T Nation

Boilerman Wants It All

Wow, the guy in the first video made that look effortless. I don’t understand how he can keep his torso that perpendicular to the floor.

I see what you’re saying about my knees being too far forward. Compared to the Layne Norton video, my feet are way closer together and it seems like he sits back more than I do, too.

Thanks for the post man. Like @heretolog said I’ll take it one small step at a time.

Thanks @tlgains I think as of right now I try to concentrate more on heel pressure so I “sit back” more. I will definitely give that a shot


He was hand selected by an authoritarian government at a very young age due to his leverages and proclivity to succeed at the sport based on physical structures, then trained by the best coaches available for over a decade while receiving state sponsorship. Not everyone is built to squat in such a way. I am fairly certain that, were I to attempt it, I would spontaneously combust. It’s why I squat the way I do: I was lab built for conventional pulling, with a stupidly short torso and long limbs. It means I have no ability to do the quick lifts, but I can put the bar practically on my obliques and squat it while folding my lower back like a trebuchet and suffer no consequences. Someone WITH a torso attempting to do that will end the workout with fewer disks.

Squatting takes a while to click, but once it does, it clicks. Try some goblet squats sometime if you can. They help.


@T3hPwnisher i don’t see you give many form tips, usually I see you say you’re a barbarian and people shouldn’t mimic you, but damn this was some solid form advice!!

And I by no means mean you aren’t helpful, you’re probably one of THE most helpful people on this site, I mean no offense good sir.

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No offense taken dude. I greatly appreciate that. Big part of it is @boilerman is running into an issue I personally had with the squat, so it’s a bit easier for me to suss out.

That said, people shouldn’t mimic me, haha. But I can certainly be learned from.


Feeling extra shitty the past couple days. Ended up working until 11pm last night. Running a few thousand feet of extra heavy heated rubber hose over a driveway due to a snowmelt system freezing. My tendons feel absolutely shot and I didn’t eat nearly enough. The covid fatigue is having its way with me as well. I’ve been absolutely exhausted all week.

Went in and just messed around with the weights today. My tendons feel extremely tender and I feel “fragile”. I think I need a little bit of a break. I might just do conditioning this week and get back to lifting next weekend.

Worked up to 225x1 bench

Worked up to a 415x1 deadlift


Wishing you a speedy recovery boilerman

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Thanks dude, I’ll be fine. Just a lot going on between work, covid, lifting and getting the house ready to (possibly) sell. I normally run myself into the ground in 6-12 week chunks, then 1-2 weeks to recover and then I’m back to normal.


Guaranteed Muscle Mass W1D1


60 sec rest

Stiff leg DL

RFESS holding dbs
+65lb x 10, 10, 10
BW x 25

Times like these I wish I had a coach or trainer telling me what to do. I’m kind of lost right now. I want to gain weight and get stronger, period. Every time I restrict calories or try to cut out calorie dense food I feel like shit and give up. Whether it’s life circumstances or me just being terrible at dropping weight, I’m not sure. Probably a combination of both.

Flipping everything on its head yet again and going for it. Adding some carbs back in regularly to see if I can drive my weight up. I’m sick of wasting time.




Hell yeah, boilerman back in action!!

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Going to ty and keep up with logging dinners as well.

1lb flank with adobo sauce
2 air fried, cauliflower rice and cheese stuffed poblanos

@SvenG thanks man, they were legitimate squats too. I made sure to actually sink them down to where I would normally squat. No TnG squats from here on out- everything will be done to depth and locked out at the top. Of course I could be talking out my ass without videotaping them, I probably will next lower 1 day.

@tlgains yeah man, I needed that small break both mentally, physically and digestively. Feeling good about running this program again.


Periods of non-gaining/building are ROUGH psychologically. I’ve discovered vectoring the training toward chasing after weight PRs is a helpful distraction, but in general I just feel empty since I’m not feeding myself to grow. There’s talk of how guys on gear are similar when they cycle off, not even seeing the point of lifting. It’s a difficult field to navigate for sure.


I’m coming to realize that I feel the same way. I definitely enjoy shooting for weight PRs as well, but I just feel like garbage afterwards if I’m not eating enough. My joints feel like they’re on fire, headaches, tired… I just feel weak and breakable.

I figure that I found a way to eat from 165 to 215, so I can find a way to eat from 200 to 215. I might be a bit fluffy, but if it gets me to where I want to go it’ll be worth it.


I’m reviewing your videos right now, and honestly your squats look a lot like how mine did until last year, except I achieved greater depths.

I am in no position to give advice on squatting itself because I am still a very bad squatter, though squats finally started feeling more “right” for me last year than ever before. But I did not change things simply because they felt bad, I might hurt myself, or I thought my squats looked ugly, though the latter will probably always be true, haha. I simply don’t have the proportions to squat pretty, boohoo.

I changed how I do squats because I thought that was one of the variables holding me back. I made absolutely zero progress on squats for years. I am not exaggerating that. That bothered me much more than how my squats looked. My technique probably was not the only variable, but that I progressed in 2021 after changing things suggests to me that it played some role.

The big thing is that you have made a lot of progress in the past 1.5 years or so that I have posted here, regardless of your squat technique. Or at least it seems that way to me. I am not trying to say you should or should not change how you squat, but it could be worthwhile to ask why you feel compelled to do something about it: Does squatting hurt? Do you want to compete in a sport that demands a specific technique? Do you want your squat to look a certain way? You said that your squat “definitely needs improvement” but did not say why. Apologies if you already answered this somewhere.

