T Nation

Help with Squat Please?


#1

Hi guys, I really need some advice on my squat. It is just plain pathetic number wise compared to my deadlift and bench. Just a brief overview to help you understand my issue. My PR DL is 525 right now conventional and bench 345. But my freaking squat is literally sitting around 325 (dont laugh) ok you can laugh, I am at myself. Thats why I need your help.

I prefer low bar squat and a very wide stance as I have some pretty long legs. My issue is explosiveness coming out of the hole. I struggle tremendously with exploding up out of the hole. Whereas on my deadlift and bench, I feel I have some great explosive power there.

As for form, I have actually have had a few wide stanced experienced squatters that came through my gym say my low bar form was excellent, so I just can't figure out what the hell my problem is. I recently left the ego out the door and stepped down to do some basic 5x5 work but I just want some help figuring out my weakness.

Thanks!


#2

Video?


#3

Will get one tomorrow when I squat again.


#4

Without a video it’s pretty impossible to give you any guidance. That said, you can pull 525 conventional but you prefer squatting “ultra wide”…obviously your preference isn’t producing results. Mix things up, put that bar up higher, narrow that stance, and start with really light weight. Imaging “deadlifting” that weight up.


#5

[quote]HARA wrote:
Without a video it’s pretty impossible to give you any guidance. That said, you can pull 525 conventional but you prefer squatting “ultra wide”…obviously your preference isn’t producing results. Mix things up, put that bar up higher, narrow that stance, and start with really light weight. Imaging “deadlifting” that weight up. [/quote]

I guess I just keep reading about “low bar” being better for a more powerful squat making me always assume that position is better for me. Truthfully I pull pretty narrow (shoulder width). Should I squat the same stance as I pull? Do any of you switch up your stance occasionally?


#6

You just described me, except for me the embarassment is my bench. Like the others said, video would help.

That being said, wider stance for a taller guy makes sense in a lot of ways BUT my own experience is that wider stance slows you down out of the hole. What are your proportions? Short legs/long body or long legs/short body? What I’ve found for myself (and note I’m kind of blocky and 5’9" with short legs relative to my trunk) is that narrow stance/high bar = depth, speed out of the hole but stalling in the last third while wider (although not super wide, maybe 1.5 times shoulder width or a bit less stance)/lower bar = slightly less depth and speed out of the hole but much less of a stall.

What I’ve found helps overall are paused front squats at about 75% of my FS max. Ten sets of a single or five doubles holding from two to five seconds in the hole aren’t fun but seem to help pushing through stalls.


#7

Theres the link to my video. Let me know what you think please? You can be brutally honest Im not easily offended lol.


#8

There really isn’t much wrong that I can see. You don’t look like you’re locking out fully at the top, but that’s about it. Speed throughout looks good and constant too. Is that 325? For me, I’m fast out of the hole, slow in the middle and fast at the finish.

Maybe trying a more upright torso would help? I know that’s not quite what you get with low bar, but even just trying to keep a straighter upper body might help you with your speed. Try a closer grip if you can, that helps me keep my chest up. I’m basing the whole upright body on the fact that your low bar technique is ovbviously good, so the lack of pounds on the bar isn’t technique-related. Have you tried plain old high bar squats? Or even higher bar without going too high? I’m thinking with your 525 dead lift your lower back is definitely going to be strong enough to keep your trunk upright.

Just for an example, my max dead lift (conventional, narrow stance) is 473 and my max squat is 396 with a low-ish bar, wide-ish stance but quite upright torso. Bodyweight is about 190 and like I said I’m 5’9" or so.


#9

Good points MarkKO! For this video I just threw on 185 to show my form. I actually went with a MEDIUM bar (middle of traps) and narrowed my stance just a little and I think it actually helped alot. I think I will stay with that from now on. My only issue right now is I have this stupid Patellar tracking issue. My abductors basically pull my patella to the right and it really sucks. They say to “isolate the vmo” which I have found to be impossible. But hey, its something I have to fight and I wont give up! Im actually 6’2 and 250lb currently…I should be squatting 500! This sucks! But I will definitely take up your advice on the pause squats! Thanks bud!


#10

Happy to help! Just FYI with pause front squats I’ve found over three reps and I start blacking out a bit from the bar choking me.