T Nation

Increasing Squat Strength

Hey All,
I have been having a big problem with getting my squat numbers up for a long time now. It has been the limiting factor in my lifts. For example, my max front squat is 100kg, my max power clean & jerk is 100kg, and I can sometimes full clean 100kg but most often I get pinned. Yesterday, in competition, I got a great pull and a good catch on 105 but got pinned. It is really frustrating to know that I can receive the weights in good position but always get stuck in the bottom, especially when I watch everyone else bounce out from there.

I don’t know if I should go back to the basics with a simple linear progression or pick some intermediate program. I am going to take the emphasis off the oly lifts and focus on the squat but don’t know where to start as far as programming. Does anyone have suggestions on what has worked for them?

Thanks

Current Stats:
6 ft
77 kg (Just cut down from 85)
BS: 130 kg
FS: 100 kg
Clean & Jerk: 100 kg
Snatch: 85 Kg

Why did you drop down to 77? 85s might be a better chance at getting stronger.

I have been working on getting to a full 85 but need to change my eating habits (eat more). I want to be in 85 and with my height should probably eventually get to 94. For the competition I originally wasnt going to cut but a week out I was only 2 kg off so I figured why not.

Crazy numbers mate! Your pull must be so efficient. Your snatch and CJ are near enough the same as mine (85,105)except ive got 25kg on your BS and 35kg on your FS! Man I wish I could clean my FS!

I would just say squat more for heavy triples, doubles, singles… But maybe look at why you miss on FS for example?? Are you losing the weight forward? Losing thoracic integrity? I had this problem with a couple of triple jumpers who were using FS and found using sets 5-6 on the FS to be effective in correcting the issue. Of course we did this early in their prepatory phase and, considering you are an Oly lifter, I wouldn’t use the 5’s exclusively at the expense of doing heavier work… Just maybe try working them in?

Of course, I have gone off on a random tangent (regular occurence) and it could be a completely different problem :slight_smile:

[quote]SeafordXC08 wrote:
Hey All,
I have been having a big problem with getting my squat numbers up for a long time now. It has been the limiting factor in my lifts. For example, my max front squat is 100kg, my max power clean & jerk is 100kg, and I can sometimes full clean 100kg but most often I get pinned. Yesterday, in competition, I got a great pull and a good catch on 105 but got pinned. It is really frustrating to know that I can receive the weights in good position but always get stuck in the bottom, especially when I watch everyone else bounce out from there.

I don’t know if I should go back to the basics with a simple linear progression or pick some intermediate program. I am going to take the emphasis off the oly lifts and focus on the squat but don’t know where to start as far as programming. Does anyone have suggestions on what has worked for them?

Thanks

Current Stats:
6 ft
77 kg (Just cut down from 85)
BS: 130 kg
FS: 100 kg
Clean & Jerk: 100 kg
Snatch: 85 Kg[/quote]

What have you been trying, and for how long to increase your squat?

I normally lose my FS in the quarter squat position. I come out of the hole fast then I hit my sticking point and it gets ugly (thoracic caves)

I have been putting alot of emphasis on my squat for awhile (6 months to a year now).
-I did the Hatch squat program (www.mikesgym.org/programs/index.php?show=program&programID=19) last winter while at school.
-During break I did a cycle of 5/3/1, mostly because I had no access to Oly Equipment.
-Once I got to work again in the Spring with my coach we did a 2 day a week “Russian” program with a light and heavy day similar to this: www.exrx.net/WeightTraining/RussianSquatProgramGenerator.htm
-My coach and I then decided that I needed to try and bulk up over the summer so he put me through some power building (his approach to bodybuilding style training. Lots of heavy stuff with high rep accessory)
-Now I am going back to school and dont really have a coach anymore. He is suggesting an old school 5x5 or another Russian but this time the full 3 day a week version.

Thanks

smolov?

It sounds like you are doing too many different things. Have you seen all the programmes the whole way through? For example, 1 cycle of 5/3/1 is pretty worthless. It’s intended to be done over the long term to make steady progress.

If you really want to get your squat up I would just ditch the programmes and just squat more. I’ve made good progress just alternating front and back squat, working up to a heavy single, go for a pb if you feel good. Then drop the weight and do some back off sets, sometimes that’s 5x5, 3x8, 3x3, or just a pb double/triple/5 or whatever. Just keep it varied. And doing that as often as you can/like, at least 3 times a week though. If I only do 3 sessions in a week the back of sets will be high volume, and if I’m squatting 5-6 times a week I will do less extra reps.

if you come out of the hole well and don’t lose it until you hit a quarter squat it sounds like you have weak ‘core’ muscles or your positioning is off.

you really need to stick with one program for awhile. if you want to put on some mass like it sounds like you want to and need to, you have to dedicate a your programming to that. the Russian squat routine is a great peaking program but its meant to peak you for a heavy single not get you bigger. something like 531 boring but big would be good if you stay on it for a long time. just find a good program that increases mass and strength and stick with it

I bet your core is hurting you…making you bend over in the bottom position. Do ab rollers from the feet if you can…at least go as far out as you can…and try heavy semi bent leg dead lifts…it will strengthen your lower back and butt…This stronger mid section will help you hold your torso upright and fall or cave…just a thought

[quote]The Ox Man wrote:
It sounds like you are doing too many different things. Have you seen all the programmes the whole way through? For example, 1 cycle of 5/3/1 is pretty worthless. It’s intended to be done over the long term to make steady progress.

