Brute Force Squat Review – Ken GackPosted: February 14, 2012
Having had a chance to assess a couple of lifts, and overall pretty happy with my skills at identifying problems I asked me to look at one of my own lifts:
As you can tell by the five big guys catching me at the end of the video, this lift ranks a solid ‘Crappy’ on the ‘Crappy to Great’ scale. I would actually rate it below crappy if there were a lower rating, because in addition to the lift being completed by the spotters, it was a bit high. So at what point did this lift become a group effort?
Setting Up: The setup was actually very solid and well executed.
- Feet placed directly under the bar and under my hips
- Hips under the bar and leg drive used to lift the bar out of the rack
- Three quick, stable steps back into the lifting position
Referring back to what has been dubbed ‘Gack’s Fancy Foot Diagram’, it looks like my setup was perfect, doesn’t it? What you don’t see is my feet. If you watch me setup today, after the walkout you will see me pause to turn my toes outward – I did not do that in this squat.
Eccentric/Descent: The squat actually continues to look good nearly through the entire eccentric portion of the lift:
- Very good speed on the descent – weight is controlled, but descent is fast enough to hit the hole and rebound back out
- Knees stay out during the descent
- Catastrophe: As I transition from eccentric to concentric (ie stop going down, try to go up), my knees buckle inward; this forces my hips backwards which results in five very big guys assisting with the concentric portion of the lift – and three red lights from the referees
Concentric/Ascent: Assistance of the spotters in the concentric portion of the lift in competition is never a good thing.
Lessons Learned: After returning from the competition my powerlifting coach, Kevin Stewart, went to work fixing my balance problems. The fix: turn your toes out. As I’ve mentioned in other reviews, by turning your toes out, you’re better able to keep your knees out during the lift, which lets you sink into the hole more easily, and complete your squat with less people picking you up out of said hole.
The fix has worked. Since that competition in 2009, I have not lost a single squat due to issues with my balance coming out of the hole.