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Why is My Squat Going Down Fast?


My squat seems to be getting weaker with each week. I am hoping some of you veterans can help me solve it.

I am a 41 year old male body weight is 240. I have been following a powerlifting training program for 6 months. I went from Starting Strength to Madcow 5x5 and am in my 2nd cycle of 5/3/1.

On Madcow my Deadlift was going no place in fact it was going down. I started to think it might be the Madcow programing of Squat Monday, Pull Tuesday, and Squat Friday. All my other lifts were progressing but DL was dropping so I decided to try something new.

This has been my last month. Cycle 1 one Wender the weight for the 3rd week was 350, I thought I would hit 6 or 7 reps easy. I did two and got stapled.

Next week was deload and I had an Army phystical fitness test around the corner so I just did conditionioning. No lifts at all.

Next week was physical fitness test so no squats.

I figure I should be able to pick back up on week two of cycle two of Wendeler. Weight is 340 on the bar. I can't get one rep.

Again all my other lifts are progressing. I figure a little bit might have to do with conditioning and not squatting for a couple weeks. But I am wondering if I should think of alternating weeks with Squat and deads. On Wendler I have been pulling on Tuedsay with front Squats and leg curls for assitance. Deadlift is back on the rise. But not my squat is plumetting.

Any help would be awesome. I thought I would at be working with 400 plus by now and instead 315 is struggle.


So you did the "1" week of the first cycle and got 2 reps. Then you skipped the "5" day of the second week and went right for the "3" day. Is that right? If so, why the skip?

What did you base your starting max weight on? Was it a weight you've actually done or a weight that you THOUGHT you could do, i.e. 400? Did you base your numbers off of 90% of your true max?

Outside of those things, are you sleeping/eating/training/etc./etc. any differently than usual? I imagine being in the military could have periods where your usual schedule for all of those things are compromised.

Just based on what you've presented, I'd say you need to lower your training max and start over.


I figured it was one workout and in the grand scheme didn't mater. So I went to 3 just to keep everything on track. My last workout before Wendler was 360 for 5 reps. I used that to compute a 405 1RM and then took 90% of that. I am using weights I have lifted many times but now they are heavy. Last week my form started to break oden doing 305 for 3


I'm assuming that nothing else has changed (level of physical activity, stress, sleep habits, eating habits, and/or general health) between what you were doing (madcow/starting strength) and wendler. If that is in fact the case, I'm going to guess you're not doing enough volume/pushing hard enough with the assistance work.

There basically is NO assistance with the other two progarms you did, because the volume on the main lifts is already high. This is NOT the case with 5/3/1.

Can you list, exactly (and you should have this, if not, that's not good) what you did your last 3 squat workouts?

If my assumption is not correct (and give it some good thought), then you know your problem already.


Lower the weights and squat more.

Dial down your technique and move the weights fast.

Stop focusing on the weight on the bar and focus on what your body is telling you and focus on building a strong squat in terms of technique and mobility.

Then start increasing the weights again.


You might not want to go AMRAP every time too. Like sometimes leave a rep or two or even a few in the tank every once in a while.


I never thought of this. For the last three weeks I have been pushing conditioning. On Dead lift and Squat days I was mostly doing the main lift and then hitting the track. A few sets of Front squats on DL day and no assistance work on squat day. I assumed that because I was so early in 5/3/1 and the weights were all ones I have lifted easily before a month or so would not matter. And I never would have thought I would get drastically weaker that fast.

I never truly do AMRAP either always a rep or two left.