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Speed Squat Test...Let's SEE how YOU do!

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hello All,

Tommi and Alex need your help in doing a little research study. Here is a fun little test for muscular endurance with a hint of power included in it.

We are looking to get as many involved as possible in this "easy to do" test. It is not limited to skiing, since snowboarding involves many of the same physiological adaptations as skiing.

You can get to the test via our site:

http://www.trainforskivacation.com/

Just click on the "Speed Squat Test" and there are instructions on how to perform it properly.



This is an INTERACTIVE test so we are looking for your results on this. Send your results to our BLOG by CLICKING the "comments" at the bottom of the page (We will also put up the results on EPICSKI). Your results are totally anonymous.

Have fun with this and we are sure that you will find it to be a challenging test.

THANK YOU for your participation with this and let's see how many results we can get.

Ski You Later,
AC
post #2 of 19

be careful

i wouldnt try to do your max on this without a bit of preperation
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 

You are right Duke!

Quote:
Originally Posted by duke walker View Post
i wouldnt try to do your max on this without a bit of preperation

This is definitely a taxing test that could potentially hurt someone. All participant should cautiously perform the test (just like any other new exercise or fitness program). Unfortunately, we do not have the ability to assess anyone or have them fill out any questionnaires. This could provide us with info that would "red flag" someone from doing the test. In addition, if we were to first start working with a client, we would NOT be using this as an assessment tool.

That being said, everyone is to perform them at their OWN pace and abilities. Someone who is fit and conditioned can "let it rip" vs. someone who is more deconditioned should do it at more of a SUB-MAX level. This test will somewhat govern itself by the participant being able to do what they are capable of. Someone with higher endurance capabilities and a higher lactate threshold will be able to score higher that someone with less than desireable levels. The question is and we are just throwing this out there.....can this test help us find out what ranges are below average/average/above average with all the different abilities on this forum? We have a diverse fitness group in here with a huge variety of ski levels as well. Factoring all these in.....can we make any baseline suggestions for what an average skier should be able to do? High level? Olympic level?

In addition, ideally one should perform the test after a warmup. You should not try it after 4 hours of being jammed in the car or sitting behind a desk for half the day.

Our goal with this test was to come up with somewhat of a standardized test that could be performed very simply without the use of any crazy equipment. We have seen many tests that involve somekind of plyometric movement (which by the way would be MUCH more dangerous). So we feel that our little SIT TEST is much safer (since the feet are not leaving the ground) while providing us with some pretty good results.

Duke, as always--you definitely are right when it comes to being careful. This is the great challenge in coming up with fitness programs and exercises for the masses. A "one size fits all" approach is a tough statement to apply to this. That is where "tweakology" applies so that everyone can be challenged in a safe, effective and successful way.

Thanks again for your respected input

Ski You Later,
AC

PS - Let us know how you scored!
post #4 of 19
Sure...I'll participate and log results. I have a number already in mind since I do something similar 4 times a week. Good you posted a caveat as this WILL burn with the high wattage this challenge demands. Good form a must!
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks Don!

I love your choice of words--"high wattage"......that is great

We have some more results for today:

92
103
65

Keep them coming guys and gals

Ski You Later,
AC
post #6 of 19
106 right after a meal
112 on an empty stomach....
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 

MERRY CHRISTMAS to ALL!

We have a few more results from some brave participants:

76
116
75

Keep them coming guys. You can throw in a set to help work off some of the Christmas eating

Ski You Later,
AC
post #8 of 19

whtmt

SNOtrainer: Just a thought to make the test results more meaningful. Shouldn't you be assessing results categorized by both this fitness test as well as bracketing the participants by age and gender categorizations? Just my take but I believe your results would become a litte more meaningful for all participants.

whtmt & Mackenzie 911
post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 

Agreed Whtmt!

