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Old 04-19-2013, 12:26 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by J_Byrd View Post
Only advice that I can give you is this. I have never got under a weight I didnt know I would get.
Same here. I have only failed once on a squat in 26 years, and that was a few months ago.

I fear squats more than any other lift. It never gets better for me, only worse. When 400 feels heavy on your back and you then have to hit 600, your mind plays tricks on you. You have to remind yourself that you are using a weight you can handle.

I am not a fan of pushing squats when I might fail on the next rep. Never, never, never. Too much risk for me.
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Old 04-19-2013, 05:02 PM   #12
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I have many, many times considered giving up squats. But when I actually suck it up and ride that fucker down and bring it back up, it feels like I just won world war 3 and came out of the hell. Don't give up because of fear, keep grinding because when you win, it will all be worth it.
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Old 04-19-2013, 07:00 PM   #13
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Thanks. Interesting replies. I think some may have the given the wrong impression as I tend to exagerate when I write. I am not scared in the sense of run away scared, or that I don't really think I can do the lift, or anything like that, more dread of the beating I am about to take. Also, it's not pain as in actual pain, more like soul crushing type pain or that the effort takes so much out of you. Mental anguish type of thing.

I was also more wondering if it ever gets any easier mentally when you are getting ready to push it to the limit. I had never squatted in my life until 2.5 years ago, but I kind of thought after a certain point, it would get easier, and I don't know why I don't have that problem when pushing other lifts. However, I do totally agree with LtL's explanation on that. Makes total sense to me.

Of course, another way to look at it is my max keeps rising, so what was soul crushing two months ago isn't any more! Haha.

But it really is that holy shit moment when you feel every ounce of that weight where I do start to have little nagging doubts, even if I have done the weight before. I don't know why that is. And JB is right, obviously I need to fix that attitude. I go through phases where I feel like I am domminating squats, but then that feeling disappears sometimes too. I don't know why. I am certain misses are directly tied to my mentality. But I am having trouble fixing that obviously.

I do think one thing I need to do is pay more attention to how I am actually feeling on the day and not push it when I am having a bad day. But then again, it's a fine line to where I might just wimp out rather than push it. I do amaze myself sometimes when I do push it and it goes up though. You'd think that would give me more confidence, and it does, but sometimes that goes out the window when that weight starts digging in!

Also, I would never give up on squats, at least not anytime soon because another point I was trying to make is that doing them and succeeding on that big effort is wrapped up in how I feel about how strong I am. When I think I am strong is right after I hit a big one or repped out something big. The first thing that pops in my head when I think about being really strong is standing up with a big squat, not a big bench or a big deadlift, an image of a big squat.

I get excited to hit a big bench or deadlift too, but not the same way. More like I know I had my form right on the lift and hitting a big one is then automatic and I raised my max. Hitting a big squat makes me feel like I conquered something!

Anyway, enough rambling. Was just wondering how other people feel about squats, and I guess if I am feeling similar to Al and BtB, I must be on the right track!
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Old 04-19-2013, 09:03 PM   #14
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I used to be scared shitless of squatting. Mostly because one of the first times I tried, I loaded up the bar with 350, fell forward and busted my shit up. I was damaged goods. The only way I've cured that is I started way light (95lbs), did a ton of sets of 5, did small weight jumps, and repeated. Just a ton of reps, increasing the weight gradually. and you'll eventually feel better about squatting. It took a long time to get used to squatting, but I eventually did.
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Old 04-19-2013, 10:38 PM   #15
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I think one good way to get control of that holy shit moment after unracking is to do heavy walkouts and then re rack.

last year, I used to have my holy shit moment even before unracking, as I looked at the loaded bar and all those plates. The main factor for me to get mentally focused on the cues and not the iron was the Crew. I just feel very comfortable with them. I always seem to do my best squatting with Brian, the crew leader, spotting me. I think its because I respect him as much as the iron.

In Vegas, I of course missed my opener of 375, and in the meantime got a sprain in my quad from squatting on carpet. I then proceeded to get my 405. This is because I already had my holy shit moment and all I could think of is that I was not going to go home without my beloved 405 squat. I simply had 1 zillion percent focus on that and forgot about getting nervous or anxious.

I think you just need more time to learn how to get into the right headspace when squatting. Like you said, you have only been doing it 2.5 years or so.
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Old 04-19-2013, 11:33 PM   #16
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I always did Full-Squats all the way Down.

If one is doing Squats to "Just-Below-Parallel" there is a whole scary range of untried motion.

What if somehow you slipped too far and went Down, Down into that Deep, Dark, Sinister and Unexplored Place?

How many ligaments, tendons and cartilage pads would you "Rip-City" on the way Down?

When I Squat all the way Down, I find that a slight loosening of my shoulders along with a slight forward lean is more than enough to lay the bar very gently on the safety rack and simply crawl out from under.

On the other hand, High Rep Squats—high enough to get me really out of breath effcts me much like looking forward to two-a-day-football practice...

I know I'm going to get very winded and that I find being winded extremely uncomfortable...

But unlike Summer Football Practice, there is a pay-off with Heavy High Rep Squats.


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Old 04-19-2013, 11:37 PM   #17
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The hardest part for me with squats is usually reps. I get depressed about how many I am about to have to do and psych myself down. Heavy singles, doubles, or triples I can usually work myself into a rage and unrack the bar with purpose. The way I unrack determines how the set will go. If I unrack with power, it goes well, if I unrack gently, I fall short.
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Old 04-20-2013, 02:43 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by BendtheBar View Post
Same here. I have only failed once on a squat in 26 years, and that was a few months ago.
That's very impressive. As a new lifter it seems that this is the most important thing to think about. There is no try as Master Yoda says.. you have to be sure you will make the weight.

One thing that really amazed me was when Ed Coan said that in some meets he let his teammates decide the weight he should lift and that he would just go and lift it because he was so sure he would make it... A true Legend.
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Old 04-20-2013, 09:57 AM   #19
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One thing that really amazed me was when Ed Coan said that in some meets he let his teammates decide the weight he should lift and that he would just go and lift it because he was so sure he would make it... A true Legend.
Mr Coan made that Statement in an interview with Mark Rippetoe and Marty Gallagher.
Thought about that comment for a while my conclusion was his focus is on hitting his cues of the lift rather than getting distracted by the numbers. Not knowing the weight eliminated one aspect of the mental game of heavy weights. He created more of a single minded focus.

Be interested to hear Mr Coan's reasons for this approach.

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Old 04-20-2013, 01:18 PM   #20
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Mr Coan made that Statement in an interview with Mark Rippetoe and Marty Gallagher.
Thought about that comment for a while my conclusion was his focus is on hitting his cues of the lift rather than getting distracted by the numbers. Not knowing the weight eliminated one aspect of the mental game of heavy weights. He created more of a single minded focus.

Be interested to hear Mr Coan's reasons for this approach.
I really liked Mark Rippetoe's interviews, I remember they spent maybe a quarter of the interview talking about how raw is not what raw used to be.. especially there bit about the monolift.

I think if we watched that interview again we would pick up why he did it. He did more volume than most, did higher rep ranges 5-6, and didn't max out in the gym. In the meets he was ready to max out whatever the weight was. It always seemed to me the end of one meet started the preparation for another like most power lifters... but not missing and not maxing out (often) seem like key points every lifter would be wise to listen to.
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