T Nation

Novice in Process...and Loving It

Gonna start posting in here since I constantly browse y’all’s posts and really enjoy learning about what you do, your progress, etc. I am super open to feedback and helpful critique so please fire away. Been a T-Nationer for about two weeks now.

Leg day. Wore tennies to do squats for the first time in over a year. Felt nice and different. Usually I like feeling like my feet are smushed into the floor and thus my love for toe/fivenfinger shoes (but they are no longer wearable - holes, tears, etc.).

Lots of warm-ups per the usual…and then the real work began.

145 x 5 x 1 Back squat
152 x 5 x 1 Back squat
162 x 6 x 1 Back squat
125 x 3 x 5 Three-second pause squats
Prowler pushes - ~150 x Down and back Crossfit room x 3
Prowler pushes - ~150 + 190 lb guy x Down and back Crossfit room x 1

Previous posts: http://tnation.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/blog_sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding_log/novice_in_process

Your putting a lot of your weight on the front of your toes. If you notice when you squat down your knees have a good bit of forward motion your heel just slightly comes off the ground and when you blast back up through your sticking point your hells actually come off the ground noticeably especially rep number 4. You need to focus on screwing your feet in the ground and breaking at the hips just a little bit more. will allow you to keep the weight mid foot and to the rear of your foot giving you a much stronger position to bring your hips and glutes into the movement while also taking pressure off your knees. Its also why when you get fatigued if you will notice your hips raise just slightly before the bar does making you kind of a good morning.

Just a suggestion take it for what it is I used to do the exact same thing until my much experienced partner finally broke my squat down and made me stop doing what your doing I took my squat from pathetic to only embarrassing.

Welcome!

[quote]Reed wrote:
Your putting a lot of your weight on the front of your toes. If you notice when you squat down your knees have a good bit of forward motion your heel just slightly comes off the ground and when you blast back up through your sticking point your hells actually come off the ground noticeably especially rep number 4. You need to focus on screwing your feet in the ground and breaking at the hips just a little bit more. will allow you to keep the weight mid foot and to the rear of your foot giving you a much stronger position to bring your hips and glutes into the movement while also taking pressure off your knees. Its also why when you get fatigued if you will notice your hips raise just slightly before the bar does making you kind of a good morning.

Just a suggestion take it for what it is I used to do the exact same thing until my much experienced partner finally broke my squat down and made me stop doing what your doing I took my squat from pathetic to only embarrassing.[/quote]

It’s really interesting to get different perspectives on squatting. I am currently in the process of figuring out ideal squat form for me. I got some feedback encouraging me to use my quads more as my squat (in my toe shoes) tended to appear more glute dominant. So, this week I was actually being intentional in trying to use my quads more which may have made me too comfortable loading up my knees and “springing” up to the point of coming up off the ground. I am glad you noticed that because I really want to employ safe and proper form. Relatedly, the heels in my tennies may have also played a role in leaning a little more forward as I haven’t worn a heel to squat in a long time. Thanks for your input. And yes, when I get tired I likely “good morning” it up. The most I have squatted is 180 for 1; I have a strange relationship with squats, I love them but they terrify me. :confused:

[quote]Seachel_25 wrote:
Welcome![/quote]

Thanks much! Glad to be here :slight_smile:

[quote]rfstef2 wrote:

[quote]Reed wrote:
Your putting a lot of your weight on the front of your toes. If you notice when you squat down your knees have a good bit of forward motion your heel just slightly comes off the ground and when you blast back up through your sticking point your hells actually come off the ground noticeably especially rep number 4. You need to focus on screwing your feet in the ground and breaking at the hips just a little bit more. will allow you to keep the weight mid foot and to the rear of your foot giving you a much stronger position to bring your hips and glutes into the movement while also taking pressure off your knees. Its also why when you get fatigued if you will notice your hips raise just slightly before the bar does making you kind of a good morning.

