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.
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
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.
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.