I’ve been browsing some more in-depth power lifting blogs and websites lately. Anytime you submerge yourself in a new culture (be it a career, a running habit, or weight lifting) there is inevitably a new language that comes along with it. Each subculture defines itself by who has the coolest acronyms. ATG is one that I saw a lot of the other day when I was looking up squat techniques. Having a science background, I immediately thought of adenine, thymine, and guanine….
DNA anyone. Yeah, I know. Only a dork would think of that. Whatev.
As I continued to peruse the sites, I realized they were referring to the uncanny ability of some lifters to position their rear ends undeniably close to the ground, and if said rear ends were outside in a grassy lawn……ATG. Exactly. Okay, so I’m slow on the up take. It was great to see some other people lift though. Even if it could technically be classified as cyber stalking. Here is a clip of one of the guys I watched.
He didn’t have an ATG lift by any means, but he gave me some ideas. He sits the bar a lot farther back on his shoulders/traps than I do. I always thought it was weird to do that, but when I watched him from the side angle I could tell that it made a difference. Instead of the weight being so far forward on his shoulders, it was more inline with his quads and his butt (not his knees). Since your butt and your quads are the strongest….this makes a lot of sense (insert light bulb illuminating here).
Another thing I read about was breathing. All these little details can make such a difference. I would typically take a deep breath before my lift, but then blow it out as I started to come back up. Turns out this can throw you off. A lot of other lifters hold it until they’re at the top or at least really close. Another thing to try.
Fast forward to my squat workout today. Things are getting down to the wire as far as the competition goes. I have four weeks left, but there is some mandatory rest and recovery time in there so it’s really more like three weeks. Eeek. Today I was tricked into thinking that I was going to squat for a 2 rep max when in reality…..it was a 1 rep max day. Apparently the cure to my heavy lifting anxiety is to lie to me. Ray felt so sneaky. I have to give him credit though, it totally works. I started out at 95 pounds and worked my way up. Eventually I stopped tallying up the plates. Partially because I didn’t want to psych myself out and partially because I couldn’t really focus due to lack of oxygen. See…it was also break in the lifting belt day….again, I was unaware. I ended up taking that bleeping thing on and off about 20 times. So…..tight…..can’t……breathe………help.
Why would anyone do that on purpose??? At least mine’s not leopard print.
Anyway, after struggling with the belt, my new tricks actually helped out a lot. I used a bit wider stance, placed the bar back a bit further on my shoulders, and held my breath a little longer. I ended up squatting 205….20 pounds more that my previous max!!!! Then, instead of bumping up to 215 like a responsible, conservative wimp, Ray threw 225 at me. Ouch. I didn’t get it, but it didn’t feel horrible either. I’d say it’s some what attainable in the near to mid future (like my lack of committment?).
Next I did some kind of squat variation with light weight. I squatted down to parallel where the cross bars were, let the bar rest for a second, and then “exploded” back up. That was pretty fun. Then I did some RDL variation that made me feel like I was going to injure my mommy parts. It was like half an RDL and then a quick pull/hip thrust back to the top. Not going to relive that one anytime soon. And lastly….what Ray affectionately calls “The Yes Machine”. Can you tell that power lifting is a male dominated sport? I think I’ve explained this one before, but you sit on a box with rubber bands around your knees and pull your knees apart until you can’t take it anymore. Good times. I do this one because I have a problem with my knees falling in when I’m coming out of my squat. It really ruins the lift….turns you into a knock kneed sissy.
Cute, but highly ineffective.
The other great highlight of my day was that I got to take a great lakewalk cruise with my old trainer Kati!! Kati is back in MN to get hitched. Great to see her!