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Thread: Actualizing squat strength

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    Actualizing squat strength

    So I've never really a seen a thread in this specifically so I'll just ask the question. I'm getting ready for the Arnold coming up and I have 2 more weeks of a squat emphasis program then will have 5 weeks to focus my effort so on snatch/clean and Jerk. What is the best way to maintain and actuaalize squat strength going forward? This is a small sample size but interestingly enough the meet my legs felt the freshest and strongest was the meet I ended with a 2 week bulgarianish cycle (only 3 days a week) leading up to and absolutely no squatting at all those final two weeks. So this makes me wonder, as long as I'm snatching and clean and jerking heavy, do I need to squat at all? It makes sense from the persoective that it's just one less thing to try and recover from so that I can focus all of my recovery efforts in the snatch/clean and Jerk. As always, any and all comments are much appreciated!

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    AKA Tony Arkitect FFF's Avatar
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    Personally, I think the key is keeping volume super low and intensity super high for the squat. I like to cap squats at 1-1.5seconds (from bottom position to fully standing), to make sure speed is adequate, and you're not overloading.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FFF View Post
    Personally, I think the key is keeping volume super low and intensity super high for the squat. I like to cap squats at 1-1.5seconds (from bottom position to fully standing), to make sure speed is adequate, and you're not overloading.
    How well do you think this correlates with basing squats on c&j max? Do you see something like squatting with 90%1RM of c&j generally giving you the velocity you are looking for, or is it pretty variable?

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    AKA Tony Arkitect FFF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Erdman View Post
    How well do you think this correlates with basing squats on c&j max? Do you see something like squatting with 90%1RM of c&j generally giving you the velocity you are looking for, or is it pretty variable?
    What I've found is most people cannot squat their true 1RM with the time limit. 90% of your (whatever it takes/however long it takes) max seems to be the upper limit for the timed squats. How that correlates to C&J max is tough to say, because it varies a lot depending on so many factors.

    To see it seems like a bell curve with experience. New athletes will squat way more than they C&J, then as they get more advanced the gap closes, and then international elites go back to squatting monster numbers.

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    @FFF I was kind of thinking along those lines. Instead of not squatting at all, I was just gonna squat up to my planned clean and Jerk opener and try to move it as fast as possible each time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pufatr01 View Post
    So I've never really a seen a thread in this specifically so I'll just ask the question. I'm getting ready for the Arnold coming up and I have 2 more weeks of a squat emphasis program then will have 5 weeks to focus my effort so on snatch/clean and Jerk. What is the best way to maintain and actuaalize squat strength going forward? This is a small sample size but interestingly enough the meet my legs felt the freshest and strongest was the meet I ended with a 2 week bulgarianish cycle (only 3 days a week) leading up to and absolutely no squatting at all those final two weeks. So this makes me wonder, as long as I'm snatching and clean and jerking heavy, do I need to squat at all? It makes sense from the persoective that it's just one less thing to try and recover from so that I can focus all of my recovery efforts in the snatch/clean and Jerk. As always, any and all comments are much appreciated!
    50 days out from the Arnold, you should definitely have a number of squat sessions, including volume squatting 8+/10+ for multiple sets. I actually wrote my Arnold peak plan out last night with the primary goal of getting as many squat sessions in as possible. I will back squat 7 times and front squat 5 times.

    You can maintain with some high intensity squats to keep your nervous system peaked, but my opinion is that you will be far better off if you hit more reps in a decreasing volume / increasing intensity the nearer your are the comp. it's a matter of trajectory, a "check in" 97-99% lift keeps you from losing too fast, but a periodization program sets you up to continue getting stronger over the period and achieve an new max--as long as you taper for the meet & max effort squat.

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    @Drew I really appreciate you taking the time to respond but I disagree for the most part. Like i said I'm in a squat emphasis program right now with lots of volume that will end in two weeks. So I'll have a little less than 5 weeks until the Arnold once it's done, probably about 33 days as opposed to 50. But last year leading up to the Arnold I hit a 150kg front squat PR 3 weeks out then proceeded to clean and Jerk 137kg for a PR three weeks later and the heaviest I squatted leading up to the Arnold those last three weeks was 120kgs for a front squat. I'm a very efficient lifter with my squat being my weak point so maybe for me it works because it's one less thing to recovery from and squats being my weak point are harder to recover from. I was just trying to see if it was possibly an idea to not even squat at all considering I'll be doing a 4 week bulgarianish (3 days a week) program leading up to competition. Last year I did it for three weeks but included squats.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pufatr01 View Post
    @Drew I really appreciate you taking the time to respond but I disagree for the most part. Like i said I'm in a squat emphasis program right now with lots of volume that will end in two weeks. So I'll have a little less than 5 weeks until the Arnold once it's done, probably about 33 days as opposed to 50. But last year leading up to the Arnold I hit a 150kg front squat PR 3 weeks out then proceeded to clean and Jerk 137kg for a PR three weeks later and the heaviest I squatted leading up to the Arnold those last three weeks was 120kgs for a front squat. I'm a very efficient lifter with my squat being my weak point so maybe for me it works because it's one less thing to recovery from and squats being my weak point are harder to recover from. I was just trying to see if it was possibly an idea to not even squat at all considering I'll be doing a 4 week bulgarianish (3 days a week) program leading up to competition. Last year I did it for three weeks but included squats.
    What are your target classic lifts for the competition and what are your best squats?

    I don't think it would be a good idea to omit squats entirely during the last 4 weeks.

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    @dylan At the end of this squat program in two weeks, my back squat should end around 180kg and front squat 155kg. The goal will be to clean and Jerk 140kg. And snatch 110ish, honestly I don't care much about the snatch. I used to be a really good snatcher but my C&J sucked and ever since I focused more on increasing my C&J my total is way better. I might not omit squats entirely but only front squat up to my planned clean and Jerk opener or back squat up to my planned third attempt in the clean and Jerk.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pufatr01 View Post
    @dylan At the end of this squat program in two weeks, my back squat should end around 180kg and front squat 155kg. The goal will be to clean and Jerk 140kg. And snatch 110ish, honestly I don't care much about the snatch. I used to be a really good snatcher but my C&J sucked and ever since I focused more on increasing my C&J my total is way better. I might not omit squats entirely but only front squat up to my planned clean and Jerk opener or back squat up to my planned third attempt in the clean and Jerk.
    Ok. If you achieve those squat numbers at the end of the two weeks then I would just focus on maintaining that strength level during your lead in to the competition as those numbers should be enough to achieve your goal c&j. If you're going to train Bulgarian style 3 days a week during this period then a few sets of squats after your c&j should do the trick. Maybe something like 3x3 front squats with 5-15% more than your heaviest c&j that day. i.e you jerk 95% do your squats with 100-115%. Judge it by how your strength level feels. If you fell good go for the higher end of the range if not aim for the lower end.

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