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Red Light Special

As a ref I joke a bit about giving red lights, but in all honesty I don’t like giving red lights. I’m not, however, going to give away lifts and penalize lifters who come to a meet properly prepared.
In a recent meet I gave out far too many red lights for squat depth and missed commands. Most of these were unnecessary if lifters had taken a couple simple steps to make sure they were platform ready.
Squat Depth
All squats you perform in training need to be at legal competition depth. If you think they are close or second guess yourself, you’re squatting too high. In a perfect world you’d have a qualified ref from your federation watching your lifts in training and giving you real time feedback. Having an experienced powerlifter watch your lifts is a good option as well. If this is not possible, video your sets and watch them after each set.


Missed Commands
Although your first meet can be nerve wracking, if you train for competition lifts you set yourself up to succeed. For every set and every rep, there should be a distinct stop after your set up before executing the first rep, and a distinct stop after each rep and before re-racking the weight. If you come to a complete stop at these points you’ll have cleaner training sets and you will never miss a command.
Note: for sets above 5 reps I recommend just motoring through the set but use the controlled stop before the first rep and after the last rep before racking.
In your final weeks of training as you are peaking, you should be performing all singles to competition form with commands.
Let’s give my red light thumb a break!!!

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