Okay guys, I’m glad we finally came together. Today we’ll be doing a squat workshop with emphasis on a weightlifter’s point of view. You’re all professionals and acquired decent experience about squats already. For now, we mainly want to gather all your experience and benefit from each other’s. All of us will definitely improve. Everyone in here knows that one has to break his limits and bring up his hidden resources. That’s basically our task for today! It’s not about moving maximum weight right now, but about improving your technique and execution for squats. Therefore, it’s very good we have a wide variety of athletes around! We have two bodybuilders, a powerlifter, a weightlifter and a rower. Also, we’ve got diverse body heights, that’ll be nice from an anatomy point of view when doing squats. Alright, we’ll be performing different exercises, so prepare yourselves by warming up and let’s begin! I’ll definitely learn something new. In my opinion you always need to improve yourself. I had to train my legs today anyway, so I’m looking forward to whatever is coming up! I’m happy we have different athletes around. All of them have trained squats with success already. So sharing experience will be very interesting! Not only will I benefit from today myself, but I’ll also be passing on my knowledge I’ve gathered within the past 30 years about competitive squats and weightlifting. Therefore, I’ve prepared different exercises to see how everyone’s skills look like individually. I’m sure that once we’re done, they’ll be leaving with enhanced abilities, and an improved general approach to even surpass their already professional squat performance. That’s my personal task for today! A new insight about squats overall, to see a weightlifter squat, how bounces are treated.. ..how fast they’re, since I’m doing squats very slowly. Speed in general. That’s what I’m looking for, a new insight. From a fitness squat to a weightlifter squat. Ok guys, you hopefully are done with warming up. Let’s start with having a closer look at your deep squat position in terms of safety and mobility. If you’ve trained with me already you might know what’s coming up. A balance game! Every one of you got a partner assigned before, ideally someone that roughly matches your height. So please get up and find your partner, squat opposite to each other and make your opponent lose balance! Position your feet directly under your hips. Don’t position them under your shoulders now. Do a deep squat and position your toes slightly outwards. Don’t sit too close to each other, you want to barely touch your opponent. Now, make him lose balance. Keep a straight back. It’s important to keep tension. Johannes, enlarge yourself. How tall are you? -1,88m. Your height for now is 2m and you will keep tension as if you were 2m tall for today. Good. Thomas, focus on your back as well. Now, start out easy. It’s no competition. Try to make your partner lose control and balance by pushing or pulling. If you’re too aggressive, you will lose your own balance. Our point with this exercise is to stabilize your deep squat position. Keep your whole feet connected to the ground, that’s important. I liked your bounces, Dori. It’s important to be resilient with your hip. That will give you an extra time window to react in a case where it might be needed. Very nice. If you didn’t get to know your partner yet, now is the time! Remember, we’ll be spending more time together. So loosen up and build up trust in each other. Nice. You lost your own balance! -I know, I know. Is he allowed to hold me?! -Just a bit. Dorian does very well. These small bounces make him keep good balance. He can balance out influences on his body by doing small jumps. Make us of your buttocks’ counterbalance, do those bounces. Don’t be inflexible, be mobile and keep tension. Again, keep a stable back. We are old silverbacks and want to defend our territory. Keep your chest up, that’ll be important for squats later as well. Now, test your stability again. There’s something I noticed among the most of you already after our first exercise. Back stability. You need to keep up tension, always. Remember, you sure can have a relaxed squat position but this way you won’t be able to react. To be able to react will be of importance for squat later on. Alright, you see, I build up tension in my back and become bigger. Keep a stable back and move your buttock backwards. Dorian showed it earlier, be able to react with small jumps. By keeping tension, we’ll always be able to react. If I relax myself like this.. ..I’ll first of all need to build up tension to be able to react to any influence on my body. Conclusion: keep tension! We’ll be silverbacks defending our territory the whole day. First exercise done, how do you feel? Johannes sweats. -His pulse is up already. You had a hard workout yesterday? -I sure did. That’s noticeable and common during our training schedule. So let’s head to our next exercise. You already noticed though that even a simple exercise can bring up weaknesses. We’ll come to our next partner exercise now, you may remember it from school or sports club days. A squat performed back to back. Position yourself and link arms with your partner. Position your feet as if two hands, like this, would fit in between your heels. Now, stabilize. One of you may be dominant and push towards the other. Try to keep your backs steep