T Nation

Squat Is Doing Squat


Allright, out of all my major lifts squat is by far the one that frustrates me the most. It is the single most lift that I have tried to improve over the last year or so and it hasnt gone anywhere.

About a year ago, I decided to squat twice a week (Tues Front, Fri Back) I did not make very good progress with that partially because I would burn myself out on tuesday doing 4 sets on front squats. Then I also did not have a very consistent rep scheme (would go high reps one week then low the next then back to high). Also, my form was not too good. I pushed off the balls of my feet, which is something I later corrected.

Then I saw a olyimpic style strength coach on certain things and he had me do oly style squats. Doing these at first dropped me down to about 50% of my 1RM then worked my way up to a little less than where i was before.

After that I started at a new school and was put into my teams lifting program. I did fine there (other than going crazy watching guys load up 500 lbs and going 30 degrees down, if that) After a while I started to widen my stance because my feet being a foot apart didnt seem very right for me considering my inseam is 39" I spread it out and bam, I was back where I was before. I wasnt using the balls of my feet but I wasnt going anywhere. And its been like that ever since.

How bad you might ask? My bench 1RM is 325, my power clean (feet under me the whole time) 305, my squat 1 rm is right at 300 (w/ 28 inch thighs?).

I honestly think that its hammys and lower back b/c whenever I seem to get on low reps and I get to a sticking point every once in a while i will get on the balls of my feet and suddenly be able to push up. (that and when I do push press, I feel alot more strain on my lower back than pretty much anywhere else. I think I might have answered my own question there. But anyway do any of you have any other suggestions.


I got the same problem as you, I can squat 50 lbs more than my power clean. I have bad leverage for the squat, and have had years of inflexible muscles who didn't cooperate when squatting. I'm slowly getting better at squatting, but it's a slow process.

You're probably built to pull, so that's why the clean is so close to the squat (be glad though, I'd kill for those clean numbers). That's just how you're built.

Another thing with squats is being patient. Building good squat form takes years for most, and a squat is a process in itself. Give it time, don't sacrifice form and try to stick with it.


Short but sweet answer: Learn to box squat, and start doing plenty of hamstring work (GHRs!!!!!)


You need to target your posterior chain. Definetly the box squats, reverse hypers, glute ham raise, romanian deadlifts. I would follow the westside template if I were you.

They believe that if you want to raise your squat than you don't go into the gym and just squat until you're blue in the face, you have to work the muscles that assist in the squat.Check out westside-barbell.com and elitefts.com.

If you decide to take my advice please keep us posted on your progress which I'm sure you will make.


try this 4 week cycle, alt fsq and bsq for example week 1 bsq on mon fsq on fri week 2 fsq on mon bsq on fri.

50x10 60x7 70x5 80x3x3
50x10 60x7 70x5 80x3 85x3x2
50x10 60x7 70x5 80x3 85x3x2
50x10 60x7 70x5 80x3 90x2 95x1 100x1




90x2 95x3x2

95x1 100x1 105x1 110x1


Incorporate the following:

use bands

use chains

learn to properly box squat

do goodmornings


do a speed day

do a strength day

don't ignore flexibility (this means to stretch)

do some active recovery (go on a walk for 40 minutes a day, get the blood flowin to those legs!)

4 sets of squatting shouldn't put you into overtraining, it might make you sore, but that's probably just having poor work capacity.

and finally, squat everyday (this will increase your work capacity). Wether it's just standing up while getting of the crapper (box squat!), or whatever, the more you squat, the more you will squat.


No!! Not yet.. First learn the form of the box squats for a couple months before you start to use chains. You are probably a year away from bands.