Since I will be back squatting again for the next 12 weeks and haven't squatted outside of a Smith Machine in a long time, I decided to test with box squats instead of doing deadlifts, and I dropped the good mornings for today.
I looked back at my old workouts and at the Virtual Meets that I've done and had some concerns. I remember the 340 squat attempt that I lost at the bottom in September 2007; I also remembered having a hard time holding the weight on my back because I had done a whole cycle of training with a Safety Squat Bar. I remember the front squat cycle where I ended up with a 275 front squat but my back squat stayed put at 315 because I had totally abandoned it during that time.
My worries up until today, ergo, was holding a weight on my back, doing a walkout, staying balanced, what I could lift outside of the Smith. Hell, I was incredibly curious as to whether I could back squat well at all!?!
14" Box Squat (1-second pause): starting at 105 lbs, I did triples in increments of 30 lbs until I could no longer hit a triple - - - I hit a 2RM at 285 lbs. I then attempted a 315 lbs squat to the box: My legs were rock solid upon racking the weight, the bar was solid on my back, the walkout was good, I had a tight arch and full control all the way to the box. But at the bottom, I couldn't lift it. And I noticed something else: When I racked the 315, I lost my air and had to get it back before descending. Overall, I was happy: I have a 30-lbs carryover to regular squats from the box so I'm looking at about a 320-325 lbs squat. The arched back good mornings and front squats will stay as assistance movements, I think these movements have helped me and don't want to lose what I've worked for so far. I will also throw in weighted ab work.
Leg Curls: 120x10x3, 120x9, 120x8. The leg curl machine is set in 15 lbs increments and I could already do 12+ reps with 105 lbs so I had to move up to 120 lbs. So after each wave of 5/3/1, I will increase the weight to the next setting and just rep out.
Hammer Calf Press: 200x10x5