Squat Camp Oakland
Tom C's Squat Camp was fabulous. He's a great coach. Here are the improvements I made after attending (I just copied from my log):
So today I tested my new squat. I know I learned how to squat like this, but over the last couple of years it has gone unwatched. I am very pleased with the results. The last rep today was slow, but instead of feeling the familiar grinding in my joints and asymmetry of my spine, the rep went up evenly and I could feel my adductors taking some of the work. The points I had to change included 1: bar lower than I want it; 2: stance wider than I want it; 3: toes out more than I want them; and of course 4) knees out, especially on the way up. It amused me to find that the new edition of Starting Strength has these very points listed. I got my copy yesterday and it's fantastic.
I would never have made these changes on my own! I trusted Tom's coaching implicitly and his instruction was quite clear.
Interestingly enough, it seemed to me that the resulting symmetry in my back squat produced a finer ability to achieve symmetry in my bench press. I was very pleased with my bench today. The issue in my left shoulder that plagues me was absent, due to a better ability to keep the work of the back symmetrical.
I am very much looking forward to the next pulling camp!
+1 on Tom's coaching. I was making fine progress on my squat with lots of pain in the hips. He had me drop weight my first class, but I did it pain free and have exceeded my previous bests feeling much better all around about it.
As for his cues, it turns out my knees are never out, even if I'm sure they are. ;-)
Great to hear the camp went well! I've never met Tom, but just from his postings here, you can tell that he knows his stuff very well and can definitely be trusted with these things.
Thanks for all of the kind words. Gywnn beat me to posting an entry on the camp, so I will append my write up to this thread.
We had a full house for the Squat Camp in Oakland on Sunday, 20 November 2011. The attendees included both men and women with diverse training backgrounds and goals, although just about everyone had some experience with barbell training and with the low bar squat in particular. The afternoon began with a brief discussion of anatomy, low bar squat form, and the forces at work in the squat. Since the gym was pretty cold, we went through a gradual and thorough warm up that included the ever-popular mountain climbers amongst other crowd pleasing movements to prepare the body to squat. From there, it was time to get under the bar for warm up sets and work sets. Everyone did very well with getting to the proper depth and I was especially impressed with how well people kept their knees in control. I don't believe that anyone was collapsing forward at the bottom of the squat. I was impressed. After the lifting was done, we stretched a bit (don't tell Rip) and discussed programming, how to adapt lifting routines for older lifters, and injury prevention. We ended the day with a question and answer session with quite a few good and thought provoking questions. I certainly enjoyed teaching the class and look forward to the next one. Thanks to everyone that participated.