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Stuck at 315lbs for Squats

This is my very first post. I’m 47 and weighs roughly 80kg. I had both knees with torn ACL and had since repaired. Started squatting in January 2015. My starting max was 135lbs and i hit 315lbs in July 2015. But since then I have not been able to improve. I squat 4 - 5 times a week, changing from front squats, high bar back squats, low bar etc. I have done 10x10, 20 reps and most days i squatted to 90-95%. My next goal is 4 plates. Considering my age, is 4 plates too much to shoot at? Thank you.

no its not too old, are you following some sort of program? Considering all factors, I believe squat at 95% of your max may be too much for progression, the goal is to train your strength not test it, its the only way your numbers will go up. If you like volume and squatting often consider Smolov or Sheiko type programs. Though I would look into a simple 5x5 periodization program.

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Hey MattyXL thanks for your suggestions. I guess I’m just too anxious to get stronger and I have to accept the fact that progress is never linear. How much time do you think I can hit my goal of 1rm 405 from current 315? Is 6 months realistic training 4 days a week?

I think its possible, but TBH I would run 6-9 weeks of Madcow advanced template and then see where you are, if you progressed run it aqain.

Got to agree with Matty

If you are new to lifting, I would say that the most important thing BY FAR is to make sure you are using appropriate technique. Going from 135 to 315 is a massive improvement over 6 months. This happens with newbies, but not often by that much. Sometimes, in our quest to hit higher numbers, we let form go by the wayside. Not implying that this is the case here, but if it is, I would be willing to bet that you would be much happier knowing that you nailed a true 250 lb squat with proper form, rather than doing 315 with crappy form.

My suggestion: post a video here for feedback and suggestions for improvement if required. People here are very helpful.

Once technique is perfected, picking a program suitable for beginner/intermediate (the latter if you are really at 315) would be the next step. Then the challenge is to stick with it as you progress. As Matty mentioned, 95% is way too much load to do on a regular basis. Are you deadlifting as well?

Thanks for the friendly and expert advice. I have decided to start on Texas method due to its simplicity. I’m 1 week into it and so far so good. Based on the projection I hope to squat 405 in 4 to 6 months time.

So if you started squatting in January 2015, you have been at this for about a year and 3.5 months. 315 lbs is very respectable weight, in my opinion. It is not necessarilyy the absolute weight that matters, but how much weight you do today, compared to yesterday. You obviously cannot extrapolate over 15 months, and assume that you will be squatting 630 pounds in another 15 months. It doesn’t work that way. Most strength gains come in the first 6 months to 2 years. Presumably it has a lot to do with just training your muscles to contract more (more muscle utilization), that coupled with small increases in muscle. Of course, everyone is different. It may take you 6 months to get to 325. but if you train smart, eat decent, and stick with it, you can progress.

I have also realized and learnt that gains are not linear. I have learnt to be patient and enjoy the process rather than chasing after PRS. And yes I have just hit 325 in proper form and depth with belt and sleeves. Thanks for sharing.

Indeed. The non-linearity of both strength gains, and weight lose can be maddening.

How did you make out? I would suggest some singles work in the 90-95% of your 1RM if strength is your main goal. For instance, after your 5x5 or whatever your doing ramp up to 2-4 heavy singles - 2-3x per week. Don’t miss any lifts and stop when you can’t accelerate the bar.

Your next goal should be like 335 , attainable goals add up fast . These were my bench goals as a youngster. 200, 2plates, 250, 275, 300, 3 plates notice pattern.