T Nation

Beginners Squatting

I’m starting to do some heavier 5x5 squatting than what I’ve done in the past and am having some issues with the weight. I’m working on full ROM trying to get ATG, but find myself struggling to go heavy. Now I’m not posting any serious numbers as I’ve been an endurance athlete for most of my life, but on one weight I’ll get stuck 1/3 of the way back up and really have problems getting all 5 reps, whereas if I take off a little weight (10 lbs) I feel like I can squat forever.

If my goal is max strength from a real deep squat position, should I keep progressing with the lighter weight? Should I do fewer reps with the weight I get stuck on? Should I limit my ROM? Or should I scour the gym in search of the ever-elusive 2.5 lbs plates?

Use the 2.5’s. The deeper ROM will pay off. And remember you are in this for the “long haul” right? Keep focused on technique and do not stray.

Look up Bill Starrs routines. You squat 3 times per week. It kind of works out to be a heavy-light-med schedule.
It’s great because you squat often enough to perfect technique, you use some weight on the heavy day (5rm), work on technique even more on the light day 70% 5rm) and use a moderately heavy weight for 5x5 on the medium day.

My suggestion is to try low box squats. Squat down, sit on box, pause then explode out of the hole. Do this with lighter weight. If your going slow on the way up lower the weight, and try to up it every week.

On the same topic (sort of)… I’ve been training seriously for about 4 months. I’ve recently started adding more and more weight to my squat, and getting in the lower reps (3rm, 5rm) with CW’s Bodybuilding’s Next Frontier. I’m not going extremely heavy by any means (3rm around 120 kg), and yet, while it feels that my muscles could handle more weight, my knees seem to want to give out every time I squat, and unless I lower the weight, I get pains in the lower and upper area of my knee the day after every session.

Has anyone experienced a problem similar to mine, or has any idea what I should do? I’ve been using ice massages, as well as alternating ice baths / hot showers, but nothing seems to help particularly well so far. Any input would be greatly appreciated. I’m 6’1, about 83kg.

[quote]Kaiserrow wrote:
I’m starting to do some heavier 5x5 squatting than what I’ve done in the past and am having some issues with the weight. I’m working on full ROM trying to get ATG, but find myself struggling to go heavy. Now I’m not posting any serious numbers as I’ve been an endurance athlete for most of my life, but on one weight I’ll get stuck 1/3 of the way back up and really have problems getting all 5 reps, whereas if I take off a little weight (10 lbs) I feel like I can squat forever.

If my goal is max strength from a real deep squat position, should I keep progressing with the lighter weight? Should I do fewer reps with the weight I get stuck on? Should I limit my ROM? Or should I scour the gym in search of the ever-elusive 2.5 lbs plates?[/quote]

Buy yourself some 2.5 pounders and a set of fractional plates. I find myself using these all time, it really helps to see constant progression like 90, 91, 92.5, 94, 95 instead of 90, 90, 90, 90, 95.

[quote]Benjamin Gueret wrote:
On the same topic (sort of)… I’ve been training seriously for about 4 months. I’ve recently started adding more and more weight to my squat, and getting in the lower reps (3rm, 5rm) with CW’s Bodybuilding’s Next Frontier. I’m not going extremely heavy by any means (3rm around 120 kg), and yet, while it feels that my muscles could handle more weight, my knees seem to want to give out every time I squat, and unless I lower the weight, I get pains in the lower and upper area of my knee the day after every session.

Has anyone experienced a problem similar to mine, or has any idea what I should do? I’ve been using ice massages, as well as alternating ice baths / hot showers, but nothing seems to help particularly well so far. Any input would be greatly appreciated. I’m 6’1, about 83kg.[/quote]

Without any more information the best advice I can give is to make sure you warmup thoroughly. I have an old injury in my left knee (meniscus) that hurts and makes grinding sounds past a third of the way down if I’m cold or only partially warm. Once I’m warmed up though the thing is as good as new. Also, consider popping some glucosamine and fish oil.

Yup try a little warm up few sets lighter wieght. Also I am betting your knees are caving IN during the squat. push them OUT and keep them tight not sloppy.

As for the origianal poster I am betting this mostly has to do with speed. I bet your a aiming to PUSH the wieght out of the hole insteadt of EXPLODE with everything you have. If you can drop the weight 10lbs and go all day. Thats my bet.

Stay tight lift that head and chest and fire out of the hole. Dont be the typical lazy trainer and give JUST enough effort to move the load. Give it your all. explode throguh that stiking point and onto new weights.

Thats my take,
Phill

[quote]Benjamin Gueret wrote:
On the same topic (sort of)… I’ve been training seriously for about 4 months. I’ve recently started adding more and more weight to my squat, and getting in the lower reps (3rm, 5rm) with CW’s Bodybuilding’s Next Frontier. I’m not going extremely heavy by any means (3rm around 120 kg), and yet, while it feels that my muscles could handle more weight, my knees seem to want to give out every time I squat, and unless I lower the weight, I get pains in the lower and upper area of my knee the day after every session.

Has anyone experienced a problem similar to mine, or has any idea what I should do? I’ve been using ice massages, as well as alternating ice baths / hot showers, but nothing seems to help particularly well so far. Any input would be greatly appreciated. I’m 6’1, about 83kg.[/quote]

[quote]Kaiserrow wrote:
I’m starting to do some heavier 5x5 squatting than what I’ve done in the past and am having some issues with the weight. I’m working on full ROM trying to get ATG, but find myself struggling to go heavy. Now I’m not posting any serious numbers as I’ve been an endurance athlete for most of my life, but on one weight I’ll get stuck 1/3 of the way back up and really have problems getting all 5 reps, whereas if I take off a little weight (10 lbs) I feel like I can squat forever.

If my goal is max strength from a real deep squat position, should I keep progressing with the lighter weight? Should I do fewer reps with the weight I get stuck on? Should I limit my ROM? Or should I scour the gym in search of the ever-elusive 2.5 lbs plates?[/quote]

Search for “sticking points” and Dan John, that will give you some advice. Simply find the position you get stuck at and work from there, until you no longer have a problem with that area. Try setting the rack pins at the height you get stuck at and squat from the bottom position.

If you can’t box squat, try 1 1/2 squats. You want your strength/explosiveness right from the hole, so you oughta work the hole!

I’ll give that a try, thanks for the advice - and sorry for hijacking the thread!

Get some platemates - magnetic 2.5 pound weights to stick to the plates. That way you can increase your load every workout by 2-3%.