If you really want to get your squat up I would just ditch the programmes and just squat more. I’ve made good progress just alternating front and back squat, working up to a heavy single, go for a pb if you feel good. Then drop the weight and do some back off sets, sometimes that’s 5x5, 3x8, 3x3, or just a pb double/triple/5 or whatever. Just keep it varied. And doing that as often as you can/like, at least 3 times a week though. If I only do 3 sessions in a week the back of sets will be high volume, and if I’m squatting 5-6 times a week I will do less extra reps. [/quote]

This. The way to become a stronger squatter is to squat as often as possible as heavy as possible on that given day.

I took my squat from 185kg to 205kg over a 3 month period by squatting to a daily max at least 6x a week. This while losing 3kg bw.

I agree with Ox Man that it looks like you’ve tried too many things. experimenting i not bad, but you need to put in an honest, balls out effort before you decide whether something is working for you or not. My advice is to worry less about programming and worry more about simply busting your ass.

[quote]The Ox Man wrote:
It sounds like you are doing too many different things. Have you seen all the programmes the whole way through? For example, 1 cycle of 5/3/1 is pretty worthless. It’s intended to be done over the long term to make steady progress.

If you really want to get your squat up I would just ditch the programmes and just squat more. I’ve made good progress just alternating front and back squat, working up to a heavy single, go for a pb if you feel good. Then drop the weight and do some back off sets, sometimes that’s 5x5, 3x8, 3x3, or just a pb double/triple/5 or whatever. Just keep it varied. And doing that as often as you can/like, at least 3 times a week though. If I only do 3 sessions in a week the back of sets will be high volume, and if I’m squatting 5-6 times a week I will do less extra reps. [/quote]

I agree. Stick with one program. Basically squat heavy. 5 reps and under. I like to modify the 5/3/1 rep scheme a little bit and put a little more sets instead of the last set till failure. Stick with that program for a good 12 weeks straight. I like to switch every 4 weeks to a different exercise like box squat, front squat, but you can be boring and just squat and still improve. Do some accessory lifts to strengthen up your squat. My squat went up most when I was doing good mornings and posterior chain work. Don’t go too heavy on the good mornings. I don’t like to do anything less than 6-8 reps on the good morning keeping good form. Strengthen up that lower back and hamstrings and I bet your squat will go up.

I know a guy who went and did a Poliquin certification a couple months back. Apparently during one of the Q&A sessions somebody asked Charles if he had any tips or tricks to increasing one’s front squat. His response was something along the lines of “Front squat more, with more weight”

There are lots of different things you can try, but you need to put in the work for a good amount of time before anything will show a result.

Squatting more often has worked well for me in the past, up to 15 times in 10 days (once/day would work just fine though).

Doing one and a quarter squats for a few weeks has helped before too, where you do a quarter up to your sticking point, then back down, then all the way up. 8 sets of 2-3 reps usually does the trick (more likely to do this twice / week).

[quote]TheJonty wrote:
I know a guy who went and did a Poliquin certification a couple months back. Apparently during one of the Q&A sessions somebody asked Charles if he had any tips or tricks to increasing one’s front squat. His response was something along the lines of “Front squat more, with more weight”[/quote]

And people give this guy money? Imbeciles.

Don’t know if this has been mentioned but you are 6ft and only 77kg. Putting on weight will most likely start making your squat go up

EDIT: Also squatting 3-4x a week helps too, so get eating and squatting!

[quote]SeafordXC08 wrote:

Current Stats:
6 ft
77 kg

[/quote]

Eat some food.

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do you guys add any kind of sprinting or change of direction conditioning for fast tw muscles? i was surprised to see them running 4.5s and 6.7s 40/60 yd/…

[quote]Wrah wrote:

[quote]TheJonty wrote:
I know a guy who went and did a Poliquin certification a couple months back. Apparently during one of the Q&A sessions somebody asked Charles if he had any tips or tricks to increasing one’s front squat. His response was something along the lines of “Front squat more, with more weight”[/quote]

And people give this guy money? Imbeciles.[/quote]

I’m sure there was more to his answer than that, but that was the gist of it. He’s done quite well for himself between his thoughts on training programs/supplements/nutrition and his own line of supplements, but apparently he doesn’t have any magic pills for increasing your front squat. You have any?

[quote]TheJonty wrote:
I’m sure there was more to his answer than that, but that was the gist of it. He’s done quite well for himself between his thoughts on training programs/supplements/nutrition and his own line of supplements, but apparently he doesn’t have any magic pills for increasing your front squat. You have any?[/quote]

Him doing ok is just the testament that there are idiots who will pay anyone with a little bit of charisma and conviction in what they say and believe. Supplements are a scam targeting the dumbest of the dumb and the most desperate of the desperate who have never heard of placebo effect. My magic pill? Just get stronger in the front squat! NOW GIVE ME YOUR MONEY!