towards each other, unlike you do when squatting. For this exercise we need that pressure though. A different body position and how to react with your musculature is of interest now. This will help to focus on a real squat later on. Let’s begin. Yes, you’ll feel each other’s buttocks! Link your arms.. we can already see who is dominant. The one trying to grab from above is trying to dominate the other. If you feel like it, you can switch position of your arms in between. You see, Johannes pulls you towards him. Try to adjust. Connect your buttocks and take a wider stand. Now move downwards simultaneously. Very nice. -It doesn’t work! You need to move down as well! -No, wait! Both of you straighten up once again. Back to back, take a straight position and keep your chest high. Take a wider stand and take more distance between the two of you. Now, connect your buttocks and mvoe downwards. Come on, does it look THAT gay?! Good job. I want to see their performance now, that seemed to be decent. Very nice. You see, they have a bigger distance between each other while you stood very close to another. I guess your sexy butts were too big to move downwards properly! If you want to try again, keep more distance so you’ll have more space to move. Do they have an easier time because their butts are shifted? Let’s test it with you two now, since your buttocks should be shifted as well, right? Well, it doesn’t work for us anyway! -Let’s see how you perform. Move your heels apart. Good, backs close and lean on each other. Straight back and move downwards. And up again. You did one at least! Well, if I’d be giving grades: That’s a solid 2.. I will skip the other ones though! That’s not fair, I want another try! Excellent, you’ll be able to improve your grade right now! Good thing, try again. -Yea sure. I expect myself to learn some small things and improvements at today’s workshop. Especially from Marco since he had been a competitive athlete for years. As a coach he communicates his knowledge very well, too. I’m looking forward to apply his knowledge to my individual training. I’m curious what’s coming up. First of all, they’re very motivated. What’s been obvious to me though, is that some exercise pressure is still new to them. The first exercises brought up unexpected impulses for them. That’s good though since we wanted to share each other’s experience. All of us will learn new ways to train, even though they’re not really new but rather newly discovered. Those impulses will benefit everyone. Therefore, it’ll be a lot of fun working together. Let’s see how they’ll do at next exercise. We keep going and want to improve our deep squat with next exercise again. We’ll simulate a snatch movement now. When performing snatch, you got the bar over head. Please remember to take a wider grip. We won’t start with heavy weight but it’s a good exercise to understand your behaviour in a deep squat. That will be of importance later on. Good, I’ve brought some bars already. They’re marked like usual weightlifter bars. If you know your grip width, you can directly apply it. I’ll help out with individual grip width if someone needs it. Everyone gets one of these. Alex, you apparently need to help me coach! Joke aside, I’ll get another one for you. Concerning grip width, there is a rule of thumb. Distance between this shoulder and my fingertips of my stretched arm, that’s how weightlifters measure their grip width for lifting weights at the very beginning. You’ll always need to adapt still. Later on it is of importance to have a stable and safe position over head. If I grip too wide, I already realise my arms won’t withstand the weight. Having a stable grip though makes you feel confident and safe in holding the bar. A very tight grip is mainly used for a clean and jerk movement but we want to focus on a deep squat now. Good, so assign the just mentioned width to your bar. Who got his snatch width already? You do, Romano? -Well, I’m not sure. Don’t break the bar! Later on we’ll be using a usual bar. Put them over head, I will help out. Use a tighter grip. -You’re a joker.. -Simply keep it over head. Do a very tight grip in front now first. Now over head, just hold. And now do a wider grip. Looks like a challenge. -My shoulder girdle mobility needs improvement. -Good. Do a small break. -I could use my elastic band to stretch? -Yes, good idea! Alex. -I don’t know my width. Okay, as mentioned. Hold this arm to the side. Apply this length to the bar. You’ll grip.. a thumb-sized width to the blue mark. -Really this wide? -Yep. Look, that’s my grip width already. You’re slightly taller than me, so.. that grip should definitely work! Excellent, apply the grip and put it over head. Looks good, use that grip. We may adapt later on. Let’s see, Thomas. Again, this is my grip width, you definitely need a wider grip as well. Let’s see over head. Looks good. How’s your mobility? -It’s good. -Great. Alright. Now, we want to hold the bar over head and get into a deep squat. Have your whole feet connected to the ground at all times. Only drop as deep as you feel confident with. As soon as you raise your heels, it’s a sign you won’t get lower right now. The more we train this exercise, the more mobility we’ll establish. Keep your head high, remember to act tall especially via your head. Once your head rounds down to the front, the upper back follows up. By the way, you can use a