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  • Squat gurus - question

    My gym has a smith machine and a squat rack so that I can squat.

    I know the smith machine is a no go but I don't feel too safe upping the weights on the squat rack. I have nearly lost it backwards a couple of times!

    Any other alternatives on the Stronglifts routine?

    finding a new gym isn't really an alternative at this point.

    I am taking it quite slow on upping the weights at the moment because I don't feel comfortable going heavy without a safety backup of some kind.
    2010 - 5,11 and 101KG

    2012 - 5,11 and 77KG

    Train hard, eat well and love life

  • #2
    Sounds like your squat form might be off. I think the bar should be over the mid foot on the low back squat so going backwards should not be likely.

    If you look at Rippetoe's squat vids, he says that the eyes should be gazing at the floor ahead, and that the torso is forward, not upright. Also, from the bottom position, the point of focus as you come up is the lower back around the sacral area.

    The bar should never feel like it is dragging you back.

    Also, drop the weight, work on form, then progress

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    • #3
      My immediate reaction is that if you're nearly toppling backwards, your weight is too high. Being able to keep the weight up solidly should be a prerequisite to squatting that weight. What part of the SL program are you at and what weight are you using? Have you stalled and reset yet?

      Most squat racks have safety rails that you can adjust to the correct height for you. Is that the case at your gym?

      I don't think there are really any replacements for basic squatting on SL. The Smith rack restricts your range of motion and limits muscle activation. Same with leg presses.

      Comment


      • #4
        No safety pins in my squat rack.

        It is one of those sloping ones and it is quite annoying to put back in.

        I am currently squatting 75KG which doesnt feel too heavy but I probably don't squat low enough.

        I think I may drop the weight to 60-65 and really get my form good for the next few weeks before upping it.
        2010 - 5,11 and 101KG

        2012 - 5,11 and 77KG

        Train hard, eat well and love life

        Comment


        • #5
          At what weight did you start? Assuming from your user name that you're a male, 75 kg is not that high if you started low and progressed steadily - you're basically squatting your own weight - but it depends on what your starting weight was and all that. Had you been having problems keeping the weight steady before you hit 75 kg? What is your 1-rep max?

          If you're new to SL, definitely drop the weight, maybe even to the empty bar, and work back up. If you've been doing it a while, dropping 10-15% as if you had stalled (because that's sort of the case) would probably help.

          Get the spreadsheet from the bottom of this page and be honest about your max lifts. Starting too high will hurt you.

          Comment


          • #6
            thanks prufock.

            Only been doing it for about 2-3 months but i have before this always done squats in different varieties. Only recently started working with barbells and enjoying it.

            Just need to take a bit of time to get technique right.

            75kg is not really a huge challenge. My main challenge comes from putting the weight on, walking backwards with it and then getting a strong base. I think I need to take more time doing this. I don't actually have much problems performing the squat, just the setup more than anything.
            2010 - 5,11 and 101KG

            2012 - 5,11 and 77KG

            Train hard, eat well and love life

            Comment


            • #7
              I started at 60kg fyi.
              2010 - 5,11 and 101KG

              2012 - 5,11 and 77KG

              Train hard, eat well and love life

              Comment


              • #8
                Yeah, 60 kg seems high to start if you're having trouble with 75 kg. That suggests a 5 rep max of 120 kg by the SL guidelines. Basically you should be starting at half your previous 5-rep max weight (or empty bar, whichever is lower).

                Comment


                • #9
                  The solution to your problem is learning to squat. Borrow the 3rd edition of Starting Strength from the library, get a coach, or watch a billion youTube videos. But learn to squat.
                  The Champagne of Beards

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by AdamC29 View Post
                    thanks prufock.

                    Only been doing it for about 2-3 months but i have before this always done squats in different varieties. Only recently started working with barbells and enjoying it.

                    Just need to take a bit of time to get technique right.

                    75kg is not really a huge challenge. My main challenge comes from putting the weight on, walking backwards with it and then getting a strong base. I think I need to take more time doing this. I don't actually have much problems performing the squat, just the setup more than anything.
                    Listened 2 podcast this week .
                    Superhumanradio

                    The presenter mentioned even having a really heavy weight on back walking out & holding there for manageable length of time builds core Strength etc.

                    Makes sense.

                    Maybe good option to try walking up and getting heavy weight on back


                    From London England UK

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      What kind of shoes do your wear while squatting? Ideally you want a stiff heel, i.e. wear weightlifting shoes. Less than ideal but acceptable is flat minimal shoes like Chucks. Unacceptable is typical tennis/running/basketball/whatever shoes with thick squishy soles. Your shoes in a squat are like tires in a car - the only part coming into contact with the ground, and thus very important.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        i had a good session last night with lower weights.

                        It didn't really tax me but I really focuses on my form. going to do this for a couple of weeks before moving up.

                        I currently squat in trainers (with a thick squashy sole).

                        I don't have weighlifting shoes. Can I squat in my bare feet?
                        2010 - 5,11 and 101KG

                        2012 - 5,11 and 77KG

                        Train hard, eat well and love life

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by AdamC29 View Post

                          I don't have weighlifting shoes. Can I squat in my bare feet?
                          i use minimalist footware when i train, i would train barefoot if i had to

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Use spotters!!!

                            Additionally, I'd start off with a program that has you starting off A LOT lighter than that. There are a few reasons. The first reason is you need to take your time to get the form right. Squat deep!!! As in ALL THE WAY DOWN!!! The second reason is that if you are new to squatting, even lighter loads should be sufficient in order for you to benefit and grow stronger.

                            That's why I'm a big fan of high rep squat programs for beginners. An example would be supersquats or any other 20 rep squat program. They teach you to work hard and grind out reps when you think you can't do it. And if you can try hard with a light weight you can try hard with a lighter weight.

                            The problem with high rep squatting however, is it doesn't teach you how to stay tight the way it's necessary with heavier weights and the powerlifting squat form. And in my opinion, that's ok. Learn to squat deep initially. Then later on you can try powerlifting form if you want to.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              What everyone else said. Sounds like a form issue. Work on form until it's perfect and then progress. Swallowing your ego hurts but everyone has to make adjustments from time to time when they notice issues or habits.
                              Current weight lost: 82.9lb (37.6kg)

                              Current PRs:
                              Bench: 45kg/99lb
                              Squat: 100kg/220lb
                              Deadlift: 120kg/265lb

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