Saturday, May 4 - Excellence, part 1

Why squat? Because it makes you excellent. But how?

First, the squat is stressful - it requires moving a heavy weight through a large range of motion. This stress causes your body to release a cocktail of growth hormones into your bloodstream. (Especially when you sleep - make sure you get enough this month.) Three weeks of extra growth hormone will help more than your squatting - you'll notice other things improve. The growth hormones in your bloodstream may be released by the squat, but they don't discriminate. Once released, they will help you grow stronger at any movement you do.

To squat requires strength, coordination, and balance. All these qualities are improved by squatting. They, in turn, will aid you in other athletic endeavors. 

The expression of strength is the result of a conversation between your central nervous system and your muscles. At heavy loads your body will realize that it needs the nerves to start yelling at all the muscle fibers it can. Repeated exposure to near-1RM loads lets your body wake up more muscle fibers. "Greater neuro-muscular efficiency" just means more of your body is doing what your mind wants it to do.

So, lift heavy, wake up your muscles, and soak in the growth hormones. And sleep.


Feelin' feisty?

1. Back Squat to a max.
2. Drop about 20 to 30% off the bar and squat up to a heavy three ("heavy three" means the heaviest weight you can do without missing) - go up by no more than 5 to 10 lb. at a time.
3. Drop about 20 to 30% off of that and do two sets of five with the best form you can muster, trying to come up as fast out of the hole as you possibly can.


Sore and tired from a big week?

1. Back Squat to a max.
2. Drop about 20 to 30% off the bar and squat 2 sets of 2 reps.