This past weekend, we competed in StrongFirst's TSC (Tactical Strength Challenge). Patrick hit a personal best for his deadlift at 501#!!
When we looked back at his training logs, he realized that he had not trained the barbell deadlift since competing in the last year's spring TSC.
How could he not train the deadlift for a YEAR and still pull over 500lbs?!
The answer is HEAVY GOBLET SQUATS! If you have heavy bells, these will make your leg strength sky rocket. They are extremely effective, safe for almost anyone and very simple to execute. Patrick trained heavy goblet squats between 2-4x per week with varying loads and reps. If you want to learn more about the exact way he programs, definitely shoot us an email!
Even Donnie Thompson who has back squatted over 1,000lbs would frequently squat 2x40kg bells to work the lower range of his front squat. He would get tired at 3 sets of 8 reps! It is no secret that using the bells certainly transfers over to other areas of fitness!
What are some key elements of a perfect goblet squat? Most folks are comfortable with a shoulder-width stance and feel slightly turned out. Find a width and foot position that feels comfortable for you.
As you descend, think about pushing the knees apart. Bring air into your stomach as you lower your body in a controlled manner. Go as deep as you can without pain. A good stopping point, if you don't have pain, is touching your elbows to the tops of your thighs. Some folks like to go elbows inside the thighs, but we find as you go heavier, you want to find a strong stopping point. Bringing the elbows to the top of the thighs ensures you hit parallel and then stand back up with power.
During the entirety of the squat, try to keep your posture upright. You can begin to stand up with an audible grunt which helps pressurize the abdomen and protect the spine. Try to avoid shooting the hips up first, but rather focus on driving up through the top of your head and let all of the other joints follow suit.
Goblet squats can be performed at slower tempos with a pause or some "prying" at the bottom, in higher rep sets to elicit hypertrophy, or for raw strength at very heavy loads with low volume.
Take a look at this Instagram post to see some heavy goblet squats in action HERE!
Stay strong out there!
-Patrick and Rachel