Frustration with the Squat - Tales of a Newb.

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by Lorenz, Apr 3, 2008.

  1. Lorenz

    Lorenz Banned Banned

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    **Before I begin, I'm working on getting a video camera so I can do a form check, but still do not have one, so bare with me**

    To start with - Squatting, or bending down in any way, has been a problem for me for a long time, bad knees mostly. It is also difficult, and very uncomfortable for me to be in the "Asian Squat" position. ( http://youtube.com/watch?v=gWTmg4dHiKg ). I also have a very difficult time balancing, well not letting my knees go beyond my toes. My long legs do not seem to allow it to happen with out my upper body folding forward quite drastically.

    So I just got back from the gym, and I must say, I'm very frustrated. I'm into week 4 of the B.S 5x5, and well I'm watching my bench and deadlift make some nice progress, my squat gains are negligible, if any, and I'm lifting about 60 lbs less then my BW. (Feel free to rip me down here, I deserve it)

    From what I can tell about the Starr 5x5, the point of the program is to make CONTINUOUS GAINS, until you hit a plateau, and then switch things up. Week 4 and I've already hit a plateau? Isn't this a little soon for someone who has done such little amounts of leg work in the past?

    For instance, today was my heavy squat day. I pyramid'd up to 155, and then proceeded to get about 3 reps out, where-as last week, I got 5 reps, AT THE SAME WEIGHT. I had no noticeable fatigue, or sickness that would prevent me from doing better this week. I just couldn't get anymore out.

    As a guide to how puny my squat is, I can bench about 35 lbs more, and deadlift about 120 lbs more, and no, I'm not proud of this.

    So ultimately my question's are... have you seen this before? Is this normal? Could this just be from a relative life-time of ignoring working out my legs? Can my form really be THAT bad that is causing me to not make gains, only 3-4 weeks into a newbie program? Could there be some physiological reason? (My tall lanky legs for isntance). How am I going to stay dedicated to the program if this continues happening, and I dont see progress? (I'm sure someone will say here "stop being a pussy and just lift", but I get discouraged easily)

    Thanks for any help or advice in advance.
     
  2. hunto

    hunto Brown Belt

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    Just steal one from Sears.
     
  3. Lorenz

    Lorenz Banned Banned

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    By the way, thank you for the insight. :rolleyes:
     
  4. hunto

    hunto Brown Belt

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    You'd have hated the WW2OL forums. There were 2 answers - "Buy more RAM." and "Soon." Both were quotes from Rats (the devs)
     
  5. andrewbc

    andrewbc Purple Belt

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    i hear ya bro, my squat is hands down my weakest lift. i cant seem to get a strait answer on the proper form for squats either. everyone seems to have a different idea. any of the more experienced lifters wanna help us out?
     
  6. initialdproject

    initialdproject Blue Belt

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    don't know what to do for you man, without a form vid.

    A tip, putting the bar lower on my back helped me with my balance and helped me be more comfortable with the squat form. I also have longer legs, in proportion to my torso, so maybe that will help?
     
  7. hunto

    hunto Brown Belt

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    As a fellow suck-er at squats, who is getting better, let me say:
    Do close stance squats. They'll build your quads and teach you to recruit fibers. Also, rest between sets. Then pound them out.
    Look at the Squats and Milk program, also called 20-squats.
     
  8. dexter c

    dexter c Borderline anorexic

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    Although you've already got this covered with the 5x5, squat often.
     
  9. mustang

    mustang Blue Belt

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    1) Post a vid of your form when you get the chance.
    2) mentioned above, squat often
    3) On your ascent make sure you are looking up as the body naturally moves the way you are looking.
    4) You may have to move your grip out further to help balance the bar in case you are holding them too close.
    5) Make sure your sticking your ass out like your sitting down when you descend.
    6) Its helpful to make a log here as well.
    Good luck.
     
