T Nation

I Like Big Squats I Can Not Lie


Well, I’ll never front squat again because it chews up my hip. The x-rays and other imaging have revealed some less than ideal bone structure and it will destroy my hips if I continue to squat - especially a deep squat.

That being said, my best front squat is 265 or 275 but my best power clean is 315. I’m powerful and a good puller, but I suck at squats.


Ditto. I got close, have to go back and look - but think I got 308 clean (at 6’2") and was a power clean - but couldn’t make the jerk - think jerk never got over 280. And when I cleaned 308, I definitely couldn’t front squat it. I’d guess in general my front squat was 10% below my power clean - which doesn’t make a lot of sense - although now, I’d bet my FS is at least as good as my PC - but still catching it way high.

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Damn dawg, sorry to hear that! But it’s ok man, got to do with what works for your body. Power Cleaning 315 is big lift lol. That’s a lot of power. Just stick to the pulling and do more split squats, lunges and etc. I have a friend that was in a few car accidents so he doesn’t front/back squat (he can’t put load directly on top of his spine like that) but he deadlifts heavy and does a shit ton of split squats. His legs are strong and big.

Damn yeah, at 6’2 thats a long distance for the bar to travel. See my front squat is only 50lbs less than my back squat so I’ve never had that imbalance of pulling vs squatting. I think power cleaning I like better because I feel like it’s more “real world”. But when I PC too much it really fucks with my timing on my C&J.


Yep, there are a lot of ways to be big and strong. Here’s my best recorded power clean. It’s probably pretty ugly by weightlifting standards but it got the CT approval for my purposes.

I’d be very happy to get this power back.


Damn you got some long legs man lol. Yeah that’s a lot of power! I would agree not the best technique, but for your purposes as long as it works it’s great! I’m sure you can get back there if you power cleaned a bit more, but I don’t know how that works with your hips.


So my wife is a bit overweight and she finally wants to start hitting the gym. We have a wedding in about 16 weeks and she wants to have a noticeable difference. Since she does have quite a bit of weight to lose, I know she can transform where it’s a huge difference. She doesn’t want me to say it but she probably has a good 75lbs she needs to lose to get down to a healthy weight she likes.

She eats well but because she’s a vegetarian that doesn’t eat eggs, her marcos tend to be more skewed towards carbs. For the last few weeks she’s instilling the habit of going to the gym, so she’s been on a treadmill for 45-60 minutes everyday for the last 3 weeks. She does eat pretty well now and is conscious of the food she puts in her body, but that process without working out takes a long time. Her weight gained happened before I met her and I made it a bit worse the first few months I dated her (eating out all the time). I’m not worried about the food as much now because you can keep it simple to stay at deficit. I told her drink a shake for breakfast, salad for lunch, and then dinner we can eat fresh and mix it up a bit. But since she wants an aggressive weight loss, I told her we need an aggressive approach.

I know it needs to be a mix of lifting and conditioning. What do you guys think is a good approach? Have any of you had to help someone reach their goals or your significant other?

I was thinking for her honestly a basic 5x5 3 day full body (with modifications) with 3 days of hard conditioning would work.

What do you guys think?

Squat, OH Press, Cable Rows
15-20 HIIT

1 Hour Treadmill

Trap Bar Deadlift, Bench Press, Lat Pulldown
15-20 Min HIIT

1 Hour Treadmill

Lunges, DB Press, DB Row
15-20 Min HIIT

1 Hour Treadmill

I personally think if she was to do this, while eating well at a deficit in 16 weeks she can have a HUGE difference in how she looks.


How would you two feel about hiring her a coach?

While being no expert in the matter of training or relationships, I can see how having a third party be in control there could make things far easier for both you and your wife.


We discussed this last night. She said because I’m in such good shape I need to be her coach lol. That’s why I think keeping it simple is probably the way to go for her.


Fair enough haha, my girlfriend recently asked me to do the same for her. My case is much easier, as she simply wants to be stronger at around the same weight, so I gave her a lifting template and said go. So far so good.

I’d just be concerned that your experience becoming stronger wouldn’t apply to someone with a much different starting point, and the strain that having your S/O be a coach/client can cause.

In all honesty, I’d ask a dude like Paul Carter what he thinks. He seems to be pretty in tune with all that jazz.

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I’ve got a similar thing going on - not 75#, but definitely 20. My wife can carry extra weight well bc she’s tall (5’10") and has a narrow waist - but lots to lose. She’s asked me for a program a bunch of times, but she never does it - ends up only working out 2x a week (maybe 3) and anytime I go in there, I see her really working lateral raises, and half ROM tricep push-downs, lol.


