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Squat Progress Slowing, Options?


I am still progressing with my squats but it is starting to get really really heavy for me, i think i am far to close to my max, it takes me 5 minutes between sets so the workout is getting really long also.
I also don't look forward to my squat workouts anymore because i'm sort of afraid i will fail (stall) very soon and sort of worry about getting stuck under the bar not being able to come up and injuring myslf.

I train in an olympic facilty so there's no squat rack where i can use the safety pins. (I could throw the barbell of my back ( bumper plates) but it seems you do need to squat the weight up little more before you can throw it off you :s)

Since the workout is starting to take to much from me also mentally should/ could i already switch to a 3x5 program for my squats or should i relly go through untill i stall 3 times.

Another thing i was thinking about is either doing 2 consecutive squat workouts with the same weight, sort of to get more familiar with the weight.( i did this once on vacation already) and i was still sore as hell and the second workout with the same weight felt better, but still challenging.)
Or maybe i should start increasing the weight with little baby steps, like 1 kg per workout instead of 2,5.


First of all, practise getting rid of your barbell when you fail. Dropping it is entirely possible (ideally you'll have a spotter who will pull it off of your back).

All of the options you listed sound reasonable. What do you weigh and what do you squat?


i weigh 71 kg (155 pounds) and last workout squatted 185 pounds 5x5. I started barbell training 6/7weeks ago with the bar.

Tx for the vid i will try it tomorrow to throw the bar off, it does like a little scary i must say


You didn't really explain your program. What is your program, exactly? I can guess, but then I would just be guessing.


Stronglifts 5x5, with added chins and dips


I'm not familiar with the specifics of that one, sorry. Good luck with your training.


Ever read up on 5/3/1? quite a good program to graduate on to from a beginners 5x5.

Also: age/starting bw/ current bw/ beginning squat/ current squat?
are you failing at a specific point?


Another Video for you: http://youtu.be/6tTNX18ekbM

Squatting close to your max with no safety catches can be fucking scary, I know. But if you overcome this fear and are able to RISK failure, your progress will be better. That being said, I think Mehdi pushes training to failure way too much. If you feel like you can't progress any further, deload.


I'm assuming you're squatting 3x/week. Rather than staying at the same weight twice, you could do front squats on the middle day.


Move on to madcow.

You shouldn't be going to failure bur ask someone to spot you if really that worried.


Thanks for the answers guys, yesterday after training i practised throwing off the weight with increasing steps and i learned a technique where i sort of make a bridging movement onto my toes and shrug the weight off and i can throw the weight off pretty easy now.
Thanks again for the vids Nighthawkz.
I know 5/3/1 and i consider it for the future, i think i have some beginner gains left so i will stick to 5x5 SL untill i really stall (i felt i was going to stall but did my workout with less trouble than the last), so i guess theres still some left.


You don't need to fail on squats. In my opinion it's not worth it as CNS fatigue will make you weaker for a few days afterwards. Weight lifters do it but you have to remember they are elite lifters and they have the ability to recruit far more motor units then the average lifter. Their CNS is totally different to the average lifter. They also use PED's which make a huge difference to recovery and just about everything else.

Switch to 3 x 5 and you will continue to make gains. In my opinion it's far better anyway.
Exhaust that then go to 1 x 5 .

Once you have exhausted all gains then it's time for periodization.

This is how 5x5 programs are meant to work. They are used as a form of progression but they only work if you follow the progressive steps.


wow that guy really dosnt look like some one that can squat 260kg massive!


He's a weightlifter. Those guys squat everyday of the week. Sometimes twice a day.
Notice how his form was perfect for every rep except for the rep he failed on. Notice how when he failed he just pushed the bar back as if it's no big deal. This guy does this every day of the freaking week.

As for not looking like he could lift it; muscle is only part of what gives you strength. A lot of it is neural. You develop neural strength like this guy by doing it over and over to failure day after day after day.
You can build a lot of strength this way without much muscle. I wouldn't advise it. lol


I know, but i'm not switching to 3x5 BEFORE i fail, my concern was about the first time that i will fail, which will happen eventually.


A couple things you can do. 1 lighten up by 25lbs and then add 5lbs a week back to the bar, and take another run at your top weight. You can do this over and over. When you get to a point where you can't get 5x5 or it's feeling really heavy, drop back 25lbs and take another run at it. #2, throw some curls inbetween the squats (preacher, or inclne, no low back strain) This serves a couple purposes, fills the time up, so your not rushing.

It also gives you a break mentaly, so your not thinking about the squats between sets, and you'll start to look forward to your workouts again. I've been using both these tricks with kids for years, with sucsess. 5x5 is a great program, I still go back to it myself, even after 20yrs of lifting. It's one of the best programs ever written, and strong lifts is a great sight with lots opf suport for beginers, so it's not the program, don't start jumping around, give it atleast 6mths to a year. it's worked for thousands of guys just give it time.

Make sure your getting enough food, and sleep, also since your squatting 3x a week, you only have to go heavy one of those sessions a week if you want, I personaly like Day #1 -5x5 heavy, day #2- 5x5 medium (speed) day #3 -1 set of 25 reps, slowly working up to your body weight on the bar. This is a great challange, that gives you a break from all the heavy low reps. I hope there's a couple ideas here you can use to shake up your workouts. Your on the right track, if it was easy, everyone would be big and strong. Goodluck

Let me know if you have any questions about the above ideas


I just wonder why the program is not followed.

Input numbers in spreadsheet, lift for twelve weeks, re-input new numbers or continue, then spreadsheet tells you when to move to Madcow.

He even explains in detail what to do if you miss some lifts.

If you don't have a squat rack and training in an Olympic gym, instead of squat, do snatch or the first half of the clean and jerk.

And if there are people around you that actually train for Olympic lift, compare your diets.


Amazing I've never seen anything like it, the guys at my gym that squat in the 200's are all very large guys so thats the only thing I have to compare it to. I'm going to a power lifting meet soon I dare say that will be a eye opener.