In my 20s I use to work up into the 500s for squats. In my 30s I was very sendindary. The aches and arthritis started setting in. In my 40s I started back lifting, but had problems squating due to knee pain. I resorted to monster leg presses, but looked like a jerk as I hogged all the weights to work my little chicken legs. At 45 I started Crossfit , and gained some mobility back, I started squating again, but it's pittiful. I hate using knee compression but it helps a lot ( The diffrence between working out with 115 vs 185). I sprained my right knee then my left 5 months ago and have not been able to get my squat to improve ( no tears, test all negative except for some arthritis). Not sure what to do. Currently I work on my legs (front and low bar back squats- ass to grass) 1-2 times a week. Typically 10, 6,6,6 reps each, and follow it up with barbell lunges 4sets 10x.
I've had no gains in strength and knees still feel like crap after 3 months of focus.
Unlike my bench, which I actually stopped doing for a year ( work up to 315) because of Crossfit (we don't do bench and I loss 25lbs) and in 1 month I've gone from barely doing 155 for reps to now doing 270 for reps ( And I've had rotator cuff tears, pec tears, and some horrible arthritis in both shoulders).