A Little More Than Diddly Squat

Today, we determined our one rep max on back squat.  Having never squatted before last year and still learning good, proper form, I was nervous for how this might turn out.  Fortunately, Dave took the time to explain the reason for the lift (to help determine our program based on a percentage of our max effort) and there are a couple ways to determine a maximum lift.

For those who did not wish to push their limits to the edge, a multiple rep max could be used to calculate an approximate maximum squat.  Usually, the number of reps used to determine a max is low, 3-5 reps. I was tempted to go this route, as it is what we had used in the Bootcamp classes at Fitness Revolution, but I decided to go the traditional method for determining a max: try until you barely succeed.

For those who don’t know me well, I have very large, muscular thighs. My thighs are between 27″ & 28″ around, which is a couple inches larger than my wife’s waist, so in theory, I should be able to lift very heavy things with my legs, but without proper form, my legs are only as sturdy as an oak tree would be if planted in sand.  Lose any form in the base or support system, and the whole thing can come tumbling down.

My max effort for the squat was 365 lbs, which is only 30 lbs heavier than my bench; however, I have been doing bench press, on and off, for 25 years, and I am comfortable with the technique. I am looking forward to training with Dave to learn techniques to ensure my form allows my legs to realize their full potential.  For bench, I can set a goal of 400 lbs in 7 weeks, because I know I have lifted more than that before; however, I am not sure what to expect in the same period for squat. Are form and fear holding me back more than leg strength?  A couple things I know for sure:

  • Dave will help me realize my potential and will give me the tools to continue to develop
  • I know I will never look as good as Big Z (I am older than he is) when it comes to squatting

Enjoy this snippet of Zydrunas Savickas squatting at the World’s Strongest Man in 2011.

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