T Nation

Backsquats & Progress?

(i was going ot post this in teh beginners section but most threads over there are things along the lines of “SHOULD I SQUAT ASS TO GRASS?LAWL!” , so i decided it belonged here instead)

So i just started squatting(ass to grass) in July, and i just hit a 1RM of 113 KG. I don’t think i should count it though because i was almost completely bent forward for the first portion of it.

Normally I’ll do triples of 104 kg. Now I’m super paranoid about leaning too far forward. So, do you think i should focus more on frontsquats to stop this?

Also, I’ve been stuck at 113 kg for over a month, but i also haven’t been deadlifting at all. This makes me beleive that i have created a muscle imbalance and perhaps my lagging squat numbers are due to my negligence of my hamstrings. Do you think this is the case?

final newb question: How fast can one progress? My ATG squat has raised from 180 (lbs) to 250 (lbs) in 3 months, i know this was probably mostly my body learning to be efficient, and probably only 20 pounds was actual new strength. How many pounds increase each month should one aim for?

oh, and if any of this is of importance:
160 pounds (yeah, i weigh NOTHING), 5’10, 4000 calories per day, 9000 mg of fish oil per day, 200 grams of protein per day, mostly casein with some whey and about 35% animal protein.

A few things:

  1. Give yourself more time. Everyone is weak and lacking technical proficiency early on.

  2. Start deadlifting.

  3. Front squats will help with overall strength, but you need to practice your back squat form just like you would practice a golf swing. Every time you train you have to be aware of technique with light and heavy weights.

Video yourself with a light weight that you can keep good form with (upright position) and burn that image into your head. Now go do a few thousand backsquats with that image in your head.

  1. Expect anywhere from 0 to 100 pound increases on your squat each month. It depends on your effort, my friend.


I’m a back Back-squatter. mean I rely a lot more on my back than my thighs when I squat. Some guys stay more vertical and stress their knees and legs more.

There are top lifters that do it both ways.

It may have to do with proportions or strengths, but I don’t know that there is anything wrong with it as long as you maintain good curvature.

  1. Oly shoes helped me staying more upright.

  2. might want to cycle front squats with deadlifts for a few weeks and then return to squats

  3. in the first months you should be able to add atleast abou 20-40 lbs per mounth if you use good technique would be my quese, as long as you’re eating enough

Yep PRs won’t come as often as they used to, thats normal.

With regards to your leaning it is probably due to your chest collapsing (I’ve had this happen to me lots of times). Next time, right before you stand up with bar on ur traps squeese your scapulas together, contract your traps, and then stand up. DON’T relax it as you step back. Squat and fight to keep that tension on your upper back. This will keep your chest up and won’t let it cave in (thus leaning forward).

p.s this is if you ATG squat with the bar on the top of your traps. If you have low bar placement and u squat ATG you will naturally lean forward to keep the bar over your center of gravity.

I know when I started out squatting I had the same thing leaning too much forward. I had a narrow stance and my feet were pointed straight. Since then, which has been many years, I opened my stance, a little wider than shoulder wide and point my toes outward at about a 60 degree angel from my back. This has helped me increase my squat, and let me sit back more too. But again you have to play with this stance and find out what works for your body type.

As for progress and getting increases in the squat?
Well a number of these can be done, keep a 5x5 workout, when working squats do 2 major exercises like squats and leg presses or hack squat machine and 2 supplemental exercises like romanian DL and lungs. Make the supplementals reps like 15 to 20 for 5 sets.

Change up the squats, like doing squats with chains or bands, box squats. I’m just getting to week 7 of 10 with a program on squats with bands and have improved my max squat from 495 x 5 reps on a safety squat bar to 705 x 2 reps. These programs are basically a Westside Gym program and they do work. These programs are made for a 10 or 16 week program and should not be done more than twice a year. They are VERY INTENSE.
Again the old say “you get out of it, what you put in” stands true for lifting.

Good Luck,