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Old April 8th, 2014, 11:08 PM   #101
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I don't know how to better explain the idea of pushing with your traps/upper back first. But think of the angles of your body from the waist down at the bottom of the squat. It's like an accordion. Pushing with your feet first that power development travels up the shin, then there is the bend at the knee, then there is the bend at the waist, then through your upper body to where the weight actually is. There's a lot of places that can give and move in between all that.

Pushing with your upper body first, the power goes directly into the bar and gets it going upward...then drive with your hips and ass, then your feet.

Hope that makes a little sense.
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Old April 12th, 2014, 12:44 AM   #102
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Squatting with proper form shouldn't put your knees at risk under normal circumstances. You can compensate for some weakness/inflexibility by putting a block under your heel. Going "ATG" certainly could though, that being deeper than a parallel thigh to the floor. Half squats also risk knee injury, more than ATG. So does using a machine. All three of these things are a great formula for a knee injury. Too deep, using the small muscles around your knees as brakes instead of the largest muscles in your body and doing these in an unnatural movement pattern. Good luck bro.
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Old April 12th, 2014, 12:48 AM   #103
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Rufus was mentiong Half squats versus ATG squats (which I myself don't do, I got to just below true parallel), andI personally always thought half squats were more painful/harder to execute than full squats, to me half squats feel like taking a pee and trying to stop halfway through.... just does not feel right

Agree with the bottom of the movement. What worked for me was to push through heels. It is nearly impossible to push through heels and pitch forward/raise hips, as soon as you pitch forward or raise hips weight shifts forward to balls of your feet, and if your really out of wack it shifts out to your toes.


PJ, great post! I've always pushed through the heels to keep things from rolling forward, I struggle with that when I'm at close to my 1RM.

I don't know how to better explain the idea of pushing with your traps/upper back first. But think of the angles of your body from the waist down at the bottom of the squat. It's like an accordion. Pushing with your feet first that power development travels up the shin, then there is the bend at the knee, then there is the bend at the waist, then through your upper body to where the weight actually is. There's a lot of places that can give and move in between all that.

Pushing with your upper body first, the power goes directly into the bar and gets it going upward...then drive with your hips and ass, then your feet.


Very cool, never have I thought of squat mechanics like this!
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Old April 12th, 2014, 02:23 AM   #104
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I don't know how to better explain the idea of pushing with your traps/upper back first.

Well, if you say push with the traps, you would have to identify what joint the traps are attached to. The hip. BTW, I am not saying WHAT to do, I am just examining what you said.

But think of the angles of your body from the waist down at the bottom of the squat. It's like an accordion. Pushing with your feet first that power development travels up the shin, then there is the bend at the knee, then there is the bend at the waist, then through your upper body to where the weight actually is. There's a lot of places that can give and move in between all that.

Pushing with the heels will activate the knee joint first.

Pushing with your upper body first, the power goes directly into the bar and gets it going upward...then drive with your hips and ass, then your feet.

Hope that makes a little sense.
The two methods are at odds.

Malcom: Pushing the bar up first seems to assume a bent over posture. What if the hips are low and the back more upright. Pushing with the lats in that case could mean pushing backward and falling.

This suggests to me that there are body positions that are not being fully described as people are saying do this at this point.
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Old April 12th, 2014, 04:34 AM   #105
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Instead of squats, I do skates.

Those are the leg extensions you do every time you hit a corner or the bottom of the transition (the curvy part of the pool's bottom). I do hundreds if not thousands every day.

When it rains, I go to they gym and lie down on my back on that machine that you push 600lbs worth of plates up in the air 100 times.

JUMP!
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Old April 12th, 2014, 04:08 PM   #106
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The two methods are at odds.

Malcom: Pushing the bar up first seems to assume a bent over posture. What if the hips are low and the back more upright. Pushing with the lats in that case could mean pushing backward and falling.

This suggests to me that there are body positions that are not being fully described as people are saying do this at this point.
Rufus...you need to brush up on your human anatomy....the traps are not connected to the hip.

I realize the two methods are at odds. In no way was I suggesting for you to push with your feet first. I hope that post didn't come across that way.

Video below is from last night. As you can see I am in no way bent over. I push with my traps and upper back first. (Notice I didn't say lats).

http://s403.photobucket.com/user/blu...ce577.mp4.html

That's 545lbs in bar weight and approx another 120lbs in band tension at the top. So 665 +/-.