Quote:
Originally Posted by whtmt View Post
SNOtrainer: Just a thought to make the test results more meaningful. Shouldn't you be assessing results categorized by both this fitness test as well as bracketing the participants by age and gender categorizations? Just my take but I believe your results would become a litte more meaningful for all participants.

whtmt & Mackenzie 911

Categorizing the results would definitely prove to be more meaningful...I agree. Knowing info like gender, age, fitness habits and days on the mountain could all START to paint a nice little picture with the results to the test

Its hard enough to get everyone to share their results....getting even more info could be like pulling teeth

If all participants would be open to sharing more info, we would welcome it with open arms

I'll start with my info:

Male
29
Total Body Metabolic Training 2 days per week
10-15 Days/Year on-mountain

119 Speed Squats in 90 seconds!!

Ski You Later,
AC
post #10 of 19

whtmt

Thanks SNOtrainer:

And here's mine;

Male, 57+,
train year round mostly with aerobic activities,
ski typically 48-60 days /season,
inline skate,
backpack,
trail run, hike,
dry land training,
dry land bumping,
spin, row, and dynamic balance exercises daily and some weight work.

whtmt & Mackenzie 911
post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 

Whtmt...you are busy!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by whtmt View Post
Thanks SNOtrainer:

And here's mine;

Male, 57+,
train year round mostly with aerobic activities,
ski typically 48-60 days /season,
inline skate,
backpack,
trail run, hike,
dry land training,
dry land bumping,
spin, row, and dynamic balance exercises daily and some weight work.

whtmt & Mackenzie 911
That is some menu of activities Although, we didn't see how you scored on your speed squats

Keep moving and most importantly...keep enjoying it!

Thanks for your feedback and input

Ski You Later,
AC
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 

Jay Peak....here we come!

We will talk to you all in a few days. The SNOtrainers are heading up north for New Years to see how well our training and conditioning has gone (and to have some fun )

Happy New Year to ALL and we will talk to you in 07!

Ski You Later,
AC
post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 

What could be the answer?

First of all-- Happy New Year to all. May 2007 bring LOTS of snow (us east-coasters will settle for even a little ) and many days on the mountain.

So, we have been taking some of our clients through the speed squats and tracking there progress. We have found that ALL participants have been able to increase there total squat OUTPUT by 15-25 repetitions

Our question is for the entire forum......What can these results be attributed to?
  • Increase in muscular endurance?
  • Greater power output?
  • Increased buffering of lactic acid (better tolerance to "the burn")?
  • Efficiency of movement?
  • Or is it related to neural adaptations?
Let us know what you think. Those that have done the test a few times should be able to feel this difference that we are speaking about. If you have NOT done the test yet--then what are you waiting for?

Ski You Later,
AC
post #14 of 19

whtmt

So SNOtrainer here's the first result of my quad test. I had one of my friends at the fitness center time me tonight and count the results. My results were 122 for our 90 seconds. I'm pleased with this first result, but not nearly satisfied. I believe that over the next 30 days I can surpass 130 with a goal of 140 thereafter, after setting up some specific training, which I have planned after tonight's test.

Not too shabby for a guy on his way to 58 this year. But here's the real plus in this result. After I did the test I was able to then do my normal workout for another hour with some good results. I believe that the real secret is keeping the lactic acid at bay, so I can put out an even better result.

Oh, and one last item to note. I tore the meniscus in my right knee last August, which has been continuing to improve and the ACL in my left knee was replaced in April of 2005. In about 3 weeks I plan to do the test again to see if my workout plan has been successful.

Happy Trails
whtmt & Mackenzie 911
post #15 of 19
I gave it a try. Here's my info:

22 year old female
swim
horseback ride
soccer
skate (quadline)
hike
trail run
weights

results:

124
136
123
post #16 of 19
I don't really get what the results of this could show, there are too many variables. You could well get results ranging from 2 to 200, but what would that tell us?

SNOtrainer, you are along the right lines with your ideas about how the body adapts to exercise but none of it is that specific to this activity. I'd recommend you start with a book on exercise physiology. Much research that is relevant to this is done using cycle sprints rather than squats, I think the main reason is that the movement is more controlled and the work done can be more easily controlled or measured.

This is not meant to be negative, just highlighting that there are years of research into this kind of thing, and that rather than take this movement as the starting point, you could more easily apply the existing theories to this.
post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by all white View Post
I don't really get what the results of this could show, there are too many variables. You could well get results ranging from 2 to 200, but what would that tell us?
With the biggest variable being the depth of the squat.
The same person could get a dramatic difference just with an inch or two one way or the other.
I think you are on to something, it can be done at home. It also gets some fast twitch muscles going. It adds a new challange and variation to everyones workout
post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 

Good Stuff!

Quote:
Originally Posted by all white View Post
I don't really get what the results of this could show, there are too many variables. You could well get results ranging from 2 to 200, but what would that tell us?

