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Squatting without spotters?

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    Squatting without spotters?


    So I've only recently been focusing on strength training and all has been going great. However I'm getting to the point where I'm starting to fail around 4 reps or so which is great but I'm almost always by myself. So my question may be stupid but what if I fail and can't get back up? Thanks

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    Does your rack have arms on it to act as a spot? You could also buy some towing straps and set them to appropriate height in case you need to dump the weight.
    M.Ed. Ex Phys
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodja View Post
    Does your rack have arms on it to act as a spot? You could also buy some towing straps and set them to appropriate height in case you need to dump the weight.
    Hmm will have to look at towing straps, never heard of them. It has arms but I'm unsure of how to safely dump the weight without folding my knees harshly
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeySon View Post
    Hmm will have to look at towing straps, never heard of them. It has arms but I'm unsure of how to safely dump the weight without folding my knees harshly
    You throw the weight back.
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    So just sit down essentially?
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeySon View Post
    So just sit down essentially?
    Basically just let it roll off your back as you move forward out of the way. If you are in the hole, set the pins so they are 1-2" below your deepest point. If you are deep in the hole you can sit down with it, otherwise just let it roll off and move forward. Remember, you can get hurt, the weight can't. Also, if you pick up an NSCA or ACSM book (two of the biggest governing bodies in certifying strength coaches and personal trainers) you are told to drop the weight on a squat if it is too much.

    Br
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZiR RED View Post
    Basically just let it roll off your back as you move forward out of the way. If you are in the hole, set the pins so they are 1-2" below your deepest point. If you are deep in the hole you can sit down with it, otherwise just let it roll off and move forward. Remember, you can get hurt, the weight can't. Also, if you pick up an NSCA or ACSM book (two of the biggest governing bodies in certifying strength coaches and personal trainers) you are told to drop the weight on a squat if it is too much.

    Br
    That makes sense, exactly the answer I was looking for. Seems pretty self explanatory now that it's told to me lol either way much appreciated
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    the advice give nabove is very solid but I'd be careful man.Blew out my femoral patella squatting in March and it's not the same anymore.Make sure that if your increasing the weights that your form is perfect or as close as you can be.

    Good luck buddy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roniboney View Post
    the advice give nabove is very solid but I'd be careful man.Blew out my femoral patella squatting in March and it's not the same anymore.Make sure that if your increasing the weights that your form is perfect or as close as you can be.

    Good luck buddy.
    Thanks man..I think squatting is probably the most dangerous lift there is
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeySon View Post
    Thanks man..I think squatting is probably the most dangerous lift there is
    I don't know I almost gave out doing skull crusher the other day that was kind of scary too.
    Any how be safe.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeySon View Post
    Thanks man..I think squatting is probably the most dangerous lift there is
    pretty much the big 3 are dangerous.

    Bench =bar falls on neck=dead,rotator cuff tears
    DL =herniated disks(I have 2 from powerlifting)
    Squats=herniation's,lumbar tears(got this too) and knee problems(got this also) from oly lifting in March/April

    In my opinion after pushing myself so hard and after having so many coaches telling me to lift heavy,coaching me on form and still getting injuries I think my strength/athletic weightlifting career is over.
    Gotta just bodybuild from now on.


    Make bloody sure you don't slack on foam rolling,doing warm-up cardio,stretches and if needs be lower the weight if your feeling off that day.Better safe than sorry.Once again good luck buddy
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    Ditch the weight!!! No shame in dropping the bar over injuring yourself...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wookie80
    Ditch the weight!!! No shame in dropping the bar over injuring yourself...
    X2 it's not worth getting hurt. You may be embarsssed to drop it but there's no reason to be. EVERYONE in the gym has had to ditch weights before. At least, everyone who is actually serious about weightlifting
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    Ditch the weight!!! No shame in dropping the bar over injuring yourself...
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    I'm with you bro. I gotta find a gym that'll let me drop the weight after my final squat set to failure.
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    Ya I think I'm going to stop adding weight or slow down until I feel my form is absolutely perfect. I think it's good right now but when my muscles start to wear out towards the end of my set, I begin to favor my right side and lean slightly. Can't be good for my knees or back
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeySon View Post
    Ya I think I'm going to stop adding weight or slow down until I feel my form is absolutely perfect. I think it's good right now but when my muscles start to wear out towards the end of my set, I begin to favor my right side and lean slightly. Can't be good for my knees or back
    Add in unilateral movements into your program. It'll help to correct the imbalance.
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    Single leg movements after your squat session are ideal.

    You can't get hurt squatting if your hip, ankle, and adductor mobility are good.

