T Nation

Building Up My Squat


Slowly as time progresses Im realizing the workouts that have the best effect on my body, but i cant seem to predict how my progress will be.

Currently i weight a pretty stable 155lbs, im 17 years old, about 5'8. When i started i was around 130 and bumped myself a good 20 pounds of muscle. My 1RM squat is at 240lbs without a spotter, so im thinking with a squater(and the satisfaction of knowing i can have someone help me if its too much) itll be a little higher in weight. About a month ago i found my max was about 225.

How long do you vets think itll take me to reach the big 300?


I'm not a vet yet but I'll bite.
You are young, so your recovery ability should be very high. Hence, your work capacity is also high. If your eating and rest are in good order, and the training program you use is geared toward developing strength, you should be able to put 60 lbs. on to your squat very quickly.

Within a couple of months on the long end of it. If the previously mentioned ducks are not in a row, it may take a while. A guy I lift with just hit 315 after two months of squatting and deads, and his starting point was at about where yours is now. He is a bit older though (39).

Something that may help- If you have access to a rack, set the pins and load up the bar with a decent amount of weight, then dump it on the pins. Once you realise that nothing realy bad happens when you dump it, you should have a bit more confidence when it comes to shouldering some heavy weight. That alone could increase your max a bit.


ok everything sounds ok,
now lets take a look at what your routine is. Also what other movements or body parts are u working. All this info will give us a better idea of how to help you.


It seems like one big factor with beginners is getting comfortable under the bar. My squat sucked for a long time, I hated squatting, and I was not comfortable with big weights because I was afraid of getting stuck in the bottom of a squat.

I don't know exactly when it happened, but I kept up my squatting and eventually felt comfortable with bigger weights and the fear of getting stuck at the bottom went away. Squats quickly became one of my favorite exercise and now I'm going to be going after a 315lb. squat in the very near future. At 17 years old and 180lbs. this isn't anything special, but it just goes to show you that if you keep at it, work hard, and train smart you will make gains.

By the way in terms of a time frame, I hit 225lb. squat for the first time in the summer. Then 275lb. squat around November-December. Now I'm doing 275 really pretty easily, even on a paused box squat a few inches below parallel. So just keep up the hard work and maybe post your workout.


Being someone that just recently hit 300+ myself I'd say that having a spotter is important.

Pins don't have your back, they keep you from dying, a spotter helps you get that bad boy up.

Learning to drive through is also important. If you get stalled, don't give up, focus on forcing those muscles to contract harder. My hamstrings were sore from pulling so hard for hours after.

Tight as hell knee wraps and a belt help too. I had bruises on the back of my knees when I was done.

My two cents.


Wow, awesome. I just predicted it would take less than 2 months too, because my squat was parallel for 240 and yesterday, although i was sore, i decided to do Max Effort olympic ass-to-grass squats. Ends up i got to 250. I also set the pins too, so youre right---that DOES help big time with the confidence problem.

Right now im doing my own little spin on the Westside for Skinny Bastards setup. I added a repetition day for legs.
Check out the program through the site, but my added day is like this:

Squat Variation(usually box): 3 sets to Failure
Romanian DL: 4-6/5-8
Sled Calf Work: 3-4/8-15
Grip Work: Timed
and Abs depending on how my last work out affected me, usually a 3 exercise circuit.
**Note: Failure means until i can no longer do the exercise in perfect form.

I was a little sore yesterday for ME, but I decided its best to work through it since im a teenager as it is. Next week if its worse ill most likely cut the volume a tad and the problem will be solved.

But yeah guys, im hoping for that 300 soon!!!!


Good shit man. You're gonna do well with this.


An important and often overlooked aspect of the squat is flexibilty. If you are so tight you have trouble getting into proper positions doing bodyweight squats, you're not going to get it done with a few hundred pounds on your back.

Do some light(just a bar...even a broomstick will work)overhead squats. This will help your flexibility and core strength. I've seen people, myself included, increase their squat 50-100lbs just by becoming more flexible.



So today at the gym I had to modify my rep day (im going to a concert tomorrow night and for the next two days wont be able to work out). I just decided to do ME and rep together, for the hell of it. Ends up i came to do 265 parallel alone, and as soon as my ffriend came i thought i could do 10 pounds more. Tried 275, couldnt quite make it. Although i believe its because i was quite tired from the other effort i put it. Im sure i can get there if i was a bit more fresh, ill try next time and let you guys know.


Damn good, Ill give it a try.