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Old 01-13-2013, 02:13 PM   #1
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Default Woefully weak squat! Serious help needed!

I am interested in getting into powerlifting. I need to increase my squat significantly as to not completely embarrass myself! I started Wendler's 5/3/1 with a tested max of 310. After 8 cycles I hit a max of 325 (probably could have tested at 335). Not a true 1RM test, but still pretty sad for 8 months work.

I used the BBB template so my accessory work was some form of squat for 5 sets of 8-10 at 50-60%. Also tried to work on my weak hams with RDL's for 3 sets of 5-8. I only increased my training max by 5lbs per cycle as I did not want to stall out too quickly on the program. I think this was probably a mistake.

Anyway, I'm not sure 531 is the program to get me to where I need to go. I feel like I probably need more volume at higher weight. My training experience is still what I would consider newby, so I have no business trying to create my own program. Any help from the huge pool of experienced powerlifters here on this form would be greatly appreciated!

Feel free to post advice in this thread or PM me if you can help! Thank you
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Old 01-13-2013, 02:59 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by KD5NFW View Post
I am interested in getting into powerlifting. I need to increase my squat significantly as to not completely embarrass myself! I started Wendler's 5/3/1 with a tested max of 310. After 8 cycles I hit a max of 325 (probably could have tested at 335). Not a true 1RM test, but still pretty sad for 8 months work.

I used the BBB template so my accessory work was some form of squat for 5 sets of 8-10 at 50-60%. Also tried to work on my weak hams with RDL's for 3 sets of 5-8. I only increased my training max by 5lbs per cycle as I did not want to stall out too quickly on the program. I think this was probably a mistake.

Anyway, I'm not sure 531 is the program to get me to where I need to go. I feel like I probably need more volume at higher weight. My training experience is still what I would consider newby, so I have no business trying to create my own program. Any help from the huge pool of experienced powerlifters here on this form would be greatly appreciated!

Feel free to post advice in this thread or PM me if you can help! Thank you
If you have videos of your lifts, that would help but take a look at the higher frequency stuff that Faz and Steve ran for most of last year and I have been doing for the last two months. You can find detail in the "Increasing Strength" thread but your basic template is a press, squat and dead variation every session. Rep schemes vary. Go heavy for as long as possible, 2-3 weeks but mileage may vary and then deload for a week. Really Faz is your man for this though AND he is now taking online clients so he is definitely worth a PM.
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Old 01-13-2013, 03:05 PM   #3
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I like 531 for a beginner, but I don't think training 4 days a week with only 1 day a week for each lift is really enough to get the most out of your body.

LTL is right. Himself, Fazc, and BTB are the ones to reference when it comes to maximizing your strength.
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Old 01-13-2013, 03:12 PM   #4
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If you have videos of your lifts, that would help but take a look at the higher frequency stuff that Faz and Steve ran for most of last year and I have been doing for the last two months. You can find detail in the "Increasing Strength" thread but your basic template is a press, squat and dead variation every session. Rep schemes vary. Go heavy for as long as possible, 2-3 weeks but mileage may vary and then deload for a week. Really Faz is your man for this though AND he is now taking online clients so he is definitely worth a PM.
Thanks LtL! I had my best progress when I ran MadCow 5x5. It is kind of along the lines you speak of. I will def take a look at that thread!!
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Old 01-13-2013, 03:12 PM   #5
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I like 531 for a beginner, but I don't think training 4 days a week with only 1 day a week for each lift is really enough to get the most out of your body.

LTL is right. Himself, Fazc, and BTB are the ones to reference when it comes to maximizing your strength.
Thanks Soldier
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Old 01-13-2013, 03:46 PM   #6
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Really excited to see you are getting the itch to compete Rich!! I am of course no programmer, but I can offer you some snippets of what has worked for me so far, which may be of help considering we are both Geezers. Firstly, I think squatting 2X per week is a must for you. Having experienced JB's routine now for 7 weeks, I have discovered doing heavy squats and backwork every week to be too much. Thus, JB is going to have me squat heavy w/light backwork one week and then flip it the next week. For you, you could do that and then add in some variation of squat in every week. I am also doing heavy bench 1X per week along with a bench aux session (blood flow type of work). I will also be doing some light backwork once per week. On my heavy days, he is going to be doing a heavy ramp up instead of static resistance. Again, this has worked in the past for me.

