T Nation

I Don't Know Squat


Hey all.
I've been working on squats and consider myself very weak at them. Been working on improving strength with 2-3 set warmup and working progressivly from
a 5,4,3,2,1,1,1,1 topped out at 315 this week. I try and add 10lbs every week. I alternate this with a 50-60% day and work on speed.all of this is done off a 12inch box. would i be better off on heavy days doing a 10x3
at 85 to 90% of max and try to increase
10lbs a week.
Thanks Mike


No, keep with the max effort work, but switch exericses.




I dont mean to sound dense but can i get some examples of what to switch to thanks for the reply though.


I guess Ishould lay out more of what i do on heavy days.
overhead squat 5,432111 as heavy as poss
clean/press same format
boxsquats same
rack pulls same


By switch, they mean every 3 weeks, pick a new exercise to focus on. An example would be doing standard 12" box squat one week, then a gm variation 3 weeks (or less) later, than deadlift or deadlift variation, so that your not training the same ME exercise all the time.
Also, I am a big fan of overhead squats, but unless you have a poorly functioning core, I can't see them bring up your max parallel squat, if thats what you mean.


10x3 wouldn't be a bad rep scheme for your squatting. I had a lot of luck doing it as part of the Waterbury Method. I think he recommends doing 80% of your 1RM if I recall correctly. And 10 pounds a week is probably a little optimistic . . . that's 520 pounds in a year. I'd shoot for 5 pounds a week to start, and that's probably a bit much after you've been doing it for a month or two.


I do overhead squats because according to Dan or Danny john they help you learn proper form.


Didn't Dave Tate recommend to take the load off the spine for a couple of weeks? Legpresses perhaps?


I really think Good mornings as a max effort exercise is a bad idea. As you approach 1 rep max, form becomes extremely difficult to maintain, and you're putting a lot of stress on your lower back.



You can try high volumne routines with mod-high intensity like Sheiko or Smolov Squat Cycle. Theyre quite effective and some have reported to add 60 to 100 lbs to their totals in 2-3 months.


keep doing it til to stops working... then do the other thing... then when that stops working.....
see it is rocket science


Then lower your 1RM...


I like to use a 3-4rm on GM, ensures that I really keep my form good. Hell my form ususally is best on the 2nd not first rep. I think as long as he works with what REALLY is his max, and not asumed max, while squatting 315, you can stand to do some max effort GM's.

Other lifts that have helped (me personally):

Low Box Squats

Deadstop Front Squats (I do these a lil wider than normal)

Sumo Deadlifts (From my pl squat stance)

Power Squat (Did sets of 5-10 reps...more of a mental thing, putting 7-8plates on each side helped me get past that 4 plate boundary on the barbell)


Goodmornings can be trained at a one rep max like anything else, although many lifters prefer 3rm. Basically if you keep your back arched and you push your hips back, the weight is only going to hinder your depth.

for the original poster: for goodmornings the key is to keep your back arched and push your hips back; you should feel a strong strech in your hamstrings. The bar should stay over your feet for the whole movement, you just bend at the hips (not waist). Try arched back gm's with a medium stance (slightly wider than shoulder width) to get the hang of it then start going up in weight, just make sure you have a spotter, a power rack, and a belt.