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  • Squats and Stalling

    Hey all,

    Long time lurker here. Hoping that somebody who knows more than I do can offer me some advice!

    Stats:
    Female, 23, 5’9”, 165lbs, ~25% bodyfat

    Basically, I’ve been following Starting Strength since the beginning of December (after a few months of lifting, but not nearly eating enough), and I am continually stalling on squats. For the first three months, I was calorie cycling, eating 2500 on working days, and 1500 on resting days. When my squats refused to budge anymore (even after a deload), I finally decided to bite the bullet and eat what I probably should’ve been eating all along, ~2500 every day. Squats haven’t moved. Despite my squat troubles, the rest of my lifts have very slowly been increasing (5-10 lbs/month). Since increasing my calories, I have definitely gained a bit of fluff, mostly in the midsection area.

    Current lifts (1RM):
    Squat: 160
    Deadlift: 190
    Overhead Press: 75
    Bench Press: 85
    Clean: 90

    (My presses and cleans mostly suck because I have an old rotator cuff injury that affects the stability in my shoulder)

    Current macros:
    Protein: 150-200g (usually ~170)
    Carbs: 200g (more on working days)
    Fats: whatever’s left in my calories ~100g

    I eat modified paleo, including dairy. I mostly eat potatoes for carbs. Everytime my squats have stalled in the past, all I had to do was eat more and they’d start moving again. But now that I’m eating, I didn’t expect them to stall again so soon. I used to row competitively, and while we never did max squats, we did max deadlifts, and I could pull an easy 300# off the floor. So I know it's genetically possible for me to lift heavier than this.

    Also, in addition to lifting 3x a week, I walk about 35-50km through considerably hilly terrain and row sprint intervals 1x a week.

    Should I be eating still more? Changing my macros? Is this really the end of my linear progression? Any advice appreciated.

  • #2
    What on earth happened to drop your deadlift from an easy 300# to a 1RM of 190! That may help point in a direction.

    Other than that changing up your rep and set schemes can help. Also if you haven't taken any time off in a while taking a deload week or two and only working at 50-60% capacity may give your body the break it needs to come back stronger.

    The best workout is the one your not doing. Sometimes you just gotta throw in some variance.

    Comment


    • #3
      Maybe the hilly terrain is too much for you? I'd advise a day less of strength training.

      I am the same - if I eat more, my lifts finally move. I would think you need to eat a bit more, especially since you're working off all your food on that hilly terrain!
      My chocolatey Primal journey

      Unusual food recipes (plus chocolate) blog

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      • #4
        That shoulder injury is what happened to my deadlift! Haha. I quit rowing and sat on my ass for three years to finish my degree. I admit, it hurts my pride to know that I'm still not after getting it over 200lbs again, but I'm a bit more patient with it than my squat.

        I did take a deload back in the middle of January, but I might try one again soon.

        Maybe the hilly terrain is too much for you? I'd advise a day less of strength training.
        I don't have a car so I pretty much walk everywhere and I live in a city with lots of steep hills.

        Thanks for the replies!

        Comment


        • #5
          hey, first off, you're squatting bodyweight, and that's good!

          so it could be diet, and it could be technique. without videos it's pretty tough to hazard a guess. have you checked in on the starting strength forum? you'll likely get better advice than on this forum.

          Comment


          • #6
            i don't know how much SS has you training but doing it less often will help. the body needs rest.


            edit: i see you're lifting 3x per week. too much.

            i lift once per month

            i just got back into training after a 2 year gap and i squat 2x bodyweight already. i fully expect to go up 10kg each session
            Last edited by Greenbeast; 03-17-2013, 11:40 AM.

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            • #7
              OP, with that much walking and no way to avoid it, you may indeed need a bit more rest. If you are doing the standard SS routine, maybe try two rest days between each workout? So 5 sessions every two weeks. Or are there particular days where you do more walking than others that you could schedule your lifting days to avoid?

