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  • Lifting heavy and safety

    I got pass a stall point on my squat this week and today was going for 250lbs 3x5. The thing is, I lift by myself, at home, on my front porch. Anytime the squat gets to 225lbs + I start feeling uncomfortable and concerned about my safety.

    Today I did the first set of 5, then on the second set I got to 4 reps but struggled with that fourth one. I think I could have made the last rep but I didn't risk it. It seems anytime I get to a weight on the squat where I really struggle to complete the last rep or two I get into this state of mind of "ok, is today going to be the day I hurt myself?"

    Obviously this is not a good frame of mind to be in when your lifting. Anyway, I was just wondering if I could maintain the muscle that I have built by staying in a 180-230 lbs range on the squat, maybe even see SOME improvement. Especially if I start adding more reps or even going to 5x5.

    What I tend to do now is lift for 6-8 weeks, adding 5 lbs each workout, then take a week off and deload 20-25% on all lifts and start again. I'm not trying to go for personnel records or anything but just lifting heavy enough to maintain what I have.

    I only have this problem with the squat. The bench I use has two safety things in the front to catch the weight on the bench press, but they can't be reversed to catch the weight while doing squats. The overhead press I do in the yard, so if I fail on that I can just drop the weight.
    Last edited by Glenn; 08-26-2011, 05:39 PM.
    Age: 24
    Height: 6'2
    Primal start date: April 1st 2011
    Start Weight: 300.4 lbs
    Current Weight: 226 lbs (1/16/2012)
    Goal weight: 205 lbs
    Total lost so far: 74.4 lbs

  • #2
    If safety is a concern, you can still make gains or maintain in the strength department by:

    1) staying with a comfortable weight in strict form
    2) use increased repetitions rather than weight increase to measure improvement if you have to measure
    3) do not lift to failure at all with squats

    From what I've experienced with both powerlifting and gymnastics, you will still make gains using this methodology and at the very least maintain your strength.
    Last edited by pacificBeef; 08-26-2011, 07:46 PM.
    Currently dabbling in: IF, leangains, Starting Strength, 5/3/1

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    • #3
      Originally posted by pacificBeef View Post
      If safety is a concern, you can still make gains or maintain in the strength department by:

      1) staying with a comfortable weight in strict form
      2) use increased repetitions rather than weight increase to measure improvement if you have to measure
      3) do not lift to failure at all with squats

      From what I've experienced with both powerlifting and gymnastics, you will still make gains using this methodology and at the very least maintain your strength.
      Thanks Pacificbeef, that was pretty much what I was looking for. I'm not interested in being huge or ever competing, just want to maintain and maybe make slow gains over time. Fired up for weight lifting again sense I'm not dreading the squat anymore.
      Age: 24
      Height: 6'2
      Primal start date: April 1st 2011
      Start Weight: 300.4 lbs
      Current Weight: 226 lbs (1/16/2012)
      Goal weight: 205 lbs
      Total lost so far: 74.4 lbs

      Comment


      • #4
        You could always invest in a squat cage to catch the weight in the event of catastrophic leg failure. Just to make sure.
        There are two wolves fighting within a man's heart, one is Love, the other is Hate. The one that wins is the one you feed.

        My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world. - Jack Layton

        The Primal Adventures of Griffin - Huzzah!

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        • #5
          google ' 20 rep squat'
          good for strength/mass and conditioning
          failure is more of a matter of not being able to breath any harder than getting stuck in the bottom

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          • #6
            You could probably build a something to catch the bar should you fail on squats for not that much money.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Glenn View Post
              Thanks Pacificbeef, that was pretty much what I was looking for. I'm not interested in being huge or ever competing, just want to maintain and maybe make slow gains over time. Fired up for weight lifting again sense I'm not dreading the squat anymore.
              Ur welcome. I figured your main fear is related to the common practice of training to failure. If you search google for "training to failure" you'll find this methodology is more associated with bodybuilding (with articles both for and against it). Olympic lifters and people who desire maximal strength without mass (sprinters, martial artists) will hardly ever advocate training to failure with heavy weights.
              Last edited by pacificBeef; 08-26-2011, 11:55 PM.
              Currently dabbling in: IF, leangains, Starting Strength, 5/3/1

              Comment


              • #8
                If you just want to maintain what you have, then all you have to do is keep lifting the same and not bother with increasing the weight.

                I agree with the recommendation to squat in either a cage or rack, it's just the smart thing to do. It's definitely safer than spotters (safety pins don't get surprised by a sudden failure to lift).

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by pacificBeef View Post
                  1) staying with a comfortable weight in strict form
                  2) use increased repetitions rather than weight increase to measure improvement if you have to measure
                  3) do not lift to failure at all with squats
                  +1.

                  Lifting with lower tempo might also help. Load up with a weight you can easily handle and go all the way down, slowly, using 5 seconds (or more) on your way down. (Do a Google search for "slow lifting" or something similar to find out more about this principle.)
                  Norak's Primal Journal:
                  2010-07-23: ~255lbs, ~40.0"
                  2011-11-03: ~230lbs, ~35.5"
                  2011-12-07: ~220lbs, ~34.0"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by pacificBeef View Post
                    If safety is a concern, you can still make gains or maintain in the strength department by:

                    1) staying with a comfortable weight in strict form
                    2) use increased repetitions rather than weight increase to measure improvement if you have to measure
                    3) do not lift to failure at all with squats

                    From what I've experienced with both powerlifting and gymnastics, you will still make gains using this methodology and at the very least maintain your strength.
                    I agree with this philosophy if you're feeling uncomfortable for safety reasons. Right now I'm a total novice when it comes to freeweights - and at least initially for anything where I'm worried about hurting myself due to muscle failure, I've opted to go for lighter weights/higher reps and focus on form. This gives more margin when approaching muscle failure, and once I'm more comfortable with what my body's real limitations are, I can go for fewer reps/heavier weights.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks for all the advice everyone, really appreciate it. I will invest in a power rack sometime soon just to be safe, I mean it's a smart investment for sure.
                      Age: 24
                      Height: 6'2
                      Primal start date: April 1st 2011
                      Start Weight: 300.4 lbs
                      Current Weight: 226 lbs (1/16/2012)
                      Goal weight: 205 lbs
                      Total lost so far: 74.4 lbs

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        squat cage pretty cheap too.

                        /endthread
                        My Fitday public journal.
                        Me vs. Russian Boar, hunt is on Aug. 20th. WHAT'S MORE PRIMAL THAN THAT?!
                        Recently survived Warrior Dash, New England.
                        Game Developer, ex-Chef, long time Fatbody.

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