Just a suggestion take it for what it is I used to do the exact same thing until my much experienced partner finally broke my squat down and made me stop doing what your doing I took my squat from pathetic to only embarrassing.[/quote]

It’s really interesting to get different perspectives on squatting. I am currently in the process of figuring out ideal squat form for me. I got some feedback encouraging me to use my quads more as my squat (in my toe shoes) tended to appear more glute dominant. So, this week I was actually being intentional in trying to use my quads more which may have made me too comfortable loading up my knees and “springing” up to the point of coming up off the ground. I am glad you noticed that because I really want to employ safe and proper form. Relatedly, the heels in my tennies may have also played a role in leaning a little more forward as I haven’t worn a heel to squat in a long time. Thanks for your input. And yes, when I get tired I likely “good morning” it up. The most I have squatted is 180 for 1; I have a strange relationship with squats, I love them but they terrify me. :/[/quote]

Haha I understand you just learn to turn that fear into adrenaline. Your very strong and def capable of squatting more than that. Just do what feels natural just remember no matter what form or shoe you wear screw the floor, break your hips, push knees out reverse the movement.

Glad your logging here now :slight_smile:

Thank you Coyotegal!!! Me too.

[quote]Reed wrote:

Haha I understand you just learn to turn that fear into adrenaline. Your very strong and def capable of squatting more than that. Just do what feels natural just remember no matter what form or shoe you wear screw the floor, break your hips, push knees out reverse the movement. [/quote]

Reed: Thanks! It is really helpful to hear that. My significant other (HeavyTriple) is really great at being enthusiastic, challenging, competent, and supportive but being me (aka CRAY-ZAY), I take his positive feedback and reduce it to something like “he has to say that because he’s my boyfriend.” :slight_smile:
The ability to take fear and use it productively is an amazing skill so your point is well taken. WILL DO (okay, well, I will try to do). HAH.

Friday (packed a Uhaul trailer, finished dissertation edits, took trailer to Louisville)
Saturday (drove the Uhaul trailer to Michigan City, Indiana and unpacked it; had a couple of mini nervous breakdowns and got moved in, etc.)
Saturday later, after moving lots of boxes and having a couple more nervous breakdowns…attempted a leg/back day at Northwest Athletic Club…aka, might be my new home gym. Relative to my awesome (current) gym, it was a bit sad. No bumper plates and 80s love ballads (which are usually really fun) were playing in the background. The weight area is surrounded by tennis courts, a running track, a basketball court and a lot of green curtains. :frowning: It was almost as if the weights area was an afterthought. NOTE: I realize, I need to not whine and buck up. I realize that no matter where I lift, I need to just put a bar on my back and squat, rip it and grip it, kick my workouts in the teeth, etc. However, I am experiencing a little sorrow because I know that the quality of my lifting environment is going to be significantly reduced in the very near future.

Saturday: 145x5x5 Back squats and deadlifts 185 x 3 x 3. Not a great workout.

Today: Chest day. Fun, challenging , and felt great.
80 x 5 x 1 Wide grip bench
85 x 5 x 1 Wide grip bench
90 x 7 x 1 Wide grip bench (Kbell box squats during rests)
80 x 5 x 3 Narrow grip bench (paused)
90 x 2 x 1 Paused wide grip bench
90 x 10 x 5 Triceps push-downs supersetted with
5 x 5 Triceps push-ups

Okay I’m in on this one now lol

Back day.

195 x 3 x 1 Sumo deadlifts
210 x 3 x 1 Sumo deadlifts
221 (90%) x 4 x 1 Sumo deadlifts (rep 3, I swear I heard a crackling sound/felt a crackling sensation - not painful per se…and those water shoes, not so great today)
155 x 3 x 3 w/20 lb chains per side Deadlifts
80 x 10 x 5 Straight arm lat push-downs
65 x 5 x 5 Hang cleans
85 x 3 x 3 Hang cleans
Farmers walks with 56 lb kbells 5 x down and back Crossfit room
56 x 10 x 3 Kbell swings

AND, I found some new lifting shoes which are super flat and really snug.

I also discovered an old deadlift video from 9 months ago (HORRIFYING - I was like cringing and laughing at the same time):
http://youtu.be/FvO7MUO8udQ

Today’s PR was a bit better (although still some rounding :-/ ):

If it makes you feel any better, I still have the same small amount of rounding that I’ve had for years. I cannot seem to get rid of it and it doesn’t seem to have had any deleterious effect so I’m not inclined to worry.

Do you wear your belt high for a reason or did it just kind of end up there? I’m asking because I like my really low for deadlift.

