T Nation

Squat Form Check

Looking for advice and cues to help me achieve what I need to be doing. Any words of wisdom on what I’m doing wrong, and more importantly, how to fix it, are GREATLY appreciated. If a different angle would be more beneficial next time, let me know. I am squatting tomorrow and can have my partner film from any direction. Thanks a lot guys.

Disclaimer: This is not a brag at all, purely a form check, as I know that half of you guys can do double what I just did. Thanks y’all.

Looks good to me. Can’t really see any weak spots. Looks like you’re staying tight and sitting back and hitting proper depth without any buttwink. If this isn’t causing you any pain (the bad kind, not burning or DOMS), I don’t know that I’d change anything. 285 X 17 to a legit depth is actually pretty good.

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Thanks a lot man. As I progress through my program I’ll record some heavier sets since those tend to be the ones that reveal the serious flaws. I appreciate your response though. No pain other than burning in my lungs and DOMS for the next 2 days lol so I’ll keep everything how it is for now

17 reps… you a masochist or someshit?

Do you fail maxes by getting bent over out the hole?

It was a 5+.

I don’t max out so idk

Well, your first problem is doing sets of 17. High reps are not a good way to develop your technique because form breakdown is inevitable, plus they teach you to conserve energy for following reps rather than applying maximum force into each rep. And 17 is the far end of the spectrum of high reps. If you are training for a 1rm, this doesn’t make a lot of sense and you would be better off doing multiple sets of lower reps, like 5’s or lower.

The set starts off OK but your hips start rising too fast out of the hole after a few reps. If you’re straining under a heavy weight then it’s understandable that there will be some technique breakdown, although you still want to avoid it as much as possible. But here you are basically teaching yourself to use bad technique. You can get away with that with lighter weights, but once you get into the 400s or higher there is less margin of error.

I agree that a 17-rep set isn’t a good way to judge technique, but the guy’s training with 5/3/1 and getting solid results by following the program to the letter. Training with lower reps is generally the accepted way of training for strength, but it’s not the only way.

Yep, that’ll give a better idea of what’s what. Like Neal said, seemed pretty solid overall but, like I think Khangles was getting at, it was pretty clear that you had a tendency to lean forward more as you fatigued. Your hips were rising before your shoulders on most of the reps and it got more pronounced as the set went on. There wasn’t any rounding I could tell, just getting into good morning-ish territory. So keep that low back/core strength on point to stay ahead of it.

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I seem to recall Wendler saying to cap the rep maxes at 10 or 12 reps, correct me if I’m wrong. And yes, you can get stronger by doing high reps but when you look at the succesful powerlifters who train that way (like Jesse Norris) they are doing 10’s or 12’s at most and have excellent technique. If 2/3 of the reps in your work sets are done with major technical errors, you are going to have problems once the weights get heavy. I did 5/3/1 for a while a few years ago and I can honestly say that my squat was complete crap due to the rep maxes. I’m not familiar with Wendler’s latest work, but I think that the 5’s progression is a very good way for less experienced lifters to train because you can focus on quality rather than just pumping out reps.

You are wrong.

“This program requires that you push yourself on the last set. This often entails performing 10 or more reps.”

  • From the original 5/3/1 ebook.

If he’s changed his stance on the topic in recent months, I’m not sure. But the fact remains that high rep PR sets were fundamental to 5/3/1 from the program’s beginning.

Agreed. But that’s not what’s happening with Lava’s squats.

I’m doing 5/3/1 and it’s working great for me. I didn’t assign myself a set of 17 reps, I just did well on a 5+ haha.

Okay what can I do to remedy this?

Yeah, I noticed that too :confused: are RDLs and hanging leg raises sufficient? Admittedly, I haven’t been doing as much core as I should and I generally only do RDLs on deadlift days. Would you suggest that I add them to my leg days as well?

Are you saying that you think your form suffered because you were doing so many reps?

This is what I recall reading. That’s why I go until I know that all I have left in the tank is a half rep. It is clearly more beneficial for me to be doing my reps with good form, though, so I agree with everyone on that. I’m still just curious about how you guys would cue me if you were my coach for a day and what assistance exercises (not worried about sets or reps. lol) you would have me do.


I thought I remembered reading that in an old article, but perhaps I was mistaken

Well, you said:

That was precisely my problem back in the 5/3/1 days, my squat looked too much like a good morning and it took a long time to fix. But whatever, everyone has a different opinion so there is no use in arguing any further.

Not much except for doing lower reps. If I was doing a set of 17 it would look like that too.

Exactly. I didn’t start 5/3/1 with a good morning squat, it just turned into that because of all the rep max sets. What happens is that your quads start to fatigue so you shift the load to your hips, resulting in more forward lean. Wendler likes high reps apparently, but few powerlifting coaches are into that. For example, Josh Bryant has an article where he says that 3 sets of 8 is good if you are a bodybuilder but if you are training for a one rep max then you would be better off with 8 sets of 3. Matt Gary said that he never programs more than 5 reps in a set for the competition lifts. Boris Sheiko might program 8’s for someone who needs to add muscle mass, but the majority of work is still sets of 2-4 at 70-80%. 5/3/1 is great for general strength training, but I have yet to hear of any elite powerlifter who trains using 5/3/1.

People on these forums love to argue, so rather than trying to sift through a bunch of nonsense and trying to determine who argues their point the most effectively I would recommend choosing a training method that appeals to you and you believe will work and do that until it stops working.

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Okay. I definitely see what you’re saying now. My theory (which I’m pretty sure is Wendler’s theory) is that if I can do 285x17 or 305x12, by the time I’m only able to do 2-3 reps, I’ll be at a much higher weight. One downside is that it takes a lot of time. I picked 5/3/1 because it’s just so simple. I don’t know if I’m technically a beginner or intermediate, but I’ve never written my own program and I can’t afford to pay someone else to. So I’m just doing 5/3/1. It’s the simplest, easiest to understand program I’ve found (and one of the only programs I’ve found, actually).

Setting a PR every session is fun. I know that strength in a high rep range doesn’t usually translate to strength at a low rep range, but I guess it’s good that I’m building strength in SOME capacity rather than just not lifting. Thanks for the replies Chris