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Josh and Jenna go to Tom Hibbert’s Squat Seminar

Posted 31st January 2017 by Geoff Stewart

Josh and Jenna like to go on courses. Jenna falls in love with the colour-coded spreadsheets and Josh likes to talk the coach’s ear off with his interesting facts. (Usually nothing to do with training. Would you expect anything else?). 

Their latest adventure took them to Tom Hibbert’s squat seminar. Tom was England’s strongest man for three years and the world’s second strongest man last year (both under 90kg weight class). He can do a 160kg log clean and press and a 250kg squat (here’s him doing 3x 245 kilos). He is also incredibly shredded (no strongman belly in sight) and a very likeable and humble guy.

The day long seminar provided interesting information on programming, although most was more appropriate to athletes, much to Jenna’s disappointment: 

Jenna: Could we do this one?
Josh: No
Jenna: Why? 
Josh: You’ve just had knee surgery. Perhaps in six months. 
Jenna: Maybe this one? 
Josh: No.
Jenna: How about…
Josh: No. 

This exchange did raise an interesting point. Tom explained the experiences of some of his athletes and the outcomes they achieved, or not. Programmes are periodised for a reason and those who did not follow the advice to keep the weight light at specific times consequently missed the opportunity to achieve their full potential and often incurred injuries. 

Tom also shared his knowledge of people who had been squatting heavy weight for years but who failed the three basic tests he uses to assess if new clients should be squatting with any weight at all. Taking time out from squatting to build strength in these weaknesses enhanced their performance in the long term. These tests would be beneficial for everyone at Momentum no matter what their level of experience. If you do not pass the first time, be humble, put in the work to fix yourself and you will far exceed your current goals in the near future. 

A high level of importance was placed on ensuring that fascia glides freely, as it should. Everyone had to use a massage tool (like Ricardo’s) before training and between every set of squats. If the three layers of fascia are clumped together it inhibits the speed that can be generated and negatively impacts performance. Add to this the news that your psoas is more likely to be tight if you have a stressful lifestyle and you realise that Ricardo is not just a pretty face with some smooth chat. Our country’s strongest man is of the opinion that tissue release is integral to becoming your super strongest self. 

If you’d like to find out more you can sign up for Barbell Club. Jenna plans to incorporate Tom’s one and a quarter rep, 8 second isometric holds into class at some point. If you take the time to fix your weaknesses you will be able to gain so much more from the deep dark hole that this will dig 🙂