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I have been in a transitional training phase following my last competition in early August at the USAPL RAW Nationals. I am mixing things up a little and have been training some different movements like Olympic snatch and cleans, standing military press, and pause squats. I will start back into my regular training routine this winter, but I am taking this time to work on some weak areas, have some fun, and change things up a little.
I can credit most of my success over the years by consistently making the majority of my lifts. In powerlifting going 9/9 is a big goal of every competitor. One thing that has been plaguing me the past few meets has been missed squat attempts due to being red lighted for depth. Squat depth is judged very strictly in USAPL and IPF competition. The rule book indicates that a squat has to break parallel; with the top of the leg at the hip joint being lower than the knee. Simply breaking parallel in USAPL or IPF competition will not get your squats consistently passed by the judges. I am trying to find a way to squat deeper and add some more confidence and strength at the bottom of the squat. In order to train deeper I have added pause squats into my training. I have found in a short time that training pause squats is both brutal and humbling. In other words…they hurt and you have to use much lighter weight. I have been sticking to 5 sets of 2-3 reps on my Friday heavy squat night followed by heavy partial squats performed in the power rack. I also have been hitting a heavy single or double, following Olympic snatch and cleans, prior to deadlifting on Mondays. I am holding a full pause at the bottom for 2 second count. I will eventually switch back to my 5x5 template on Fridays but I think I will try to continue to keep the pause squats incorporated into my deadlift training.
Speaking of humbling…I have been attempting to train the Olympic lifts again. I am finding the Olympic snatch a very difficult movement after a 10 year lay-off, but it has added a different dimension to my training, and I feel like I am gaining some more mobility in areas that need to be stretched out….No I won’t be ready for the 2016 Games!
At this point of the year I am not sure when I will be competing next. There is a possibility of a deadlift event in Brazil in December; otherwise the GNC Pro Performance Arnold Deadlift Championship may be my next event.
Train smart, stay healthy, set your goals high, and don't forget to add GNC Pro Performance HMB to your supplement list! Good luck in meeting your strength and fitness goals!!!