T Nation

Need Advice On Program


Hi guys im looking for some advice on whether i should go back to starting strength or not.

i have been workout out for about 2 years now and have run into a wall in regards to my gains. My current stats are bench: 180x5, squat: 150x5, deadlift: 315x5 @ 165lbs 5'11 height. Before I get flamed on my stats I am fully aware that there is something extremely wrong with my squat/bench. I have been struggling with form and have tried low bar, high, and front squats and have done a ton of research on articles to correct form.

I have realized that I have been eating like a bird for a long time and just recently been monitoring my calorie intake with a calculator. My question is would it be a good idea to hop onto starting strength? I seriously want to do something about my squat and bench as they are absolutely pathetic especially after working out for 2 years.

thanks in advanced!!!


also i have noticed while attempting to correct form that on low bar squat the bar rests on an angle/slant. It seems like the left side of my upper back is bigger than the right causing the bar to shift down. Is there anything I can do to corrent this or would highbar squat be the best option?


nobody is going to flame you in the beginner section unless you're being a jackass.

first clue that something is wrong is that you've switched between several squat variations. pick one that you feel comfortable with and stick with it. personally, I like front squats but they take serious dedication to progress on (unless you're H4M).

the other thing you have to consider is WHY your lifts are lower than you'd like them to be. is it nutrition (probably)? are you doing the right assistance exercises to help you progress in your main lifts? close grip bench and dips for bench for instance (not the only way to go but ask guys with bangin' tris if their bench sucks).

thats the long answer to your question. short answer is im not a huge fan of starting strength. but if you're going to do it, add in direct arm work.


thanks for the reply,
I was doing layne norton's PHAT before and was doing alot of assistance work like stiff leg deads, weighted dips, weighted pullups/chins etc. but I'm starting to realize that I might need to just reset and go back to something simpler with a little less volume. The biggest thing that is bothering is the squat numbers. I prefer doing low bar squat but it has become difficult as I can see just in the mirror standing with the empty bar that there is an imbalance because of the size difference of my back. And nutrition was definetly an issue, i was probably consuming only 2600 cals a day but I've bumped that up to about 3500 and may increase to 4000.


I have the same problem as you, my squat sucks ass and it is lower than my bench, but after starting 5,3,1 it have starting to move again. If you havent checked out 5,3,1 that might be thing to do and you dont need
to scale the weight that much down.

Also if you want to have a higher frequency on squats, there is possible to do that with 5,3,1.

here is a spill by wendler explaining the squat 3xweek version.


And here is the article about the 5,3,1 method if you havent read it allready.


Just an idea.

regardless of the path you choose, good luck :slightly_smiling:


I think you'll find the your recent diet change is going to eclipse any change in program.


Why don't you try posting a video of yourself squatting (something heavy, say a set of 3-5) and we can give you some better advice?


Second the advice for you to post a video so we can critique.

I am also not a huge fan of Starting Strength, especially for somebody who's been lifting for two years and gotten used to higher volume training. The solution might be to do low volume squat work 2-3 times a week (leg days, + warm-up for an upper body day), and grease the groove of the lift so to speak.

On the other hand, if you're doing it wrong, it won't matter, so post a video :).

I am guessing you are relatively long limbed, as your deadlift number is definitely not terrible and is indicative of someone who has spent a good amount of time training their posterior chain. Long limbed people tend to suck at squat more and have to work at it harder, including lots more upper back/lower back work, and more variety in assistance lifts. I would change a portion of your assistance lifts to things like lunges and step-ups, and bulgarian split squats. This will train the squat pattern more while also still training your hamstrings.

You probably need a lot of ab work as well to keep from caving over.


Hey brother, I feel you pain. 1 Nov 10 I was 173# @ 6'1 with 11%bf. Now a year later I am same 11%bf @ 193#.
I did this through the westside for skinny bastards template. I stay consistent, not missing training sessions along with EATING quality proteins (beef 3x wk, fish 2x wk, chicken/pork 2x wk.) Timing out the nutrients as well.

Also, watching and trying to copy what TC (christian thib) has in the video section and having my partners correct my form.

Post some video and remember that you will not get shit for being a beginner as we all started somewhere...


appreciate the responses guys! i will try to have a video up next week as i've decided to deload this week and start fresh next week.