A few weeks ago I wrote about my experiences during a visit to StrongFit. I left an important part of the trip out of my story, so here it is. The first thing we did when we got there was squat. I consider myself really great at very few things, but squatting is my specialty, at least I thought it was.
Armen and I were paired with the owner of StrongFit, Julien, over in the big boy squat rack where everyone was lifting near, or over 400 pounds. I typically skip most warm-up sets and reps. My body knows what it’s doing with a weighted bar on my back. I always feel like I’m wasting energy if I warm up too much. Julien suggested I warm up with the group, being that it was his house, I hopped into the rack. I sat in the bottom of a squat for a few seconds and came out of the bottom, then racked the weight. He instructed, ”Do 5 reps, I want to see you move.” So I did my set of 5. He looked at me and said, ”You are squatting wrong. You’re a strong guy, but with that form you’re limiting your max weight.” I remember making eye contact with Armen and giving him a subtle, what the hell is this guy talking about, look. I had to have an internal pep talk with myself to not get angry. I had just got there 10 minutes ago and this guy was telling me that my favorite movement, something I considered myself extremely proficient at, was all wrong. I finally got calmed down by remembering that he was the host. I tried out the suggestions he made, bringing my feet wider and not reaching back so far with my hips and the weight felt horrible. Weights that I normally smash on my 2nd warm up felt like a near max effort. I told Julien that I’d try it out later, but I had a heavy 3x3 to squat today, and I couldn’t do that with those adjustments.
I fully intended to forget everything that he told me that day. I was in the middle of the most intense and difficult squat program I’d ever done and I was smashing my goals, easily. I even had to add a week because the bar was still flying. I got a few weeks further into my program and got pinned under a weight that I should have been able to complete. I was supposed to squat 505 pounds for 3 reps. I failed the first one. I thought about it for days, it made me really angry. My sleep and nutrition were good. I felt great, yet I still failed. I got a better shot out of the bottom than I ever had with that much weight and I still got stuck. How did that happen?
That’s when it hit me... Maybe that giant French guy was right. I had the strength. I got stuck halfway up because the bar came forward. I came forward because my technique was all wrong. So I made a difficult decision to fix my squat, unfortunately that involves taking ton of weight off and strengthening some muscles in my legs that I’ve learned are extremely underdeveloped.
No matter how good you think you are at something, there’s always someone better. You can always learn. I forgot that, it’s a lesson I won’t forget again. Has anyone else experienced this during their CrossFit tenure?
Coach Armen pulls a 600 pound sled across a never ending parking lot at StrongFit.
A. 5x3 Paused Back Squats
B. Tabata mash up:
Posted by Tyler