T Nation

Squat Help


Jim, i wanto prioritise my squat it hasnt moved in some time. Have recently added a 2nd squat day and used fsl from previous squat day for 5x5 (front squated for 3x5-8 after deadlift before that) is there anything else i can do? I also tried dialing back my conditioning and lowering my tm to 85% both didnt do a whole lot. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Hard to tell - when I coach the squat, it has to be done over a long period of time, constant interaction and honestly, apart from the usual cues, vast majority of cues are mental preparedness. By far. We focus on quality, relaxation, speed, etc. So how I coach athletes is very hands on as far as mental toughness, strength and demanding their mind is clear and strong, not some issue with toes or how their sphincter tightens.

Here’s the deal - lifting weights and getting stronger gets harder and harder the stronger you get. No one tells you that since the majority of jackholes giving advice are beginners who haven’t hit hard times and will invariably quit. So road blocks are going to come up and you just work around them by being smart and consistent.

The only advice I can give you without actually coaching you in person is to make sure your surrounding areas (back and abs) are strong as hell too. Set some simple standards for straight leg, hanging leg raise: 30 slow continuous reps would be bare minimum to shoot for, for example. I know it is no longer cool to be about the “core” anymore but it once again shows how trendy this business is.

We also believe in strengthening the legs/hips through sleds - because we are going after more than just a number on a barbell. So focus on those two things and bar speed.


Thanks jim. Any substitute for sled work in a commercial gym?


[quote]Shaun87 wrote:
Thanks jim. Any substitute for sled work in a commercial gym?[/quote]

Nope - they all suck. That’s why it is a commercial gym. My advice to you, and what I did, was to work a bit more or save a bit more, take 6-12 months and save the cash for a Prowler or sled. 6-12 months is NO TIME at all.

In the meantime, do what all of us have done and push a car or drag a tire filled with weights.


I got the “S-25 Fat Boy” about 6 months ago and it’s been a worthy investment. The only downside is that if you don’t already have plates, you’ll need minimum of 2 45 pound plates. It really depends how strong you are, you may need more.

Only thing I’ve done in the past, and I’m pretty sure the gym won’t allow you to do this, is to take an old hoody and stuff plates inside it, attach a strap (I had access to a TRX) to it and drag that around the gym. It worked for the time being.


Thanks Jim organised to pick 1 up with rugby club i used to play with.


The two things that really got my plateaued squat moving again were paused squats and some kind of jumping during warmup sets. The paused squats really help feeling confident to hit depth, and help get that initial push going. You could experiment with these on your secondary squat day, or after your main 5/3/1 day. The jumps give me the feeling that my bar speed has doubled. Probably not that extreme, but it’s a huge boost mentally when the reps go up quicker. The other benefit I got out of these was ditching a nasty sticking point halfway up.


Thanks mate think i saw something paul carter said about doing 3x3-5 pause squats with fsl and also in the beyond book will run them on deadlift day.