120kg squat

Around the beginning of November last year I set myself the objective to be squat 120kg one rep max by the end of January 2018.

120-squat

My one rep max at the time was 105kg, which I would say I performed with a “faltering” form.  The pressure of my weight pushed my back and shoulders too far forward when squatting that I imagine if I had upped the weight it would have looked like I was doing a good morning.

Video of a good morning weight exercise.

Because I underestimated the difficulty to maintain good form (even for what seems like a measly extra 15kg) and remembering that I was running the No Ego Challenge in March, I failed to achieve my January objective.

Once I wrapped up the trail race I rededicated my focus to squat 120kg for one rep (with good form), I gave myself until the end of May 2018.

To ensure that I made greater progress I did the following:

Focus on achieving one lifting personal best at a time

I always strive to better my lifts, but by doing so, I split my time and energy so that my progress has been less than expected.  This time I focused on progress squats while maintaining everything else.

This has been fun as along with a number of squat variations (ass to grass, Anderson, and sumo) I have made time for other various leg exercises – presses, Romanian deadlifts and lunges. Giving such range has helped build my leg strength to achieve my goal.

Romanian deadlift form

Altered my set ranges/been more flexible)

Something I swear by with lifting is to always vary the weight and repetitions so that I get the best of strength, power and endurance.  I usually define this with a heavy week and then an endurance week where my reps and sets would go something like this

Week One: 15 x 3

Week Two: 3 x 8

Week Three: 5 x 6

Week Four: 10 x 3

Week Five: 6 x 5

[Repeat]

Varying being going between really heavy one week for fewer reps and then light for more reps is good, but I decided that I would be a lot more flexible depending on how my body was feeling that day.

So instead of strictly focusing on the routine if my legs felt weak for heavy lifting I would focus more on endurance.  Sometimes I still had a high from a heavy lift that I had done the last week and rather than waiting several weeks to go heavy again I would continue with the momentum to see if I could get similar results or exceed them.

Results

I have had some great results and have made a personal best of squatting 90kg for 10 reps.

As of the last week of May I sqautted 115kg for two reps and if I wasn’t restricted for time in my morning routine I might have given the 120kg a go.

I feel strong, comfortable and whats more my form is looking great – no “bailout” quarter squats or bendy backs to be seen in sight anywhere.

I don’t feel disappointed that I didn’t achieve my 120kg by May, actually it’s all great – because I have comfortable form I am confident that 120kg is in sight.  I am confident that I will have achieved this by the 120kg but it is easy to underestimate how much difference a small amount of weight can make.

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