wider grip. Very good. Obviously your mobility differs depending on your sport. It’s good to figure out varying strengths and talents of you. Even if all our sports are related to power and strength, we are all aiming for a different goal. Still, our sports got a lot in common and we’ll benefit from that. Be more calm about this exercise, you’re trying a bit too hard. Romano, use a tighter grip. Exactly. -He’s very mobile even though he does benchpress a lot. -Yes, definitely. Use an even tighter grip. Since when you have 200kg over head, you need to have a stable grip. Now I want our weightlifter to show us how it’s done properly. He told me before that it’s not his best exercise but.. this looks good! We can also see that he is very mobile and dynamic. Weightlifters really need to be dynamic. If I coach unexperienced people I’ll always tell them to begin calm and slow. Most of you who do personal training know that. You need to adapt to your athlete’s condition. I surely expected Alex to do well. Only 100 more reps and we can continue! Look at me and keep you head high. We usually want to keep a straight neck. We’ll need to keep our head high to stabilize when working with the bar though. Fixate a specific point or object in the distance to maintain that position. Where do you feel it? Everywhere..? -Well my shoulder girdle mostly. -I see. If your shoulders are less mobile than for example a weightlifter’s.. you’ll need to work on that first. Besides that, your squat looks excellent since your feet are connected to the ground at all times. Same with you. At first you raised your heels sometimes. It looks very good now. Always keep your feet connected to the ground during the whole squat. It’s important to always focus your balance point at your heels. Imagine you holding a bar over head. Now if you let it drop the bar should nail your heels into the ground. That would be ideal. Stay vertical. Don’t move forward, or backward. There’s a countermovement going on. The knees move forward while the butt moves backward. The back does a slight parallel adjustment. Avoid a curved lower back at the bottom. Sorry for interrupting.. but how far can my knees be in front? It’s good you’re mentioning that topic. Different opinions need to be considered. For me, I allow having your knees ahead of your toes. The mobility approves it. Imagine a small child sits down in a deep squat, which is very common. A biomechanic would say ‘if the body allows it, why would you avoid it?’. Please remember that we’re working with weights and pressure, that’s another story. Therefore, a controlled squat is of importance. Concerning competitive sports, if you’re aiming for success you’ll need to accept the risks involved. Everyone needs to decide his path on his own responsibility. You could also argue about your butt bending down at the bottom. For me, it’s important to be stable. When I do weightlifting, occasionally my butt will bend down. It will be like this. In that case I’m constantly working with at my limits. If you focus on a competitive sport there will be risks involved, you need to be aware of that fact. Common athletes don’t need to take that risk obviously. In this case, we are even committed to work health-conscious. Everyone of you does that anyway. Sure it’s mandatory to lower risks of our competitive sports.. Some things are just not controllable though, limits will always be a challenge. Therefore, it will happen that your butt bends down. For today, we want our thigh to touch our calves. You don’t have to touch the ground with your butt. There are some weightlifters around though.. ..they’ll go very deep. We call that a three-point squat since they almost touch the ground with their butt. Ok, so touching the calves is enough? I’ve heard that if thigh touches calves it’s bad for the knees.. Well, different opinions about it again. For me, that contact is alright. As long as you keep control of your squat and work with your muscles, the risk of injury is decreased. Some folks almost spend their whole day in a squat. -Exactly. Especially in asia, korea or china. You’ll see many people relaxing in a squat. It’s their tradition. For them it’s comfortable position they enjoy. Their mobility allows it. We need to get along with our mobility, improve it and control a body full of suspense. It’s totally new to me. I’ve been working in a fitness area where you’ll communicate and teach differently. It’s nice to get a competitor’s insight though and it reminds me of myself doing row as a competitive sport. There are differences. You won’t see a rower having a straight back while rowing! In today’s workshop it’s demonstrated what you can and can’t do, that’s very interesting to me. As a personal trainer, I’ll hand today’s information and aspects on to my clients for sure. Alright guys, we’ve already prepared our bars. After some basic balance warm-up, we’re now about to squat. We’ll be working with the bar from now on. I’ve prepared two power racks, choose depending on your height. That height is ideal for me.. to do chins. Therefore I’ll observe and aid right now. At first we want to focus on bar positioning. People would often complain about an unpleasant bar position. Alright, let’s take a closer look at your individual performance.. ..and how you can effectively use shoulder, chest and collarbone for an ideal bar positioning. So when we do actual squats