T Nation

Squat Seems to be Stalled

So ive been doing 5/3/1 for about 6 months. ive made great progress for the most part. the only lift ive had a problem with is squats. everything else is doing great. on my 5th cycle i can still hit about 5 reps on the final sets on 5/3/1 days (i.e. with 95% of my training max.) But my squats are really stubborn. I squat with good form, using the deep-breath-chest-out-butt-back-knees-out technique lol. i always go about an inch below parallel.

This cycle my training max is 260, and this week (third week of the cycle) i squatted 245 for one grinding rep. i think i could have gotten one more rep but i didnt push myself too hard because i was feeling shitty. Ive been just barely making all my reps like this for a few months already. (i would give more specific examples but i unfortunately left my training log at school and wont be able to get it till monday) I know for sure that my squats should be stronger because 245 was just about the real squat max i used to calculate my very FIRST training max!

So i figure theres probably a flaw somewhere in my programmng. Heres a sample week of training for me:

Monday: Military Press 3x3
Pullups: 8x5
Dips: 8x5
maybe some extra sets of face pulls or lateral raises.

Tuesday: Squat: 3x3
Leg Press: 3x10
Low L-sit: 60 sec total, Leg raises: 3x10, Paloff Press: 2x20seconds
Wedenesday: OFF
Thursday: Bench: 3x3
Military Press: 3x10
Kroc Rows: 1x25
maybe some curls or something

Friday: Deadlift: 3x3
RDL: 3x8
ABs: same as on tuesday.

Im thinking that it could help alot to strength the bottom of my squat by doing partials in the power rack (got that idea from starting strength). The bottom half of my squat is where i have the most difficulty.

Any suggestions?

Maybe it was just a bad day? Lack of food or sleep? Try it again for another cycle and if it happens again, then a few things can be the cause, programming isn’t working for you or you just need to reset the weights 10% less. Don’t over complicate it with partial squats and what not.

It’d be helpful to know how tall you are and how much you weigh.

I hope you’re not just doing 3x3…

I would reset your weights, and follow 5/3/1 “properly” using the BBB accessory for your squats. Someone in the powerlifting forum posted an awesome spreadsheet for 5/3/1. Go find it.

[quote]Zerpp wrote:
Maybe it was just a bad day? Lack of food or sleep? Try it again for another cycle and if it happens again, then a few things can be the cause, programming isn’t working for you or you just need to reset the weights 10% less. Don’t over complicate it with partial squats and what not.

It’d be helpful to know how tall you are and how much you weigh. [/quote]

true it could have been just a bad day and thats what i usually think. its just that looking back now i feel like i shouldve made a lot more progress and so something must be off. of course it could all just be in my head or somethng.

Oh and im 6 foot 1 and 195lbs, with relatively long legs.

[quote]goochadamg wrote:
I hope you’re not just doing 3x3…

I would reset your weights, and follow 5/3/1 “properly” using the BBB accessory for your squats. Someone in the powerlifting forum posted an awesome spreadsheet for 5/3/1. Go find it.[/quote]

of course im not just dong 3x3, that was just an example. i did BBB for a couple months… now that i think of it though i cant remember how it worked for me. ill have to check when i get my log back. and ill definitely look for that spreadsheet, thanks.

Also try the full body template. I find that squatting more often helps me.

My squatting was gay around the 6 month mark until I started absolutely destroying myself on squat day. I mean if you’re doing M, T, T, F with squats on Friday then you have two full days of recovery before you’re doing a full workout again. I tend to walk/ride on the weekend to try and get some blood flowing.

I guess my advice given I went through teh same thing is to add more squatting to your squat day. I do oly squats for my squat then I do wide stance and front squat for assistance works. So my squat day looks like

Oly squats warm up, Oly squats for main lift
5x5 Wide stance at whatever I feel I’ll be able to grind the last set out at
5x5 front squat at same (grinding last set)

Also for my 5 and 3 days whenever I couldnt’ make the 5 or 3 reps I would reset and finish the reps + 1 or more. I guess I jsut would not give up until I made the number.

