T Nation

Should I Squat Less?


I need some advice here. I have been doing squats on sundays and deadlifts on tuesdays for approximately 8 weeks now. I have been doing a warm up set with 135x10, maybe another warm up, then adding weight and doing sets of 5. It looks a little like this:



The problem is that I feel like my spine needs a break from the weight.

what would you recommend? Here are some ideas I came up with.

1) Replace squats and deads with legpress+leg ext+ lunge, SLDL +hamstring curl+lunge respectively. Do this for about 4-6 weeks.

2) Try a different rep range. Decrease the weight, try a 8 or 10 rep and work on a narrower stance in the squat.

I am just a little worried should I decide to take squats and deads out for a few weeks that I should lose strength in those excercizes.

My other concern is that if I try a lighter weight and higher reps, I don't know what weight to use?


for squats you could try front squats, maybe that will help with the pressure you are feeling in your back.


Dave Tate talks about this subject in a few of his writings. He suggests taking a break to give the spine a little rest. I have always found Split legged squats to be a great alternative when I can't do barbell squats.


Yup, good alternative.

As far as increasing reps and determining weight. pretty simple really.

Think of your rep range you want to go for and try a weight (basing the estimation from your other lifts at lower reps). If you get fewer than your goal, lesen the weight. If you get too many, increase the weight.


What are split legged squats? You mean like 1 leg? Do you do these on a bench or off the ground? And just bodyweight?


Kind of like a lunge, except your front foot isn't out so far.


Do you know your 1RM for your squat and deadlift? If you do, use those numbers to determine at what reduced weight you should be lifting. I would suggest lowering the weight to around 60% of your max for a week or two. Thus giving your back a rest, and also allowing you to concentrate on moving the weight with as much speed as possible.

Maybe try a 10x3 rep scheme with 60% of your 1RM and try to move the weight as quickly as possible with good form.


You are basically doing a 5rm max effort day and then, 48 hours later doing a 3rm max effort session for your lower body. I'm sure you're feeling beat up. You might try unloading the spine for 1-3 weeks. You really should consolidate your heavy lower body lifting to one day a week. The second lower body day should either focus on speed or consist of repetition work.

You can alternate between squats and deads in different mini-cycles. What you choose to do will be determined by your goals. Judging by your weights, I am assuming that your prepardness is relatively low. The more information you give, the more we can help. What does the rest of your program look like?


I will probably get flamed for my helter skelter routine.

Really I train according to what I feel like doing. Other than the squats and deads which I make sure to do every (1x) every week, I try to hit everything else twice.

For example I might do shoulders on monday with some dumbell shoulder presses, and some lateral raises and reverse flies. Maybe on thursday I will hit them again with some military presses and reverse flies. It just depends on what I feel like I haven't trained and what I think could use the most work.

My legs days specifically are the only thing that stay constant because if they weren't, i probably wouldn't train them with as much enthusiasm.

SL deads(just added 2 weeks ago)

Tue or Wed:
Then I do some upper body stuff.

I have been making some great strength gains training this way, and I also feel more anxious to go and train because i am not bored with a set routine.

I do the same general excersizes week in and week out, just in different combinations.

While I could probably make more scheduled and quicker strength gains training with a set routine, why fix something that isn't broke?


When it comes to more recent periodization, there are rest/recovery weeks that people take. Maybe take a week off and do some light cardio, or VERY light lifting?


Please! Take a week off. You are doing some great stuff in your wrokouts and should be commended for it. You DESERVE a week off. Don't feel bad and don't feel guilty. You will come back with renewed strength and drive.


Ok, so you guys think that it would be a good approach to take a week off instead of changing out excercises?

I guess I could get ahead in my school work and studying in the meanwhile.

Thanks for all your input.

I will probably play around with rep schemes when I get back in. I am thinking about taking the advice to alternate which lift I do high rep/low weight or high weight/ low rep.