A Top 40 Weightlifting Blog

Monday, August 31, 2009

Box Squat Critique

Here's the first installments of critiques on my box squat performance today. It seems I've got a bit to work on.

  • bring your hamstrings up. they're weak and that's why you're dropping on to the box.
  • on most of those reps, you didn't release your hips.
  • don't groove rock, ever. you groove rock every rep.
  • point your toes more forwards. it uses more hamstring & glutes.
  • push your knees out.
  • explode up. don't "swing" the weight up.
  • sit back more. shins past perpendicular. try to touch your balls to the box.
  • use heavier weight. raw speed work is usually 60% - 70%
  • descend faster.
  • depth looks fine.

Thanks to those who responded to my request for pointers. I'll do my best to rectify the problems.


Speed Squats from 14.5 inch Box

Something different today. After polling the net the consenses seems to be that spped squats are better performed from a box. The height of the box should be at, or below parallel. My box is 14.5 inches. Again my speed work is done with only 1 minute rest between sets.

Speed Squats (14.5" box) - warm ups, 12 sets/2 reps/225lbs (~50%1RM)
Dumbbel Swings - 3 sets/12 reps per arm/45lbs.

After the box squats and dumbbell swings my core and hips are quite wasted. I'll be posting the video to ask for technique ideas.



Friday, August 28, 2009

Heavy Squats Video

Here is the video of my last bought squats.

Heavy Squats


Speed Bench and Cardio

Speed bench was good today.

Speed Bench Press - Warm Ups, 8 sets/2 reps/225lbs, 4 sets/3 reps/225lbs.

I decided to do some strongman stuff in the back yard.

1 Arm Dumbbell Swings - 3 sets/12 reps per arm/45lbs.

*Medley x 2*
Farmers Walk - 30m/120lbs per side.
Sled Drag - 30m/120lbs.
Jog 500m.

(repeat twice)

Each complete medley took me 3.5 minutes to complete and I was completely winded at the end. Man, I'm out of shape. I'll continue to do these and increase my time and speed. A very rewarding work out. Now, where's my lunch?


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Heavy Squats & Walk Outs

Another great afternoon in the SANCTUM. My speed with heavier weights is getting better and I'm now working my walk outs.

Squats - bar/12 reps, 135lbs/8 reps, 225lbs/6 reps, 315lbs/3 reps, Knee Wraps 405lbs/2 reps, Suit, no wraps 405lbs/4 reps, Suit and Wraps 495lbs/2 reps, 495lbs/3 reps.

Walk Outs - 545lbs/10+ sec hold, 585lbs/10+ sec hold, 635lbs/10+ sec hold.

I'll have a video later. I'm clearing up my hard drive.

I realized after I was done that 635lbs is the squat I need for National qualifying. The 495lbs squats were very easy. I could have done 5 reps for each set (but I don't compete for reps, do I?). Tomorrow is speed bench.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

New Gear

Last night I ordered two new deadlift suits from PLGear Online. It will be great to try a new suit that is unmodified. These suits are also for a sumo stance, which I've never tried before. I should have them by next week.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I'm still practicing my technique. I do like matching my squat stance. It seems like I get a more solid pull with a better base. Since the stance is the same as squats I thought I cold use my squat suit to a better advantage then it has in the past. I have never liked my squat suit for deadifting. It doesn't seem to give proper hip support.

Deadlifts - 135lbs/6 reps, 225lbs/6 reps, 315lbs/6 reps.
Titan Centurion NXG+ Super - 3 sets/405lbs/1 rep, 495lbs/miss.

A lesson learned. Now it's time to get a new deadlift suit and practice. I also learned that my lock out is weak. More rack pulls in a sumo stance are required.


Monday, August 24, 2009

Heavy Bench

With a week off I wanted to do full ROM instead of board presses. I wasn't disappointed.

