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Shitty Squat to Good Squat


In the some vein as the shitty bench to good bench thread, what are some stories of what people did to get their squat from shitty to good?

Also what exercises are best to build up the bottom of the squat strength. This is where I lose it most often.



Smolov, if you aren't a beginner.

I think paused squats are great for the bottom part of the movement.


im in the process of relearning how to squat with engaged glutes and no foward lean to compensate for having a strong back and weak legs, i will let you know how successful i am in a few months once i can squat 275for 6 sets of 5-6. WHat i was told to do is add more volume to squatting and drop most of the other shit like leg presses because you can handle alot of weight on the leg press but not squat alot.... whats that tell you? It doesnt carry over. So the program im on now is once a week 6x6 squats adding 5-10 pounds aw eek if possible and then a 2x20 circut of extensions abductors and adductors then 2 sets of ghr and thats it. the circuit is to keep my inner thighs strong as i squat wide and its stressfull on that area. also my quads need some kind of work haha

for bottom strength- low box squats pausing every rep, andersons, bottoms only suqats and low pin squats



My squat is nothing impressive yet, but after struggling to work up to a high 315lbs single, I had to back off and learn how to set up properly. In addition, constantly re-evaluate your form as you add weight to the bar and/or change your weight.

Edit: Either video some squats and/or have a much better lifter evaluate your technique in person. I went aver a year thinking my form and depth were good.


Changing up the volume and routine has helped me in the past. I went from squatting only once a week to 2-3X weekly plus throwing in front squats for variation.


What are paused squats?


What are paused squats?


husker29: squat down, pause for 3-5seconds, go up.

i really like barbell walking lunges for building the bottom of a squat.. walking lunges will build some serious glutes, and this is what is needed at the bottom of a squat.. if your lunging is improving, so should your squat.



I got my squat from about 160 to 260 in a month with Starting Strength, still shitty but it's a start. I'm only 14 and weigh 155 by the way.


Straight western periodization took me from 475 to 515 and I believe from 515 to 555. a program by teddy forbes took me from 555 to 600. Essentially its
week 1 - 5 reps with a weight you KNOW you can get 5 reps easy with
week2 - 5 reps; add weight from week 1. i added 20 lbs
week 3 - heavy but not max single. say 90ish%
week 4 - deload
week 5 - 4 reps
6 - 4, added weight
7 - 95ish%
8 - deload
then anotehr month with 3s.

I've also done this program with 2 weeks of doubles after the month of triples. I think its also been done 5,5,1-,3,3,1-,3,3,1,-

Gaining weihgt also helps, surprise, surprise.

Overloading the top - with changes, squatting in gear, etc - makes the raw weight feel light as a feather takin it outta the rack.

Good Mornings.


Yeah linear cycling is great, don't know why people have been ragging on it so bad in the past. My favorite program is to do 1 hard set with as many reps as possible, add weight every week, rinse and repeat. Highly technical program, not recommended to anyone...

But let's keep it real, to go from a shitty to a decent squat or total or anything else, nothing matters nearly as much as time invested.


added frequency has been great for me these past few months, you really get into a groove when you're squatting multiple times a week. These past months my squat went from 295x6 to 315x10 yesterday squatting three times a week with the volume spread across those sessions.


If you wanted some program or "magic formula" to bring your squat up, then this isn't going to be what you want to hear. But too bad.

If I were you, I wouldn't employ any "advanced methods" until you were sure that your setup and form are perfect. If you're like a lot of people struggling with the squat, you might have poor hip mobility, poor glute activation, and weak and inhibited hamstrings and abs. If your back is rounding at all in the bottom position, you're losing a lot of pounds on the bar and putting a lot of compressive force on those discs. If your mechanics aren't already flawless, the easiest and most effective way to bring up your squat (especially in the long-term) is to improve them.

If you already have very good mechanics and a strong base (which I would define as a 2x bodyweight squat), then you should be able to employ more advanced techniques and programs such as Smolov and the Russian squat cycle. However, if you have poor mechanics, do yourself a favor and read every single Mike Robertson article on this site (really, they will help you tremendously). Don't try to fool yourself though - I've been there and it doesn't end pretty. As a 180-pound 18 year old, I was trying desperately to bring up my 285 squat, and attempted the Smolov squat cycle. Instead of ending with the 340 squat I wanted, I ended up with a hip injury.

Take a fair assessment of yourself and your weaknesses and work towards bringing them up in a systematic way, and your squat will go up. No "silver bullet" or magic program with the "Golden Number" of reps. Your squat doesn't suck because you've been doing 5x5 instead of 6x4. No method is going to help you increase your squat if you are not squatting properly to begin with, so worry less about methods and more about principles such as squat mechanics, and your squat will increase.


I fixed mine just by changing the atmosphere and the people I work with. i also switch it up every week pretty much, do alot of bands/chains work. also throw in alot of box squats. I am not saying that my 400 pound squat is spectacular by any means, but hey, Im workin on it


Shitty Squat to a Badass Squat List:

1.) Workout with people who are stronger than you, and know proper form.
2.) Do pause Squats or Anderson Squats after regular squats.
3.) Throw in Quarter Squats once a month.
4.) Good Mornings
5.) Weighted AB crunches/exercises
6.) Buy some knee wraps that fit to your squatting style(wide or narrow stance)
7.) Through in some leg presses twice a month when you squat with light to moderate weights
8.) Buy yourself a real Belt, (Titan Toro, EFS Power Belt, etc..)
9.) keep a journal of the weights and reps
10.)Workout with people who are stronger than you, and know proper form. why did I repeat this? because you need to believe in yourself, and the best way to do so is to see other people do it on a constant basis, telling your mind its normal and not out of your reach.


My squat isn't impressive but I got it moving up again. Some things I did:

1) Switched from a ramped 5x5 to Texas Method 2/ 5x5 heavy sets across on Monday, then 3-5 rep max on Friday. I think the key was the added volume w/ none bullshit weights.

2) Added dimel deadlifts after squats and weighted hip extensions after deadlifts to strengthen hamstrings, which somehow I diagnosed as a personal weakpoint.

3) Heavy ab work. I'm becoming fond of plain old weighted situps on a roman chair or decline bench w/ weight behind head for sets of 5. It might not be good for your back, but I noticed a difference in less than two weeks w/ stability in my mid-section and low back coming out of the hole.

4) I got a good belt, and started using it for heavy sets.

5) Experimenting w/ form for awhile, until I found where I felt the strongest.

6) Got a good pair of squatting shoes. I've had oly shoes for awhile, and if notice a big difference between them and my Nike Frees.

7) Increasing calories and carbs.


x 50 million.

I remastered my squat over the spring. I spent a significant amount of time video taping form, having experienced lifters critique me and fucking around with what works best for me. I spent hours fine tuning elbow placement, foot placement, foot width and bar placement.

Since then, I've gone from a geared max of 275 to 315 (at 123lbs) and am looking to add a lot more to that.

Also, like another poster mentioned, do high volume squats. Smolov will kick your ass but it will work.


THis is some great advice that I will incorporate. Excuse my ignorance but a few questions:

1) What is an Anderson squat?
2) Any links to the Smolov squat routine


Great advice Benway