By John Davies, Founder Renegade TrainingAfter reading Parts One and Two of the Squat Power series, hopefully you will have begun to understand that the secret to many of your physical goals lies in developing a powerful base of leg strength and the entire posterior chain of muscles.
When it comes to squats, it is the little things that count. These little nuances include working with the appropriate intensity and bar speed, while using variations to ensure assimilation doesn't occur. The most neglected muscle group in most training circles is also the workhorse muscle for an athlete: the hamstrings. The hamstrings are generally treated with disdain by the average exercise enthusiast and relegated to half-hearted movements nearing the end of a training session.
However, quality hamstring development is the hallmark of great athletes, outstanding physiques and is the byproduct of tough, hard and focused training. Additionally, I would be remiss not to point out the importance of great hamstrings from the standpoint of healthy back posture and aesthetic development. For greater athletic development, maximal size development, pronounced speed and explosiveness, better posture and back health, the hamstrings need to be attacked better.
While the intent of this article is to consider the role of powerful hamstring development, it would be incorrect to merely look at it from an isolationist training module because the hamstrings are involved in virtually every explosive/athletic moment, whether it be leaping up/forward, sprinting or being able to generate good pulling and squat numbers in the weight room. Correct hamstring development in this situation requires the muscle to be trained as a hip extensor (the role of the semitendinosus and semimembranosus muscle of the hamstring muscle group).
My first notion in writing the "Squat-Power" series was to detach myself from the typical presentation of training and instead let you inside Renegade Training and my personal training experiences. It's definitely rugged for some, but without reservations or apologies, it is real, it is my life and it is the Renegade world. So instead of the typical chit-chat that I so despise in this on-line business and its self-appointed gurus, I will instead take you through a portion of a standard training session and hopefully show you how you can slot it into your training regime.
In Squat Power, Part 3, we will introduce another "focus" lift to our template and begin establishing the correct application of 2 of 4 "supplemental" lifts used in the day. Follow along and watch your goals become a reality.
A short time ago, I received a call from John Pitts, one of my oldest friends and training partners. It would make a novel in itself to discuss how we both got out of the 80's alive, but that's a story for another time. After a bit of scheduling we were able to meet up. Typically for us, one thing led to another and after a few Guinesses, it wasn't long until we found ourselves back to our old place of salvation — the challenge of the iron and the daily test of adversity and chaos. It was a perfect day. No, not one of sunny pastel skies and cool summer breezes, but one of cold chilling temperatures, blowing winds and heavy snow. Perfect just like I said, and so, like we always had some 20 years ago, we brought the iron outside into the alley and just got to it. Real training, nothing fancy, nothing complicated and straight at you.
To get the day going, we launched into the most important part of the first exercise of our training day; the Power Snatch from a hang position, which is a perfect start for week two of our series. The Power Snatch (which will be covered intensely in a future article) is an extraordinary exercise for total body development, in particular for the posterior chain. Pay careful attention to the Power Snatch as it is one of the most beneficial lifts that anyone can do.
Editors Note Training Renegade Style is the most demanding style of training available but it produces a common theme — champions. Champions who stand above the rest and are ready to take on all challengers. Are you ready for greatness or do you just want to be a part of the pack?
John Davies, Founder Renegade Training Chat Live with Coach Davies in the Renegade Training forums!