Front Squats And Heavy Supports

It’s hot again here. Viciously, dissolvingly hot. I realize people check in here from Oz and Andalusia and places where they probably roll up the rug and dance when it is 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer, but I maintain that the Washington area has its own brutal brand of summer air — something to do with an absurd level of car exhaust and the BS fumes from Capitol Hill.

Some guy just walked by my front window in slow motion with a towel draped completely over his head. That kind of day.

These are the days when I revive something weird in the gym just to provoke zeal, a property which kind of wilts in the heat. Here is a nice quick demonstration of more or less what I did.

I did them with the bar balanced at diaphragm level over my crossed forearms, a form you can get away with using lighter weights. I am not nuts about that hyperextended hand position because I spend all day at the massage table that way.

It’s funny how slight variations goose your response to exercise. The next day I could already change level at table side without the ominous halting creak that had gotten into my ups and downs. Clients don’t like to hear you huff when you drop to lean into their ilio-tibial bands.

I decided I was on a roll and went for some heavy supports on the bench press. It means what it sounds like — you support a heavy weight in the finish position of a lift, without trying to pretend you can actually execute reps with the thing. I got the Cute Engineer to spot me with a pair of wheels (two 45# plates on an Olympic Bar, for a total of 135 pounds, or what some dimwit once said I should weigh; maybe when I was twelve). I even waved it around a little bit, for bravado. Then we switched places and the bastard cranked out a triple. Mother f###er.

I keep reminding myself that he is fifteen years younger than I am, and a guy, but I have got the bit in my teeth now. Watch this space.

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5 thoughts on “Front Squats And Heavy Supports

  1. So because of noon meetings I can’t join my workout crew and have taken to early mornings; only I didn’t take until this week. All alone, I wanted to do military presses, but only because I am a fool when left alone in the gym. I don’t like to compress my lower back so I laid the bench back at about forty five and did ten reps of fifty pounds in each hand (after warming up with thirty five and forty, and having already done some other shoulder stuff). Point? Everything was fine until this morning, a day later, when I turned to dash up the stairs and all of a sudden my latissimus dorsi tangled up like a box full of bungie cords. I couldn’t move or breathe at first, but slowly let them untangle and made my painful way to my desk. I never really wanted a real massage before (I prefer giving ’em for some reason). No dice there, of course. Anyway. So much for trying something new (after too much time off).

    • There’s nothing nastier than a lat spasm. It’s amazing though how much you can release if you can reach across with, let’s say your right hand to your left armpit, and grab the chunk that forms the back of the armpit and trap it between fingers and thumb; lots of the triggers hang out there.

      I always crap up this muscle doing something else that I did that same day, one handed counterweighted pull-ups. I love them because you feel so dangerous (even if I have to use over half bodyweight as offset to do them at all). But they always come back to bite me in the lats and then, forget breathing, plus it gets into my parasympathetic nerves and makes me want to throw up. I’m still determined to break through this barrier.

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