Bench Press - Warm Ups, 2 reps/315lbs, 2 reps/315lbs, 3 reps/315lbs, 2 reps/315lbs, 6 reps/225lbs.

Parallel Grip Scull Crushers - 3 sets/12 reps/95lbs.
Dumbbell Hammer Curls - 3 sets/12 reps/50lbs.

I have never handled 315lbs so easily. All reps were under control with no squirming on the bench to press the weight up. Next week I'll go back to board presses. YeeHaw!!!


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Core Work

Another evening of watching a movie and working my core.

1/2 Sit Ups - 4 sets/20 reps.
Lying Leg Raises - 4 sets/25 reps.
Standing Trunk Twists - 4 sets/20 reps.
Elbow Planks - 2 sets/1 minute.

I know under my big fat belly there's an awesome 6 pack screaming to get out. I can usually shut them up with chocolate.


Speed Squats

I'm working out in a hurricane. Henry is coming ashore in Nova Scotia bringing wind and rain. It's actually not bad, just sounds cool.

Speed Squats - warm ups, 12 sets/2 reps/245lbs, 1 set/4 reps/315lbs.

The best speed squat work out I've had. Everything was working. Break at the hips, drop quick into the squat, and at depth drive up pushing the hips through. More practice and it will become more natural. I went up to 315lbs after my working sets to see what the speed technique felt like with slightly heavier weights. Kind of an oxymoron speed work / heavy weight. I'm not ready for speed work at 315lbs but I did have more pop even though I just finished all those sets. I'll focus on my hips when doing gear work later. Should be really interesting.


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Heavy Squats Attempt

Yesterday my left leg was still bothering me so I didn't try squatting. Today I felt much better but I was very busy and it was very hot (33 degC). So, today I didn't perform much better.

Bench Squats (above parallel) - bar/12 reps, 135lbs/12 reps, 315lbs/6 reps, 405lbs/2 reps.

*Super Set*
Plate Curls - 4 sets/12 reps/45 lbs plate.
OH Plate Extensions - 4 sets/12 reps/45 lbs plate.
Straight Arm Raises - 4 sets/12 reps/45 lbs plate.

Now it's time for a break. I'm off to PEI for a week camping with my kids. After that I'll be back at it then get ready for the Eastern Canadian Powerlifting Championships 21 Nov 2009. Another chance to qualify for Nationals.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Speed Bench Press

I was supposed to do heavy squats today but during my warm up sets I pulled something on the inside of my left thigh. Being the intelligent fellow I am I decided to do speed bench instead.

Speed Bench Press - warm ups, 12 sets/2 reps/235lbs.

*super set*
Plate Curls - 4 sets/12 reps/45lb plate.
OH Plate Ext - 4 sets/12 reps/45lb plate.
Dumbbell Concentration Curls - 3 sets/10 reps/45lbs.

After this my chest and arms were burning. Maybe tomorrow my leg will feel better and I'll bend some bars.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009


I'm still working on technique issues. I thought I would keep my deadlift stance similar to my squat stance. It really worked. My previous PB for sumo deadlifts is 405lbs/2 reps.

Sumo Deadlifts - Warm Ups, 135lbs/6 reps, 225lbs/6 reps, 315lbs/6 reps, 405lbs/3 reps, 455lbs/1 rep.

*super set*
Plate Curls - 4 sets/12 reps/45lb plate.
Over Head Extensions - 4 sets/12 reps/45lb plate.

With the technique issues cleared up it's time to pull some weight.


Monday, August 10, 2009

Heavy Bench

Today I used my power rack for what it was intended. I actually failed while benching and because I'm an intelligent fellow the rack did it's job and saved my ass. Rather, my neck.

1 Board Bench Press - warm ups, 315lbs/3 reps, 315lbs/2 reps missed 3rd rep, 315lbs/2 reps, 315lbs/4 reps (2 board press).

Bench Dumbbell Flys - 4 sets/12 reps/50lbs (flat/incl/decl/flat).

