|The skwaat is the first movement in any full-power competition and is often the most dangerous. If not done properly, under too much strain, the first movement of the day could be your last. I want to point out a variety of methods and tools that Team Super Training uses to prepare for meet day. Methods such as a secondary skwaat day, reverse band skwaats, box skwaats, and belt skwaats are a handful of practices we use to increase the overall time under tension in order to strengthen both our body and our minds. On your next training cycle, try implementing some of these methods to increase your overall volume—this will help strengthen [you] and better prepare yourself for meet day.
Method 1- Secondary Skwaat Day
By performing an additional skwaat movement throughout the week, you will spend more time perfecting your form and speed. The more confident and comfortable you are underneath a barbell, the lighter the weight will feel and potentially move. Typically, a secondary skwaat day should focus on speed or volume.
Method 2- Reverse Band Skwaat
Setting up bands above the bar on the skwaat rack in order to make the weights lighter in the hole and heavier at the top is a great way of getting used to maximal loads without taking the brunt of moving the weight for the whole rep. For example, depending how the bands are set up, a loaded 500 lbs. at lock-out could be 450 lbs. in the hole. This allows you to focus on speed with the “lighter” weight, but it also allows you to lock out the heavier loads. This is great after your main skwaat movement for some additional work.
Method 3- Box Skwaat
A box skwaat is similar to a paused bench in the sense that you “rest” on the box and explode off [of it]. A box skwaat pairs well with specialty bars such as SSB [Safety Squat Bar] or cambered bar. Perfecting the box skwaat in the off-season or [during your] secondary skwaaat day can directly assist your free skwaat.
Method 4- Belt Skwaat
A belt skwaat allows you to be free of any weights on your shoulders or back. By only applying weight to your lower body, you’re able to stay clear of any upper body strain that could carry into your other lifts. Incorporated on your main skwaat day or on its own, the belt skwaat is a great volume builder for stronger and healthier legs.
All of these methods are used regularly at ST Gym. The goal is to use every tool in your toolbox to get STronger. By increasing volume safely and in a controlled manner, you increase your ability to lift heavier weights on the platform. More training methods [to follow] in the next issue from Super Training Gym – “The Strongest Gym in the West!”