Friday, September 19, 2014

Weightlifting: Squatting Everyday

Inspired by Jon Broz and Olympic lifters, I've started squatting everyday. I'd been performing the low-bar squat, by which I mean a squat with the bar sitting on a shelf created by the rear deltoids, necessitating a more horizontal torso, where the knees just break parallel. I've since switched to an ass to grass style high-bar squat, where the bar rests on top of my traps and my torso is kept more vertical. This style of squatting seems much easier to recover from; not really sure why, maybe just because it's a more natural squat. The lifter in the above photo is performing a high-bar squat, for example. Anyways, the theory behind squatting everyday is that the body will eventually adapt to a stimulus; Jon Broz uses the garbage man analogy: Your first day of work as a garbage man would be pretty hard, but you'd keep showing up, no matter how sore you were. Eventually you'd stop feeling sore, and work becomes easier. Over-training, according to Broz, is a lie. Your body can do more than you think it can.

What I've done is worked up to a squat max everyday. I'll do twenty reps with the empty bar, then add 135, 185, 225, and 275 for doubles as my warm up. Then I'll squat whatever I feel capable of: 325, 330, 340. Back-off sets are next, usually a double and a triple, or three sets of two across. I've done this for about two weeks now, and amazingly, I'm never sore. My squat feels better, and the weights are climbing. I've cut out deadlifting, though, and it'll be interesting to see if I retain my strength just from squatting. Here's an example program.

Sunday: Squat to a max, back off sets of 2 or 3 reps.
Power cleans, at least five heavy singles.

Monday: Squat to a max
Press or Push-Jerk for three sets of five. Chin-ups, four sets to failure.

Tuesday: Squat to a max. Power clean if you feel like it.

Wednesday: Squat to a max, back off sets of 2 or 3 reps. Bench Press for doubles or triples.

Thursday: Squat to a max. Press or Push-Jerk for triples.

Friday: Squat to a max.

Saturday: Squat, or possibly take a rest day, if knees are killing you.

So this is obviously a program for someone desiring to take their squat to the next level. The focus on power cleaning over deadlifting should be obvious; your lower body is taking a beating, and power cleaning will build your pulling power while being less stressful than deadlifts. Plus, most people don't clean, and every man should be able to clean well over their body weight. I'll report back in a month or two on how this is working.

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