2013 CrossFit Games Regional Event 2
Complete the following in 7 minutes:
3 Overhead squats
Begin with 135, 185, 225 or 255 pounds (or scale as needed) and increase by 10 pound increments to as heavy as you can within the seven minutes. Do not use a rack. You may snatch or clean and jerk the weight up.
Snatch grip deadlift
3 x 3
5 x 5
12 min AMRAP:
10 Box Jumps 30/24″
15 Air Squats
3 x 5
12 min AMRAP:
10 Box Jumps 24/18″
15 Air Squats
Chad Vaughn on Squatting – Definitely worth a quick read
When talking about the receiving position, I often use the term “rock bottom.” What I mean is the depth you would reach if you performed a full-range-of-motion squat. Many—maybe most—are confused about where this is, especially given the misconceptions about squatting deep.
A full range-of-motion squat is not quads reaching parallel or the hip crease below the knee. In Olympic lifting, this is like someone performing a push-up without touching the chest to the floor. Yet, while that example is understood as not meeting full range of motion, things are less clear when dealing with the bottom of the squat as it relates to Oly lifting.
When it comes to the standard that dictates the hip crease should be below the knee, I believe many coaches and athletes have taken the phrase too literally—as in the squat has to be that specific spot: no higher, no lower. I would argue this is simply the minimum acceptable depth for a squat. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t or can’t go lower.
In fact, I remember my lead CrossFit Level 1 instructor in 2010 telling me, “You have the best air squat I’ve ever seen.” I was, of course, at rock bottom, as any weightlifter would be. He didn’t tell me I shouldn’t go below a certain position. I understand the difficulty in teaching a rock-bottom squat to large numbers of people as most can’t get there with good form in the beginning. But if people want to prepare for their heaviest and most efficient snatch and clean, they should move in the direction of full range of motion on all squats.
So how do you know how low is low enough? Almost daily, I hear, “Am I low enough?” Nearly 100 percent of the time, the answer is, “No.” If you are low enough, you’ll know because you can’t go any further. Another popular question:“So you want me to go that low all the time?”The answer for me is always, “Yes.”
A regularly occurring statement: “OK, but you’ll have to tell me when to stop going down.” As I immediately agree, I wish I could bet someone $1 million that I’ll have to say “lower” at least five times.
If you need visualization, watch toddlers. You’ll likely catch them hanging out in this “too low” position. They could do it all day, usually with the feet in a perfect squatting stance. This is a natural position in which all humans were meant to be. It’s not bad for the knees or a position you should avoid. It’s the opposite. The human body is capable of this range of motion regularly.
Unfortunately, some people lack flexibility either because of their athletic backgrounds or past experiences. Understand that if you’ve been doing partial-range-of- motion squats for years or many reps, your body has likely adapted to that range. Still, we can get you moving through your full range of motion on all your squats— you’ll simply be working flexibility on every rep.
And while there are all these fancy stretches and mobility drills out there, the fact is mobility should be in every movement. That is not to say you shouldn’t stretch, but if you’re spending more time on mobility than actually working out, you need to check your range of motion and hold yourself to better standards while lifting.
Why do you think elite weightlifters are known as the second most flexible athletes in the Olympics behind gymnasts? Weightlifters often are asked what they do for mobility; many do nothing. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t or couldn’t benefit from improved mobility in specific areas, but we squat, snatch, and clean and jerk in a way that’s necessary for us to lift the most weight—it’s mobility with a barbell.