    Are you performing bodybuilding squats or athletic/power lifting squats (wide stance/ass back) with emphasis on using your glutes and hamstrings?
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    Get yourself a pair of 3/8 chains,along with a pair or adjustable links to close them. I like the 5 ft lengths.
    Set the pins high up so that the chains are 1-2 inches below the bottom position of your squat.
    Put the top of the chain loop in the pins and the bottom on the BB,so now you have a pair of CATCH CHAINS that take the spotter out of the equation.
    I also use these for benching,as well as chain supported good mornings.
    according to the lift,you can adjust the catch by moving the pins,chains,or both.
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    You MUST work up til you BREAK FORM.
    Only THEN can you assess and address the weaknesses.
    Where and when you break form will show just what is the weak links in the lift.
    I suggest you watch "SO YOU THINK YOU CAN SQUAT" on elitefts website.
    I would post the link,but I gotta have 50 posts to do that.
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    There is no need to go to failure in a strength training phase. You should be doing doubles or triples using the same weight. Then on your next cycle, ad five or ten pounds to your sets of 2-3 reps. I've been training alone forever, and I've just learned to get the last one up. Not to mention it's best when squatting heavy to use a squat rack. If all else fails, throw it off your back as others have mentioned. Training alone is the only way to go in my book, makes you own the weight Save the failure work for leg presses, extensions, curls, etc. if you must work to failure, but best not during your strength phase. Best of luck to you...
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeySon View Post
    So I've only recently been focusing on strength training and all has been going great. However I'm getting to the point where I'm starting to fail around 4 reps or so which is great but I'm almost always by myself. So my question may be stupid but what if I fail and can't get back up? Thanks
    taking squats to failure is uneccessary and will lead to more harm then good,
    I take my squats 1 rep short of failure and squat on my own,
    take a notepad, stop it short of failure write down your reps, next week do the same but aim to increase your reps on atleast 2 sets (i still aim to beat my previous by 1 rep on every working squat set) you will be working hard enough and using the principles of progressive overload to instigate growth, anyone that says what im saying is not true il dispute it with you to the ends of the earth,
    when it comes to bodybuilding there are always risks, and the benefits have to outweigh the risks for it to be worth the risk, squatting to failure is not worth causing permanent damage to the technical and delicate structures of the knee, causing such a a pressure build up that could result in a hernia or causing lower back to round which can cause anyhting from a slipped disc to general back problems,
    the reason is because when you take squats to failure your weakest muscles are the first to give way which usually lead to lumbar flexion which of course is a recipe for spinal disaster, so is squats to failure worth the risk? No not to me, i treat squats like i do deadlifts NEVER to failure for the same reasons above,

    my squat strength and thigh size is consistently going up and i am NOT squatting to failure, as long you are constantly using the principles of progressive overload and adding a new rep to your set which provides a new stimulus for growth, you will grow, even if you stop 4 reps short of failure...
    TT
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Testo View Post
    taking squats to failure is uneccessary and will lead to more harm then good,
    I take my squats 1 rep short of failure and squat on my own,
    take a notepad, stop it short of failure write down your reps, next week do the same but aim to increase your reps on atleast 2 sets (i still aim to beat my previous by 1 rep on every working squat set) you will be working hard enough and using the principles of progressive overload to instigate growth, anyone that says what im saying is not true il dispute it with you to the ends of the earth,
    when it comes to bodybuilding there are always risks, and the benefits have to outweigh the risks for it to be worth the risk, squatting to failure is not worth causing permanent damage to the technical and delicate structures of the knee, causing such a a pressure build up that could result in a hernia or causing lower back to round which can cause anyhting from a slipped disc to general back problems,
    the reason is because when you take squats to failure your weakest muscles are the first to give way which usually lead to lumbar flexion which of course is a recipe for spinal disaster, so is squats to failure worth the risk? No not to me, i treat squats like i do deadlifts NEVER to failure for the same reasons above,

    my squat strength and thigh size is consistently going up and i am NOT squatting to failure, as long you are constantly using the principles of progressive overload and adding a new rep to your set which provides a new stimulus for growth, you will grow, even if you stop 4 reps short of failure...
    TT
    Just because you made a challenge. If this proved true under all circumstances then we would all be squatting 1000 lbs for 20+ reps and have 40 inch quads. While the principal of progressive overload is sound, it is not the end all, be all answer. Plateaus in growth and strength will always occur even when using this method. Anyone who says on every single session, over a long period of time, they add weight and reps to any given exercise is full of it or is just starting out lifting.
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    Quote Originally Posted by unclerico View Post
    You MUST work up til you BREAK FORM.
    Only THEN can you assess and address the weaknesses.
    Where and when you break form will show just what is the weak links in the lift.
    I suggest you watch "SO YOU THINK YOU CAN SQUAT" on elitefts website.
    I would post the link,but I gotta have 50 posts to do that.
    I actually watched that before I started on this routine and I really try and take his pointers to heart. Great video
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roniboney View Post
    pretty much the big 3 are dangerous.