we’ll be entirely focused on the movement itself without having pain issues. Otherwise.. for some people that’s the point where they start squatting with a pad around their neck. Seeing stuff like that makes me laugh. I can’t take that serious at all but people are usually fine with it. When positioning yourself, try to always have the power rack at sight. Because once you’re finished you don’t want to search the rack behind you. Keep that in mind for now. In your last series you dropped it off behind you and that’s alright, too. Today we won’t do that and we won’t use high weights as well. Keep sight towards the power rack. I’ll just take it like this and explain the following balance exercise done with only the 20kg bar. You notice my voice being different, since the bar lies on my collarbone and shoulders. Put your hands anywhere but don’t fixate the bar with them. Move like the bar is vertically connected with the ground. Very easy and calm movement. We’ll all do front squats to begin with. Who starts? -Nicely explained Marco! Vertical bar movement. The bar descibes a vertical. That’s a picture that’ll work in your head. You as a personal trainer might know.. You have common pictures of how exercises are done and it works with all your clients. But suddenly you’ll come across one client.. -Where it won’t work. -Exactly, it won’t work at all. I’ve come across another issue where I wanted to write down some courses of movement. You’ll notice pictures are often described incomprehensible but they work because you’ll show how it’s done. Please put the bar in front of your chest when preparing for a front squat, try it. You can’t put it in front of your chest but it still works because you will also show the position. If you wouldn’t demonstrate the movement, your client would put the bar in front of his chest for real. Therefore, I’ll try to describe as accurate as possible. So, put the bar on your collarbone. During competitive times, my collarbone was stressed a lot. Shoulder is also involved to stabilize the bar. It’s important to not let your shoulder rotate forward. Your elbows help to stabilize the shoulder. Weightlifters usually keep their elbows vertical because they’re very mobile and flexible. I’m curious about your mobility! It definitely differs depending on your sport concerning mobility and grip. Alright, let’s go. You can start with the bar and I’ll keep moving around to observe. Simply put the bar on your collarbone at first. I expect Alex to do really well now. He even does a controlling look to the bottom. What’s your opinion on controlling yourself by looking at the bottom? -Well, I don’t prefer it. Rather make use of a video. Especially when you’re working on technique and execution. It’s way easier for trainees to control themselves this way. You know, often your client thinks he does a hollow back already even though he isn’t even close yet. It’s helpful to show them properly so they learn how to actively make us of their back muscles. Most people will realise that they didn’t do a hollow back when seeing their video. Make use of a tablet or anything to record your session. That helps tremendously to analyze. You’ll come across clients that lift like this.. and claim their back was straight. They don’t realise. Well, some don’t have a hollow back but a big butt.. -Yea, sure. They’ll look very sexy during squats. Can I continue? -Yes. I’m curious now. When positioning you can still use your hands though. Move down straight. The bar describes a vertical! Excellent. Try speak. Can I? Well my voice is a bit.. it’s got to be this way though. -Right. Very nice. -One more? -Yes, one. For the coach. Well done. What Alex did as a weightlifter, he adapted his feet positioning slightly. That’s ideal. To be fair though, he did individualize already. He did that before and can make use of it right now. He started with a general principle, too. I’d recommend this to everyone, begin with the general principle. Adapting your technique and positioning over time is necessary to access your resources still. Hold your chest high and be straight. Move downward smove. Good. His shoulders stabilize nicely. The bar though is not centrally positioned. Wait, I’ll help out. Shouldn’t be an issue. -No it’s good. We’ll do a similar excercise next. That one will be harder because the bar will lie on our back. We’ll see that working with 50kg is easier than working with just the bar because of a different pressure. I won’t be able to show some techniques with only the 20kg bar.. because I don’t need to build up pressure points or a certain speed to execute the movement. It’s like when I demonstrate a special snatch technique to a trainee and he asks me to do it again but slow. No way I can do that.. because I’ll miss all my dynamic power and speed. Okay, let’s keep going. Your voice needs to be high! Otherwise you’re doing something wrong. I can finally see the bar again. The bar though is not central but oblique again, as you can see. I’ll adjust, wait. Keep your chest high and squat. When he stands, I can’t see the bar anymore. His shoulders consume it. You definitely have a decent pad, shouldn’t hurt at all, right? -No it doesn’t. -Excellent, thanks. I want to see Alex and Romano next. In front of your chest. -That’s good? -It is. Place the bar central. When positioning, make sure you are central by verifying with your hands. You might