T Nation

Checking Your Ego at the Door


I've recently dealt with a knee injury which was linked with poor squat form. The squat has always been my prided exercise, not because it's my best lift but because I think it's the toughest lift to perform and it seems that very little people do them.

I always had good depth but I would round my back, eventually on a heavy day i shifted my weight over my toes and ended up with a knee injury lasting a couple months. Now i'm back at it and fixing my form. Not only have I noticed a slight muscle imbalance between legs but when using proper form my squat is a good 50lbs. lighter.

It's very frustrating doing less weight than before. Who else has dealth with a similar issue and how did you help keep your spirits high?


Losing is forever, pain is temporary.


Are you actually surprised that you're weaker after taking 'a couple of months off' from an injury?
That's normal.

If this is bothering you as much as it seems, just be happy that it won't take very long for you to get back where you were, unless proper form(for yourself) and your previous form aren't even close.

Muscle memory ftw.

FTR, if you had 'good depth' before, but were rounding your back, then you might want to pay attention to that, b/c it sounds like there is/was some compensation going on in order for you to reach 'good depth'.
Keep your chest up, and be able to wiggle your toes when squatting.


just get on the leg press, load it with every plate on the gym and crank some reps out. instant ego boost.


Where knee wraps and use your hands as well. :wink:

I noticed the other day on some of our younger guys that they actually squat with the bar shift to one side or the other, or their mid line was more to one foot or the other.


Stretch your hamstrings and hip flexors. Focus on keeping upper back tight.
Heavy rack pulls are good ego boosters.


The good news is you are probably doing better form heavier weight than anyone who sees you so really the ONLY ONE who knows there is anything less than ideal is you. You must think of yourself as a general. You are laying the groundwork now with perfect form at lighter weight to eventually lift harder and heavier than you ever could have with your previous imperfect form.


Here is a Courage Wolf for You.


I am currently reading that.


Yup, my squat was quad dominant. EliteFTS videos helped me fix that but my numbers went way down (~50 lbs)



While you're at it download the power metal song "The Art of War" by Sabaton
Get "The Price of a Mile" too while you're at it.

Aaaaaah, European Power Metal about WWII and Sun Tzu... SO EPIC!


I like to think "Lift for Life" that way there is no finish line but the ultimate one.

I think of getting stronger as head down, noes to the grindstone stuff.


If I checked my ego at the door there'd be nothing left to go inside.


i find this on a lot of exercises. not as bad as the person doing two inch curtsies in the squat rack thinking they are squatting, but i do find little ways of cheating most movements. then i need to put the weight down (sometimes significantly) in order to work on proper activation patterns.

it sucks. i hear you.

but if you don't do it you are cheating yourself mostly and looking like a douche because of it (if people know that you didn't check your ego).

do it properly because if you do it properly then one day you will do far far better than you would if you were to do it improperly. and you are far less likely to get hurt.

it does suck though, i hear you.

if you want a real ego check take up oly lifting. caring about doing it properly rather than about muscling weight around, i mean.

broomsticks ftw???


Thanks guys.

Brother Chris: Sometimes I think it feels like I'm not centered on the bar well, but i've had other people tell me that I am and the weight looks balanced properly. I thought maybe this was partially due to the imbalance.

Hallowed: I'll check those songs out. It's not powermetal but you should look into God Dethroned's album passiondale, it's based on war and has some clean singing as well. I've been repping 1349's album Hellfire alot latly, intense music for intense workouts.




I kept my spirits high by drinking heavily every night, which as it turns out isn't the right way to keep your spirits high.

So don't do that.

You got dealt a short hand for an incredibly temporary piece of time. You will get through it, unless you don't want to.

As long as you want it, it's all yours and thensome.





OP,I know what you're going through, I've had to deal with shoulder injuries, hamstring pulls, and more recently a lower back injury.
A few months ago I couldn't squat,deadlift OR do any kind of upper body push...and I still went to the gym.

I've had no choice but to get really good at rehabbing myself. Read Cressey, Robertson.

It's very rare that you won't be able to recover from an injury. Rehab. Be patient. The only way to think is that it WILL get better.

Just think, I went from not being able to bo a BW squat to recently hitting a (modest) PR, in something like 4 months.

Fuck your ego. Rehab, start over, progress, PR.



Just say no several times to the grindstone. :wink:


Watch the Squat videos from EFS.