Squat has plateaued !! advice!
04-21-2009 03:54 AM
Squat has plateaued !! advice!
Ok guys heres my situation...
Been lifting seriously not long now, since early december.
My squat started on 60kg (132lbs), been doing 5x5s, slowly increasing weight. About 2 months ago I hit 90kg / 200lbs, when it got easy, I pumped it up 5kg / 11lbs, and the next week I belted out my 95kg / 210lbs, full form, easy reps, excited for hit the big 2 plates, the week after that I upped it another 5kg/11lbs for 100kg/220lbs
so basically, I went from 90kg / 200lbs squat to 100kg / 220lbs in 2 weeks. Quite a jump if you look at it like that.
What started to happen was that when I tried the 100kg/220 for reps, I really began to struggle, legs buckling, struggled to get it for reps etc. I decided after struggling for 2-3 weeks to lower it back down to 95kg / 210lbs... Which I have been doing for the last month or more, without any gains at all.
A gain to me is indicated by either adding a small amount of weight (I used to add big amounts ie 5kg/11lbs is too much of a jump I realise now) each week, or by at least getting 1 rep more the next week, or being able to complete my reps and sets with more ease and better form if for example, i struggled on a weight in week 1 but got my reps, ill stay on it week 2 and try do it 110% perfectly.
So basically, what has happened is I've been stuck on the 95kg / 210lbs mark on my squat for the last ...6 weeks tops... and its annoying because it isnt even getting slightly easier. Each week I still get some little leg buckling, or form isnt right. Its not the fact I'm not adding weight, but the fact my form has fallen so much and I cant get it better again.
While my squat has stagnated, everything else has continued to increase. my Bench, Military Press and Deadlifts have continued to grow without plateauing.
My assumption is that my legs are week at the bottom of the drive of the squat. I'm not explosive enough. My squats seem slow off the bottom and its what makes me struggle. I like to take breathers between reps, and dont know how in hell people can squat at a respectable pace, even for a small 5 reps.
I also had a gym instructor watch me do a set of deadlifts the other week, he said everything was fine, but I seemed to struggle at the beginning regarding the drive of my legs lifting it off the ground, almost leaving it all for my back to pull like a straight leg deadlift? My starting position etc was fine, I just had to compensate with everything else.
SO... I'm wondering if I can get some advice as to how to make my legs more EXPLOSIVE...
I was thinking over the next 4 weeks to lower the weight considerably on the bar, and do 3x15s (higher reps), no pauses between sets, belt it out fast and concentrate on the bottom part. Go serious a2g, and do them fast. Possibly later followed by some 45 degree leg press, again letting it the weight go right down on me so my knees come close to shoulders, hitting the glutes with the legs up high. Then furthermore some good effective hamstring/glute exercises?
Just wondering if you guys agree with this or suggest a different method to help me get past this plateau? Some super effective ham exercises? Possibly glute exercises? anything else? I've been told not to bother with box squats yet (its more for advanced lifters), and to just continue regulars for higher reps...
Sorry for the long post but this is seriously doing my head in! Everything else is climbing so nicely and this isn't! All advice greatly appreciated, thanks!
04-21-2009 03:44 PM
if your looking for explosive strength you should try power cleans, i had the same problem when i was stuck at 295. Your legs can handle alot more weight then most people give them credit for. If i were you i'd start doing some power cleans on your back day and start a 20 rep squat routine. The 20 rep squat will kill your legs, but seriously force them to grow and before u no it 210 is gonna be in the baby leagues. u gotta kill ur legs every workout to expect them to grow bigger and stronger
04-21-2009 03:47 PM
Running with the Big Boys
Good mornings to strengthen the glutes/erectors and front squats to work on core stability and quad strength.
04-21-2009 09:12 PM
power cleans are something ive wanted to stay away from, theres no room really at my gym, plus if i dropped the weight it would make the whole gym shake - they kinda hate it (might have to change gyms)
are good mornings mainly lower back exercises? cause ive been told to work the lower back even tho im confident i dont have any issues with it... my squat is at 210 while my deadlift has rocketed off to 320 for reps (its big for a noob like me! lol)
actually 20 rep squats does sound good...
04-21-2009 09:28 PM
Im guessing you could use some extra ham and quad strength, and most likely need to bring your stabilizers up. Try adding some of these into your routine:
Ball leg curls
Straigh leg deadlifts
Good Mornings of all kinds
Heavy Ab work
band leg curls
Also I would give box squats a try, they probably help beginners more then they do advanced lifters because they allow you to really learn to sit back instead of down and they can gradually be lowered to accommodate your skill level. If you notice your form starts breaking down at a certain depth you can put the box height to that level and really work on staying tight . Check out some of the articles here for great squatting advice:
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