I saw your vids from your last squat sesh of course and I thought your form was solid, especially on a max or near max lift. Just like benching, being my Achilles heel for years has taken alot of time and work to bring up, squats for you will be the same and you will see results for sure.

I am sure someone here will help you get a specific routine going that will work.
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Old 01-13-2013, 04:27 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by KD5NFW View Post
I used the BBB template so my accessory work was some form of squat for 5 sets of 8-10 at 50-60%. Also tried to work on my weak hams with RDL's for 3 sets of 5-8. I only increased my training max by 5lbs per cycle as I did not want to stall out too quickly on the program. I think this was probably a mistake.
There are so many possible variables, but out of what you posted... I think the 50-60% range wouldn't do much to push strength and 5lb jumps may have been too little as well.

If you are deadlifting and squatting to parallel or deeper, your hams should need minimal direct attention (unless you have clearly identified them as a weakness). Just remember, you can only max so many goals at once.

Sounds like the hammy groundwork and squat frequency you laid down should serve you well for a heavier program.

You should be set up for better progress in this round !
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Old 01-13-2013, 04:32 PM   #8
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Really excited to see you are getting the itch to compete Rich!! I am of course no programmer, but I can offer you some snippets of what has worked for me so far, which may be of help considering we are both Geezers. Firstly, I think squatting 2X per week is a must for you. Having experienced JB's routine now for 7 weeks, I have discovered doing heavy squats and backwork every week to be too much. Thus, JB is going to have me squat heavy w/light backwork one week and then flip it the next week. For you, you could do that and then add in some variation of squat in every week. I am also doing heavy bench 1X per week along with a bench aux session (blood flow type of work). I will also be doing some light backwork once per week. On my heavy days, he is going to be doing a heavy ramp up instead of static resistance. Again, this has worked in the past for me.

I saw your vids from your last squat sesh of course and I thought your form was solid, especially on a max or near max lift. Just like benching, being my Achilles heel for years has taken alot of time and work to bring up, squats for you will be the same and you will see results for sure.

I am sure someone here will help you get a specific routine going that will work.
Thanks for the response Jim! I agree I definitely need more frequency for squats. It may be beneficial for all 3 lifts. IDK. I feel like I might have more success with heavy triples, doubles, and singles. Luckily for me next week is deload week, so I have a little bit of time to try to figure something out. Right now I'm not sure that I can't lift heavy every week. My body feels to be in pretty good shape after 8 deloads haha. If nothing else with 531 I learned the value of the deload on a regular basis
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Old 01-13-2013, 04:38 PM   #9
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There are so many possible variables, but out of what you posted... I think the 50-60% range wouldn't do much to push strength and 5lb jumps may have been too little as well.

If you are deadlifting and squatting to parallel or deeper, your hams should need minimal direct attention (unless you have clearly identified them as a weakness). Just remember, you can only max so many goals at once.

Sounds like the hammy groundwork and squat frequency you laid down should serve you well for a heavier program.

You should be set up for better progress in this round !
Thanks for the reply JD! My legs (chicken legs at best) are overall weak but hammies are the worst I think. Yes I deadlift and squat just at or barely below parallel. Takes my hams several days to recover from squats and 2 days to recover from deads haha!

I am fairly happy with my bench and deadlift, but my squat is way behind!!
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Old 01-13-2013, 04:47 PM   #10
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Thanks for the reply JD! My legs (chicken legs at best) are overall weak but hammies are the worst I think. Yes I deadlift and squat just at or barely below parallel. Takes my hams several days to recover from squats and 2 days to recover from deads haha!

I am fairly happy with my bench and deadlift, but my squat is way behind!!
My hammies were also weakest in the chain. Squatting 2-3 times per week helped a lot and I also progressed my RDLs to decent weight and volume, which seemed to make a difference. I tended to use deep lunges as a warm up too.

With good low-back form, the deeper the squat the better the hams get worked. So maybe setting the safety bars on nocth lower is worth a try. You don't have to lift near max to tell if it's working either!!!
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