T Nation

Quad Cramps While Warming Up for Squats

Hey guys. I have had an issue the past two weeks when doing ME lower body. When only at around 50% of my max, both quads cramp. This has severely limited my strength and nothing has changed at all! I get super hydrated prior to lifting, drinking a masdive Gatorade zero. All my assistance lifts after, including quads, my strength keeps increasing.

Edit: to clarify the loss in strength, 50% is when I notice “this shouldn’t feel like this”. To put it in context, I rotate between 4 ME movements and last month I did a challenging but solid double on comp squat. Now a month later, i add 5 lbs to this quads cramped, I was pinned at the bottom dropped onto safety straps. Saturday I retry, same lift, i got one rep that was totally balls to the wall it felt like a 3rd attempt at a competition after nailing my first two.

Anyone else experience this? Advice? Could my knee sleeves be cutting off circulation? Much appreciated!

When’s the last time you took a few consecutive days off from all things gym related?

1 Like

Not to state the obvious here or anything, but Gatorade is pretty pedestrian when it comes to hydration. Just make sure you salt your foods and drink lots of water.

Also, cramping usually comes from lack of Potassium in your diet, other factors notwithstanding. As @wanna_be said, actually resting helps a lot too lol.

As someone who NEVER uses knee sleeves, i have no advice regarding them - only thoughts are that using sleeves at 50% 1RM seems a bit misplaced IMO.

1 Like

Over Thanksgiving break.

I should have added that I take a salt pill, too.
Maybe I’ll start eating two bananas pre-workout, too.

Regarding the knee sleeves, I put them on under my workout pants before putting on my lifting shoes so I don’t keep taking clothing and equipment on and off.

Rotate your ME moves to deadlift and GM variations and sled pulls to give your quads a break for 3-6 weeks.

1 Like

Try not lifting with them.

1 Like

Exactly my plan this week.

Not a bad idea at all. Thank you. Other thing worth mentioning is my wife and I are going on vacation somewhere tropical next week so I am going to use that to take around 10 days off totally and recharge.

Regarding the rotation, should I give my quads a break from all work like vertical leg press as well? That causes no discomfort for me, neither do my other assistance lifts like reverse hypers and glute ham raises.

Are these cramps focused in any one part of your thighs? Like your Tear-Drops (VMO) or the mid-upper part of your thigh, up by your hip (rectus femoris)?

Maybe you could get some benefits from some more specific work?

Definitely mid to upper

Maybe ditch quad stuff for awhile and try getting lower body workouts started with some Easy hip flexor work. Train them up!

Conjugate wisdom says that the body parts that hurt are weaknesses to address.

1 Like

Providing update. Brutally have been lacrosse balling and golf balling my legs and IT bands. Hurt like fuck, way worse than normal. Did ME lower yesterday, new PR on reverse band SSB squats, zero cramping, etc.

1 Like