Author Topic: horrible squat progress questions  (Read 3067 times)

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vincevega

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horrible squat progress questions
« on: October 06, 2012, 12:47:16 am »
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I apologize for going on for a while but I'm getting somewhat frustrated and there are a lot of little details I've gone over with myself to try to figure out why my squat is stuck at the low 200's.

Started getting back into lifting/vert training after like a year+ off.

My highest 1RM was 300 before i took a break maybe slightly below parallel down and up very fast. I increased my squat last time through squatting but i made my best gains when i was primarily leg pressing and supplementing with lunges and glute raises but it was a very slow process. I used to basically only do 1 rep max and was anal about doing basically the same routine every time. I figured after hearing about people increasing their squat over 300 smoothly if I was smarter with my training this time I could improve it faster. I've struggled worse then ever this time and I'm trying to figure out why.

My squat seemed to go up pretty quickly at first. I think I went up to 225 5 rep and did 245 twice after only a few sessions with a little grinding at the end but not bad rhythm and pretty good form. somebody with some experience watched me and said my form looked good and the weight looked appropriate. I went and next time i couldn't do 225 five times. This continued over a few sessions and ended up scaling back to 215 with shit form. i basically ended up scaling back because my form was ass and i dont think given my strength level it was safe. my leg seemed to cave in or i seemed to lean forward or something would be wrong every time.

the whole thing is odd to me because it seems like i can cut back to basically 185 or lower and STILL struggle. i dont know if i have to much quad strength and have weak hamstrings or glutes but my squat just seems fucked up or out of whack. in the past if i took 10 or 20 off each side i would be able to squat that weight with ease.

I know squatting is difficult for everybody but I do feel like primarily squatting doesn't play to my strengths. I'm very good at just going hard whether its sprinting or leg pressing.  when I squat I feel like I'm trying to remember to focus on 10 different small details (stay on heels, keep glutes type going down, keep good speed, etc etc) so I don't end up not working as hard. so I came up with the plan a week or two ago to do primarily do SL pressing and lunges with some leg curls and glute raises in. I figured that would improve my overall strength and cover all bases and I could mix in some submax squatting to keep the form. I figured it would improve my squat would improve as my general strength improved even if i wasnt going all out with it. since i improved my squat the best in the past mostly leg pressing I thought it ought to work well. after a few sessions with that in mind i went to the gym and was really grinding on the last rep of 205x5. its probably too early to reach a verdict on my secondary squatting plan but it was discouraging since i expected my squat to go smoother.

the whole thing is odd to me why i'm so stuck with my squat. not to mention if i wasnt paying attention to my squat i would actually think my strength was improving. i have been doing 70 consecutive lunges with 2 20 lb dumbells and that seems to go well. i started out doing 50.

i can grab rim with 2 hands fairly easily with a running start and i have been doing sprints and feel explosive and fast. Like my legs don't feel to me like somebody who can't squat 225 5 times.

let me mention 2 other things ive wondered about. on weekdays i usually get like 6 hours a sleep a night. i know i rack up a sleep deficit because come friday i sleep 12 or so hours. could that be stalling me? my girlfriend keeps saying how skinny i am but i cant see that being it either. i'm 156-158ish at 5'10". when i could squat 300 i was probably 160-162. i have been eating a lot less to try to keep my weight down. i am skinny but looking at me i dont look THAT skinny where it would effect gaining muscle especially squatting at such an amateur weight. i know i dont get 160 grams of protein daily but i dont think i ever did so i dont see why that would have me LOSING ground.

so basically my plan now is try to get more sleep, take 3 or so scoops of protein power a day and continue my plan of doing lots of legpressing, lunges, glute, raises, leg curls, calf raises, and plyos, and hope it resolves itself i suppose. i know a squat video would probably be helpful i will try to get that at some point when i can get my girlfriend to tag along. i dont know if maybe i should go back to doing mainly 1 rep work since that worked better last time? i figured it might be easier if i didnt since it seemed like i worked my butt off for a pretty mediocre 1rm. i thought from hearing others experience you could progress pretty far doing 5 reps mostly and rarely have to grind or kill yourself to get through which doing 1 rep i was always having to get myself hyped as hell and failing a lot. maybe i'm completely off base but i think it HAS to lack of sleep. Even if I'm not getting 160 grams of protein or if my hamstrings are weak or whatever I would still think at this level I would be progressing not completely stuck. especially when i'm giving it basically 100% in the weight room.

 im perplexed by the whole thing.

I know I typed this up horribly but if you skim over it and have any suggestions or thoughts it would be greatly appreciated. I suppose if I had to come up with just one question it would be can getting 5 or 6 hours of sleep on average (sometimes as little as 4) 5 days a week completely fuck up your squatting progress?

Raptor

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Re: horrible squat progress questions
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2012, 04:09:16 am »
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Of course lack of sleep is the GREATEST enemy of CNS power. It sounds to me like you're exhibiting overtraining symptoms. It could be just lack of sleep and not overtraining itself.

Here's the thing: if you're not resting/recovering well, you need to pay attention to the intensity part of your training. If you're not eating well, you need to pay attention to the volume part of your training IMO.

How can you be intense if you never completely recover your CNS in order to advance?
How can you build muscle if you never supply it enough nutrients?

If I were you I would consider sleeping as my workout. Basically instead of going to the gym my workout requires me to sleep 3 additional hours. Do that for a week or so with no exceptions and take a break that week from training if you want to. Like, focus completely on recovery.