  10. SpiralOut

    SpiralOut Yellow Belt

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    I disagree, I have found that keeping my stance just wider than shoulder width, coupled with a 30 degree foot inclination outwards has helped me improve my squat, by establishing a natural feel to the movement, and allowing me to get lower than if my legs are close in. It might be because I'm a knock kneed dork, but a wider stance is so very much more comfortable to me, and I am better able to use my glutes to get the weight up.

    Your quads are already strong. Using your butt is what makes great squatters great.

    Hunto, this is the second time I've disagreed with you today, and until now I've been a huge fan. But you said bad things about Jessica Biel. I still think you're mad cool shit, and if I ever make it down to Texas, I'm taking you out for a cervesa, and a fatty. But horse faced she is not sir!
     
  11. mjfgf

    mjfgf Yellow Belt

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    It sounds like your form may be a big issue. I would recommend doing higher reps and lower weight until you get your form down....you don't want to injure your self.

    I am 6'3", so I hear your frustration with having long legs and squating.

    First of all I would stay away from the asian squat altogether or at least until you have some more experience. You really need to widen your stance right now and don't go lower than parellel (your thighs parellel to the floor). As you start to squat, you need to stick your butt out and sit down as if you were sitting in a chair. Keep your eyes up and your chest up. There can be a slight bend at the waist , but you don't want to put your chest on your thighs. You also need to have very controlled movements. Take it nice and easy, don't try and go up and down at a fast pace. It will definately affect your balance, and could lead to injury.

    Some people that have trouble with squatting have flexibility issues. They can be too tight in the hip and/or the don't have good flexbility in their achilles/ankles which causes their heels to lift up off of the ground, which inturn causes them to lean forward and be off balance.

    If you are a newb to weight lifting like you referred to in your thread, then you should be focusing more on sets of 10 to 15 on all of your lifts for a couple of months until you get the form down and build up some base strength.

    Your legs are very strong muscles, and you will be able to squat a lot more than what you do now, just focus on your form right now and the strength will come.

    Good luck! Let me know if this helps or if you have any other questions.
     
  12. hunto

    hunto Brown Belt

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    That was what I was driving at. You worded it better. A feel for it. By narrow I meant maybe lil less than shoulder width. But the main thing is the neural feel- recruitment- whatever.


    Ok, she's not horse faced. And theres a cold ones and fattys here always. Gimme a holler!
     
  13. RredRrover

    RredRrover Blue Belt

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    Plain old bodyweight squats helped my form immensely and gave me the confidence to start upping my weight. After warming up, going as low as possible and holding the stretch for a good 15-20 seconds every 5-10 reps got me to break parallel after a couple months.

    Thing is I take a wide stance. Big torso, little legs, feet that naturally splay out a good 30 degrees. My gut gets in the way and forces my thighs apart if I try to go narrower. I need to start losing weight.
     
  14. BAS_FAN

    BAS_FAN Purple Belt

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    I remembre the old addage "if you cant squat your own bw for 50 reps in a row, you have no business under a bar"
     
  15. BAS_FAN

    BAS_FAN Purple Belt

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    I remembre the old addage "if you cant squat your own bw for 50 reps in a row, you have no business under a bar"
     
  16. mschatz

    mschatz Hamma: I has it

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    squat more, Lorenz. And look up an article on T-nation called "10 steps for flawless squattin." Helped me quite a bit.
     
  17. saywhuuh

    saywhuuh Brown Belt

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    use the bitch, i mean the smith machine until you get used to heavier weights and the power rack. no really, thats what i did. im a newb at squats too.
     
  18. mschatz

    mschatz Hamma: I has it

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    C'mooooonnnnn!

    Does it really make sense to learn in an artificial range of motion? No, it does not. Practice your squat by squatting, not by using the shirley machine.
     
  19. BAS_FAN

    BAS_FAN Purple Belt

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    you could always box squat which progessively smaller boxes (assuming you have this kinda stuff available)...if not, just use adjustable steps. they work well too.
     
  20. mschatz

    mschatz Hamma: I has it

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    *high fives Bas-Fan*

    You had me worried with your Jay cutler thread, but yes, box squats are great.
     

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