Front Squats to Failure

Today was an interesting strength day and maybe you’ll have some ideas on how I can work past the problem I hit the next time it happens — because it’s going to happen again.

1sgi63We had a strength day today. And though I didn’t get to go in this morning due to a few things, I was impressed by what the rest of my family managed to accomplish.

  • My 12-year-old daughter has a new 130# PR front squat.
  • My 16-year-old daughter made it to 120#
  • My wife made it to 150#, which was a 5# PR for her.

And our friend Caleb apparently did a lot of cleaning at the box (in addition to his own front squats) — picking up most of the bars that fell during bailed attempts for the three of them, plus Connie and Carrie. So Ev asked me to put a special shout out to Caleb for all the help. πŸ™‚


I went in for the noon class with Coach Drea, Bri, and Austen. We started with a 4 round warm-up:

  • 10 kettle bell goblet squats (I used a 35# kettlebell)
  • 10 ab-mat sit-ups
  • 15 calorie row (Bri & Austen only had to do 10)

Once that was done, we did a little refresher on front squats and got started pretty quickly thereafter.Β The warm-up was pretty simple… do a handful of reps at low weight and work up to 80% of your 1RM.

  • 45# bar (x8)
  • 95# x6
  • 135# x5
  • 155# x5
  • 185# x3


And then we started 10 rounds of 1 rep each, with the intent of getting heavy quickly and beating our old PRs.

  • 195# x1
  • 205# x1
  • 215# x1
  • 225# x1
  • 235# x1
  • 245# x1 (my old 1RM)

And that’s where the trouble set in. My next few rounds were:

  • 255# x1 (bail)
  • 250# x1 (bail)
  • 245# x1 (couldn’t even convince my body to squat under it)
  • 245# x1 (same)

Then we were done.

Quite honestly once I bailed the first time, I was in my head. That’s been a pattern with me for a long time. Last week when we did the strict press/push press/push jerk strength day, I was done as soon as I bailed at 195#.

There’s something about that crazy little mental loop I hit after a fail where my brain simply starts shutting certain movements off like it did today.

1sgidyHere’s what I attempted to do after the first bail:

  • drop weight
  • walk it off
  • focus on breathing

None of that helped. πŸ™‚

So my question is this… how do you RESET after a bail/fail on a lift? Drea and I talked after the workout and she said she also fights that. But I don’t have any clear things to try next time.

Not looking for the Holy Grail here, but some ideas on what works for other people. πŸ™‚

Thanks Drea for the encouragement today. And great work to both Austen (who almost got 135#) and Bri (who hit 170#) — you both rocked it!

I am content to have matched my old 1RM from January 2016. It was a good lift then. It’s still a good lift. πŸ™‚

Have a great day!


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