    Bench =bar falls on neck=dead,rotator cuff tears
    DL =herniated disks(I have 2 from powerlifting)
    Squats=herniation's,lumbar tears(got this too) and knee problems(got this also) from oly lifting in March/April

    In my opinion after pushing myself so hard and after having so many coaches telling me to lift heavy,coaching me on form and still getting injuries I think my strength/athletic weightlifting career is over.
    Gotta just bodybuild from now on.


    Make bloody sure you don't slack on foam rolling,doing warm-up cardio,stretches and if needs be lower the weight if your feeling off that day.Better safe than sorry.Once again good luck buddy
    I've heard great things on the foam rolling and want to give it a try although I'm a little unsure how it's done even after reading about it
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeySon View Post
    I've heard great things on the foam rolling and want to give it a try although I'm a little unsure how it's done even after reading about it
    There are a myriad of videos on Youtube.
    M.Ed. Ex Phys
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodja View Post
    There are a myriad of videos on Youtube.
    Oh ya there is that YouTube thing lol dur..thanks for pointing out what should be obvious
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    Done after your workout or before?
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeySon
    Done after your workout or before?
    Either is fine. I personally do it about an hour before my warmup, time permitting, and in the evening on just about every day.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigerdb2 View Post
    Either is fine. I personally do it about an hour before my warmup, time permitting, and in the evening on just about every day.
    Ya I think before would work best
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYiron View Post
    Just because you made a challenge. If this proved true under all circumstances then we would all be squatting 1000 lbs for 20+ reps and have 40 inch quads. While the principal of progressive overload is sound, it is not the end all, be all answer. Plateaus in growth and strength will always occur even when using this method. Anyone who says on every single session, over a long period of time, they add weight and reps to any given exercise is full of it or is just starting out lifting.
    Quote Originally Posted by NYiron View Post
    Just because you made a challenge. If this proved true under all circumstances then we would all be squatting 1000 lbs for 20+ reps and have 40 inch quads. While the principal of progressive overload is sound, it is not the end all, be all answer. Plateaus in growth and strength will always occur even when using this method. Anyone who says on every single session, over a long period of time, they add weight and reps to any given exercise is full of it or is just starting out lifting.
    You can't squat over 1000lbs for 20reps?


    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Testo View Post
    taking squats to failure is uneccessary and will lead to more harm then good,
    I take my squats 1 rep short of failure and squat on my own,
    take a notepad, stop it short of failure write down your reps, next week do the same but aim to increase your reps on atleast 2 sets (i still aim to beat my previous by 1 rep on every working squat set) you will be working hard enough and using the principles of progressive overload to instigate growth, anyone that says what im saying is not true il dispute it with you to the ends of the earth,
    when it comes to bodybuilding there are always risks, and the benefits have to outweigh the risks for it to be worth the risk, squatting to failure is not worth causing permanent damage to the technical and delicate structures of the knee, causing such a a pressure build up that could result in a hernia or causing lower back to round which can cause anyhting from a slipped disc to general back problems,
    the reason is because when you take squats to failure your weakest muscles are the first to give way which usually lead to lumbar flexion which of course is a recipe for spinal disaster, so is squats to failure worth the risk? No not to me, i treat squats like i do deadlifts NEVER to failure for the same reasons above,

    my squat strength and thigh size is consistently going up and i am NOT squatting to failure, as long you are constantly using the principles of progressive overload and adding a new rep to your set which provides a new stimulus for growth, you will grow, even if you stop 4 reps short of failure...
    TT
    As NYIron said, thats one way of looking at it and it does work, up to a certain extent. But sometimes in order to instigate new growth, other techniques must be implemented, as its impossible to maintain increasing by 1 rep and/or increasing weight over very long periods. Thats where negitives, failure sets, drop sets etc, rest pauses, supersets etc. come into play, to help push growth to a new level that cannot be obtianed through simply forever progressing.

    Its good advice for someone new to lifting though, but seasoned lifters won't get the full benefits, especially if theyv been progressiively overloading for a year.

    But yeah, back to the OP; i think the questions been answered
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jiigzz

    You can't squat over 1000lbs for 20reps?