have issues otherwise. Good, yes. Stay central. I probably won’t reach the bar to help out.. Be straight and keep your chest high. That looks good, especially since you said you have almost no experience. Well done. I can’t talk, it’s awkward. -You don’t have to talk! What was mainly unpleasant? It pressures my larynx. -That’s common and means the bar is stable. Let’s head over to Romano and the second power rack so everyone practiced. Get around, please. Look at the bar, how would you adjust it? Ah, he found out himself. It’s easy to say place it central. You’ll recognize the bar dropping off to a side if the bar isn’t central. Often it’s only a small aberration but it’s enough to make you feel unbalanced. Easier now? -Yes. Good. Thanks. Same exercise, just behind the head.. and some weight. It’s going to be tough. I can surely put the bar on my neck without issues but with some weight it’ll be even easier. If I move down now.. Nice, the bar stays stable. From a back perspective it’s not an ideal exercise but it’ll extremely help our balance Usually my back would have a steeper position. If I take a steeper position I need my hands to properly squat. So in this case we are no silverbacks anymore? -We are.. silverbacks slightly bent forward. Slightly bent forward because we had a hard day defending our pack! Let’s grab some weights for the bar and train with 30-50kg in total. I suspected that I’ll benefit a lot from this workshop. I think it’s very interesting and beneficial for any athlete who does some sort of weightlifting. It’s going to be an awesome video! It’s totally new for me. There are only professionals around. Look at my shoes, nothing special. But everyone else wears weightlifter shoes. It’s my party outfit?! -To appear taller, right? Marco is a passionate competitive athlete with tons of experience. He describes and teaches pictures you’ll instantly understand. Additionally, he communicates his knowledge very well. I need to pressure my neck extremely forward, you see? -That’s ok, it’s different than a usual squat. It’s mainly a balance thing now. -Can I keep my arms like this? Well, it’s a bit sloppy but it’s fine as long as you’re confident. Wow, is the bar straight? -Yes it is. At least for me. Good, concentrate yourself and stick to it. Keep your tension and move up. Keep your shoulders even higher. And move up. come on. Done. You’re extremely twisting to the right. Maybe it’s related to your huge trapezius. Weightlifters often have a decent trapezius as well because that muscle compensates a lot of work. Yours is even bigger, that’s what your sport demands. -I don’t even train my trapezius.. Same with my latissimus. That’s just how it is I guess. To be honest, that was pretty demanding. I didn’t expect it, try it yourselves. Those exercises definitely brought up some mobility weaknesses. It’s also an possibility to do some precision work. Most of us have a very specialised training schedule which results in exhaustion. We’ll always need some small additional impulses to balance. We’re doing the balance exercise one more time, Romano is preparing already. Be balanced. Slightly bend forward. Excellent. He’s very dynamic now. He exactly feels where the bar lies during his movement. His sensitiveness has developed for that exercise. If you’re that confident, you’ll be more dynamic and do even more repetitions. Sooner or later you’ll get used to it, definitely. Would be interesting to see how you’re doing that with 200kg on your back! Now, after we’re done with the balance part, we’ll be doing squats in front, or simply front squats. My trainees usually like it if I name exercises by their german name.. Whatever, front squats! After that, we’ll be doing back squats and have a closer look at technique. I never did that before? -40kg should be fine though since you’re doing over 100kg for sure, right? -Yes. What’s your body weight? -You really want to talk about it? About 115kg. But you can squat your own body weight? -I do. Good, everyone should be able to squat his own body weight. -No problem. -Sure. I’m not talking about just you, it should be a man’s goal to squat his own body weight. Well some people already weigh about 150kg..? That’s another story. You’d simultaneously have to build up muscles and lose weight first. So in that case probably aim for 120kg bodyweight first before attempting. One more balance exercise for you. I’m curious, it’s new to you but you are experienced with squats already. Let’s see. Find your position and bend forward just a bit, unlike a normal squat. The bar rolls. Push your shoulders more upwards. Put your hands to the side so your shoulders get higher. Dude.. I need to make more use of my neck. Yes. Place the bar higher and bend forward a bit. Be balanced and keep tension in your back. It looks a bit stressed but it’s his first one! Get up. Slips a bit. Use your hands now. Nice. Well done for a first rep, right?! Thanks you. So we’re done with that exercise and get to front squats now. I’ll use that power rack. Wait Johannes, lie down so I’m able to reach the bar. Just kidding.. Front squats. A weightlifter ideally uses the same grip width as he uses for clean and jerk. I’ll first take the bar. Apply shoulder width, toes point slightly outwards. Also, my elbows are a bit higher. Not all of you will manage to do that today due to mobility. As a weightlifter you need that. For front