Maybe push isn't the best word to be using....how about "raise with". And again when you do this, you are pushing/raising directly upward into the weight.

Think about jumping....a true jump. What do you lead with? Your traps/upper back. That is what a squat is/should be. A jump with weight on your back. The video I posted of Monique, she tricks her body into doing this by raising her feet off the ground when she sits on the box. She does this because pushing with her traps/upper back is not second nature to her. I think I have a video on the same night with her doing 365...when she sat on the box she did not lift her feet and instead pushed with her feet first. Her knees instantly shot forward.
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Old April 12th, 2014, 10:03 PM   #107
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Rufus...you need to brush up on your human anatomy....the traps are not connected to the hip.
There 3 segments of the body, and 2 joints involved in a squat. 3 if you include the ankles. The upper body, upper leg, lower leg, knees, and hip.

Pushing through the heels will engage the first joint it comes to: The knee.

Pushing up the traps will engage the hips first.

So, what's up. Which is it?
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Old April 13th, 2014, 12:16 AM   #108
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There 3 segments of the body, and 2 joints involved in a squat. 3 if you include the ankles. The upper body, upper leg, lower leg, knees, and hip.

Pushing through the heels will engage the first joint it comes to: The knee.

Pushing up the traps will engage the hips first.

So, what's up. Which is it?
Traps/upper back first, then hips, then feet.
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Old December 8th, 2014, 10:55 AM   #109
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Back in the Squat game. Had my 13th workout Friday. Doing 2 or 3 workouts a week and skating only once a week. I had a milestone a few workouts back, 200, but I was really stoked about my last workout. Blasted out 10 reps of 220, with AUTHORITY.

My sets were:
110x15
160x15
220x10

I typically use the 20 rep regimen, but as I knew I was jumping up on my high weight, I stopped at 15 on the first 2 sets. I am varying reps on the 2 warm up sets. As low as 10, as high as 20, depending on how I feel and what I am doing for my heavy set. I am also cycling heavier and lighter, according to my Biorhythm. I did my 220 at my physical peak. I also notice sub par levels of energy when I get below 50%. I'll do lower reps, and even drop some weight.

The last time around, I was doing 1/2 squats, and maxed at 155. Then I tried ATG, but that ultimately strained my knees. Then I stopped. Now I am doing full squats, way tougher than the 1/2, and I just blew my old high weight by a good margin.

Oh, HOW did I do this?? Arginine. Read an article about L-Arginine, and decided to try it. Bought some MRI NO2 Black. It calls for 4 pills twice a day. Since I figure this is aimed at fairly high level body builders, I went for half. 2 pills, twice a day. And all I have to say is, HOLY ANTI-INFLAMMATORY BATMAN. As it turns out, inflammation has been a significant part of my knee trouble. Sure, I still gotta take care with my knees. My cartilage was near gone in my mid 30's. The Arginine has a number of cool properties: Dialates blood vessels, increasing workout performance AND recovery, improved blood flow, increases immune system, and a few other things. But the inflammation. THAT is what has been screwing me for a long time.

2 f-ing 20. I feel like a man again. Not some senior citizen. Feels good. I should be able to max out my workout machine in about a month. 250. Then I will start getting high reps at 250. My ultimate goal, with the limits of my workout machine, is to do a couple of warm up sets, maybe 130, 190, and two sets of 250x20. I think that would make me a decently strong mid 50's dude.
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Old December 9th, 2014, 08:05 PM   #110
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Nice. My follow up workout to my first 220 workout went well. I sometimes just have a good workout, but drop off on the next. I shot for the same sets and reps as last time, and did one extra rep, 11, at 220.

Another plus aside from my knees was my second weak spot for squats. My lower back. Specifically, some sensitive vertebrae in the right lower back I got from a car accident years ago. I think it was workout 2, I felt a little sensation down there, but went another rep. Then a little pain, but one more rep. Doint the one more rep past pain left my back sore. So, for the next several workouts, I went only until I felt the sensation, but not pain. Then after about 3 or 4 workouts, the sensation stopped showing up. At the weights of 200 and 220, I was pushing I new heavier weight. I jumped from 180 to 200, and from 200 to 220. So the "new" strain on the lower back was noticeable. But the stress and fatigue has been EVEN. It seems that lower back issue has been fixed.