    As NYIron said, thats one way of looking at it and it does work, up to a certain extent. But sometimes in order to instigate new growth, other techniques must be implemented, as its impossible to maintain increasing by 1 rep and/or increasing weight over very long periods. Thats where negitives, failure sets, drop sets etc, rest pauses, supersets etc. come into play, to help push growth to a new level that cannot be obtianed through simply forever progressing.

    Its good advice for someone new to lifting though, but seasoned lifters won't get the full benefits, especially if theyv been progressiively overloading for a year.

    But yeah, back to the OP; i think the questions been answered
    Well said, covered it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYiron View Post
    Just because you made a challenge. If this proved true under all circumstances then we would all be squatting 1000 lbs for 20+ reps and have 40 inch quads. While the principal of progressive overload is sound, it is not the end all, be all answer. Plateaus in growth and strength will always occur even when using this method. Anyone who says on every single session, over a long period of time, they add weight and reps to any given exercise is full of it or is just starting out lifting.
    im not one to get into silly disputes with people online but i feel youv somewhat misunderstood me,

    first of all iv got no reason to come onto a bodybuilding forum and make up pure B.S for the sake of giving someone an answer, i help people and inform people everyday because 1 its my job and 2 i take great pride and get satisfaction in helping people, unlike some people,

    second iv been lifting consistently for 8years so im NOT a new lifter, i also practically live in a the gym since i work there, and while there is some logic to what you said you must of missed my point or misread me,

    i was NOT implying by using this method i can continue to grow indefinately, you assumed thats what i meant because i didnt state a timeframe in which this method has been working for me, you shouldnt imply things based on an assumption, saying i could grow and grow and grow by just upping the weght and reps is not what i said and that would be silly to say so and would defy the laws of human physiology,

    of course there will come a point when you plateau and of course P.O isnt the be all and end all, again thats not what i said,

    if you read the OP's question then read my post the point i was stating is that it is not neccessary to take squats to failure and you can grow without doing so, which is true as i am doing so myself and if you have had to deal with people who have had femoral acetabluar hip impingements or hernias or if you have had any of theses injurys yourself then i would hope you have enough sense and initiative to take it upon yourself to do some research to find out ways of reducing these risks to prevent further damage or injury aswel,
    squatting to failure is an uneccesary anatomical risk for a meager growth increase you could get by not taking it to failure but still progressively overloading the muscle with more reps/weight within a close to failure range which of course will cause growth maybe at a lesser rate but with a safer more long term beneficial outcome...... or by using other intensifying techniques IF a plateau was the point of this thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Testo View Post
    stop it short of failure write down your reps, next week do the same but aim to increase your reps on atleast 2 sets (i still aim to beat my previous by 1 rep on every working squat set) you will be working hard enough and using the principles of progressive overload to instigate growth, anyone that says what im saying is not true il dispute it with you to the ends of the earth,

    my squat strength and thigh size is consistently going up and i am NOT squatting to failure, as long you are constantly using the principles of progressive overload and adding a new rep to your set which provides a new stimulus for growth, you will grow, even if you stop 4 reps short of failure...
    TT
    I don't know, but it seems to me like you were stating thats all you need to do in order to grow. Also, if your always stopping short of failure then how do you know the maxes stated on your profile? In addition to that, the method in which you stated to go about progressive overload is flawed in the details. The way you described you will never truly know if your actually overloading with the increases in reps/weight. The flaw lies in your recommendation to work in a moderate intensity range and stop short of failure which may not even be failure at that point, just perception of fatigue. This could end up leaving you with a number to progress from that won't result in overload defeating the purpose and causing your method to be hit or miss. There are too many variables to take someone's, "Oh thats failure" thought as exactly that.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Testo View Post
    second iv been lifting consistently for 8years so im NOT a new lifter, i also practically live in a the gym since i work there, and while there is some logic to what you said

    would defy the laws of human physiology,

    What part wasn't logical? What laws of physiology would this defy, just curious?

