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Senor Tom. . .
Since you hosted the latest video on eye-gaze for the squat, I thought appropriate to ask you the follow-up question, rather than post it in Rip's Q&A. The demos (and the book) show the eye gaze staring at a focal point on the floor (4-5' in front) for the whole rep.
My situation - If my eyes keep staring down at the floor for the whole descent, the result is an ATG squat with no hip-drive. If my eyes look straight ahead on the descent, the result is an ATG squat with no hip drive; and a high-bar back position on the way down & up (expected).
However. . .As long as I look down for almost the whole descent, but "bounce my eyes" to look forward just as I'm hitting "the hole", the result is a strong hip-drive with the correct back angle. I have to look straight ahead at the last second; and the entire concentric of the squat is completed looking straight forward.
Additional information - Head and neck are still neutral with the spine, even after the eyes raise. My experience with this phenomenon does not change, regardless of weight used, or if a mirror is/is not present in front of me.
Just curious how often (if ever) you've come across this.
I have not seen this before; although I have seen looking down solve a lot of problems. It would be interesting to actually see you squat. Many people are convinced that they cannot do something when, in fact, they either are doing it, or can be cued into moving the way we want them to. If we separate eye gaze direction from head position, I think head position is probably more important with respect to driving up with the hips. Where you are looking does help with balance and proprioception, however. I suspect there are other things at play here if looking down results in you going ATG on a low bar squat.
This Worlds Championship has been AMAZING! I'm pretty exhausted at the moment, but here are a few highlights.
This has been a great training cycle, and even though I had my moments of nervousness and panic, I went into this meet knowing I had done the work I needed to do, worked hard, and just needed to go and do my thing.
Monday, I weighed in at 3pm and made weight just fine. We had been able to track things a couple of days ahead of this, so I very confidently ate and drank well during the day.
After weigh-ins, I knew things were running late, so I just went to chill for a while. Little did anyone expect HOW late things would run. We were scheduled to start our session at 5pm, but we actually started at 8pm. That was a long time to wait but lots of time to chill. I actually did stay on the floor, listened to plenty of music, ate and drank more, and met some people in the warm up room. By 7pm however, most of us were SUPER ready to finally get started, and I was so anxious to just squat anything. Props to Tom C. and the team coaches for keeping me from doing too many warm up sets. As I watched plenty of other people warming up, it was as struggle for me to wait, but I (pretty much) did wait. Haha
When I did start warming up, my squats felt great, better than my heavy warm ups and openers last week. I went into the squats with some harnessed nerves and a lot of confidence.
Squats- 135/145/150 meet PR, silver medal
Bench warm ups also flew, and I was just loving the whole meet. I was having fun and really working to stay focused when I needed to be.
Bench 72.5/77.5?/82.5 meet PR (not actually sure right now what my 2nd was, especially as it's up to the head coach. I just told him I felt great, and he made the attempt calls.)
Deadlifts happened quite late, of course. We were all trying to keep our energy up, and I know that incredible amounts of caffeine and pre-workout were ingested in that warm up room. :-) We just tried to not look at each other when a yawn came on. Haha. But warm up were still good.
Deadlift- 147.5/155 MISS/155
I am not sure what happened on that 2nd pull, but it felt like I was grinding forever and it wasn't moving anymore. I walked off the platform so ticked at myself. The head coach just told me to get it the next attempt. So I tried to stay as focused as possible, ignore any distracting commentary, and get my head ready to get that 3rd attempt. I was just thinking a few things:
And I got the final attempt! I am pretty sure that I have never come back to get a lift I have missed like that. It also turns out I already had 3rd place locked up whether I made that pull or not. :-)
So in the end, I got the silver medal for my squat and bronze overall. I so, so, so wanted to podium, and I am incredibly happy with how this meet went.
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