Use this training method to perfect your technique and build explosiveness out of the hole!


Compensatory Acceleration Training

or "CAT" the main idea is to move the bar AS FAST AS POSSIBLE throughout the concentric or lifting phase of the lift. 

CAT squats often involve sub-maximal intensities, usually in the 60-80% range of a 1-rep max, done for multiple sets with a static weight - you use the same weight across all sets.

Lifters use this type of training during pre-contest phases and it's ideal because it forces you to focus on technique development and explosiveness without getting beaten up by the heavier weights.

To perform simply try to accelerate throughout the entire range of motion. It's not just exploding out of the hole with a sub-max weight, but continuing to drive as hard as possible even after you have gotten across the normal sticking point. Think about sending the bar THROUGH THE CEILING.


The weight shouldn't be so light that there is no carryover into higher percentages nor should it be so heavy that the bar moves slowly.

Think of 60% as a minimum and 80% as a maximum although both of those are just guidelines. Some lifters are able to move 80% at enormous amounts of speed, while others might move that same speed with 60% or 80%. Some guys are naturally fast; others are grinders. 

Consider starting a CAT phase with 60% for a 5x5 rep scheme for volume. Try to perform all sets in 15 mins or less. You want to DESTROY each rep of every set with the same amount of speed.

To prime the nervous system before getting into the workout portion of the squat session, do a single squat at a slightly higher percentage than what your workout set will be.

 Here's what it could look like:

1. Warm-up

2. CAT Squat @ 70% x 1

3. CAT Squats @ 60% 5x5, done in 15 mins or less.

The next time you perform this workout attempt to move to 70% as long as the speed is there.

If your conditioning sucks, this will hurt. That's good. Get into shape.