T Nation

The Success of a Beginning Nobody -- Squat


Gym day 1

Age: 24
Height: 5'11
Weight: 150
Max Bench Press: 135
Max Squat: 135
Max Dead lift: ????

That was me. A skinny, pasty, hunched over computer n3rd miraculously perched on two twig legs that rattled around on a breezy day.

That was also only 2 months ago.


Height: 5'11
Weight: 166
Max Bench: 160
Max Squat: 225
Max Dead Lift: 225

That's a weight gain of 16 pounds, 25 pounds on my bench, 90 pounds on my Squat and some unknown integer of pounds added on to my Dead Lift; all in 60 days.

Still not overwhelmingly impressive but this is the beginners forum right?!?

A lot of beginners post on here with questions about squat (I know. I did so myself about 2 months ago) so I thought I would share how I got started and what difficulties I faced. After all, what good is forum leech who asked for help if he doesn't plan on reporting his success, and giving back to the community?

I realize I'm still a beginner, but I think I'm just past where a lot of people get stuck, so it's fresh on my mind. Please, those wiser than I, comment with constructive advice.

What worked for me:

I read an article on here that said for beginning squatters, the best course of action is to forget about all these systems and plans and load ratios, and set and rep hokum for right now and just go to the gym and start squatting.

I found a weight that I thought I could lift about 15 times. I did 3 sets of 5 reps. I repeated this every time I went to the gym.

I would increase the weight by a little every time I went, or every week (depending on soreness and general feeling of strength). I went to the gym three times a week. I went up 90 pounds in two months.

At first:
My knees were sore.
My hip flexors were sore.
My lower back was sore.
The bar hurt my back.
I looked dumb.

As I continued to practice, I found out where the bar goes, my form cleaned up, my knees felt better than they ever have, everything from my belly button down got bigger and more toned, and now I am much more stable and generally healthier.

I think the real key was consistency. I was alerted when my knees were hurting, but I was not scared off by squats, I kept going and focused on my form. I did research and I kept going.

My hip flexors were so stiff when I first started. I did not let this scare me off either, I stretched and walked and worked them loose. My hips are far more flexible now because of this.

I got REALLY hungry. I ate and ate and ate and ate and ate.

The best program in the world is one that you will actually do! Don't spend all your time reading and planning and pondering over the best set rep ratio when really you just need to go to the gym and lift some fricken weights!

I realize that in order to continue to see gains in the future, my simple 3x5 will not work forever, but honestly, there is still a lot of coal left in that train, and until it burns up, it works for me. And I think it can work for any beginner if they will just man up, put some weight on their back, squat down, and stand up.

Thank to everyone for your help and support.
T-Nation owns.


i applaud you for you consistency and effort. all you gotta do is try

step one, lift

step 2 ??????

step three more muscular!


Your first sentence sounds like it was written by Charles Atlas.

Good progress though. Don't get bogged down in the platitudes, just hit it hard.


Fixed that for you


Fixed that for YOU!

Good work OP, and good attitude, keep it up man.


We need more posts like this and less asking about how many sets of incline cable flies on chest day. Great job OP.


Keep it up, OP. Great motivation for right before squat day


by actually committing to squatting, you've already placed yourself ahead of 90% of gym-goers




we do need more post like this, excellent op
have you started a training log?


Now check back in when you gain another 20 pounds. In a few years you'll be one of the big dogs. Congrats on the progress.