[quote]ouroboro_s wrote:
If it makes you feel any better, I still have the same small amount of rounding that I’ve had for years. I cannot seem to get rid of it and it doesn’t seem to have had any deleterious effect so I’m not inclined to worry.

Do you wear your belt high for a reason or did it just kind of end up there? I’m asking because I like my really low for deadlift.[/quote]

That does make me feel better. I have worked and worked to try and remove the rounding from my conventional at lower weight (under 200) but it drives me bananas that it still pops up (no pun intended) in my sumos. Your observation about belt placement is a really great one. I actually decided to wear it extra high for no good reason, just thought it might be fun and feel good. However, upon thinking about it, the belt can’t really help support my lower back optimally if I push it up so high. Thank you for asking about that. I will resume normal belt placement and see how that goes! Also, I got a massage and stopped obsessively worrying about my back and my back s pretty normalish today.

How much soreness do you experience post back workout?

Leg day.

Against the advice of HeavyTriple, I tried using a narrower stance for my warm-ups. I squatted that way up until the last few months so, I thought, why not? They were not pretty and they did not help and I started bottom winking and bouncing out of the hole…so I went back to my tried and true wide stance. He was RIGHT - I hate it when that happens. I am better as a wider squatter. While no Laura Phelps, I really feel much more stable and comfortable when I utilize a nice wide stance.

145 x 5 x 1 Back squat
155 x 5 x 1 Back squat
165 (~92%) x 6 x 1 Back squat (started for a 7th and FAILED)
89 x 10 x 1 Hip thrusters
99 x 10 x 4 Hip thrusters
125 x 3 x 4 Three-second pause squats
Prowler pushes - ~160 x Down and back Crossfit room x 4

[quote]rfstef2 wrote:

Against the advice of HeavyTriple, I tried using a narrower stance for my warm-ups. I squatted that way up until the last few months so, I thought, why not? They were not pretty and they did not help and I started bottom winking and bouncing out of the hole…so I went back to my tried and true wide stance. He was RIGHT - I hate it when that happens. I am better as a wider squatter. While no Laura Phelps, I really feel much more stable and comfortable when I utilize a nice wide stance.

[/quote]
I made this same transition a few years ago. I could not maintain good control in the hole with a narrow Oly-style squat. Plus, I gave up pounds on the platform going too deep. I love the wide-stance style but still have to walk it out since I compete USAPL.

[quote]rfstef2 wrote:

[quote]ouroboro_s wrote:
If it makes you feel any better, I still have the same small amount of rounding that I’ve had for years. I cannot seem to get rid of it and it doesn’t seem to have had any deleterious effect so I’m not inclined to worry.

Do you wear your belt high for a reason or did it just kind of end up there? I’m asking because I like my really low for deadlift.[/quote]

That does make me feel better. I have worked and worked to try and remove the rounding from my conventional at lower weight (under 200) but it drives me bananas that it still pops up (no pun intended) in my sumos. Your observation about belt placement is a really great one. I actually decided to wear it extra high for no good reason, just thought it might be fun and feel good. However, upon thinking about it, the belt can’t really help support my lower back optimally if I push it up so high. Thank you for asking about that. I will resume normal belt placement and see how that goes! Also, I got a massage and stopped obsessively worrying about my back and my back s pretty normalish today.

How much soreness do you experience post back workout? [/quote]

The reason I asked about the belt is because I’ve seen so many different placements. I always cringe when people advise new lifters to crank the belt as tight as they can. Some people like it like that, I prefer it looser on deadlifts. The point I suppose is that we all need to find what works best for each of us. There’s no right way of doing it. If high placement lets you pull more, go for it :slight_smile:

Regarding rounding, I’ve attached a link to a recent training video of mine. You can see a similar rounding. (Enjoy my funky pullup video at the end with a quarter. ha!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKZPfV8KDZc

Finally, I don’t really have a ‘back day’. My days are more focused like squat day, bench day and deadlift day. Deadlift day has the most back focus. It typically runs like this: deadlift, pull ups, front squat, over head press. The next day my erectors and my lats always hate me. We do a lot of barbell rows on the other days too.

