A touching tail of how a mongoloid with a fixation for lifting heavy used a sets x reps scheme he hated to fix his squat.
I suffered an acute injury in my groin during December of last year on my second squat attempt during the commonwealth power lifting championships. I gave the injury complete rest for 13 days over Christmas then tried to train back squat, I managed to get to 140kg for a single rep and then had to stop due to pain. Over the following 6-8 weeks I tried less weight and more volume, more weight less volume and nothing was really working, the injury got a better over time but it didn’t go away.
A combination of some remedial single leg work, light front squats and squatting heavier but with very little volume helped me to get some weight on my back again I manage to get to a 225kg pain free squat but the form was god awful.
As you can see in the video below my form resembles more a low bar squat and I am using a lot of hip extension to finish the lift.
- Start deliberately light to allow me to have some lee way with my position so I could put myself into the correct position and be able to fight back into position should I fall out.
- Include some heavy singles at the end of the session so I can try and apply the “practice” to a decent load.
- Take away any crutches I might use to hide bad position – cutting depth, using a belt etc so I had to squat correctly or else it would be an awful experience.
How does it look Practically.
Once I had settled on the idea of using 5×5 to give myself a chance to relearn how to squat I decided upon a fairly linear progression over 5 weeks to try and get myself to where I wanted to be, it looked like this.
Week 1 – 160kg 5 sets of 5, 180kg x 1, 200 x 1 (with a belt)
Week 2 – 170kg 5 sets of 5, 190kg x 1, 210 x 1 (with a belt)
Week 3 – 180kg 5 sets of 5, 200kg x 1, 220 x 1 (with a belt)
Week 4 – 190kg 5 sets of 5, 210kg x 1, 230 x 1 (with a belt)
Week 5 – 200kg 5 sets of 5, 220kg x 1, 240 x 1 (with a belt)
I am currently in week 4 of the programme and need to perform the 190 5×5 work out but I have already seen some pronounced improvements in both my form and confidence. As you can see from the videos below I have started to correct my position out of the hold by bringing my knees out and pushing my hips under the bar rather than trying to use “hip extension” to push the bar up, and by 200kg and 220kg squats in video 2 you can see I am much more confident and carry momentum from the hole to take away the need to try and grind the rep from the bottom.
I am not expecting this way of training to continue on forever and when it does eventually start to break down and stall out I will adopt a programme that allows for more session to session variation but I have learned some new lessons and reaffirmed some old points.
- Your programing should be organic and be able to change at the drop of a hat to address any problems that arise.
- Be open to all sources of input, a tool that might seem stupid in one context might prove to be really useful in another context further down the line.
- Fully resting injuries is very important and can cut down drastically on the time spent recovering in the long run.
- Small nigily exercises that might seem pointless can be very helpful in the correct circumstance.
- Stretching and mobility are important!