I also think credit goes to the Nitric Oxide (Arginine) for recovery. It is one of the touted benefits of the supplement, and it seems to be proving itself for me. I am not beating myself down with my workouts. Which is something I have ALWAYS done, and ended up weaker or sick. I am recovering, and progressing. My Christmas gift for myself just might be 250lb squats. Or I'll be starting the new year at 250.
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Old December 9th, 2014, 08:40 PM   #111
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RufusPrime, are you having a butt-wink problem at the bottom of your squats? If so, this could account for the aggravation of your low back, and is an indication of limited range of motion in your hips, knees, and ankles. It may be wise to decrease your weight increase intervals, 20lbs is a big jump, especially when you get over 200lbs. Consider the squat movement, too. I recently ran across a video of a coach that focuses on strength for athletes, specifically through Olympic lifts. His suggestion is that ever squat should look like a goblet squat. It makes a lot of sense. I can goblet squat my 45lbs kettle bell ATG without any trouble with my back straight, and my elbows ending up between my knees. I have much better form with my rear squats when doing 4 times that weight, also.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBqdIJQR2AE
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Old December 9th, 2014, 11:32 PM   #112
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The butt-wink. Is that that little pelvic tilt when you are in a little over your head? I get that a little when I move up, but it goes away as I get a handle on the weight.

No, what I was referring to was a vertebrae compression pain, particularly in the lower right area. This came from a car accident when I was 22. As weights went up, I would get that compression pain. But, as noted, I only aggravated it once. Early on I would "feel" the pressure on the right side. Then if I went another rep, I would get a little pain. I went past the "sensation" to the pain once, and ended up with a sore back for a few days. Then for the next few workouts, I would stop reps as soon as I felt the sensation, the precursor to pain. Then I stopped getting the sensation at all. I stop a set on pure fatigue now, not because of some little glitch in my low back. That glitch seems to be gone. Actually, for the past, 7 or 8 workouts, my lower back has been bullet-proof. Good, solid, no uneven strain or sensations. Just a nice even fatigue back there. And the Arginine has kept my inflammation down, so my knees are good to go.

I think I have developed a different, better outlook on squats. Before I thought of it as a quad exercise. Now I rarely think of my quads. I concentrate almost exclusively on back and butt, top to bottom, and base doing another rep on how my back is doing, not my legs. It was kind of funny. I did a bunch of yard work a week ago Monday, and worked out the next day. I worked hard, and had a good workout, but my lifts were a little low. I chalked it up to a tired back from the yard work. Then, when I first did 220, my back was way ahead of my legs. It was the first time my quads wanted to poop out before the low back.

Checked out the vid. Oddly enough, I am doing that. (almost) On my off days, I am doing an ATG squat with 2 15lb dumbbells out in front of my for balance. I do it just to get my heart started in the morning, and to regularly get full flexion in my knees. Or I do it sometimes if I have just been sitting around too long. So check that. Been doing it.
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Old December 10th, 2014, 05:49 PM   #113
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Core is a huge component of squatting, and one of the biggest issues most people have with squatting. I raised the butt wink issue to see if lack of mobility or core weakness may be an issue with your back. Your focus on your back is properly placed. The butt wink is when your hips tuck under and you bend forward more than you should at the bottom of the movement. This is an indication of either mobility problems or core weakness. It doesn't sound like the back is an issue, though, and that is good to hear. As far as the movement, we should be shooting for that same chest up goblet squat style body position regardless of the type of squat. I have really been working on this and it makes a big difference.
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Old December 11th, 2014, 12:47 AM   #114
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Core is a huge component of squatting, and one of the biggest issues most people have with squatting.

Yeah. In my younger days, I remember being irritated that my back was slowing down my leg development. Now, I embrace the strain on my back. Relish it in fact. Quads are getting work too, but are secondary in my mind.

I raised the butt wink issue to see if lack of mobility or core weakness may be an issue with your back. Your focus on your back is properly placed.

I do the vast majority of my reps in great form, and my flexibility is good. No problem with form for my light or medium set. And only a little tuck I have noticed, now and then on some later reps on my heavy set, or when I jump to a new weight.

