T Nation

Cramps in Squatting Muscles

I’ve been training for about 5 months.
I did basically 5x5 - Squat, 5x5 - RDL for the first time in my life, increasing the weight from probably about 30% until I hit probably about 85-95% max.

I’ve got cramps in pretty much all the squatting muscles. First, after getting out of the gym I got cramps in my lower legs, so I sit down for a while, basically pushing the toes/leg opposite way so the pain would go away. That went away.

Next, when I get home, I go and lay/stretch on the floor and my upper back starts to cramp. Fine, that’s gone now. And the last problem, is that I contracted the Quads and they’re also cramped, and can’t really walk.
I would like to know how to make them go away. This is the first time I went this heavy, and I understand it’s the reason.

After this long and boring introduction I finally ask the question:
What can I do with my training and nutrition to make them go away? I love going heavy(for me) and don’t want to stop it.

This could be 100% coincidental and/or psychosomatic but I’ve noticed a definite reduction in cramping incidents since upping my calorie intake, and for that matter I noticed a definite increase of incidents when eating a lot less.

Its most likely just the new stimulus and you worked HARD!!

Other then that things to look at, proper hydration and your electrlytes (potassium and sodium)


Thanks for the tips guys. Well, you know, given the CRAZY temperatures these days, it is possible that I may be dehydrated…
As for total calories, well, I should see if they affect me pretty soon…

First thing that came to my mind is that you may want to try stretching after your workouts.

[quote]Ipsum wrote:
First thing that came to my mind is that you may want to try stretching after your workouts.[/quote]

OR even before them if you aren’t already.

Well, I’m gonna have to test one thing at a time (sort of). If the next workout leaves me feeling the same then I’ll introduce some dynamic stretches before my squat day, and then a static stretch after. Thanks.

Hey man, first off: congrats on obviously being able to PUSH yourself, you’re obviously training and not “working out”. The fact that you continue to beat up on those muscles is a great sign! Keep it up and I’m sure if you keep the lifting up you will have a bright future in the iron game.

Anyways, I’m not really surprised to hear this. You’re a newbie lifter and your soft tissue quality is obviously quite low. Buy yourself a Foam Roller, and read up on Self-Myofascial Release (SMR). Check out this pertinent article:


Don’t worry about the cramping just take it easy after you lift. I like to dedicate an off-day from the gym to some aggressive foam rolling and dynamic stretching. It’s definitely worth it! You’ll be fine in no time man.(Don’t ever take ibuprofen for the soreness, definitely not good for this type of aching)

Thanks man, heavy training rocks.

Well, I’ll look for a foam roller where I live, if that fails I’ll order from EliteFTS.
Thanks for the tips and article. Anything to help sustain heavy training…