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@Bagsy I appreciate the post, I’ll try to take it one talking point at a time

I remember this, and I also don’t have the proportions to make ANY movement look pretty hah.

It’s great that you were able to zero in on the issues and correct them, form and otherwise. Also, the tenacity to stick with squatting for years without progress shows some serious dedication, huge kudos to you for working through all of that.

I’m not going to try and downplay this, I certainly have. I’m not sure the standard rate of progress or where I should/could be at this point if I had done something different, but I’ve roughly been adding ~100lbs to my squat a year (this is a rough guess, I haven’t actually gone back and looked). This is all without really peaking and just messing around and hitting heavy singles when I feel like it. I think that’s pretty good progress.

No apologies necessary!

The 265lb 20 rep set did not look powerful at all. It looked weak. I can do better than that. The 340lb reps before that (from the angle I always take videos from) looked at least “ok” to me. Though that could just be because it’s from an angle of viewing I’m familiar with.

Lifting is something I want to be very good at… it’s the first thing I’ve had in a very long time that I am totally invested in and I want to spend the time to make sure I’m doing it correctly and to the best of my ability. That set showed me that I should improve what I’m doing. It won’t be perfect, and I’m alright with that, but there is absolutely room for improvement.

Squatting doesn’t really hurt enough for me to mention it on here… lately I have been having some slight pain in my adductors at the bottom. Also, a LOT of clicking in my knees, but it hasn’t resulted in any pain.

I may be going too deep here, but I’ve always wanted to be strong. I never really played sports or anything like that growing up so I essentially started at zero when I began lifting. That also means my mobility, conditioning etc etc started at zero, so I feel like I have to play catch up on all of it. My assumption is that after years and years of mistreating my body and being stuck in odd physical positions for hours at work, I did some real damage that I now have to undo. I don’t know. I just want to be better.


To be fair, I ditched traditional back squats out of frustration, so I didn’t stick with those specifically lol

That’s insane progress. I think you have made the most progress in the time I have been here.

So you think that’s a technical issue?

I think most posters here can relate to that.

You have become way stronger and continue to do so, so it seems to me like you’re doing a lot of things right.

So you want your squat to look more powerful then? Or you think that changing your technique will accelerate your strength progress even more and or undo poor posture habits from work?

I hope it does not seem like I feel that you should simply be grateful for whatever progress you’ve made, no matter how huge, and be content with that. It is usually good to want more from yourself. Lifting is self-experimentation. There is no right or wrong answer; instead I am more curious about your rationale. After all, I can learn from you and most of the other lifters on this forum. I almost feel like Socrates probing you with questions, so I apologize.

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Nevertheless you are squatting with weight on your back and standing back up, I would certainly count that as progress.

Thank you, I’m flattered. I feel as though my progress has been good, roughly on par with most people on the site.

I think that the 20 rep set could absolutely be more technically sound. My squat in general could be technically better.

Yes and yes. The “style” of my squat doesn’t matter nearly as much to me as putting myself in a position to compromise weight/reps due to poor form and mobility. If the point of failure (most likely would be a compromised lower back and hips) and poor mobility prevents me from reaching a higher max or hitting depth, I’d rather address that issue now while the weight is still relatively light than when I’m a year or two down the line. Also, if I ever were to do a meet I’d want to ensure my squats would be to depth, which as of right now they are not.

I am never satisfied with my progress haha. I always want more. I know I can do better, I just have to put in the work to be able to do what I want to do. My rationale behind wanting to change it is that I don’t like the way it looks, it looks weak and it looks like I am leaving weight on the table squatting the way I am. It looks like I’m just leaking power through my hips, legs and back.

I’m not looking for perfection, but I feel as though there is room for improvement, so I’m going to improve it to a point that I’m ok with. I won’t be dropping the weight back or dropping reps. I’ll just make small, slow changes that should add up to a better squat over time.

I’m sure I’m repeating myself by now but I wanted to drive home the point that I expect a lot from myself. I feel like I have a pretty good feel for how hard I’m pushing myself and what I can do better, and I know I can do better. I just have to force my body to do what I want it to.

Again, no need to apologize. I think I could use more conversations like this in my log about WHY I do things. It makes me think about what I’m doing rather than just focusing on direct results.

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Got it. I think I was confused because I never got the impression that your technique may have encouraged you to sacrifice weight or reps enough that it bothered you. I don’t think that’s a bad thing to decide.

Dave discussed this on one of the Table Talk podcasts, where he and his guest agree that finding technical errors is a good thing because that means addressing them will probably increase the weight on the bar and or the reps. Whereas if there are no technical issues then you simply have to get stronger, which is much harder to do! Not that it seems like you have had issues with that. I think it is a good idea to address a potential problem sooner rather than later (within reason), especially if you want to compete.

Thanks for that.

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Well, I’ve been working hard with less than ideal form, so hopefully once I can clean it up I’ll get a little bit of a boost.

Yes! This is basically what I’ve been trying to say. I want to give myself every opportunity for more reps and more weight.

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Guaranteed Muscle Mass W1D2

Flat bench

60 sec rest

Incline axle press at 115lb
x 20, 12, 11 (total 43)

Trap bar row

BPA x 50

Axle curl x 205

High handle TBDL

Trap bar arrived today. It’s pretty badass, but the sleeves are shorter than I had anticipated. I definitely need to invest in some additional iron 45’s if I want to get more weight on it. With the way 385 moved, I’m going to absolutely need at least a couple more…