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              • #8
                Welcome to periodization. You might be at the end of linear progression with squats. Subing in a volume day with say 60-65% max may help break through sticking points (could switch to Texas method). Are you micro loading? All those weights seem to be pretty round numbers...
                "The problem with quoting someone on the Internet is, you never know if it's legit" - Abraham Lincoln

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Greenbeast View Post
                  i don't know how much SS has you training but doing it less often will help. the body needs rest.


                  edit: i see you're lifting 3x per week. too much.

                  i lift once per month

                  i just got back into training after a 2 year gap and i squat 2x bodyweight already. i fully expect to go up 10kg each session
                  This is the second thread I have seen you say this. Do you genuinely believe this is sound advice? If so, why do more people not lift this way?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    wow, sorry for the delay, i took a break from the place for a few weeks.

                    yes i do, believe it's sound advice.

                    Let me see, because most people are caught up in a conventional wisdom of weight lifting.
                    This place cracks me up, most of the members here eat primal in one way or another and disagree with the dietary CW but continue to train like the rest of the world does, and refuse to accept a radically alternative method.

                    i squat 160kg on Tuesday for 12 reps, we'll be putting that up to 175kg next session (in 4 weeks time)

                    It doesn't hurt to try this method, what's anyone got to lose? it certainly won't make you lose muscle, so why the hate without attempting it

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                    • #11
                      The 'conventional wisdom' of weightlifting actually works, makes sense, and has a huge volume of research to back it up, some good some bad. Can you even name a single person who has actually had success with your 'program'? Do you have any sort of evidence to back up? Yes, its possible to get over trained - but solving that problem by lifting once a month doing two lifts in a machine is, quite frankly, absurd.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by boomingno View Post
                        The 'conventional wisdom' of weightlifting actually works, makes sense, and has a huge volume of research to back it up, some good some bad. Can you even name a single person who has actually had success with your 'program'? Do you have any sort of evidence to back up? Yes, its possible to get over trained - but solving that problem by lifting once a month doing two lifts in a machine is, quite frankly, absurd.
                        plenty of 'professional' nutritionists and doctors would say the same of CW eating. do you see what i'm saying.

                        Next time i see my trainer i'll get him to point me towards his reading material and resources so i can do some reading and forward them along. But the fact is i do it this way and it works, all of his (and his brother's) clients do it this way and it works.

                        I'll just restate, i was lifting to failure at 130kg in February (albeit it at a few more reps than ideal - 18) and in May i will be lifting 175kg, who wouldn't want to do that on 4-5 brief sessions unless they love spending time in the gym?

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                        • #13
                          There is more than one way to succeed at most things. But there is an infinite number of ways to fail.

                          And there are also people who are outliers. Like you.

                          Based on my own experience with dedication or lack thereof, if I was deadlifting once a month, I would neither gain nor lose. But if I was benching or squatting once a month, forget even staying the course.

                          Machines? Spend time in a "gym" with a "trainer"? What's that? My living room is my gym.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by eKatherine View Post
                            Machines? Spend time in a "gym" with a "trainer"? What's that? My living room is my gym.
                            My living room was my gym, but the noise bothered the people who live in the condo below mine. Now my loft is my gym, and my living room has a TV and living room-style seating. It's all normal and I kind of hate it.
                            The Champagne of Beards

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Future_PB_Dr View Post
                              This is the second thread I have seen you say this. Do you genuinely believe this is sound advice? If so, why do more people not lift this way?
                              I've not done 1x/month but I can vouch for HIT (Mike Mentzer, Drew Bayes, Doug Mcguff, and Arthur Jones are some known names). I used this approach for the past year and have made excellent strength gains with training 1x/week.... usually alternating an A and B routine. I always came back hitting more reps or more weight in the next session.

                              This is a great overview of HIT philosophy and methods What is HIT? | High Intensity Training by Drew Baye

                              It's another tool for the belt. Give it a try sometime if you hit a plateau or just cause you need to switch things up. I'm actually going from HIT to a more volume approach just for a change of pace this month. Been using HIT for over a year and I'm just looking for something a bit different. I think any change in routine is bound to stimulate some adaptive growth after you've done the same thing for a good period of time.

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