Then continue to sleep well and start going to the gym. Start with a lower than usual weight using perfect form. I'm not sure what your routine looks like but you should start with something easy to follow like Starting Strength. It should work well for where you're at now.

adarqui

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Re: horrible squat progress questions
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2012, 10:10:45 am »
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if you are getting weaker, it is always one of these issues:

1) nutrition
2) sleep
3) training work load + frequency may be too much for your current work capacity

raptor's comment about considering sleep a workout is great. *IF* you feel fatigued from 5-6 hours of sleep, then it is an issue that needs to be worked out, or you need to reduce the frequency of your training until you are able to adapt to that sleep schedule. Training is CNS intensive; if you are unable to recover properly, at a certain point you're going to take 1 step forward, 2 steps back.. which seems to be your case right now. However, 5-6 hours sleep shouldn't effect your strength too much, especially if that's been your schedule for a while.. A simple ~15-30min power nap can have incredible effects on your recovery/strength, so see if you can get one of those in on some of those 5-6 hour sleep days.

if i had to bet money on it, i'd say your #1 issue is nutrition. You mentioned "eating light to stay light", well, your body probably just isn't at a level where it can do that right now & recover from intense training. Spend this week adding in more lean protein sources and green veggies, see what happens.

You took some time off and are coming back with a vengeance, but physiologically you are not able to handle the current combination of intensity, volume, & frequency combined with those other factors of sleep/nutrition..

How often are you training? You may need to stretch it out more, to allow for some more recovery.. I know that is hard for someone who always wants to workout, but, it sounds necessary at this current time. Instead substitute an intense workout with a light one, such as some light sprints, prehab/activation work, a pool workout, etc..

Finally, just think about the time off you took and how fast you gained strength when you came back. It's a good depiction of "more rest not being a bad thing".


Curious, how often are you training & for how long each session?

peace

vincevega

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Re: horrible squat progress questions
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2012, 04:57:33 pm »
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thanks for the insight.

the one thing that made me question if it was lack of sleep/CNS is my explosiveness. i think i have enough bounce to dunk and i would've thought my vert/explosiveness would go to shit before my squat.

i definitely do feel fatigued. i've slept as much as 18 hours on a friday so i think thats a sign i'm not getting enough sleep. i think sometimes i get hyped/aggressive and it covers up some of my fatigue. i've been on this schedule since feb so if thats enough sleep i wouldn't thought i would've adapted but i still feel like shit in the morning.

i'll make sure i'm more disciplined about getting sleep. i'm a night owl and its difficult for me to get enough sleep when i have to get up at 7. i'll try to get a power nap maybe.

i'm eating a lot less then i am used to. i have been eating probably half what i used to but i'm only a few pounds lighter. i also try to make sure i get my protein and vegetables... my diet seems cleaner then ever. i know i dont get 160 grams though. the thing is though i used to eat tons of fast food/carbs/soft drinks etc and thats mostly what i cut out. ive been eating like a breakfast burrito with cheese & vegetables for breakfast, a philly cheesesteak for lunch, a foot long chicken sub or 3 grilled chicken snack wraps from mcdonalds for dinner and maybe popcorn for a yogort for a snack. its lighter then im used to but it doesnt seem THAT light. and its not like i get hungry. that said im a person that used to go to little ceasars and eat a whole pizza twice a week for a meal and stayed 165ish so im used to much more food.

i usually spend 1.5-2 hours and do a few plyo exercises before i lift often. i exercise every other day and every once in a while throw in some walking or calf raises on my off day. i usually alternate between one day going to the park and sprinting and doing 20 lb dumbells like 5 or 6 sets of 50-60 and 2 days later go to the gym and do depth drops squats leg pressing etc.

i think maybe you are right about me overdoing it. im approaching my workouts with more intensity then ever and i think have responded to my squat struggles with going HARDER not easing up.

Raptor

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Re: horrible squat progress questions
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2012, 05:07:50 pm »
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So you're compounding lack of sleep, eating less and training harder altogether?

Well, good luck with that one.

vincevega

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Re: horrible squat progress questions
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2012, 05:46:50 pm »
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that does put it in perspective some lol. theres a thin line between discipline and too much.

i think ill add a little more protein/meat/greens into my diet daily and try to get 8 hours of sleep a night and maybe go down with the volume some.

Raptor

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Re: horrible squat progress questions
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2012, 07:19:43 pm »
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Why the heck do you eat so little anyway? Remember GOMAD? Doing half of GOMAD isn't going to be the end of the world. Neither is eating more as you're training HARD.

vincevega

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Re: horrible squat progress questions
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2012, 03:01:26 am »
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trying to cut corners i guess which ended up biting me in the ass. i was thinking if i could keep my bw low thats less i have to squat before my strength to weight ratio is as good or better then before. didnt think it was radical enough that it would completely stall my strength gains. fuck it. i gave in have been adding more meat, yogurt, protein powder to my diet before. im still trying to be disciplined about sticking to diary, meat, veggies.

i was impatient lifting 225 x 5 a few weeks ago now im lifting 185 x 5 lol. its all good probably a valuable lesson about waiting.

Girljordan

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Re: horrible squat progress questions
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2012, 03:09:00 am »
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trying to cut corners i guess which ended up biting me in the ass. i was thinking if i could keep my bw low thats less i have to squat before my strength to weight ratio is as good or better then before. didnt think it was radical enough that it would completely stall my strength gains. fuck it. i gave in have been adding more meat, yogurt, protein powder to my diet before. im still trying to be disciplined about sticking to diary, meat, veggies.

i was impatient lifting 225 x 5 a few weeks ago now im lifting 185 x 5 lol. its all good probably a valuable lesson about waiting.

Eat, Lift, Sleep, Eat, Lift, Sleep, REPEAT. Easy work.