T Nation

Squat Max Dropped 40 lbs in 3 Days


#1

Hey All,

Thanks for having T-Nation out here as an awesome resource. I tried looking these 2 particular problems up, but I can't seem to find an answer.

I'm trying to get strong (been doing MMA/Endurance Sports too long) and I want to keep my conditioning. So I've been following SL5x5 and later Crossfit Football w/ some light running thrown in here an there. I try to keep the Metcons heavy / short, and make sure they aren't too crazy.

No Ego, I started my Squats all over, and did them deep, eventually peaking at 225# 5RM in November with SL5x5 and its still there 3 months later with CFFB! While all my other lifts keep making linear progressions, my Back Squat won't budge.

This Monday, I finally broke through and did 3x5 sets of 235#, all below parallel. The next day I hit the deadlifts. I took a rest on Wednesday. I came back today and... Got stuck at the bottom after 1 rep on 240#, then got stuck on 235# after 1 rep, then I got stuck on 205# after 2 reps! It's like someone sent me back in time to six months ago!

My questions are:

1) What the hell will suck 40 lbs out of your 5RM in 3 days? I sleep 6-7 hours and eat pretty well (D-Fac food). I sleep the same amount as my shift mates and we all follow the same program, they haven't had issues.

2) Why doesn't my Back Squat improve? I really find some of my stats odd, especially that I can DL WAY more than Back Squat and my Front Squat is almost the same as my Back Squat. But I hit the Back Squat more than anything else!

Bench: 225# 5RM
Overhead Press: 155# 5RM
Front Squat: 225# 5RM
DeadLift: 315# 5RM (335# with wraps)
Power Clean: 215# 3RM
****Back Squat: 235# 5RM (Very recent... very temporary PR)****
Box Jump: 42"
Bodyweight: 185#
Height: 5'11"

I suspect something is wrong with my form, or I have a serious imbalance somewhere. I always get stuck in the hole during back squats. Yet my guys all say my form is pretty much identical to theirs, and they've been making linear gains and for the most part left me behind on squat day (really kind of embarrasing). But I keep up with everything else!

My main problem seems to be getting stuck in the bottom position at rep 1 any time I try to move past 225#. The bar feels like its folded me down, and I literally get my chest glued to my quads. I try all sorts of things, like looking up, lifting barefoot, and low bar, but I keep getting stuck. Is this an indication of a weakness in part of my Posterior Chain? Why then can I DL/Front Squat/Box Jump so much more? Everyone else seems to be able to go down and spring back up, even on the heavies. I cant even do that when I push 135#!

Since I'm in Afghanistan, I cant really post videos. The best I can do is describe my form ( or at least what my buddies tell me I'm doing).

On my form:

1) Feet a a little more than shoulder width apart, toes out.
2) Low bar.
3) Looking slightly above horizon.
4) Try my hardest to stick my butt out the entire time. (Get that Lombardic Curve)
5) ***My guys say that my shoulders droop down after 3 or 4 reps.
6) I get stuck on the bottom (below parallel) even on light weights, and have to fight my way up. I just cant seem to go right back up.

Thanks guys, and sorry this is so long... I got no other way to get my message out (super slow/limited internet for videos)! Maybe I'll have someone take pics of me if all this info isn't enough.


#2

How do you know exactly your max dropped 40 lbs in three days? Are you literally training 100% of your 5RM max every three days?

If so, there is your problem.

Secondly, you're getting stuck at the bottom of the hole because 225 is reaching your max. Keep training and lighten up the weight.

Keep in mind, you're body is not the same every single day you walk into the gym. There are so many variables that change from day to day.


#3

Hey Evolv, Thanks for the fast answer.

I follow a simple linear progression model. Hit a 5RM, rest a few days, add 5lbs every workout. (or four water bottles tied together w/ string... it's pretty rough here) It's worked for every other one of my lifts.

I don't follow SL5x5 any more. That called for 3x days of squats a week. CFSB just calls for 2, but you follow the same linear progression, just at 3x5.

Like I said, I literally got glued to the floor 3 times in a row today on rep 1. It felt like I had never even lifter 235# before, or even 225# (I actually checked the weights because I thought my buddies left an extra plate or two on).

I've heard of people going down by 10#, or sometimes 25# at 2x bodyweight. But I haven't even hit 1.25 BW!

I guess I'm just frustrated because I've been at 225# for so long. Moving up is the problem. Doing any more, and I can't get past rep 3 or 4 without getting stuck. Sometimes I get stuck in rep 1.


#4

linear progression only works for so long, it may be time for you to move away from it


#5

You're probably just not recovered from your last training session that's all. Power down some food and get some rest.


#6

Thanks. Roger that on food & Rest.

On Linear progression: Shouldn't I still be making small gains on the Back Squat? Especially if I'm making consistent gains on all my other stuff? And why the cut off on such a small weight? 225# for someone who weighs 185# isn't major.


#7

Are your goals physique oriented or strength oriented? If physique I recommend to just progress on the front squat, but since your so focused on the back squat I will assume your goals are more strength oriented.

First since you say that your chest just gets glued to your quads, your upper back may not be as strong as you think it is and strengthening it will need to become a priority. Watch these vids as they may help you.





#8

Dude! Thanks. It'll take me 3 days to finally load all these vids with my crap Afghan internet, but I'll definitely work it in.

One of my buddies said it might be that my glutes aren't firing and that I'm just using quads and erector spinae to do all my work (in every lift). But I also feel like I can't get a handle on my upper back.

My next Squat sesh is Saturday, I'll do all this stuff and see how it goes.

[quote]JoabSonOfZeruiah wrote:
Are your goals physique oriented or strength oriented? If physique I recommend to just progress on the front squat, but since your so focused on the back squat I will assume your goals are more strength oriented.

First since you say that your chest just gets glued to your quads, your upper back may not be as strong as you think it is and strengthening it will need to become a priority. Watch these vids as they may help you.


#9

First of all, not to be mean but at your strength levels you don't have a whole lot of muscle on youin particular relative to your squat and pull. I have honestly trained HS girls with similar stats at under 165#'s.

You're certainly not past the point where linear progression no longer works for you. Most, if not all, top tier powerlifters established their base level of strength and mass through the use of some form or linear progression.

The problem is you have to wave intensity. You sound like every gym rat I have ever had a conversation with. It usually goes something like this.

"Yo, last week I benched 225 for 6 and this week I got smashed with 235. Waddup with that."

You usually come to find they have spent the last 2 years training coming into the gym and doing whatever they were capable of on that particular day with no training cycle or plan what so ever.

What I say to them is if you don't learn to structure and cycle your training appropriately, your body will do it for you. The problem with this is that overtraining can have impact training anywhere from a couple weeks to several months. It just depends on how stupid, for how long, you have been.

The bottom line is if your approach worked, everybody would be squatting 2000#'s.

You need to learn a hell of a lot about how to put together a training cycle so I strongly recommend you use this site and some of it's affiliates for program material. Just make sure you don't do something for a month, decide it doesn't work, and switch to something else (this is a trap a lot of lifters at your level fall into).

Determine what you want to train for, pick a training methodology that you think accomodates it, and put in the time and effort.

To reiterate, you don't even seem to have a base level of knowledge about how to structure a training cycle so all the rest and attention to diet won't amount to a pinch of shit until you get this sorted out.