March 7th, 2012

The King of Lifts

Our WOD today is 5 sets of 5 on the back squat. The back squat has often been called the king of all lifts. So what has earned it this title? Primarily, it is because it moves the greatest amount of weight through the greatest range of motion, using the greatest amount of muscle mass of any lift. Think about that statement for a moment. The deadlift moves more weight, but for a shorter distance involving less muscle mass. The clean and the snatch move the weight a greater distance, but the potential load for those movement is much lower.Β  The fact that the back squat does all of this means that it has a profound impact on your body. A movement that does all those things forces your body to respond with the release of hormones. These hormones make you stronger, help you burn fat, keep you younger and in general improve quality of life.Β  It is also a true core strengthener. Your core (from your hips to your shoulders) is what transfers the force that your legs are producing to the bar. If your core is weak, you will be limited by it rather than by the strength of your legs. The other thing I love about the back squat is that it incorporates many of our universal principles of movement. Two key ones that will aid in the success of your squats will be the ability to keep the bar over the middle of your feet (don’t rock forward or back) and the ability to keep your core stable enough to move your butt and shoulders at the same speed. Every millimeter that your butt rises out of the bottom of the squat is the same distance that the bar should move.

Check out the video below. There is one girl and two guys in it. Her squat form is the best. Jon Gilson, you’ll notice, really lets his chest fall. This is partly due to body dimensions, but also to a lack of core strength. James Hobart (in the video very briefly) lets his knees wobble in on the way up. For John, I would put him a little wider and really just emphasize his chest staying up. For James to keep his knees wide, he would probably have to take some weight off the bar and just practice it. Lindsey’s squats are pretty much perfect.

WOD Demo with Lindsey Smith, James Hobart and Jon Gilson – video [wmv] [mov]

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Back Squat 5-5-5-5-5 reps
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10 Responses

  1. My back still isn’t 100% so I did the 7min burpee wod from a couple weeks ago.

    89 reps rxd

    Nice training with Matt today!

  2. 240#, it was great being on the same bar w/ Jim this AM, I would have gone down after 235 once, he encouraged (shamed?) me into doing it again then he slipped on another 5 lbs. Thanks, 5x times is 2 very tough ones more than the 3 I was used to. Glad I didn’t watch Lindsey make 265 look so possible before workout.

    I walked in saw people-said hi-started getting the kinks out then realized new coach and new person! Geez, was I out of it, great to work w/ Matt and a new 5:30 person – Michelle! Good group this morning.

  3. 85lbs x 5 every 2mins… 15ish sets
    slow boat to china πŸ™‚

  4. I did this one a few days ago: 155-165-165-165-165
    I need to work on my back squats more…

    Today:
    Five rounds for time of:
    35 pound Dumbbell squat clean thruster, 7 reps
    10 Pull-ups
    9:22 Rx

    It may not have been pretty or super fast, but this is one of (if not my first) Rx’d WOD with weight. That feels good.

  5. 285# x 5

    Didn’t get to fail. I burned up my quads pretty quickly.
    Only thing I have to compare to is a 3 rep max in June of last year 205# x 3. So, I guess, 80# pr?

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