T Nation

Found Weak Points... Now What?


Okay, so tonight was the night that I was going to max out on squats. Went into the gym and did so. I was winding down my workout with 385x1 and 405x1. I got 385 with about an "8" on the strain scale. I thought I had more in the tank, so I went for 405. Long story short, I got pinned about 4-6 inches out of the hole and my upper back started rounding.

So to get to my question, I know that I'm weak out of the hole and my upper back rounded. What assistance exercises should I pick to help get rid of those sticking points? Any help would be appreciated.



Out of the hole paused squats and ghr if you have one. For your rounded back frount or safety/yoke bar squats.


Okay, thanks. I think I can compensate on the GHR with the lat pulldown machine. As far as the safety/yoke bar squats, I don't have access to any of those, sadly. Thanks again.



Just frount squat then.


Also good mornings.


Also a side note: I saw a video by dave tate a while ago, about 1RM PRs. The way he was coached, if you break a PR, you are done for the day. I see a lot of posts on here of people breaking a PR and missing a bigger PR back to back, and have done it a few times myself before I started following this advice.


Okay for the paused squats, should I use those as a ME exercise or put those in for my DE day?
If I use them as a ME exercise, should I work up to a max or try and be as explosive as possible?



I use paused squats as assistance work mainly. I'll use GM's as a ME movement on occasion. Are you sure it's upper back and not core as well? Are you simply rounding with your upper back or are you caving over out of the hole?


weighted planks?


There are two big problems. Both are weaknesses/technique problems. Your upper back is not staying tight enough. This is where I fail as well when I miss a squat. The BEST exercise I have found for this is seated upper back good mornings. Will they help you? I have no idea. I do know that Working the hell out of these has put about 50lbs on my squat.

Also, your abs are either weak or not staying tight enough. Drop whatever ab work you are doing and start training with some heavy weights in some, i hate to say it, sport-specific positions. Front squat holds work well, so do suit case deadlifts.

I don't think GMs and GHRs are good for upper back strength. If you are losing tightness there when you squat, there is no way in hell you are in a good position during a gm.


I suggest you experiment see what works best. Also if you think your abs are weak this might need to be worked on to.


This is the first thing I thought of.


Thanks for all the replies and suggestions, guys. I'll definitely be taking all of these into consideration when I start heavy training after my season ends.



Really enjoy your advice Storm. Really interested in trying the seated upper back good mornings and seeing how they improve squat technique.


Fair warning, they are brutal. I suggest using a safety squat bar if available. Also, either keep the reps high or go for a certain amount of time.


don't do weighted planks whatever you do because they will be far to easy. just out of curiosity what weight did you get for what time?


Good mornings, as other people have said.


I've done 200lbs for 3 sets of 45s on/30s off and left the bar on my back the whole time (didn't rack it between sets). I woke up the next day and was 9 inches thicker.


Nice. Good morning variations have helped my squat and deadlift considerably in the past.


I never did good mornings and I did it for 3 weeks, my squat went from 140kg to 155kg, used a cambered bar and felt my hamstrings and glutes get destroyed! In about 6 weeks gonna start using them a ME exercise, as of right now still keeping them supplementary and really just focussing on high reps and getting the motor pattern down!