I recently had the pleasure of working with IFBB Pro Amit Sapir as he preps for an all-time world record squat at GPA worlds in a few weeks. Amit had some obstacles to overcome based on his body structure and his past experience as an Olympic lifter. His squat pattern combined with his body structure simply would not allow him to physically hit depth, even with his hamstrings sitting on his calves. I took him all the way down to a 10-inch box but, due to the extreme leg dive and his massive leg size and small knees, he was still squatting high.With only a few days to work together and the meet in only a few weeks, there was no chance of completely rebuilding his squat into a powerlifting squat. We simply couldn’t address every issue.This is the approach I used to improve his squats in just three training sessions over the course of three days.
Step 1: Assess
I watched his current squat pattern from multiple angles, looking at the movement and watching to asses several specific aspects of his movement:What was tight and engaged, what was passive, and what was firing movement
Breathing and core stabilization (also tested physically)
Natural stance and breathing patterns (what position is he in when standing and breathing normally?)
Restrictions due to mobility
Stance, foot placement, bar placement, and basic movement patternStep 2: Test
With the meet right around the corner I could only make changes that he could retain quickly without spending significant time to ingrain. We tested a number of different things to see what was manageable and to push him to experiment with entirely new patterns and see how he responded...