  1. Is your wife able to handle repetition (not lifting volume, but same thing over and over)? This would dictate what you program.
  2. Will she let you keep you accountable (this is a big one, as it’s a fine line between accountability and being a nag/shaming)
  3. Can you do a negotiation like - okay, every day you work out, I’ll do X (whatever it is she wishes you did more or less of). I do laundry and dishes for my “X”
  4. What is a reasonable 16 week target? 75 seems unlikely and setting up for failure. 30# seems doable. You could also do an extreme diet high in protein (would have to use shakes) and you’d get a very rapid visual difference.

I’ve kind of resigned to not being able to hold my wife accountable, or have her follow my programs, so am trying to figure out ways to make it easier (get a trainer, do long walks after dinner every night, etc).


Well I know she’s not going to lose 75 in 16 weeks (who knows tho). But I told her that as long as the scale is moving down weekly we are on the right track. I was like if you can lose 2lbs a week that’s 32 lbs and since she’s only 5’2 that weight loss will be noticeable!

She likes the bber type “workouts” but she keeps telling me she trusts me because she’s seen my body change so drastic in 3 years. I told her for 16 weeks we can do something aggressive but after that we have to revert back to something more sustainable. I think she finally has the motivation but I need to hold her accountable to hit the gym. But the thing is I can’t FULLY train her. I have to make sure to workout with her. So I can just stick to the weights she has and just do the same workout with her just to make her feel like I’m part of it vs just strictly saying do this or do that.

I told her I would meal prep for us so she doesn’t have to worry about cooking a single meal for the next 16 weeks. All she has to do is actually eat them and not miss a single day in the gym!


In my experience this is the hardest part, and a tough line to walk. I’d advise an external motivator that isn’t you. Half marathon, mud race, Instagram challenge etc, but let Her decide. That will enable you to be a helpful guide rather than someone she answers to.

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The motivator is to show up at the wedding and look noticeably different lol. I know I got to remember that she is not trying to lift heavy weights, just gotta put her through the motions. But I like that word “guide”. I’m not a trainer, but I just gotta guide her along the journey.


Yup. You’re the textbook, not the exam lol.

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Haha that’s a great way to put it!

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I’ve been thinking about it, but I know what I want my goals to be by end of 2019.

GOALS for 2019

  • Bulk up to 185-190. Probably my genetic limit based on my size and staying at low bf%.
  • Back Squat 500x3
  • Log Press 275x3
  • 4.4 40 Yard Dash

I know I can hit the back squat, bulk, and hopefully the 4.4 dash. Adding 70lbs to my OH strength in 9 months will be difficult. Probably impossible, but gotta shoot for the stars. I can do 205 for 4-6 on a strict OH press, so well see how it transfers it over to the log. Should be arriving tomorrow!

I want ALL those reds on the bar!

Been getting hyped watching this shit!

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That’s pretty much in at the deep end man. I don’t know how she’s feeling about lifting, but from my experience at this sort of thing you’ll need to ease her in more gently than that.

Since its purely weight loss you’re looking for, I would probably start with things that are fairly easy to teach, easy to build confidence with, and have a pretty good metabolic “hit”. My personal favourite would be trap bar deadlifts if possible. Add in some kettlebell work and basic bodyweight stuff and you could have a pretty effective program that people are generally pretty happy to try. She may enjoy bodybuilder style workouts, but if she’s not lifted much/at all before, I don’t see them being very effective for her goals in the short term. Just my 2c


Yeah for sure man. I think I’m gonna stick with a 531 type template for her. Nothing too crazy. Just simple stuff. Figured trap bar dead’s, goblet squats, push ups (on knees) and Db pressing/rows and cable rows. I think the trap bar deadlift and goblet squats will work wonders!


I think you’re still overcomplicating this, honestly. Remember that you have to coach this to a total beginner, to a reasonable level of competence very quickly and without any confrontation.

I would look to start with something really simple like trap bar deadlifts every few days, and a program like simple and sinister daily or twice daily(10 × 10 kettlebell swings, 5 Turkish get ups per side) to start with. Maybe simplify that even more by replacing the TGU’s with something she would already be familiar with like sit ups.

As she gets used to those workouts, you can start adding in whatever you like, but I would still look to use movements that are designed for a big metabolic hit and have a pretty minimal learning curve.


For sure man, that’s exactly what I want to accomplish! I was thinking trap bar DL, goblet squats, push ups and rows, sit-ups would be as basic as it gets.