Squats are so much about heart once you’ve got good setup and are doing a realistic weight… grind those big sets out and then do active recovery over teh weekend :slight_smile:

Squat more than once a week

[quote]ozzyaaron wrote:
My squatting was gay around the 6 month mark until I started absolutely destroying myself on squat day. I mean if you’re doing M, T, T, F with squats on Friday then you have two full days of recovery before you’re doing a full workout again. I tend to walk/ride on the weekend to try and get some blood flowing.

I guess my advice given I went through teh same thing is to add more squatting to your squat day. I do oly squats for my squat then I do wide stance and front squat for assistance works. So my squat day looks like

Oly squats warm up, Oly squats for main lift
5x5 Wide stance at whatever I feel I’ll be able to grind the last set out at
5x5 front squat at same (grinding last set)

Also for my 5 and 3 days whenever I couldnt’ make the 5 or 3 reps I would reset and finish the reps + 1 or more. I guess I jsut would not give up until I made the number.

Squats are so much about heart once you’ve got good setup and are doing a realistic weight… grind those big sets out and then do active recovery over teh weekend :)[/quote]

good advice man.I didn’t even think that the problem could be with how much a was squatting per week. now that i think of it, i really wouldnt expect a lot of improvement from only doing 3 sets of squats per week, even if was doing leg press or lunges or whatever. i do a lot of walkng and riding my bike which definitely helps. I think ill just go ahead and try the BBB again and learn some new variations to make it interesting.

Good to see you are making progress bro. I remember when you first started posting here. You have almost caught my numbers up. I had to take a little time off. Keep up the good work.

-Zep

haha thanks zep. if remember right, when i first started posting i was in a much shittier financial situation and had limited equipment. i wound up having to take about 8 or 9 months off from weights because i couldnt afford a gym membership and i didnt have any other access to weights. but i got back to it about 8 months ago. i hope youre making some good progress man!

All in good time. I promised myself I wouldnt max until I could reasonably shoot for 405/315/405. I am crawling my weight up with 5/3/1 Boring But Big now (almost at 2 months of this program and enjoying the hell out of it). I have gained about 39 lbs since Jan 7th. I had a major setback (very long story). Lifting has been the best medicine I think I have ever encountered for things that traditional medicine cannot remedy. I’m getting everything together one day at a time.

It’s good to see that you didn’t give up.

-Zep

i feel you man. i never really thought much about when i was gonna max though, because i figure if you do enough cycles with 531 the weight will eventually catch up with you and you’ll hit your max (or close to it) on one of your 531 weeks. thats awesome how much weight you put on man. what your height/weight anyway? i never have much food at home so ive only put on about 25-30 pounds in the last 9 months.

You know what? Those were my exact thoughts. Let the weights catch you haha. I never maxed when I started. On my last 5/3/1 week I got 10 reps on all of my final sets.

I am about 5’9" sitting at 201.0 as of yesterday. I know its nothing like what some of the guys on here though. Maybe one day I’ll be there though. I really really want to just be big and strong as hell. Maybe one day I’ll cut. Its looking like I’ll have to at 220 to clean up a little bit.

What are your goals?

-Zep

10 reps? damn thats not too shabby man. I usually hit 4 or 5. Right now im 6’1" at 196. My goal for the summer is to get up to 210+ because im thinking of playing rugby at my university next year. Other than that my goals are basically to build a lot of relative strength so i can do some gymnastic stuff (front levers, muscleups, planches etc.) while still being really strong with the big lifts. My weight lifting goals are really simple at the moment: deadlift 4 plates, squat 3 plates, bench 2 plates, press 1 plate haha. im getting pretty close too.

other than that i just want to keep getting stronger until im too old to get any stronger.

and i suppose i might as well cut some day too. just to look better haha xD