    In theory, the progressive overload approach should work. All skeletal muscle needs is a stimulus in order to adapt and progress and mere increases in weight and reps, in theory, should supply that. Unfortunately, there are so many other factors that come into play resulting in the inevitable plateau.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Testo View Post
    first of all iv got no reason to come onto a bodybuilding forum and make up pure B.S for the sake of giving someone an answer, i help people and inform people everyday because 1 its my job and 2 i take great pride and get satisfaction in helping people, unlike some people
    While your intentions were good and I respect that, my real reason for the rebuttal was because you came in to the forum, just registered, guns a blazing challenging anyone to dispute what you were saying. No one ever said your answer was bull, it was just stated that some of your points were not correct. Now I am not saying by any means that I don't challenge other's posts, but I only do so when I see what I strongly believe to be misinformation.
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    Mr.Testo: We're all here to learn, reinforce our own understanding and help others. That is the point of a forum, to give advice based on knowledge, experiences etc. etc. and alot of people on this forum have higher education specifically in exercise physiology or other related pathways and yet we still have much learning to do. Depending on where you study, whom your lecturers are, tutors etc. and their exercise related biases will dictate what they choose to teach you, how they choose to teach it and what information to omit if it doesn't support their particular viewpoint. Therefore all of us, no matter how educated we are, still have the ability to learn something especially if it contradicts information we have previously been taught.

    You've been lifting for over 8 years and work in a gym; and that is great. But lots of us have years of training experience under our belts, and yet we can still be wrong or misinformed about somethings.

    The reason I say this is because I advocate to pushing oneself to the limit of exhaustion; to failure where safe and possible. If form is compromised then reps, irregardless of whether its rep #1 or rep #20, should cease and focus should be put on proper form and control. It is possible to go to failure without placing yourself in danger of injury, then why not? If you could push out four more reps but stop because you've reached your 'growth' point (the point in which you say will stimulate growth) then arnt you denying yourself and clients the satisfaction of completely dominating their PRs? Not only this but stoping four reps short will often leave people feeling like they haven't gone hard enough in the gym, even if they did grow. I always encourage people to give everything they've got in the gym, so long as they feel safe to do so.

    Even one rep shy of failure is good, but four reps imo is a tad underworked and lacking intensity. But meh, whatever works. From a strength perspective, then training to failure isn't needed, but if I select 80% of my 1rm, I want to make sure I pump out all the reps my body will let me before I rack up again.

    I will add though that strength training doesn't really need the progressive overload principle as muscle growth (hypertrophy specifically) isnt the primary objective. Thats more of a body builder style training technique so I answered from the perspective of a body builder, not strength coach
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYiron View Post


    I don't know, but it seems to me like you were stating thats all you need to do in order to grow. Also, if your always stopping short of failure then how do you know the maxes stated on your profile? In addition to that, the method in which you stated to go about progressive overload is flawed in the details. The way you described you will never truly know if your actually overloading with the increases in reps/weight. The flaw lies in your recommendation to work in a moderate intensity range and stop short of failure which may not even be failure at that point, just perception of fatigue. This could end up leaving you with a number to progress from that won't result in overload defeating the purpose and causing your method to be hit or miss. There are too many variables to take someone's, "Oh thats failure" thought as exactly that.




    What part wasn't logical? What laws of physiology would this defy, just curious?

    In theory, the progressive overload approach should work. All skeletal muscle needs is a stimulus in order to adapt and progress and mere increases in weight and reps, in theory, should supply that. Unfortunately, there are so many other factors that come into play resulting in the inevitable plateau.



    While your intentions were good and I respect that, my real reason for the rebuttal was because you came in to the forum, just registered, guns a blazing challenging anyone to dispute what you were saying. No one ever said your answer was bull, it was just stated that some of your points were not correct. Now I am not saying by any means that I don't challenge other's posts, but I only do so when I see what I strongly believe to be misinformation.
    iv got better things in the gym im working at to argue with someone that could be a fat old man for all i know
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeySon View Post
    Done after your workout or before?
    I like after when the muscle is warm.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Testo View Post
    iv got better things in the gym im working at to argue with someone that could be a fat old man for all i know
    How would age and/or physique change the validity of his posts? If you're always stopping short of failure, then you never get a true estimation of your strength and/or pain threshold
    M.Ed. Ex Phys
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    A person whould be able to get a really good idea of when he is going to fail on squats after a few months of doing them IMO. I myself have on had to dump weights once, and it was more me losing my concentration than failing. I bench and squat without a squatter and just know when I have another rep in me and when I don't.
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    I've hit the weight where I begin to struggle with completing 5 reps of 5 and form breaks (around 225, not much but really hope to improve my strength numbers this winter) so I'm going to stop adding weight and make sure I get my form perfect before moving up.

    Also, like the thread stated I don't have a spotter so I'm becoming increasingly frustrated as I try to improve my strength. It is nearly impossible to max out without a spotter obviously, and while I had chosen about 70% of my 1rm to start my program on a little over a month ago (recorded from when I had a spotter) I'm now moving up to the weights where I begin to struggle on bench and squats and a spotter is needed. I suppose I need to just start asking strangers for spots lol
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