SNOtrainer, you are along the right lines with your ideas about how the body adapts to exercise but none of it is that specific to this activity. I'd recommend you start with a book on exercise physiology. Much research that is relevant to this is done using cycle sprints rather than squats, I think the main reason is that the movement is more controlled and the work done can be more easily controlled or measured.

This is not meant to be negative, just highlighting that there are years of research into this kind of thing, and that rather than take this movement as the starting point, you could more easily apply the existing theories to this.

Wow, great to get so many responses and different kind of feed-back, all necessary to keep us improving and developing constantly. It is very nice to hear from all of you guys that felt inspired to either try the Speed Squat Test or evaluate the purpose and goal behind it.
As the comments from Epicski has been instrumental in developing skiing exercise programs and assessments, allow us to discuss our reasoning behind the experimental Speed Squat Test with a few main points.

Here is some background info on why we chose to try Speed Squat Test as one possible form of test as part of a skiing specific testing protocol.

1. Cabability to buffer lactic acid in relation to skiing specific performance

We know from several sources, including from our own legs, that the ability to clear out the lactic acid from the prime mover muscle groups is important in order to maintain the force production cabability of the muscle. In other words, we know that when the quads start cooking, the ability to produce balanced, coordinated and powerful movements starts to decrease rabidly. We also know that most of the lactic acid accumulation occurs locally in the thighs and hips and not so much anywhere else in the body. Thus, our thought process took us to the direction of testing the local lactic acid buffering ability instead of systemic lactic acid buffering that would be a result of for example repetitive uphill sprints. That is one of the reasons that we wanted to try a test that would focus the burn in a specific area. We also didnt want the heart rate response to be deciding factor of fatigue in the test but, for lack of a better better term-- the "power endurance" of the involved muscle groups was the focus. We also believe that a ground based speed squat would relate to skiing performance better than cycle sprints, even though we do like the cycle sprints tremendously. That is some of the exercise science related reasoning behind the test. (*Note: it is really the accumulation of hydrogen ions that impairs the muscle contraction during the "burn" but as it is easier to refer to lactic acid as the culprit, we will use that term.)

2. Speed Squat Test variables

We knew that by giving vague instructions, we would get a variety of squatting heights, speeds, forms etc. We weren't really expecting to collect data for a true scientific research but to experiment with a movement test that would hopefully result in more inspiration for skiing conditioning as well as finding information in order to further develop a tool that would truly help ski performance. By making the test very easy and practical to perform we compromised some of the variables but received a great number of results from all over the world. We value the information tremendously and with the help of a huge skiing community, we are able to create awareness about the importance of skiing conditioning. One of the encouraging things was also that instant improvement in results were reported already with the second test taken. If you are able to standardize your own variables and always perform the test the same way, you will have a tool to compare your own results and draw conclusions from them.

3. Practical tools

A trainer's mind is all about how to improve specific performance. With advanced science as a foundation, we still need to be able to create practical training tools that are easy,effective and functional. We train anywhere from 60-100 clients a week and have an opportunity to see what works and what doesn't. Some things work better than others, but without research and development, there will never be any improvement in the training methods. The Speed Squat Test is both a test and an exercise. The results in this test improve fast after a few sessions, because the local lactic acid threshold is one of the elements that can be raised tremendously. We all have a huge potential in that. There are plenty of other elements related to skiing that the Speed Squat Test does not enhance, but those elements will be under the microscope soon enough.

4. "I had an amazing skiing vacation!"

Our passion is driven by hearing that from our clients. It is awesome to hear that the legs were strong, low back didn't hurt, the recovery was fast, and the smile was large, etc... We strongly believe that part of those comments from our clients are a result of a balanced approach of enhancing power endurance and lactic acid threshold , balance and coordination, core strength and stability and athletic movement vocabulary. The clients will go through some challenging sessions to get to the next level but the reward is fantastic. The Speed Squat Test has been one of the tools that we have used and has been working well for ski specific preparation.

We would like to hear all the feedback you have on the Speed Squat Test, so we could improve it further. Thank you so much for all of the posts and comments so far and keep posting. It is not too late to try the test.

Ski You later!
The SNOtrainers
post #19 of 19
Thanks for the explanation, I can appreciate what are trying to do.

One thing I picked up on was your interest in repeating the test. I think that isn't clear in the text on your website. My view would be that you need to have people perform the exercise say every other day for 2 weeks and then report back on the numbers from before and after. That would give you a good view of the way that people respond to the exercise.
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