squats, my hands are pretty open and loose. Straight movement. And the bar describes.. Johannes? -A vertical! -Yes, towards the ground. I start.. hold it for a second.. and move up. Keep up tension at all times. Never lose it. Especially keep your butt stable at the bottom. And simply get up. Require help? -Yes please, but only the bar. What about the downward movement of front squats, what’s the optimal speed you suggest? Most important thing is to keep body tension. When I do competitive weightlifting, I’ll drop down very fast. That’s not ideal for usual squats. Control is everything. When I transition the bar from pulling to pushing I’m very dynamic. I need to be very fast so that I can gain a lot of momentum. That’s fundamental for my sport. That’s not how you should train with a common athlete. In that case it’s important to decrease any risks. So is there a general rule or would you say it doesn’t matter as long as he keeps body tension? It’s most important to keep body tension. Get down.. get up, get down.. get up. -So around 2 seconds? Yes I’d say so. That’s a reasonable rule. You’ll come across trainees who will have issues getting up fast from a dead point. So being dynamic is a key word here. The speed will differ from athlete to athlete. At weightlifting for example you have someone who lifts really slow but still manages to do it. Another one is extremely fast and also manages to do it. Everyone has different skills and abilities to conquer challenges. Therefore, I don’t really want to set a strict rule about speed. It’s a coach’s responsibility to understand his athlete and maximize his potential. -Well said. Who wants to start? -Me! -Oh from the back. Good. Let’s begin. Remember to keep tension and to hold the bar with your collarbone and shoulders. Don’t let your shoulders rotate in front. Instead, keep your chest high. Weightlifters usually say ‘keep chest and ass high’. And a stable back of course. Use a wider grip. We need to adapt, if your mobility doesn’t allow it. That’s common since we’re coming from different sports. I don’t want you to become weightlifters but I want to broaden your minds for squats. Good. Keep breathing. Just open your mouth and supply yourself with oxygen. Breathe in.. I personally breathe out at the last third of my upper movement. Right. Didn’t he put too much pressure on his forefoot? -Well observed. I focussed on his upper body. Apparently, you had a wide stance. I want to remind all of you that this will cause your knees to rotate inside, slowly over time. That’s a one-sided pressure we definitely want to avoid. What I’ll always teach is that building muscles is a long road. -Well said. So I don’t do sumo squats, since I want to stress my muscles. For me as a weightlifter, squats is an additional exercise I need to make use of for snatch & clean and jerk. Therefore training the short way squats don’t make much sense for me. But the full squat benefits me a lot because I can continuously increase my dynamic skills. I really need the long way to get up. Unlike this. Imagine your legs as a strained tool that will explode at the bottom. If you don’t go the full way now, you will not have the full power at the end of the movement. I want to apply the highest power possible onto the bar, therefore I make use of the full squat. Let’s see Alex now. He is used to all of this already. Also, he is a good example to demonstrate since he is still actively competing as a weightlifter. That’s his special stance. In terms of a general principle, I’d suggest a closer stance. He is used to this though and shows us a front squat now. You hear it? Romantic knee sounds appearing. His upper body tension was ideal. His feet placement was not beginner friendly. That makes sense though because he is an experienced weightlifter and found his optimal stance. You’ll always need to adapt depending on the athlete and his condition. There are weightlifters with very short arms as well. Very problematic, they need to adapt anyhow, too. We all have a different anatomy. Alex for example can’t lift like I do. He has a complete different relationship of his levers. -I could do better with more training though. That’s for sure and you’ll definitely benefit by doing that. Still, your technique will differ from mine due to our opposing anatomy. My short leverage is ideal for weightlifting. But you wouldn’t want to take me on your rowing boat. Maybe if I reduce my body fat and join you as a pilot! Who’s next? -Me. -Ok, Thomas. Let’s observe his feet placement. Now he is very focussed on that himself! Keep your chest high. Keep tension. Don’t forget to breathe. It’s the first time I see him performing a deep squat! He’s trying hard today because I asked him to! Sometimes you work with a client and he will deny his abilities to train a certain exercise. While in a secondary exercise he suddenly performs the just requested movement. So theoretically he should be able to do the first exercise without issues as well. Show me two more repetitions because I want to take a closer look at your back. Don’t bend down at the bottom. Only go as deep as you can hold the tension. That’s good. I think he’ll do better now because we analyzed his back! You saw it. He bent down, but he got it right now. Thomas, it’s possible! Romano at last and then we’ll head to the bigger power rack. I expect Romano to perform a brilliant squat since he trained