The butt wink is when your hips tuck under and you bend forward more than you should at the bottom of the movement. This is an indication of either mobility problems or core weakness. It doesn't sound like the back is an issue, though, and that is good to hear. As far as the movement, we should be shooting for that same chest up goblet squat style body position regardless of the type of squat. I have really been working on this and it makes a big difference.
If I remember correctly, I think the highest I ever squatted back in the day was about 240, and i may have done about 10 reps. But just squeezing them out. Not really fully on top of it. I mean, as I am going now, I am doing 15-20 reps on my light and medium set. More than I did when I was young. So I will actually be stronger when I get to 240 in a few weeks than I was when I was young. AND I am doing a full squat, not a half squat, doing good solid reps. Just the ego and strength boost I was needing.
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Old December 22nd, 2014, 04:55 PM   #115
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The butt-wink. Is that that little pelvic tilt when you are in a little over your head? I get that a little when I move up, but it goes away as I get a handle on the weight.

No, what I was referring to was a vertebrae compression pain, particularly in the lower right area. This came from a car accident when I was 22. As weights went up, I would get that compression pain. But, as noted, I only aggravated it once. Early on I would "feel" the pressure on the right side. Then if I went another rep, I would get a little pain. I went past the "sensation" to the pain once, and ended up with a sore back for a few days. Then for the next few workouts, I would stop reps as soon as I felt the sensation, the precursor to pain. Then I stopped getting the sensation at all. I stop a set on pure fatigue now, not because of some little glitch in my low back. That glitch seems to be gone. Actually, for the past, 7 or 8 workouts, my lower back has been bullet-proof. Good, solid, no uneven strain or sensations. Just a nice even fatigue back there. And the Arginine has kept my inflammation down, so my knees are good to go.

I think I have developed a different, better outlook on squats. Before I thought of it as a quad exercise. Now I rarely think of my quads. I concentrate almost exclusively on back and butt, top to bottom, and base doing another rep on how my back is doing, not my legs. It was kind of funny. I did a bunch of yard work a week ago Monday, and worked out the next day. I worked hard, and had a good workout, but my lifts were a little low. I chalked it up to a tired back from the yard work. Then, when I first did 220, my back was way ahead of my legs. It was the first time my quads wanted to poop out before the low back.

Checked out the vid. Oddly enough, I am doing that. (almost) On my off days, I am doing an ATG squat with 2 15lb dumbbells out in front of my for balance. I do it just to get my heart started in the morning, and to regularly get full flexion in my knees. Or I do it sometimes if I have just been sitting around too long. So check that. Been doing it.
Isn't it awesome when you have that ah ha moment and realize what muscles to actually use when lifting weights?
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Old December 22nd, 2014, 04:59 PM   #116
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2 f-ing 20. I feel like a man again. Not some senior citizen. Feels good. I should be able to max out my workout machine in about a month. 250. Then I will start getting high reps at 250. My ultimate goal, with the limits of my workout machine, is to do a couple of warm up sets, maybe 130, 190, and two sets of 250x20. I think that would make me a decently strong mid 50's dude.
That's f'n awesome to hear. Good for you Rufus!

Which is why I've stated my entire 27 years of lifting....

Training for physical strength, and especially squatting, will carry you much further in life than training for aesthetics.

The only thing I would encourage you to do, is to get away from "machines", join a gym and start doing free weights instead. As good as you are starting to feel, you can feel better. Don't let good stop you from being great!
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Old December 26th, 2014, 11:45 AM   #117
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That's f'n awesome to hear. Good for you Rufus!

Which is why I've stated my entire 27 years of lifting....

Training for physical strength, and especially squatting, will carry you much further in life than training for aesthetics.

The only thing I would encourage you to do, is to get away from "machines", join a gym and start doing free weights instead. As good as you are starting to feel, you can feel better. Don't let good stop you from being great!
Thanks. Yep, call me a squatter. Training for physical strength. That is what I was REALLY after. After I broke my hand, stopped skating, or doing anything much except walking, I got SOOOO weak. Once that hand had more or less healed, I was doing mild lifting, squat, pulldowns, and chest press, mainly for the benefit of my hand, and rebuilding some strength. But I knew REALLY getting rid of this old man feeling required some heavy squatting. Then I read about Nitric Oxide. Tried it and felt a great boost in energy and knee well being, went for 80lb squats to 120, then 160 (that was hard at first), 180, 200, 220, and now 230. Poised to make the jump to 250.

My warm up is now 120, 2nd 190. Once I settle in on 250 for my heavy set, I'll get the first 2 to 130, 200. LOL. 200 for my 2nd set. That was a milestone for this old man and his crummy knees.

