T Nation

Help!

Ok…the other day I tested my 1 rep max on the deadlift, bench, barbell row (w/ a 2 sec static hold at the top), military press and squat. Ive been lifting for about 6 months (lifting smart for about 4 months), in that time Ive made pretty decent gains in size (went from 180 to 210 at 6’2") but strength gains have been, imo…lacking (I was very week to begin with).

Anyways, 4 months ago my 1 rep max for the above mentioned lifts were 185, 155, 115, 85, and 185, respectively. Currently, those numbers are 305, 225 (probably could have gone higher but I didnt have a spotter so I was a little hesitant), 175, 135, and 215. Obviously my biggest problem is squats but, as you can see, Im pretty damn weak over all.

As far as lifting habbits go…I usually do 2 upper body days and 2 lower body days per week or 3 full body days. Regardless, my workouts are composed of compound lifts plus one (sometimes two) isolation exercises.

I am reletively tall and I do have long arms and legs. I had a lot of trouble with bench until I got the proper technique down but for the life of me, I cant improve my squat; I dont know what the deal is. Ive read every article on squating I could find on this site but nothing seems to help.

Anyways, help and comments on all of my lift numbers are appreciated, but I really need help with squats. Specifically, have any of you experienced this problem and if so, how did you rectify the situation? Thanks in advance.

Looks as if you are making decent progress. Your barbell row and military press numbers seem a little low relative to your bench press. I would shoot for a 185lb plus row and a
155 lb plus military press. As far as your squat is concerned I would concetrate on increasing my deadlift as it goes up your squat should as well. If you got your dead to 365 you should be able to squat 275 or more.
Also if you find the your squats are stalling our you just want a change of pace you might try doing snatch grip deads for a few workout before returning to squats.
1.What part of the squat is limiting your performance
2.What rep range are you using on all of your lifts
If your are interested in 1RM’s you should lift in the 1-5 rep range at 85 to 90% level. Good luck

If you dig around this site you’ll probly find that a lot of people are critical of old-style power cycling…and in some ways, i think the criticisms are valid; it does eventually lead to burnout, and depending on how you set things up, the strength qualities you train at the beginning of the cycle can become somewhat detrained at the end.

That said, guys like Louie Simmons, Dave Tate and others who bad mouth this style of training made themselves stronger than 99.9% of lifters will ever get using this simple method. They didn’t hit the wall until they were already near elite.

For someone in your position, progressive overload cycling is, in my opinion, the most surefire way to get stronger. Just keep it simple:

Squat/DL on Monday & Friday, BP and assistance stuff on Wed. & Sat. (or a similar setup…) Run 8-12 week cycles and you should push your maxes up a ton. This kind of training does not become ‘obsolete’, as many argue it is, until you get very strong…and we’re talking at least 450-500 lb squats and pulls…the overwhelming majority of men who’ve become very strong built their base this way, and only used advanced methods when they became advanced…

I hope you consider this option…for my money, it’s the only foolproof way to build initial strength…

Best of luck

[quote]mattrose wrote:
Looks as if you are making decent progress. Your barbell row and military press numbers seem a little low relative to your bench press.[/quote]

Agreed. Thats another thing that bothers me. I dont, nor have I ever, had an over emphasis on horizontal pressing. I pull with the same amount of volume as I push. As far as the military press goes, my mission is to be able to overhead press my body weight…as you can see, I have a bit more work to do.

I sure hope so! I love dl’s so if my squat goes up in accordance, I couldnt be happier.

Ill give that a shot. I’m curious, what is the benefit of using a snatch grip? Is it just an increased range of motion brought on by the wider grip or is there something else at work?

Without a doubt, the bottom–just past parallel. I am incredibly slow off the bottom but once I hit parallel its as if the weight is cut in half. In fact, when I tested my 1 rep max last week I almost didnt make it to parallel with 215 (a literally stalled to the point were I didnt think I was going to be able to make it up) but once I got to parallel it was easy.

Usually 10x3, 5x5, and 4x6.

Ill give that a shot. I’m curious, what is the benefit of using a snatch grip? Is it just an increased range of motion brought on by the wider grip or is there something else at work?

You hit it right on the head. It just gives you another variation for hitting your legs. Now how do you go about putting these into a cycle I would either do 3-4 sets 3-5 reps of snatch grip deads with (205+) followed by 3-4 sets of 3 regular deads(275+) or you could do one variation each workout.
In my opinion doing full body workouts are the best way to train.
workout 1
Push,pull, hip dominant
workout 2
push, pull,quad dominant

I have had great success using heavy weights for squats,bench and deads. Space the workouts out 3-4 days(example)(3-4 days between bench workouts) and hit them heavy with multiple singles for bench start with 195 if you can hit 10-15 singles with 20-30 sec rest between sets increase the weight for the next workout 3-4 days later. You will be amazed at how much progress you can make doing it this way. A big guy at my gym was training with the standard 6-10 reps but he was only using 155 lb for bench which is kinda shitty for how big he was. He started lifting heavy and in like 2 months his bench jumped to 245+ and he could use 245 for a couple sets of 3 to 5 reps. Now these results unfortunately only happen in the begining of heavy training but it is a crazy ass start to lifting some big weights. Lift heavier than you have been doing and you might try some pause squats these will really help out the bottom of the squat.