involve adding weight to your top sets.

What I suggest is this: decide what your current a2g training max is now. If it's only 200lbs, or less, it doesn't matter. That's how strong you are now. Work up to a top set, or a few top sets (if using very low reps) somewhere in the 85-95% of your training max range. For example, with a training max (ie you can hit this on your worst day) of 250lbs, I might do: 20 x bar, 10 x 80lbs or so, 5x135, 5x185, 3x210, 2x225, 3-5x1x235. The point here is to get used to weights that are around the level of your current max, without taxing yourself unduly. Just get some practice in and get used to feeling it on your back, concentrating on good form. If your form breaks down, finish the set there, take a minute or two extra rest before your next set.

Then this is the important bit: put a weight on the bar that is <65% or so of your training max (you could go as low as 50% and still be doing good work). Focusing on good form, get a lot of reps in with this weight. This is where you really build strength. The heavier weight stuff is more about demonstrating it. Do 3-5 sets of 10-20 reps and build some muscle. You can literally just do this for a few weeks/months until the weights you are using feel easy. Or you can start out with [email protected]% and try to get it to [email protected]% over a couple of months, without changing the top set weights. Then, after a few months (ideally with a deload or two thrown in) you can slap another 10-20lbs on the bar for your top set work, adjust the percentages accordingly, and keep going. This is a very good way to build some muscle and to keep getting strong without thrashing your body.
09-13-2016 03:59 AM
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RE: Bad thoughts during heavy squats - H1N1 - 09-13-2016 03:59 AM

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