T Nation

Can't Squat

Check this out,Ive been lifting off and on (more on)for 10 years and i cant squat shit.I can leg press 500 plus lbs for 10+ reps but can barely squat 135 for 8 good reps.I cant seem to get the form and teq down.

What can i do? I WANT to squat.

STOP DOING LEG PRESSES

[quote]horsepuss wrote:
Check this out,Ive been lifting off and on (more on)for 10 years and i cant squat shit.I can leg press 500 plus lbs for 10+ reps but can barely squat 135 for 8 good reps.I cant seem to get the form and teq down.

What can i do? I WANT to squat.[/quote]

First question I have is how often do you try to squat? If not often, then I suggest getting the movement down with just the bar. Do it in front of a mirror or have someone watch you so they can tell you what your form looks like.

Second question is do you have pain or stiffness in any particular range of the quat. If so, you need to address that by active stretching and doing knee bends and lunges as a warm up.

It seems more like you just need to practice the squat more. Research technique videos too. In fact, I believe there are some floating around here to view.

[quote]horsepuss wrote:
Check this out,Ive been lifting off and on (more on)for 10 years and i cant squat shit.I can leg press 500 plus lbs for 10+ reps but can barely squat 135 for 8 good reps.I cant seem to get the form and teq down.

What can i do? I WANT to squat.[/quote]

Shit dude, practice squatting.

Watch videos, visualize it, get that motion down.

Then start adding weight.

It’s not rocket science

[quote]horsepuss wrote:
Check this out,Ive been lifting off and on (more on)for 10 years and i cant squat shit.I can leg press 500 plus lbs for 10+ reps but can barely squat 135 for 8 good reps.I cant seem to get the form and teq down.

What can i do? I WANT to squat.[/quote]

Every leg press is different…in fact adjusting a few seat settings/angles can make differences of hundreds of pounds. I’ve used some leg presses where 1000 pounds was pretty easy, and others where 400 pounds was extremely difficult.

Maybe you have weak legs? I would guess that it is a combination of weak legs and a lack of mobility / flexibility. Solution, squat more frequently and heavy, and work on your mobility.

Watch right through this video and you will never forget how to squat.
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6529481301858251744

Dan John at his best.

No offense horesepuss but 10 years of training and only a 135# squat? Unless you’re an 80 pound dwarf, I just don’t think you’re trying very hard. And a 500 lb leg press is nothing to brag about either. There’s no magic trick here. Just start squatting.

Squat at least once a week maybe even twice a week if you can handle it. Set incremental weight goals for each week. Say an increase of 5 or 10 pounds a week.

For example maybe do 135 for 5 sets of 5 reps. The following week 145 for 5, etc. and keep pushing those goals higher as you make progress. If you?re consistent and diligent about hitting your numbers you’ll be a 225 squatter in no time at all. And in a few months you’ll likely be flirting with 315.

Make sure you’re not doing one handed overhead single legged squats on a swiss ball with a blindfold on.

[quote]horsepuss wrote:
Check this out,Ive been lifting off and on (more on)for 10 years and i cant squat shit.I can leg press 500 plus lbs for 10+ reps but can barely squat 135 for 8 good reps.I cant seem to get the form and teq down.

What can i do? I WANT to squat.[/quote]

Stay away from leg presses. Most people can leg press a lot more than they can squat. In my opinion, the only reason to do leg presses is if you have an injury and can’t squat without hurting yourself.

The young guys trying to look cool who load up the leg press with all the weight it can carry, yet refuse to hit the squat rack just get laughed at in my gym.

Squatting is a lot tougher than presses. It’s compound exercise that uses a lot more muscle groups in helping you maintain proper form, balance, and back alignment.

When I started doing squats, my biggest problem was having a limited range of motion. After working on them for a few weeks (by specifically trying to get lower and lower), I managed to strengthen the appropriate muscles to enable me to do a proper squat. Ideally, you should be able to lower yourself until your upper leg/thigh is parallel to the ground.

If you’re having trouble with poor ROM, just try going further down each set, or try using a lighter weight.

At the beginning, try using just the bar and working on impeccable form. Even now, I always do one set of just the bar as a warmup to limber up my knees and get the blood flowing.

Keep your lower back straight (maintain the normal lordosis), make sure your knees are always in-line over your toes (and not bending inward or outward) and try to go down until your thighs are parallel with the ground.

Start out with light weight if you need, 135, 115, or even 95 lbs is fine. At the beginning, keep your weights light enough so that you can really concentrate on proper form/balance/alignment. After a few workouts, you should see improvement. Just remember to keep going all the way down and to maintain proper back alignment.

I also found that doing deadlifts really helped my squats along.

Don’t worry if you can’t squat much right now. You should expect your squat to be a lot less than your leg press ever was. Not only do you need to lift the weight, you have to keep yourself balanced from side to side, front to back, support the weight on your shoulder, maintain proper back alignment… It’s a tough exercise.

I’ve been down the same road as you before. I fell into the leg press trap and had a hard time doing squats. I found that by starting out with a proper weight (and not overloading at the beginning) and STICKING WITH IT, I was able to get over the hump and find the squat to be one of my favorite exercises now.

