T Nation

Bringing Up My Squat


I'm not a powerlifter and I don't lift like one, however I'm really motivated to bring my squat up. Just to give some of my stats, I have a 275 lb squat, I've deadlifted 500(about 4-5 months ago, haven't been deadlifting since but think it would be easy to get back), and bench press an estimated 275.

I am using CT's HP MASS program for the upper body pressing muscles and am liking it, I used it for about 9 weeks for the lower body also but didn't get any strength gains from it just a lot of joint pains from the 6x a week frequency(including the neural charge workouts). Can anyone recommend a power lifting routine for just my lower body(squats/deadlifts, assistance work) that has been proven to bring up squat numbers?
Here is a video of my 275 lb squat:

One of the reasons I'm posting this is because I feel it's strange I have such a big difference in my squat and deadlift.


For that 500 deadlift I am going to assume you wore a belt. One reason your squat is farther off is that you aren't wearing a belt.


You're lower back rounds at the bottom. Fix that or you will risk crushing a dis when increasing your squat. I actually have the same issue and I'm working on fixing it.


Also I notice you are "Level 4" out of curiosity how much stuff did you have to buy to get there?


Where is the bar positioned on your back? I may be wrong but it looks higher on your traps. Its hard to see from this angle but check your stance.


First off, your squat would probably be a heavier if you didn't go completely ATG with it. :slight_smile: Just like some people can pull more weight with a sumo deadlift vs. a conventional, because of their leverages and because the ROM is less.

You also seem to have a short torso, like myself, and I can see that towards the bottom you let your chest drop and you lean forward. I have this same problem, and have to concentrate hard on keeping my chest up and breaking at the hips more.

Also, your back is flat as a board. You gotta learn to lift your chest, and arch your back, and then hold that arch on the way down.

So without making this post really long, here's what I would do:

  • widen stance, and point your toes out slightly

  • squat to 2-3" below parallel

  • initiate with the HIPS first

  • get those elbows under the bar

  • when you set up, get your chest up

  • ARCH your back and hold it

  • drive your head and traps into the bar

  • rise with the chest first, not the hips

If you want to see a clear indicator that your chest is dropping, watch the bar path as you're going down...the bar should be going straight up and down, not slanted and moving forward.

Your lean isn't terrible at all, but I'm sure your squat would improve if you followed the pointers I wrote out.

Depending on how long you've been lifting, you could probably do well on something like the Texas method or Madcows. You can just do something else for your bench.


Most impressive ATG squat I've seen in a long time, and the lumbar flexion was not bad either. Very good. Squatting deep, nothing wrong with that if you can do it. :slight_smile:


Korte's 3x3 really helped me focus on form. You'll DL, SQ, and Bench 3x week.


I am not a fan of changing original programs, but if your upper body is coming along how you want it, maybe try Korte 3x3 for just the SQ.


I've spent about $2200 with Biotest but I don't know when I actually became a level 4.


Right under that bone on my neck.


Hamstrings, abs, lowerback. Do those three things (and work on your form) and your squat will go up.



A number of people are doing well on 5/3/1, including myself. I can't think of a reason you could not just do the 5/3/1 squat and dead days and do your body building type workouts for the upper body the rest of the week.


What do you want out of squatting? (bigger squat, bigger legs, more glute/hip meat , athleticism?)


Well I don't play any sports. I would like bigger legs and strength. I just finished a HP Mass cycle which I thought was geared more towards size so would like to lift some heavier weights now and build some strength.


What would you suggest for hamstrings and lower back? I don't have a glute ham raise at my gym.


Good mornings




Regarding the lumbar flexion, I hear some people say it's horrible, and other like Stallion here find that in this case, it was not bad at all. I've noticed that almost all the women I've trained and competed with have some degree of lumbar flexion going below parallel. Some side judges I've had even look for a bit of butt wink to confirm depth. My kid oly lifts and her squats are for real high bar ATG and yes, she has the "butt wink" too, as do the other girls in her club.

So what's the verdict, is the amount of lumbar flexion in the OPs squat good, bad or ugly? Personally it's caused no issue for me, but my best squat is only 270, maybe not enough weight to cause a problem?


If I get the 'butt wink' doing a power squat (low bar, widish stance) by hips and back will be killing me the next day . But doing it high bar narrowish stance a little lower back flexion doesn't seem to hurt me. I still focus on not doing it but if it does on that latter type of squat I don't worry about it. Btw, nice squat, most of the guys at my college rec. center can't even do a parallel or lower squat with that weight. I'm glad I have another gym to go to.

To the OP, here's some exercises for your hams, hips, glutes, lower back in no particular order.

-Good mornings (lots of variety here: stance, bar position, plates under heel or front of foot, chains, bands, squat GM, etc)
-swiss ball leg curls
-stiff legged deadlifts and romanian
-reverse hyper
-back extensions
-dimel deadlifts
-one leg sldl
-box squats

Of those, box squats and GMs are the lifts that have the most correlation to my squat, but tbh honest I'm still learning what works best for me.


nearly every single guy at my gym does that butt wink at the bottom, and i dno't think anyone has lower back issues.