If you’re a novice lifter with a few weeks of back squatting under your belt, go for a heavy single to get a bench mark. Don’t attempt a weight you’re not 100% sure will go up.
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100 Kettlebell Swings in as few sets as possible
Getting Ready To Squat
By Coach Margie
When you approach a loaded bar, make the decision to be there. Develop your Set Up. This is not the time to saunter up, ease yourself into position and expect to manage maximal loads successfully. As strong as you may be, if you are not mentally prepared to own the barbell, well… the barbell will win every time.
As simple as squatting is, it takes all your guts to do it right.
There are two parts to your Set Up: getting underneath the bar, and preparing to squat it.
Getting underneath the bar:
1) Mentally psych yourself up to lift the weight. Get mad, excited, juiced, pumped, jump around, curse at the bar, or go deep within yourself and find that quiet place of absolute certainty. Whatever. Experiment to find your intensity and focus.
2) Now, get underneath the bar and get a good strong rack position. Make sure the bar is wedged in tight between your hands and your shoulders. Build stability by finding tension in your upper body: remember this is where the weight will sit, so you want to create a firm shelf, not some namby pamby, twiggy little thing that will snap in two. If you have a low bar rack, raise your elbows up behind you, and push the heels of your hands against the bar. If you have a high bar rack, grip the bar tightly and push up against it.
3) Take a big breath into your belly, hold it and bear down. Your stomach should get fatter. Now squeeze your butt and stand up confidently with the weight on your back.
4) Walk back two or three steps and set your feet.
Preparing to squat:
1) Let the bar settle on your shoulders.
2) Make sure your rack position is still tight.
3) Take another big breath into your belly and bear down. Get fat!
4) Now SQUAT!
This is your ritual; use it every time you play with a barbell.