Squat Secret #3: Squat Raw AND Assisted
Are you addicted to using to using belts, knee sleeves, and lifters? I don’t blame you, I’ve been there. It’s a very easy trap to fall into.
The problem is that these are tools with great intentions that are often used as band-aids. If you find yourself covering up knee pain, back pain, and things of that nature with a piece of equipment — you have to take a step back and re-evaluate the deeper issue.
The great thing about taking a break from using the tools above is that you will develop RAW strength. There’s something to be said when you feel confident, strong, and stable squatting without any gear.
You FEEL prepared for anything.
Now think about adding a belt back in when it’s time to go for a PR. You’re going to feel like you have super powers. Keep notes on both of your numbers. What weights can you squat raw? What weights can you squat assisted?
Squat Secrets #4: Squat fluently across all rep ranges
If you’re someone who only squats heavy singles, doubles, and triples — you’re going to be faced with some tough challenges when it comes time squat more volume during conditioning workouts.
You want to think about confidently being able to take on any rep range that’s thrown at you. Sets of 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 10, 15, and even 20. The dosage of how often you’re performing these rep ranges highly depends on your goals, timing of your cycle, and a host of other variables.
The takeaway is to keep your eyes on the prize, but don’t lose tabs on these other ranges. If you can get a coach to structure this for you in a thoughtful and purposeful way, that would be the most ideal.
If not, simply start by adding in one or two days a week where you challenge yourself with a rep range that is out of your comfort zone. Deep down, you know what this is.