T Nation

Getting a Little Discouraged


Im 47 and I started lifting in April of 2015 having never lifted before. Im doing fine with my upper body strength, but I feel like Im struggling with squats and deadlifts. I have about 15 years of construction, but have been riding a desk and truck for about the last 13 years. I just cant seem to get comfortable squatting especially. Maybe due to some hip mobility issues affecting my form. I just dont feel comfortable at heavier weights....Anyway, Ill post some stats below. I just dont know if I am expecting too much at my age...considering my lack of activity the past 13 years or so...
5'11"- 225lbs was 215 when I started last year.
My last numbers for each workout. All in lbs
Bench -240x5
Military press-160x6


I think you might be on to something with your hip/ankle/knee mobility, but I don't really have any specific advice for you on that. Mine improved from just squatting more, but I don't know if everyone is like that.

What I can speak to is the importance of letting your ego go with squats. Squatting has become a lot more popular in my gym lately, and I observe many men both young and old start with decent-looking squats at 135 or so. Then, as weight gets added, they look shittier and shittier until they aren't even doing squats anymore, but some type of weighted knee bend. Perhaps that is part of their training plan, but I'd say ego-squats for the sake of having "heavy" weight on the bar are much more likely.

If I were in their position, I would work up to whatever weight I can confidently hit a good depth with, that doesn't cause any joint pain, and then push that weight for reps. Add 10 pounds the next week and do it again, and again, and again.

I believe squats are not too difficult to gain competence in, provided your focus remains on the movement instead of loading some arbitrary weight that you call heavy. Mastering them is something else, and I'm not even close to doing that with over 2.5 years under the bar.


I think the 20 rep Widow Maker sets in the 5/3/1 Hardgainer program has helped more than anything. I have added 30lbs to my 1RM since March.


My guts telling me its a form issue.... has anyone knowledgeable looked at your squat and Deadlift form?


I agree with everyone else.
Don't worry about the weight.
My advice would be to go a little lighter for a while, stay in the mid-range, meaning down to a parallel squat, if that works for you, and back to just before lock at the top, keeping the tension in the thighs as you squat down and up, kind of like a spring.
As has been said, work on form.

I'm used to love squatting.
I have a low back issue and squatting even 135 locks me up tight for about a week, so all I do right now are leg presses.

For deadlifts, you might want to try the same, like a Romanian stye, where you can start at the top, out of a power rack, and then lower to about an inch or two above before the plates hit the floor, again keeping the tension in the back at all times.

If you are persistent and take the ego out of it, you'll find what works for you.

I WISH I could lift like I used to.

Good luck.


You can also find ways to make lighter weights more effective. I'm having a fetish with paused box squats at the moment.


The best suggestion I ever got for when it comes to any kind of squat and deadlift is to do it often. Every day to start if possible
The weight on the bar means nothing until you can groove an effortless range of motion
I’d start with less intensity and more volume. As you become more comfortable you will start using a progressive overload approach
I don’t know anything specifically about mobility training but I would throw some of that in too. I’m sure you can find tons of info on that