New Crew, New Cues




Today was the first day of our conditioning speed squat wave- 10x2. We had 4 people and we were like the worst pit crew imaginable.


Nate tried to sort it out for us on the white board but everyone had different rack heights/box heights/in out on the mono/ one person even threw a wrench in the whole thing and walked it out. So this was kind of a uh test run for the coming weeks of speed work.


Margaret and I are just getting back into squatting after our meet, this is only the second time I’ve squatted with Nate, and the first time I’ve seen Chad squat since last summer. So a lot of the session was spent watching technique and figuring out what cues people needed to fix their issues.


Assessing technical issues is one half of the battle and the other is finding cues that work. Sometimes it takes 4 different cues to have the lifter respond in the way you need them to. And that’s the end goal- to have the lifter do the correct thing. It doesn’t matter if the same cue doesn’t make sense to someone else or doesn’t work for everyone- it just needs to work for one person and keep working for them.


Having a bigger group is great- everyone can watch different parts of the lift and everyone did a great job of cueing each other and making suggestions. The more eyes you can have on a lifter, the better. The more everyone can learn and help eachother out, the… bestter.


not pictured: weights, box heights, walking out, incorrect set counting...... not pictured: weights, box heights, walking out, incorrect set counting......



So here it is, broken down by lifter.

Nates biggest issues were not keeping his feet down on the ground, having his chest collapse out of the hole, and not taking his air optimally. Since we start working with issue from the ground up, I tried to get Nate to screw his feet into the ground to keep them more rooted. The foot screwing cue is a weird one that doesn't work for everyone and it ended up that “toes down” was a good enough cue for him to grip the floor with his whole foot. So toes down it is.


He had good speed off the box but his biggest issue was letting his head and chest drop out of the hole even though his back was pretty tight. I started with a “chest up” cue and it worked but his head was still not in an optimal position- still a little forward and down. He said the cue “elbows under” was a good cue for him to keep his chest up so I tried on the next set. Nopeeee. He did some weird motorcycle revving and just moved his elbows and back all over the place and almost fell over. The next set I tried “head up” and it worked perfectly. He ascended with his head and chest first and kept everything upright and in the perfect position.


Dave also worked with him quite a bit on his breathing. He was breathing into his belly but wasn’t pushing against his belt through his entire torso. Ideally, you want to be tight against your belt the entire way around your abdomen and back. Dave had him take a big breath through his nose and then finish it off with his mouth (HAHAHAHAHAHAHA). It worked wonders and stopped his low back pump that he always got while squatting (hm weird……………..) so I cued him to do that the rest of the session. We also worked on box squatting technique- pausing and relaxing the glutes and hams a little on the box in order to squeeze them and fire off the box.


Margaret- Margaret just needed to get back in the swing of squatting- going through her cues and keeping everything tight. She needed her normal cues of screwing her feet in, taking a belly breath, being quick off the box, and leading with her chest off the box. She was having trouble keeping her upper back tight and really just needed a tactile reminder. Once I started poking at her back and lats and telling her to squeeze down and back and tighten her lats, she got exponentially tighter. She also needed to get the right ratio of trying to squat fast while keeping everything tight. She would focus on speed and sacrifice her cues and tightness or over think what she needed to do and slow down her sets too much.


Chad- A little bit of a doozy. He hasn’t trained with us since last summer so he kind of forgot everything (shrug emoji). His knees were coming in, feet were dancing all over, back not staying tight. I tried every cue I could possibly think of with him then started poking him and boy howdy did it help. I poked his back and told him to squeeze down and back, poked his lats to get him to tighten them up, and poked the outside of his legs to get him to screw his feet into the ground and spread the floor. And it actually worked. He got his back tighter, got tighter throughout his feet and legs, and wasn’t plopping onto the box. He also needed to reset in between each rep to re-tighten his back and get his air which helped him get more than one decent rep.

Sometimes a tactile reminder is really what's needed- it helps people feel where they should be tightening and squeezing.




The next exercise was for the hammies. Margaret and I did GHRs and the guys did inverse leg curl because they are too weak for GHRs. They did sets of 5 for strength building because they need it and we did sets of 12-15 with partials at the end for size. Because we need it. See my video in one of my previous posts for GHR partials. Also I used a weight vest because I am an impressive specimen of woman.


Belt squat 4x12-15 reps supersetted with leg extension 4x20


Low back on the reverse hyper/GHR combo because those are my favorite and I feel like it does more for my low back than anything else. Plate quarter dime per side x15


Glute kickbacks 3 double sets- 12-15 each side, switch legs, then switch legs, then switch legs. Good explanation, right??


Pull down abdomens.


Also header photo: Dave dressed like he rolled around in a dumpster then ran in to squat.


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