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Questions Regarding Madcow's Intermediate 5x5


#1

Hey ladies and gents,

Having lurked for about a year, I've decided that it's time to get in on this community. I won't mention other websites, but T-Nation seems to be largely absent of the juvenile nonsense that plagues everywhere else I've been, and that's something that I think is really cool.

Anyway, I have a couple of questions regarding my (limited) lifting experience:

1) I am 6'0 and 165 pounds (I know, big man coming through, folks!). Currently, I am on Madcow's, and managed to squat 255 for a satisfactory three reps in my last workout. However, today, something very strange happened, squatting felt like a nightmare. The rhythm was just not there, and on my fourth warm up set of 210 I was struggling mightily. Eventually, I ended up completing only 2 reps of 255 and being a very disappointed man. I did, however, decisively bust through both my bench and bent over row PR's. What happened with my squats? Was it just an inexplicable off day?

2) Should I start belting up on my squats? My lower back does feel pretty uncomfortable, but I am concerned that if I belt up I rob my abs of a chance to develop strength and awesomeness.

Thanks guys!
Chuck


#2

Hi
1) No-one can say why you got 3 reps last week and 2 reps this week. Sleep/lack of food/distracted attitude/minor lagging injury in leg or back/dehydration etc etc there could be many reasons. Don't let it phase you. Eventually that 255 will be a distant memory, keep at it, and be confident every week that you will CRUSH at least one exercise for a PR, whether for reps or weight.
2) Unless you have pre-existing back injuries, I would:
a) warm up with front squats as these are very good for promoting anti-flexion in the abs (read the recent ab article for more info)
B) not wear a belt, but instead take a huge breath at the top of each rep, tense your abs and press out


#3

it was an off day, your not going to PR your squats every time you train. But look on the bright side, you did get 2 PRs, so dont be too upset.

Dont wear a belt.