The Hatch Program (or Crossfit makes me do crazy things…)

There are lifts you like and lifts you don’t like. And then, for me, there’s the front squat. I abhor the front squat. I hate the front rack position. I stare enviously at the members of my Box who can get their elbows above chest level, who don’t lean forward as they squat down, whose knees aren’t drawn together like magnets at the bottom of their squat. I dread when the front squat comes up in the rotation because I know that it will be four weeks of “head down, push through”, of just coping with feeling like an idiot, of feeling like I just walked into the Box for the very first time. Like I said, I don’t like the front squat.

But I’m learning. I’m learning that it’s okay to not be good at something..even a year later. It’s okay to not like something you aren’t good at. But it is not okay to quit (see my previous post – how to be a quitter…or rather Reviving the Dream). So when the front squat came up this month, I manned up, I came up with a plan. I decided to focus on technique instead of lifting as heavy as possible. My previous front squat from May was 65kg (although I have no idea how I did that, as I have never repeated it since. I knocked this way back this month, I went back to front squatting between 40-50 kg. I worked on tightening my core strength and forcing my knees out. And it was good. I started to hate the front squat a little less. In July I one-rep-maxed at 52.5kg, 12.5kg less than before but it was much prettier. It was pretty like flowers :) .

So I realized that taking the time to work my form was helping me be more comfortable with the front squat. Oh, I wasn’t ready to snuggle with it or move in together but possibly I was ready for a little hand holding. Then I made a crazy decision…

I decided to do more squats…many, many more squats. I decided to do the Hatch Program. The Hatch program is a 2x a week/12 week program designed by Gayle Hatch, former coach for USA Olympic lifting team. It includes both the front and back squat. It involves doing a lot of repetitions at increasing weights over 12 weeks. I first heard about it on one of the bad*ss crossfitter blogs that I read Jes’ Crossfit Blog: Hatch Squat. Because she’s a bad*ass, she made some changes. I’m not. I’m going to try to follow the program religiously.

I started today. I realized quickly that this was probably going to be a very long 12 weeks. Day one administered me a lovely *ss kicking and it was not that heavy a weight. Here is what I lifted today:

Sets/Reps/Weight
Back Squat
1×10 40kg
1×8 45kg
1×6 50 kg
1×4 52kg

Front Squat
1×5 32kg
1×5 37kg
1×5 37kg
1×5 37kg

It felt good. My legs felt like I had worked out. Usually the max number of reps that I do in the strength section is 25 (in our 5×5 weeks). Today I did 48 repetitions. Let me tell you, I felt every single one of them during the met con.

You can find a template at google docs here: Link to template. You will need to make a copy then you can enter your own numbers to figure out what you should be lifting. Just remember, it might take you a bit longer than the regular strength session so plan accordingly.

I will report back periodically on whether I survive the Hatch or not.

2 Responses to “ The Hatch Program (or Crossfit makes me do crazy things…) ”

  1. jennifer says:

    I had that same inner thigh pain Sunday and Monday this week (and faintly today), but I believe it’s from repetitive squat cleans and a thruster ladder on Saturday! It’s somewhat sad when you stop feeling sore everyday doing Crossfit, but then mean does it feel good/bad/awesome/sucky when you can’t walk one day! ;)

  2. Thriae says:

    Update on post Day 1 of the Hatch: very,very sore in the inner thigh region. Definitely will need to make sure to space out the days! It’s actually nice to feel this sore, it reminds me of when I first started crossfit.

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