As for the months ahead, I must confess, the notion of an olympic bar, a squat rack and 6 45 pound plates has some appeal to me. Hell, maybe even 8 45 pound plates. (add a 4th set and climb right up the ladder )

Like I was saying earlier, the next weak link for me, from an old car accident, in squatting was my low back. But good form, and not pushing too hard too fast has produced a solid lower back. I really can feel more butt and upper thigh thickness and strength. I am pretty much at 250. So 300 seems very doable. Maybe a bit higher. I'll start clearing up some space in the garage and cruising Craigslist for some weight deals.

I am sooo enjoying the feeling of strength. And toughness too. At my 10th workout, I took a nasty fall skating. I was doing a backward slalom, hit a piece of debris on the floor, and fell smack on the back of my head. Head and right elbow. I dislocated my jaw, but that was about it. Oh, and got sore in the neck and abs pretty good for a week. I got up and kept skating. No pain or lump on my head. I firmly believe that strong muscles, and the process of making them strong, makes for a strong overall body. No way I would have taken that fall with so little drama if I had not been working out.
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Old December 26th, 2014, 11:48 AM   #118
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Isn't it awesome when you have that ah ha moment and realize what muscles to actually use when lifting weights?
Yeah. I now LOVE being in the hole, pausing for a second, and then my brain starts telling the muscles to contract.
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Old December 27th, 2014, 12:56 PM   #119
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Default My first 250

So…. I have been cycling my weights, lifting heavier, progressing, during my up "Physical" periods of my Biorhythm. I have found this to be a good rule of thumb. Oddly though, I had a couple of good workouts in my physical minimum, and 2 pretty crappy workouts, in the higher range. In fact, for the first time, I upped the weight during a low Biorhythm swing. I went from 220 to 230, because I was eyeing 250 for my "up" swing. That and I also really noticed some changes in my hips, thigh, and buttocks. Definitely some new muscle down there. I was feeling the muscle, AND I was just feeling good.

Today, it turned out my Bio is up near 90%. So, despite the crappy last workout, AND feeling kinda blah, I decided to jump to 250.

My previous workout was 120x15, 180x8, 230x7, and I felt pretty blah doing it.
Today was 120x13, 180x10, and 250x7. I wasn't inspired today either, but I put my chips on the fact that the biorhythm was up, and my 230 lifts were solid. And sure enough, my 250 today felt like 230 a couple of workouts ago. No issue on bottom. No butt winking. I concentrated on a "no wink" first push, and bam, we were moving. I think I will go for 130, 200, 250 for the next workout. I'll shoot for 13 reps on the first two sets and see what I have left for the 250. I'll try and be 15 reps across the board by the 3rd week of January. Then maybe add a 4th set. And then some straps for the 4th set.
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Old January 5th, 2015, 09:18 PM   #120
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Originally Posted by rufusprime99 View Post
So…. I have been cycling my weights, lifting heavier, progressing, during my up "Physical" periods of my Biorhythm. I have found this to be a good rule of thumb. Oddly though, I had a couple of good workouts in my physical minimum, and 2 pretty crappy workouts, in the higher range. In fact, for the first time, I upped the weight during a low Biorhythm swing. I went from 220 to 230, because I was eyeing 250 for my "up" swing. That and I also really noticed some changes in my hips, thigh, and buttocks. Definitely some new muscle down there. I was feeling the muscle, AND I was just feeling good.

Today, it turned out my Bio is up near 90%. So, despite the crappy last workout, AND feeling kinda blah, I decided to jump to 250.

My previous workout was 120x15, 180x8, 230x7, and I felt pretty blah doing it.
Today was 120x13, 180x10, and 250x7. I wasn't inspired today either, but I put my chips on the fact that the biorhythm was up, and my 230 lifts were solid. And sure enough, my 250 today felt like 230 a couple of workouts ago. No issue on bottom. No butt winking. I concentrated on a "no wink" first push, and bam, we were moving. I think I will go for 130, 200, 250 for the next workout. I'll shoot for 13 reps on the first two sets and see what I have left for the 250. I'll try and be 15 reps across the board by the 3rd week of January. Then maybe add a 4th set. And then some straps for the 4th set.
Congrats on the PR man, those are great. I matched my PR from last season's lifting at the end of December for my rear squats, and promptly injured my back lowering a deadlift on weight I have easily lifted (and easily pulled during that lift). Just a reminder you can't break form while lowering, either. Hoping to get back to big lifts this week after a couple of rest and recovery weeks. Next week will be a new PR on my rear squats going forward. Hoping to hit 200 by the time lifting is no longer a focus this year. Keep at it.
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