T Nation

Need Squat Advice

Alright, my squat sucks relative to the other 2 big lifts:

I’m 5’10 165 pds 32in waist, been lifting weights for a year.

Right now I’m using a powerlifting routine because I signed up for a powerlifting class for credit hours for college. (sweet deal! lifting weights for an easy A and credit hours!)

here’s the routine:

monday (squat day)
warm up: 5 reps 60% max, 1 rep 75% max, 2 reps 88%
1 rep maximum
3 sets 5 olympic style squat
3 sets 6 zercher squat (lack wrist flexibility for front squat)

Wendnesday (bench day)
warm up much like squat warm up
1 rep max
3 set 3 off of block
3 set 3 close grip
3 set 4 skull crushers

Friday (deadlift day)
warm up
max deadlift
3 set 8 goodmorning
3 set 5 bentover barbell row (45 degree back angle)
3 set 6 barbell shrugs

4 week progress since routine started
bench-185 to 200
deadlift-345 to 375
squat-255 to 265

What can I do to get my squat up? (main concern)

Isn’t a 110 pd. difference between squat and deadlift ridiculous!?

If I miss a squat it’s always in the hole.

goals: increase lifts on the big 3; improve body comp while maintaining weight of 165 (which i have and am continuing to do so); get my squat up to reasonable numbers

And thank you for any constructive criticism and/or advice.

Take a look at this article by Mike Robertson http://www.T-Nation.com/readArticle.do?id=522881

I’m not the strongest when it comes to squatting but I did see improvements when I widened my stance considerably. I learned to sit back in the squat by doing box squats; if you have access to the equipment you may want to try doing them.

When do you get stuck in your squat? That could help tell you what you need to work on. Perhaps someone more qualified can help you with that. I’m thinking that you may need some dynamic effort work on your squat to help you be more explosive in the lift.

As for the difference between the deadlift weight and the squat weight I can’t tell you if that is completely abnormal or not. My lifts are: deadlift 405lbs, squat 325lbs so a delta of 70lbs.

If you want to try front squats but lack the flexibility have you tried bodybuilder’s front squat as explained in this article: http://www.T-Nation.com/findArticle.do?article=182squat2

The hamstrings may just play a more important role in powerlifting squats than the quads do. Take a look at this article by Dave Tate: http://www.T-Nation.com/findArticle.do?article=body_120squat

I think I need to reread that article myself since I am still trying to absorb as much information as possible about weight lifting.

squat + TIME = SQUAT

Keep squatting, improve your form and make sure to shift a good portion of the load back onto your posterior chain. If your deadlift is that much higher than your squat, it is probably due to overemphasis on your back for extension and a weak posterior chain. Advice in both is to shift the weight back onto the glutes and hammies and keep doing it.

Make sure to do some variation of squat twice a week. Also try to add in GHR and reverse hyper if you have access to those machines.

First off, a huge difference between squat and deadlift isn’t all that unusual, especially in beginners.

  1. Albron = win. Those articles are good, and the advice is solid.
    1a) Widen your stance
    1b) Develop your hamstrings and butt.

  2. To do 1b, you might want to
    2a) Replace zercher squats with lunges (zerchers emphasize quads, lunges, especially when your knee lands over your ankle and not your toes, emphasize the hamstrings).
    2b)Replace shrugs with lunges. I could be wrong on this, but I don’t think shrugs are that important on the DL, and I think your squat could use the extra help more than your traps.

Those were some awsome articles. A lot of information to soak up. I really like the idea of including box squats.

As far as where I’ll miss a squat, i always miss it in the bottom of the hole, once I’m past that point, it’s all gravy. The failure feels like it’s in my hips and glutes mostly, maybe a smidge in my hams.

So… i was thinking excluding the olympic squat (narrow stance, heels on a 45 plate) would be a good idea since it does very little for hip and glute strength for me.

So here’s what i think would be a good routine for my specific needs.

monday (squat)
warm up
max squat
4 sets box squats
3 sets ham pull throughs OR one and half rep front squats

My form is decent i think. I’ve never had problems with the weight feeling like it’s going forward or backwards. Also, when working out with powerlifters, you learn a little about form, they’re always helpful when i ask for tips.

This leads me to believe the problem lies in hip and glute strenght and recruitment.

–For hip and glute strength, would ham pull through(straight back), or 1 and 1/2 rep front squats be better?

Thanx for all the suggestions, advice, and the great articles.

Pull throughs.
Front squats are going to recruit more quad and less hip/glute, not what you’re going for.