My Moment of Truth in the Squat Rack


I don’t know what got into me today. Squats, Mondays, mornings, and max lifts don’t usually have much in common for me. Maybe it was the big helping of rice last night. Or the pumpkin pie. Whatever the reason, I found myself feeling pretty good and hitting numbers on my front squat that were approaching my personal record from a year ago. I figured I may as well go out on a limb and try to match it with a 315 pound front squat.

And failed. Twice. But it was very, very close.

Right now, my front squat serves as a warm up for my back squat, so it was time to go much heavier. The plan was to work with 80-90 percent of my current max and do doubles or triples. Well, after the front squats, that went right out the window. I knew I could do much heavier, and I still felt great. So why not go heavier?

315X3 was easy, as was 365X1 and 395X1. Time to put four plates on each side and see what happens.

It wasn’t pretty, and certainly wouldn’t get three white lights (desirable) on the competition platform. But to me, it demonstrates mental strength. If you notice the dip of the barbell about halfway up, that was where I made the choice to really grind it out. In that moment, there is doubt, fear, frustration, and hopelessness. They were all battling for my focus, but I could not allow that. And so I pressed on and finished out the lift. The only way that barbell was coming down was if my body failed…not my mind. And the body is subject to the mind. This is why I train both.

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