deadlifts and squats

A great way to break plateaus for squat and bench is to have a couple spotters load the weights for you and you are NOT allowed to look. Your training partner(s) just load up and tell you to push. Of course, they start by loading weights you know you can push and will warm you up. It's an old Mike Mentzer trick.

Some folks just have this mental barrier assigned to a weight -- gotta trick your brain!


i've been on a pretty solid program for about 2.5 months now.

the big pop in the squats was a mental barrier break through.


great idea about the blind weight loading. "just push"

makes sense.


as a general note, i'm still getting the 'newb' gains. losing fat, gaining muscle, big strides in the amount of weight i can push. when i started i couldnt barely move 155 on the bench and am now at 255. thats 100 lbs in 3 months. squats about the same.

i know it will moderate soon enough, but i'm hoping to break 300 on each within a couple more months.

we'll see. i'd also like to gain about 15 more lbs, round out at 270 and then just focus on leaning up. i've been at 255 for several weeks now but shedding fat. dont know my BF.

great day in the gym, or so i think.

lots of good bench work, squats and some deads.

but mostly clean and press.

now thats a good time!

question about squats and deads and their impact on your knees. i had 'bad knees' in high school playing football, had a couple of surgeries to fix some stuff and have been fine since (32 years old).

but now with squats deads etc, i'm feeling pressure on the patellar tendon (dunno if thats the correct phrase). its an ache and a pulling sensation.

i squat a little more than shoulder width apart and my feet turned out at about a 30 degree angle. but still getting this ache.

anyone else experience this?

question about squats and deads and their impact on your knees. i had 'bad knees' in high school playing football, had a couple of surgeries to fix some stuff and have been fine since (32 years old).

but now with squats deads etc, i'm feeling pressure on the patellar tendon (dunno if thats the correct phrase). its an ache and a pulling sensation.

Here's a good link for technique:

Also try wraps; there are a couple different types. I'm 33 and have bad knees too (had ACL sergury on right knee about 12 years ago and have injured MCL in the left), and I use wraps that have a bit of give when training and very stiff ones for personal bests or competition. I generally wrap for anything over 315 -- really saved my knees.

Squats and Deads in the same week or same session can be fine. Depends on your stage of development and what your goals are.

word up.

blasted my personal dead lift best today


when i bust out that first set at 315 i wanted to jump up and yell FUCK YEAH MUTHERFUCKER but i train at a civilized joint. woulda scared the shit out some of the ladies there.

not that the power cleans and presses dont scare them anyway, lol.

so now i'm at
Dead 315
Squat 275
Bench 255


Great news, DC1000. Keep it up and keep blasting through those barriers.

thanks guys. its been fun. i'm telling you, when i pulled that first set of 315 i was so elated, i hadnt felt like that in a while (and i've been fairly successful in life!). it was awesome. i think the combination of caffeine, the pump, the adrenaline, and the success was a wicked combo. i swear i coulda let out a yeaaah MF'er that woulda stopped everyone in their tracks.

i still need proper shoes. using running shoes still. i'm guessing the right shoes could add 10 lbs ;)

leigh, yes sir, going for new PB each week. i'm having decent success with this warm up, 5x, 3x, 1x, 1x, 1x system so we'll see. i'm going to give 325 or 330 a try next week for sure.

there sure is something sweet about seeing three 45's on each side of the bar!

now if i could shake this bursitis in BOTH shoulders, i'd be moving on the bench too, but for now i'm limiting myself to back work and push ups until the shoulders get better.

thanks again

heavy lifting is for birds. u wanna slam like karelin do opposite of heavy lifting Karelin style

did squats again today at the gym and a funny thing happened. was working with 275 which is the most i've ever put up and down.

one rep the weight would feel light as hell and move straight up.

and on others (in the same set and not in order) would feel heavy and impossible.

i know why this is of course, its my form. when i'm all the way down past parallel and ready to move up, i have to use my back a little bit to make room for my hips to move through. once the hips take over the weight moves up very easily. but i cant make that happen every time

so the same weight feels different in the same set.

do you guys lift a little with the back to make room for the hips to come through or just power the hips through right away?

the technique for squats is clearly tough for me and any insight is appreciated.

if i could get my form right each time i think i could add another 25-40 pounds. it made that much of a difference.

On your lighter sets, leading up to the heavier stuff, make a conscious effort to keep your shoulder blades squeezed together, lower back neutral (Natural arch), chest out, & focus on a spot 5-6' in front of you on the floor. If you can post a video, that would make it easier to tell, but my guess would be that you're rounding your back at the bottom.

that sounds right. i'll work on that next time. thanks

the difference was amazing so i want to get this right

Woah there space cowboy, you should be looking forward when you squat not up. You risk damaging your neck otherwise.

You will most likely never pull a decent amout of weight with you shoulder blades squeezed back.

Make sure you stick your butt out. Concentrate on that, imagine driving your heels thru the floor on the way up, and it will go a long way towards taking your back out of it.

yeah i try to look up as best as possible but there is a stupid mirror in front of the rack and i seem to have a problem taking my eyes off myself.

those pictures you posted reminded me that i wanted to get some knee braces too. afterwards i have some aches in the patellar tendon that go away in a day or so. i have my feet at a 30 degree angle or so when i squat and i go deep but it still shears a bit

any suggestions on knee braces?

Harbinger makes a good wrap that has some give -- I use that for training. I use Inzer power wraps when I get in the 3 rep range, PBs, and competition.

exactly, working anything with your neck in a hyperextended state is bad for you, especially given the fact that most jobs these days call for you to spend your days with your neck hyperextended looking at a computer screen.

There is no need to look up and it is detrimental. You shouldn't be looking down at your feet either, your neck should be in a neutral position (same goes for pretty much all excercises)

It's 5-6' actually and that's what I was using as a reference. I have Starting Strength right here.

Try this: assume a good deep bottom position as described earlier, with knees out, toes out, and hells down. put the chin slightly down and look at a point on the floor 5 or 6' in front of you. Now drive your hips up out of the bottom, and make note of how this feels. Now do the same thing while attempting to look at the ceiling. You will discover an amazing thing--that chin-down with the neck in a normal anatomical position enable your hip drive. And it helps you keep your chest up, so that your upper back is in the normal anatomical position for the thoracic spine under load. Correct chest postition is an important factor in placing the lumbar spine in the correctly extended, slightly arched position.......SO BAD NECK POSITION SETS UP A SERIES OF BAD POSITIONS THAT GREATLY DIMINISHES THE SAFETY AND EFFECTIVENESS OF THE SQUAT.

Leigh, I bet if you backed off the weight some and got used to that form and worked back up you'd add more to that already impressive number.

Also, powerlifting is a slightly different animal than squatting for overall strength. The technique/form Rip teaches in SS is meant to recruit the most muscles (hips, hams, glutes, low back, groin and quads) whereas the wider powerlifting stance lessens the impact on certain areas.

To each his own, though. If it works for you, and you feel comfortable that you're not going to get hurt, by all means, keep it up. I myself have to use a rather high bar position due to my shoulder surgery and the resulting lack of flexibility. It increases torque on the lower back, and causes the knees to go forward a little more than the middle position Rip advocates, but I've even seen him post on stronglifts' forum that if you have to do it then you have to do it. I'm aware of these differences and I compensate by paying extra attention to using the Valsalva technique, keeping my back neutral and sitting back. I also always make sure the safety pins are set about 4" below the bottom of my squat so if I have a problem I can safely dump it.

Now that I think about it, I had a former competing powerlifter observing and helping me with my form a while back and I seem to remember him saying look up too. hmm