with us weightlifters multiple times already. What I really want to point out is, that he doesn’t bend down at all at the bottom position. He keeps very good tension. That’s what Thomas needs to improve for his squat. So just remember to press your butt outwards and don’t bend let it bend down. Your mobility is good so just keep that in mind. I have a question concerning that movement. I observed his heels raised slightly and his butt rotated inwards. What’s your opinion on that? I saw Dorian do that as well. You saw that inwards rotation? That’s stress. You need to put more emphasis on knee and toe positioning in this case. A basic rule would be that your toes and you knees share the same viewing direction, always. Try to avoid a bad positioning of your feet. The harder and exhausting your training gets, the more you’ll deviate from your ideal feet positioning. That’s common and will happen because we want to break our individual limits. We even want that. For your usual athlete though, avoid it and stick to your ideal stance. Concerning our positioning right now, don’t let your toes drift outwards too much. You probably may also know this discussion about training squats with a weight plate below your heels. -Yes.. Personally, if I compare this to myself walking around with high heels for a whole day.. It won’t benefit my mobility. The opposite happens, I decrease my mobility even further. Therefore, don’t use a weight plate. Simply get as deep as you can while your feet stays connected with the ground. You’ll see, the more you train, the more mobility you’ll establish. Plus, you’ll get deeper with time. We don’t have to accomplish that by tomorrow. We got time. We actually got time to train that until we are 80, right? -Yes, awesome. Romano kept a very upright upper body during front squats, isn’t that way easier? Since we did front squats, we need to keep an even more upright upper body than compared to back squats. Back squats are different because you lean more forward and keep your butt high. For front squats though, we really need to stabilize to not let the bar drop off of us. That’s why we need an upright position. As a weightlifter, I am used to it because it’s the common position to push a weight. I added front squats to my training schedule to train an upright back since I need that for back squats. But this was my first real instruction to it. It’s a pleasure to talk to our experts during the breaks because they got so many different perceptions. When doing front squats for example, I had issues getting my hands below the bar properly. After we triggered my forearms and triceps though, it suddenly felt very easy. It’s awesome to see that an upright upper body is fundamental for front squats. When doing back squats with high weight, there are possibilites to cheat.. like butt first and lean forward. Front squats don’t allow that, you actually can only drop off the bar. All those small details explained by Marco are really helpful, especially for our high weight training. Very beneficial. Probably all of you have aqcuired a squat routine already. I’ve seen some of you struggling with today’s grip width for front squats. You may ask yourself if you’re better off by letting loose your hands and stabilizing your shoulders instead. Generally, I’d say yes you can. In terms of mobility it’d very wise to try out the usual grip from time to time, to see if you improved. This way you’re forced to increase your mobility around arms and shoulders. Remember, don’t forget your tasks. What you’re good at will run by itself because you enjoy it. In our mobility case though, keep coming back and see what you can do. The same applies to our earlier discussion about using a weight plate below your heels for squats. I sure can do it but I won’t increase my mobility by doing it. Try it out yourself, I’m not saying that kind of squat is false. False in that sense doesn’t exist anyway. People ask about right and false, what’s good and what’s not. At first I need to know about his schedule, for long he has been doing it and how he trained his muscle. That’s the same with our topic right now. It’s about variety and how to apply new impulses to you muscles. Only this way we’ll keep improving. So try out a different grip, probably even a weightlifter’s close to your shoulders for front squats. By raising your elbows, you’ll stretch and increase mobility. So, keep following different squat variations. Okay guys we’ll observe Alex doing squats now since he will train according to his schedule now. It’s good we’re around since he will need our support by simply observing. Therefore, his ego is already challenged. He is supposed to do 3 repetitions now and that’s it. We’ll be doing back squats after as well and he sort of introduces us right now. Watch his knees. That’s how I want you NOT to do it. -Nice call! Let’s go. 3 reps. Be focussed. Work properly anyway. Body tension is good. Last one, push it! Thanks. -One more. -Awesome. One more? Show us! Push! Very nice. Good we were observing, his ego was challenged enough to even do another rep! But he was supposed to only do 3 reps, right? -3 reps, right. -Additional content! -Is he allowed to? You’re always allowed to do more, yes. In competitive sports, you need to do 100% plus additions. But isn’t there a risk then that he departs from the original training schedule? Not really. Since we’re working