Much better performance than last 1 board work. The reason I failed on the second set was because of the bursitus in my left elbow. After the work out I iced my elbow and now I feel 100%. Deadlifting tomorrow.


Sunday, August 09, 2009

Speed Squats

The squats were not too speedy this morning. I think I'll drop the weights a bit to really work on the upward accelleration.

Speed Squats - warm ups, 12 sets/2 reps/255lbs.

I make sure to focus on keeping tight and treating every rep like I'm in competition. My technique was spot on but I found I was stalling a bit at my sticking point. Tomorrow I should have a bit more time so I'll be doing more support work. My knee didn't bother me at all today.


Friday, August 07, 2009

More Core Work

Another evening of laying on my rec room floor and blasting my core.

Sit Ups - 3 sets/20 reps.
Lying Leg Raises - 3 set/20 reps.
Lying Trunk Twists - 3 sets/20 reps.

A great work out. I'm sure I'll feel it on Sunday during speed squats.


Thursday, August 06, 2009

Speed Bench

Another outstanding work out in the Sanctum.

Speed Bench Press - warm ups, 12 sets/2 reps/225lbs.

Over Head Plate Extensions - 4 sets/12 reps/45lbs.

A very quick work out but still quite effective. My speed is getting better. Rest was kept to less than 1 minute and again my cadence was "down 1, 2. Up 1".


Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Heavy Squats

I'm still gaining experience with the gear. Today was a total learning experience and I've made several conclusions.

Suit - Titan Centurion NXG+ Super sz 52 (a bit loose)
Wraps - Knee Wraps APT Convicts (velcro for ease of use)

Squats - warm ups, 405lbs/1 rep (wraps), 495lbs/2 reps (suit & wraps), 515lbs/3 reps (suit & wraps), 545lbs/1 rep (suit & wraps).

Once again the Sanctum was hot and humid. There isn't a dry spot on my shirt. Not one of the reps in my suit was to depth but they were all easy. Here's what I have concluded.

  • I need lots of work on heavy walk outs. My set up needs to be more natural. I wasting too much energy setting up.
  • Working in full gear will give my the experience I need. It only makes sense.
  • A good set up and speed will bring me to an easy 600lbs squat.

Not too shabby today. I'm pleased with everything.


Monday, August 03, 2009

Heavy Bench

Three boards tonight. Eventhough I've got my home gym I really had to drag my butt in there tonight. Today I'm on call and had to go into work from 1500hrsL to 2000hrsL. Not really a long time but after the hot humid day we had, I'm wrecked!

3 Board Press - warm up bench press, 2 sets/6 reps/315lbs, 2 sets/4 reps/335lbs, 2 sets/2 reps/355lbs.

Barbell Curls - 12 Reps/80lbs, 12 reps/80lbs, 12 reps/90lbs.

Not much time or not really focused you be the judge. I'm glad that I did go. I feel much better for it, and my numbers weren't too bad.


Sunday, August 02, 2009

Rack Pulls

Not satisfied with today's efforts I decided to go back into my SANCTUM for some further WORSHIP to the IRON GODS.

Rack Pulls - warm ups, 405lbs/3 reps, 495lbs/3 reps, 585lbs/2 reps, 635lbs/1 rep.

I'm some what pleased with that performance. My best rack pull ever is 725lbs. I have paid my pennance, now it's time to rest.


Check out the video RACK PULLS

Speed Squats

I messed up the order of work out days last week. I'm doing Speed Squats and Heavy Bench at the beginning of this week.

Speed Squats - warm ups, 10 sets/2 reps/245lbs, 2 sets/2 reps/275lbs.

Sit Ups - 4 sets/12 reps/last set with a 25lbs plate on my chest.

My core is still really sore after last week. Obviously I hit some muscles in there I haven't used in a while. My knee is still a bit bothersome but I'll live with it.