Running the trails with my son my legs felt like lead. On the uphill where I usually make my attack I just felt weak and wobbly. It’s probably because we’ve been squatting almost every day. Front squats, back squats, overhead squats, thrusters, squat cleans. Every day CrossFit HQ gives another barbell and another bunch of squats, heavy, light or in between.
It’s not the first time I’ve questioned CrossFit’s programming methods and it’s not the first time that the programming proved me wrong. Saturday we will be having back squats and then some more squats and then more squats yet again. October has gone to squat. I’ve never done so many squats in a month!
And the upshot of all this squatting is I’ve been thinking very carefully about my squatting mechanics as I try to get through it all with healthy knees and back. Surprisingly my knees which have been troublesome since August are actually feeling much better these days as my squatting mechanics get dialed in to a level they never have before.
And then on today’s front squat work out I got the pay off! The great thing about CrossFit is that like gravity, you don’t have to believe in it in order to get the results. Because I certainly didn’t believe until I went for a 275lb front squat in the last round of today’s workout. It’s a weight I’ve attempted but failed many times before. In fact for 5+ years I’ve been stuck at a 1 rep max of 270lbs. And I haven’t front squatted that heavy since before our 2018 move to the new gym.
I didn’t feel especially strong or motivated today at the end of a long cold, damp week. I didn’t come into the workout with any record-setting goals. I just wanted to get through safely with solid mechanics. And the mechanics just felt great as if I’d been squatting nearly every day for a month. So when I did my previous best at 270lbs with relative ease I knew it was time to try adding 5 more pounds. And it was no struggle at all. I broke through that 5 year ceiling with great form and feeling confident I could safely add another 10lbs to the bar! Of course I didn’t. Rule #1 of training longevity, when you hit a new personal best: pack it in and go home.
And so I did. And once again I am forced to admit that CrossFit HQ knows better than I. The squat assault I’ve been complaining about paid off for me today in a very big way helping me bust through a long and difficult plateau. And once again my faith is restored. The proof is in the results. You have a lot more squats coming. Keep at it!
We will be back squatting. We will have 6 racks available. Where possible we will pair up household members to share a rack and barbell. We will have 3 additional stations without access to racks. Members at these stations can do higher volume back squats at lower loads or opt for a 3 rep front squat instead.
Equipment: Barbell, Kettlebell
1 min Samson Lunges
1 min Air Squats
1 min Paused Goblet Squats
3 Rounds of 3 paused squats adding weight each round
Build up to workout weight
Hands & Knees Rock