with maximum weight, an additional rep or two is fine. If he feels like doing an additional rep, me as a coach approves his decision. If needed, I could still reduce one or two reps somewhere else in his training schedule. If I had to compensate an additional rep, I’d erase one or two reps for his next exercise, yes. Doesn’t matter if it’s front squats, lunge or anything..? -Yep, if it’s needed. Let’s head over to our power racks for back squats. As I said, don’t concentrate on his knees, since they heavily rotated inwards. Maybe it’s even helpful to see how it should not be done. But he is used to it. Later on he’ll train more accurate and clean once he returns back to the amateur scene. That means a weightlifter intends to rotate knees inwards to be able to lift more weight and have momentum? No, it doesn’t. -What’s the point then? -He’s got a bad habit in that sense. He carries that bad technique around with him and it’s hard to let it go. In that regard, he adapted his technique from the general principle. He told me squats is his weakness but I still wanted him to participate and demonstrate. It’s always gonna be a critical matter and every coach will dislike seeing this. He arranged himself with that. That doesn’t make it better or more acceptable though. He needs to improve on that still. Proper technique is a lifetime task. -True. Therefore, let’s head to the bar and keep improving. We can start simultaneously. Taller ones to this rack. We’ve prepared some additional weight to have a proper pressure on your back. Small reminder: Toes slightly outwards and knees look in the same direction. Be balanced and central below the bar. Shoulders act like a pad. Keep your chest high. Do a calm movement downwards. You see, the weight is very easy. But we’re doing a technique workout anyway. Alex, move a bit slower. Don’t get too deep, be dynamic still. And up. Shorter breaks please. And up, good. Build up tension. Dorian has a nice and steep position. Since he has a huge, wide trapezius that acts as a surface, his shoulders don’t need to stabilize the bar. Also, a very safe grip here. Often I see people grip way too wide. That’s dangerous and unstable. With a tight grip you could at least drop off the bar very fast. With this current grip you get an excellent body tension as well. Next one please. Let’s see Johannes. Johannes makes good use of his trapezius, too. He has a stable grip as well. His feet could be a bit more close to each other. Yes, try it out. -I’m still looking for the right position. Very nice. Take a deep breath. And breathe out. Bar is stable. Nice. You’re doing small breaks at the bottom position. In our current phase you could work more dynamic I feel. Romano now. Get around everybody and look at his bar positioning. You see it? -It’s not central. -It’s not symmetrical. That means: This shoulder touches while the other does not. From his view, the bar is too far to the left. So a bit to the right? -Yes. These are small adjustments that can be very important. Your body probably adapted to this disbalance already and tries to dodge a certain pain. We really need to pay attention to this. Sometimes it’s even worse to go another direction because you bring up your former pain. Good, well done. Thomas next. It’s his second set, I saw him doing his first set while Johannes squatted. Upright position and keep your chest high. Also, use your shoulders to stabilize the bar. Be straight and remember the silverback. Straight movement. Look through me, otherwise your view is too high. That’s better. We don’t want our cervicals to bend down. A small bending is common but don’t exaggerate. On the opposite, if we bend our head forward, shoulders and upper back follow up. So keep your head up high slightly to guarantee a stable back. Good. By the way I don’t hear you breathing but I hope you’re getting your oxygen anyway! Well done. Ok guys, that were the first impressions for today. I had a lot of fun and gained some experience once more. I’m looking forward to meet you again, maybe for an intensified exercise workshop to keep improving. I hope you can apply today’s experience onto your individual training and schedule. I enjoyed our exchange of experience and I’ll definitely apply that onto my next visitors and trainees. That’s it for me. I can finally take a shower! Simply a great man with tons of experience and different approaches towards courses of movement. Amazing. I enjoyed it. Especially all those small adjustments he told us about. I’ll make use of it for sure. What I liked the most is.. the more you’ll learn the more sophisticated you can actually think. Usually people always differentiate between right and false. But he gave good insight, you’ll always need to consider the given circumstances. When training with easier weights you must be strict about technique, and when training on a competitive level you’ll sometimes need to accept mistakes about technique. If so, you’ll return to easier weights with proper execution later on. That experience was very worthwhile to me. In your common gym you’re often confronted with ‘that’s false, that’s right..’. They don’t even question why it could be right or false. Today everyone was very open-minded though! A worthwhile experience to me. I’ve learned that I can’t squat.. Anyway, good experience. Since I’m training on a competitive level, it’s good to add small adjustments.