What’s the purpose of the “walk-out”?
It’s no secret that the squat intimidates me and on occasion has gotten the better of me mentally. You can read more about that here. I’ve definitely gained confidence in this last training cycle, but I can feel the nerves creeping up as we get closer to the competition.
In the last few weeks of our training cycle before our powerlifting competition, we put some focus on getting mentally prepared for the meet. In preparation for the squat, we perform walk-outs of weights that are heavier than our training weights, as well as heavier than our prior PRs (personal records). This weight is likely close to what we are aiming for to get a new PR in the upcoming competition, or possibly even heavier.
So, a walk-out consists of getting under the bar properly and setting up to do a squat, but not actually squatting. We unrack the weight and stand there, braced and with good form, and just get used to that amount of weight being on our back. Jim says it’s so that when we get to the meet and are going for our 3rd or 4th attempt with the new weight, we don’t pick it up and immediately become intimidated and uncomfortable with how heavy that weight feels. No one wants to get to the platform and unrack the bar with a new potential PR weight on their back and think, “Oh s#*t … This is too heavy!”
Confidence and preparedness in our training is the key to our success, and the walk-out is just one of many things we do to make sure we’re ready.