I think your lifts are looking really solid. When I first started my squat was a train wreck with a shit ton of knee cave and good morning out of the hole. It’s still a work in progress. My body type isn’t ideally suited for squatting and I find I revert easily to old habits,

The reason I chimed in on the thread in power lifting is that sometimes people will pick apart lifts when it isn’t necessary. I know when I was a novice I would have been all over the place trying to accommodate conflicting advice and it would have been a confidence killer. You kind of have to be wary of the source of advice. I prefer to get it from people I know, people on my team or my husband. I know their back ground and their lifting history and I can trust the source. I’ll give you an example of random advice from a stupid source. Years ago I posted a sumo video on youtube and some ying yang said my stance was too wide for deadlift. My feet should be shoulder width. He hadn’t heard of sumo deadlift and several people mocked him until he took his post down. As fun as it was making fun of him, it’s a lesson in taking everything with a grain of salt. No one has all the answers for you; some people just think they do.

Sorry for the loooong winded post :slight_smile:

[quote]ouroboro_s wrote:

The reason I chimed in on the thread in power lifting is that sometimes people will pick apart lifts when it isn’t necessary. I know when I was a novice I would have been all over the place trying to accommodate conflicting advice and it would have been a confidence killer. You kind of have to be wary of the source of advice. I prefer to get it from people I know, people on my team or my husband. I know their back ground and their lifting history and I can trust the source. I’ll give you an example of random advice from a stupid source. Years ago I posted a sumo video on youtube and some ying yang said my stance was too wide for deadlift. My feet should be shoulder width. He hadn’t heard of sumo deadlift and several people mocked him until he took his post down. As fun as it was making fun of him, it’s a lesson in taking everything with a grain of salt. No one has all the answers for you; some people just think they do.

[/quote]

Excellent post, and I’m quoting for emphasis. I try to communicate this to her, but I don’t know if I do it enough or as effectively as you just did.

She is making fantastic progress right now and I’m really glad she decided to join the community here.

[quote]HeavyTriple wrote:

[quote]ouroboro_s wrote:

The reason I chimed in on the thread in power lifting is that sometimes people will pick apart lifts when it isn’t necessary. I know when I was a novice I would have been all over the place trying to accommodate conflicting advice and it would have been a confidence killer. You kind of have to be wary of the source of advice. I prefer to get it from people I know, people on my team or my husband. I know their back ground and their lifting history and I can trust the source. I’ll give you an example of random advice from a stupid source. Years ago I posted a sumo video on youtube and some ying yang said my stance was too wide for deadlift. My feet should be shoulder width. He hadn’t heard of sumo deadlift and several people mocked him until he took his post down. As fun as it was making fun of him, it’s a lesson in taking everything with a grain of salt. No one has all the answers for you; some people just think they do.

[/quote]

Excellent post, and I’m quoting for emphasis. I try to communicate this to her, but I don’t know if I do it enough or as effectively as you just did.

She is making fantastic progress right now and I’m really glad she decided to join the community here.[/quote]
I agree. When I watched your lift vids, my first thought was how solid your form was for being relatively new to the sport. So it bothered me that the guy on the PLing forum was saying he’d like to see you squat like “x” (video) and DL like “y” (video) without knowing much about you.

Keep up the great work!

Thanks ladies. I really enjoy getting to know more about lifting via your experiences and willingness to share.

Snap: Yay, a fellow wide squatter and thank you for the praise. Also, where do you normally place the bar? Do you like high, medium, or low placement? I am just curious – don’t worry, I won’t immediately run out and try to revise what I do based on what you do (hah – see below).

Ouro: Thank you! I like hearing (especially from a female lifter), that this concern about what others think is something normal to newer/novice lifters. I use to go to the gym and do crazy (in a bad way) stuff and then had to rehab it all essentially when I met Danny (aka HeavyTriple). Now, I am super paranoid that I won’t do things “correctly” or “right” so I am hypersensitive to trying to use feedback that sounds competent. I am going to try and worry less about this and just focus on getting stronger, fitter, and learning from others in a more balanced manner. Also, your video was fun to watch. I feel like event though you had slight (itty bitty) rounding, you keep your arms better placed so it looked pretty. You should post more videos – I am a video junkie and really enjoy watching how other people lift. The end was funny too :slight_smile: OH, and the stupid belt. It needs to be lower; I am again really glad you said something. It would have taken me a long time to but 2 and 2 together. I wore my belt too high yesterday on my last set of squats – forgot to wiggle it down and it made my squats a tiny bit “off.”