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Old 02-15-2013, 04:22 PM   #1
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Default Squat Help/Advice/Anything

So, I've been stuck at a squat plateau of 455 on my squat since June 30, 2011. I've stopped working out for random periods during the time between now and then, but I've been consistently working for around 9 months now. I've hit numbers around and near that PR in regular workouts several times recently, and so I tried to PR today. I failed (as seen in the video below), and this is the second time I've failed (the last time being in November of 2011) to get past 455.

What I'm hoping to gain from this is either someone point out what I'm doing wrong in these attempts (PLEASE!), or some advice/tips on something you did to get past a plateau. I've tried everything from heavy leg press on my squat days, heavy squatting like singles and triples followed by sets of 10 at lighter weight, 5/3/1, etc. and I see no gain in my squat. Currently I'm doing 5/3/1 sets followed by boring but big work (3x10 at like 225) because I don't know what else to do. My other lifts are progressing wonderfully, however this is the thorn in my side.

Any help would be appreciated.

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Old 02-15-2013, 04:30 PM   #2
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That's really very good squat form. You should be proud of that.

In terms of how to build a squat, ditch 5/3/1 it's bollocks. By that I also take it you're squatting once or twice a week? Start squatting at least 3 times a week, 2 heavy, once for speed. No grinders for a while. Don't even think about maxing for at least a month. Build some volume, hit some rep PBs and attempt another max in a month or so.
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Old 02-15-2013, 04:41 PM   #3
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Good form.

I have to back Fazc here. I was stuck at a 500 squat max for nearly 2 years until I increased frequency, and use of training over 85%.

I was squatting 3x a week for over a year, and 2-3x a week for the next few months after that. I would work up to a heavy single, and then possibly do a backoff.

Over time I moved from a 465 single to 585 singles. I just let things come to me with frequency, and didn't push them.
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Old 02-15-2013, 04:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fazc View Post
That's really very good squat form. You should be proud of that.

In terms of how to build a squat, ditch 5/3/1 it's bollocks. By that I also take it you're squatting once or twice a week? Start squatting at least 3 times a week, 2 heavy, once for speed. No grinders for a while. Don't even think about maxing for at least a month. Build some volume, hit some rep PBs and attempt another max in a month or so.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BendtheBar View Post
Good form.

I have to back Fazc here. I was stuck at a 500 squat max for nearly 2 years until I increased frequency, and use of training over 85%.

I was squatting 3x a week for over a year, and 2-3x a week for the next few months after that. I would work up to a heavy single, and then possibly do a backoff.

Over time I moved from a 465 single to 585 singles. I just let things come to me with frequency, and didn't push them.
I understand what both of you are saying, and I would love to do it. The reason I have appreciated 5/3/1 for so is because of A) the simplicity of the program and B) the fact that reps and percentages are laid out already. What kind of numbers, percentages, reps, whatever should I be doing? And thank you for the form comments!
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Old 02-15-2013, 05:03 PM   #5
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Sets and reps don't really matter, the over emphasis on the details is how these programs inflate their self importance.

Basically the majority of your training should be roughly in and around the 80-90% range with a good amount of frequency (2-3 p/w) and volume (10-25 r/s). More volume means less frequency so it may be useful to measure in terms of weekly volume, however twice a week is rock bottom frequency.

Toward your peak, drop the volume and increase the intensity.

Aim to have peaks and troughs every month.

Each month do a little more.

These guidelines are as true for WSB as they are for linear progression. The rest YOU find out in the gym.

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Old 02-15-2013, 06:27 PM   #6
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Form looks grteat Cade! Assuming diet is good, it must be routine. You may also wish to try Smolov either now or after what Steve & Fazc suggested. Ravi just completed it and added over 40 lbs to his squat.
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Old 02-15-2013, 07:27 PM   #7
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I make it a habit to never give advice to people who are stronger than me, but I'm going to have to break that habit for the moment. Of all the things you mentioned above, there's nothing about speed work. In order to upp your volume and/or frequency, you can't go heavy all the time. I like working off a box for speed stuff. I work with percentages around 70%, and try to feel like I'm attempting to push my feet through the floor as hard as possible when I do speed squats.

I also like to do jumps from the seated position on a box. I sit back just like a box squat, then lean forward, slam my feet into the ground, and push off, jumping as high as I can. I'll do sets of 3, resetting after every rep. This one doesn't sound like much, but it absolutely gets my quads and hips. I like to use 5x3 of these as a finisher on a speed day. I don't jump onto anything. Instead I just focus on pushing hard into the ground and contracting everything as fast and hard as possible. I usually only jump a few inches off of the ground.

Good luck! Not progressing SUCKS. I'm sure you'll break through eventually.
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Old 02-15-2013, 07:50 PM   #8
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Two points I'll make that may apply...

Consider dropping/reducing anything that isn't directly related to your primary goal. Do you want absolute strength in big lifts (for now) or do you want a little bit of everything? I'd suggest you'll need all focus and energy to go into your squat until you bump it up.

Also, smaller jumps. A 5 lb jump at your level is significant...you could even consider micro plates. Get 460 before you get 465. It ill also help your mental game.

I tend to agree with increasing squat frequency as well.

Your form is excellent so it is just a matter of time.
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Old 02-16-2013, 02:22 PM   #9
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The bar is high; Lower the bar on your back about 1.5 in & work your mid-section. Every time that you try to go up your upper body is making resistance and want to bend forward. You can add some vest weight box jump. That will give you explosive power at the bottom. Don't train heavy every day, give your body rest. Check for results every (3) weeks. Other than that, you actually squatting to more than depth and breaking parallel. Looks good. Good job!
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Old 02-16-2013, 02:42 PM   #10
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I agree with everything that was said above, but I have a suggestion for when you go for a max.

I would skip the set of 455, there is no need for it. Your set of 405 was perfect and you were ready to go. Work up to 90% and then go for a small pr. 445 is well over 95% of your previous max, your body is as warmed up as it will be at a set of 90%. This should save some energy.

Just my 2 cents
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