T Nation

Squats Not Going Well

Ok so i posted here not long ago asking if i should increase my TM for cycle 3 by 10lbs or 5lbs…and ive increased it by just 5lbs.
So I i did my 5 reps, and on my 5+ i hit 6!! Just 6!! And last cycle on my 3+ i did heavier weight and managed 7 reps…I feel so terrible. This week with bench i hit 9 and deadlift i hit 10. My squats is not going well. With my other lifts especially bench im getting rep PR week by week , cycle per cycle but my squats has not been consistent…any advice?

What (exactly) are you doing for assistance in Squat and Deadlift days?
The answer is most likely in there.

My opinion.

Sometimes this just happens. You have a bad day, bad sleep, bad food, bad warm up etc and your struggling. Sometimes you don’t even know why!

This is why we have a TM!

You’ve not gotten weaker. That’s almost certain.

For now. Don’t worry. Stay on plan, and just focus on next weeks squats. Make sure your 3+ rocks.
If your 3+ sucks as well you might have to think a bit more deeply. But don’t panic!

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Don’t freak out. If your nutrition and recovery is looked after then fatigue is just catching up. Use your deloads, set your TM properly and you will push through stronger than ever.

If you’ve been neglecting recovery, conditioning, assistance, nutrition… consider this a good warning.

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Keep the weights this cycle, see how it goes.
If you set some big PR’s on the next two weeks, you’re good.
If not.
Drop TM to maybe the weights you did on this 5’s week, where you got 6 reps.
So a very light TM then you have plenty of cycles to progress.


Im glad I have someone I can relate to now! I was going to post about this too. My last week was like you what you experienced but on bench press.

My previous cycle, I was using a heavier weight and still managed more reps…I got so down on myself because of it.

If you knew what rep count you had to hit with that weight for it to be a PR and still didint manage. Than it could be a number of things like other people are describing. Its most likely related to lifestyle issues than assistance exercise selection. This could be less sleep, less calories, not recovering on time etc. Your assistance work exercises are little to worry about. Its about finding that fine line between being able to recover from your sessions on time (before you train that lift again) and avoiding that overtraining state (body being beat up).

What I would do is focus on your recovery (food and sleep) moreso than TM’s or assistance stuff. Keep your Tm the same for next cycel like others are saying. Good luck

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I was just wondering if maybe he had added in too much direct leg work since his deads and bench are still going up.

I had this a few weeks back.
For my 3+ i hit 10 reps at 97.5kg.
And just a week later I managed 5 reps at 102.5kg.
I was devastated. Stormed off muttering stuff like “ I’m bloody stronger than this.” I was ready to quit . Had a hissy fit in the gym, the whole 9 yards!

Looking back - I quit my job that day. It’s surprising the things that really knock reps out of you!

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Geez man, I’d expect you to hit 6-8 with that weight. 5 wasn’t bad. Especially if 10 was beyond what you were expecting on that 3 week.

Bad is when you unrack the first set and it feels like you’re going to be crushed lol

97.5x10 than 5 weeks later you hit 102.5x10? And you werent satisfied with that ? did i read that right lol??

Miss typed. Read again
Same as @scott1997

I didn’t misread/misinterpret your original post.

Sorry flying visit to tnation after a long day.
But yeah. It was a shocker. The moment I picked up the weight even on the warm ups I felt weak. I had 60kg in he bar at one point and struggled with stability on the bench.
Glad I had amy regular training partner / spotter. He helped calm me down and make me finish my work out. I was about ready to quit.

Could be the culprit. If hes doing an absurd amount of leg work AND the deadlift day, depending what he does could mess with his recovery. Bro science incoming: Lifts that stall or regress are normally cns-related. Because he wouldnt have lost muscle mass if he has been training consistently and being regimented with eating etc.
OR his body just wasnt primed for a PR (or even his normal level of strength) on that specific day for whatever reason.

he edited it.
he did 97.5x10, then 1 week later he did 102.5x5 (which is a weaker rep max than the week before)
i guess bad days still happen even on a brutally effective program like this.

Thanks to all your response guys…really helps…i do feel that squats is more of a mental thing for me,like some of u said could be number of things can be as simple as i didint have enough warm up sets or bad sleep etc. For those wondering what my routine looks like its

  1. 531 squats, 2) 5 sets 12-15 leg press (light-moderate), 3) 3 sets 10-15 leg extension, 4) 3 sets 10-15 leg curls, 5) calves, 6) abs
    So yeah volume is definately not the problem. If anytbing, i should probably do more. Since my push day looks like this
  2. 531 bench, 2) 5 sets 10 incline, 3) 3 sets dips, 4) 5 sets lateral raises, 5) 3 sets skullcrushers, 6) 3 sets overhead dumbell extension, 7) 3 sets cable pushdowns.
    Some of u will probably say too much volume for push day but im getting PR every week on bench so i aint changing anything.

1.Do what is in your best interest but you very well could be overdoing it volume wise on squat day. It doesnt take much at all to slide into a slump, recovery-wise. Not to mention, if youre deadlifting each week, thats also adding recovery time that is needed. If the main lift isn’t progressing or moves backwards (in your case) than that’s telling you something. Everyone is different, some people dont need much assistance work at all, and some people need to leg press and lunge there souls out to get their squats moving. Jim says something like “don’t major in the minors” (minors meaning the assistance stuff) Leg work tends to be demanding on the nervous system mainly because of the stress that is put on the body with the movements and the sheer effort/energy it takes to do lower body work in general.
2. Nice, if you’re bench is moving forward each week, keep it going!

It was one workout - R E L A X.

Train harder, train smarter.


Just when i posted here saying that my bench is going so well hitting PRs every week, my right rib decided to give me problems for unknown reason. Basically when Iam hitting atleast 80% of my max, whenever ill be on lets say 4th or 5th rep, i feel this thing in my right rib kinda like it feels like its “fatigued” and cannot handle the weigjt anymore and if i push another rep then it will hurt it pretty bad. So im forced to rack the weight even though i have like 2-3 reps in tank. Training/benching for 5 yrs and never had this. Except it started on cycle 1 week 1 and 2 of wendler and since then never again until yesterday (im on cycle 3 week 2). Anyone can relate?

i suffered a pretty bad shoulder injury to my long thoracic nerve about 2-3 years ago doing log press back when I use to compete in strongman. After a majority of the injury healed there was still about a 8 month period where any pressing would radiate pain down to my rib. Basically my scapula wasn’t working properly and it was putting extra weight onto my ribs when I would press. I would definitely get it checked out. If it’s the same case as mine putting extra pressure on it over and over could crack the rib