Good luck!

[quote]sharetrader wrote:
Watch right through this video and you will never forget how to squat.
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6529481301858251744

Dan John at his best.[/quote]

great video, i learned a lot, i plan on watching the other ones…

but a question: who are these people learning from Dan John? He claims to teach these people for the first time how easy Overhead Squat is, but he always talks to them like they are trainers. How could trainers/coaches not have done an overhead squat before? Its kinda wierd lol…

[quote]Contach wrote:
sharetrader wrote:
Watch right through this video and you will never forget how to squat.
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6529481301858251744

Dan John at his best.

great video, i learned a lot, i plan on watching the other ones…

but a question: who are these people learning from Dan John? He claims to teach these people for the first time how easy Overhead Squat is, but he always talks to them like they are trainers. How could trainers/coaches not have done an overhead squat before? Its kinda wierd lol…[/quote]

you’d be suprised…

[quote]That One Guy wrote:
Contach wrote:
sharetrader wrote:
Watch right through this video and you will never forget how to squat.
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6529481301858251744

Dan John at his best.

great video, i learned a lot, i plan on watching the other ones…

but a question: who are these people learning from Dan John? He claims to teach these people for the first time how easy Overhead Squat is, but he always talks to them like they are trainers. How could trainers/coaches not have done an overhead squat before? Its kinda wierd lol…

you’d be suprised…[/quote]

Yeah, I reckon they are “trainers”. Most of them probably have their clients on machines 90% of the time.

[quote]Contach wrote:

great video, i learned a lot, i plan on watching the other ones…

[/quote]

Great, now all that needs to happen is for the OP to watch it as well. :wink:

what helped my form early:
At most gyms there’s gotta be at least one guy who knows what he’s doing. The huge guy deadlifting 600. The powerlifter snatching 200. Not always, but any gym that I’ve frequented someone like that will be there.

If there’s a lift I need to work on I’d ask them to look at my form and comment. They’ve all given me some great advice

Personal instruction is the best way to learn shit. And you don’t have to always pay for it

Yeah man, I couldn’t squat that much at first either, but you have to be consistent and squat at least once a week. You’ll be adding lbs. in no time bro.

[quote]GoOrange wrote:
horsepuss wrote:
Check this out,Ive been lifting off and on (more on)for 10 years and i cant squat shit.I can leg press 500 plus lbs for 10+ reps but can barely squat 135 for 8 good reps.I cant seem to get the form and teq down.

What can i do? I WANT to squat.

Stay away from leg presses. Most people can leg press a lot more than they can squat. In my opinion, the only reason to do leg presses is if you have an injury and can’t squat without hurting yourself.

The young guys trying to look cool who load up the leg press with all the weight it can carry, yet refuse to hit the squat rack just get laughed at in my gym.

Squatting is a lot tougher than presses. It’s compound exercise that uses a lot more muscle groups in helping you maintain proper form, balance, and back alignment.

When I started doing squats, my biggest problem was having a limited range of motion. After working on them for a few weeks (by specifically trying to get lower and lower), I managed to strengthen the appropriate muscles to enable me to do a proper squat. Ideally, you should be able to lower yourself until your upper leg/thigh is parallel to the ground.

If you’re having trouble with poor ROM, just try going further down each set, or try using a lighter weight.

At the beginning, try using just the bar and working on impeccable form. Even now, I always do one set of just the bar as a warmup to limber up my knees and get the blood flowing.

Keep your lower back straight (maintain the normal lordosis), make sure your knees are always in-line over your toes (and not bending inward or outward) and try to go down until your thighs are parallel with the ground.

Start out with light weight if you need, 135, 115, or even 95 lbs is fine. At the beginning, keep your weights light enough so that you can really concentrate on proper form/balance/alignment. After a few workouts, you should see improvement. Just remember to keep going all the way down and to maintain proper back alignment.

I also found that doing deadlifts really helped my squats along.

Don’t worry if you can’t squat much right now. You should expect your squat to be a lot less than your leg press ever was. Not only do you need to lift the weight, you have to keep yourself balanced from side to side, front to back, support the weight on your shoulder, maintain proper back alignment… It’s a tough exercise.

I’ve been down the same road as you before. I fell into the leg press trap and had a hard time doing squats. I found that by starting out with a proper weight (and not overloading at the beginning) and STICKING WITH IT, I was able to get over the hump and find the squat to be one of my favorite exercises now.

Good luck!

[/quote]
Nice,Great info thank you.Fuck the leg press.

Thanks for all the info.Now i am gonna go squat.

(not many things are more motivating than hearing someone curse the leg press before they go and start squatting!-makes me want to do legs again today!)

Maybe you should squat more often and heavier? Just a thought.

[quote]horsepuss wrote:
Check this out,Ive been lifting off and on (more on)for 10 years and i cant squat shit.I can leg press 500 plus lbs for 10+ reps but can barely squat 135 for 8 good reps.I cant seem to get the form and teq down.

What can i do? I WANT to squat.[/quote]

after 10 years you figure out you “WANT to squat”

damn, my 5th grade teacher was right, some people have really distorted learning curves.

/end unhelpful post