Troy graduate assistant breaks state squat record
Published 3:00 am Wednesday, March 9, 2016
Troy University graduate assistant strength and conditioning coach Jonathan Erskine broke the Alabama squat record and finished in second place in the recent USAPL Alabama State Championships.
Prior to the competition, state record for squats was 705.5 pounds by the end of the competition; Erskine surpassed it by lifting 711 pounds.
“It’s very exhilarating,” Erskine said. “I am really blessed and I thank God for it. I went into the competition as the youngest guy there that day. I am thankful for the opportunity to be able to do that, especially to see the look in my parents’ eyes knowing that their son accomplished something he set out to do.”
Erskine prepared for a year for the competition. His five-day-a-week program featured heavy lifting the first two days of the week and closed out the week with light weights. Sandwiched in between was a dead lift program.
“I am just trying to keep up my cardio,” Erskine said. “I am making sure I am sleeping right and staying flexible. I also try to watch my technique because it is really critical to make sure you are consistent.”
The person at the center of all of it is Troy University’s Director of Strength and Conditioning, Richard Shaughnessy. Erskine’s coach has had a tremendous impact on many of his athletes over the years.
“He has played a huge role in my success, especially with my future endeavors of being a strength coach” Erskine said. “He has shown me the ins and outs about consistency.”
“He has worked hard on what he is doing,” Shaughnessy said. “I couldn’t be more proud of him. He has really taken in the knowledge and he is trying to figure out his niche.”
Erskine qualified for the national competition in Atlanta on Oct. 13-16.
After taking about a week and half off to recover, Erskine will return the gym and will experiment with new lifting techniques he hopes will produce more consistent results.
“We are going to change up how I deadlift,” Erskine said. “I am a conventional puller, I am going to change over to sumo to see if I can get better pull from that angle. It’s a shorter distance to have to travel. Hopefully my totals will be better.”