T Nation

Got Weaker in the Squat?!?!??

Okay so a few months back my squat hit a plateau. I’d been stuck a 405x5 for the longest time. I concluded that my hamstrings were lacking and decided to bring them up. I began doing defecit deadlifts and snatchgrips…my deadlifting strength went up a whole lot from about 425 from a 5 inch deficit to 485. I went back to doing squats today after eliminating them for about 3 months and I could only handle 295 for 5 reps ( maybe could have gotten 8)…but that’s still a huge strength loss. I thought once I brought up my weak link (hamstrings) my squat would go up but it has went down significantly…what gives?? Will I gain my strength back in the squat quickly?.

So you stopped squating for 3 months , I’m not expert but that doesent seem like a good time.

Good idea, but it doesent seem like a good time either

Ah, don’t worry, it will come back quickly. I got injured, then depressed, stopped lifting for 7 months. Got my shit together, was back at old weights in 2 months. You’ll be surprised how quick it comes back.
But for the record, quitting a lift for 3 months is a bad idea.

You forgot what it feels like to have heavy ass weight loaded on your spine. It will come back with time.

Lol how do you lose 100lbs off your squat, seems kind of rediculous, even if you hadnt squatted for 3 months.

Youre supposed to address your hamstring weakness and squat at the same time.

A few things come to mind:

#1. Obviously you lost some of your squat due to lack of specificity in your training. You didn’t need to completely stop incorporating squatting in your routine. This decreased your efficiency and neuromuscular fitness towards this specific movement (which is very energy demanding).

#2. Did you stop to check if you have an imbalance? Just because you can squat 400lbs doesn’t mean you can single-leg squat 200lbs (nor does it have to); HOWEVER, if you find that you can only squat 130 with your left leg and 180 with your right leg, then you may very well have an imbalance that you can address.

#3. CORE. I don’t know how many guys I have helped in the gym who were plateaued in lifts like the squat, power clean, or deadlift who benfited big time from a focused core routine. The key is what type of exercises you do. I’m not talking about blasting out 500 crunches on the mat between sets. I’m talking about core that is going to create stiffness and stability around the spine (especially lumbar region just above the pelvis). This increased stability will enable you to generate more power at the hip joints during the extension phase because you abdominals will be braced and less force will be placed around the L4-L5-S1 area which is where most people end up injuring a disc.

Those are just a few ideas…if you are interested I have some great core workouts saved I made.

Yeah le me see the core routines…

OK, I am going to revise the original doc I made because I want to add 2 exercises for you. I will get it to you sometime tomorrow evening. Also, I noticed your post about hip instability. Some questions:

  1. Does one leg sometimes feel shorter than the other? Almost like you have a hitch in your stride and it might appear like a limp, but there is not really any pain, just unevenness? One thing you can do is put your hands on top of your hip bones and feel for yourself. Does one feel hiked up or higher?

  2. Do you have tightness/pain/stiffness in that hip during parts of the day? Specifically times when you are sitting for long periods such as in the car, or class, or at a desk? If so does your groin feel like it gets tight/stiff?

  3. If you lay flat on your back and pull your “good” leg towards your chest gently with your hands (knee to chest), can you repeat this and do it as far with your “bad” leg? Or is the range of motion more limited? If you hug your “bad” leg towards your chest a bit tighter do you get any tightness/pain in the groin region, such as a pinchy feeling?

This is fairly easy. You just took 3 months off from squatting. That’s a long time to not have a barbell on your back. I just came back from a week long vacation and I didn’t squat at all on vacation. I feel like a kitten in the gym right now.

My suggestion, don’t ever go 3 months without squatting again. When you focus on deadlift for example you don’t just cut out the other lifts. you simply pull back a little or stagger the intensities. Squat emphasis one week Deadlift emphasis the next week.

Since you had a fairly strong squat I would expect your numbers to come back fairly quickly. Now the key is to get some foundation work in for about 3-5 weeks, and then start your normal cycle. You should be back up and running relatively quickly.

Didnt you say in another thread that you had lost 30 lbs over the past 3 months and attributed your strength loss to that?

[quote]Bellmar wrote:
Didnt you say in another thread that you had lost 30 lbs over the past 3 months and attributed your strength loss to that?[/quote]

Between the weight loss and lack of practicing form in any way that’ll do it.

Don’t stop squatting just because you are bringing up a weakness. Also, how did you determine it was a hamstring weakness in the first place? Definitely could just be a form issue that needs to be sorted out.

Not to say you shouldn’t be doing hamstring work, but it may not be the exact cause of the problem.

[quote]BombDonald wrote:
Don’t stop squatting just because you are bringing up a weakness. Also, how did you determine it was a hamstring weakness in the first place? Definitely could just be a form issue that needs to be sorted out.

Not to say you shouldn’t be doing hamstring work, but it may not be the exact cause of the problem.[/quote]

I figured it was hamstring weakness just because the muscular development there wasn’t as good as my glutes quads and low back…I also have never really focused on my hamstrings like the other muscle groups…I never really feel them working

when you hit the peak again switch from doing free squats to box squats and other variations of squats…you might have just hit a little snag where you need to add alittle spice to the routine just IMO