Fitness Seller

[Beginner Question] Squat already bottlenecked but Deadlift keep improving


Bezoekers in topic

Showei

Novice
Lid geworden
15 okt 2020
Berichten
23
Waarderingsscore
12
Lengte
1m78
Massa
88kg
Vetpercentage
28%
Hi guys,

I just start to do lifting for about 3 months, but my squat (back, high bar) is already in a plateau situation, my other main exercises are improving really well as the 'beginner gains' suppose to look like. For example, here is my deadlift:
Screenshot_20201023-160428.jpg


But here is my squat:
Screenshot_20201023-160451.jpg


As you can see here, the deadlift and squat have very big difference in terms of growth rate, my other exercises are all similar to deadlift. Even with my current squat curve, I am already trying much harder than other exercises, yet the results are actually worse... so clearly I have issue with squat....

Please, if anyone can point out what I should do to improve this situation, you are my saver...

Here are some information I think is useful:
I do squat twice every 9 days (like 4 days workout - 1 day rest - 4 days workout), and squat always will be the first movement of the session, my deadlift has a same arrangement as squat, just at different training day. I can do deep squat with flat back and flat feet easily, so I can go a bit under parallel when squatting, I also feel comfortable with my stance (a bit wider than shoulder, and toes point out for like 20 degree).
My squat routine looks like this:
Screenshot_20201023-162024.jpg


And the sticking point I have for squat is: with my current weight, from like rep No.5, I can't help to move my knees inside a bit in order to ascend, and this happened right after I start to ascend...
I don't use any assistance equipments (like knees sleeves or belt).

Other leg related workouts I do: Romanian Deadlift, Hip Thrust, Bulgarian Split Squat, Lying Leg Curl, Leg Extension, Glute Kickback.

If anyone had similar situation before, or knowing any things that I can do to solve this situation, please share with me, this problem is troubling me and lowering my motivation to do squat....
 

2Stronk

Competitive Bodybuilder
Lid geworden
1 apr 2013
Berichten
1.703
Waarderingsscore
2.243
Lengte
2m01
My first question would be: what have you tried to overcome this plateau so far?

A possible solution might be to decrease the weight of your squats and slowly build the weight back up. This way you can get comfortable with the movement/weight and get stronger at the same time. So, for example: take 80% of your current 5 rep max and start squatting 5x5 with that weight. If you're successful (also meaning your depth and form is good enough), you increase the weight of your squat by 2,5 kg for your next session. Another benefit of this method is that you keep progressing in the gym, so no more motivation problems ;). However, if you find yourself 'stuck' again, try the same weight/reps three times and if you're still stuck after three times, repeat the cycle.

By the way, keep in mind that in order to gain muscle mass, your diet should be on point as well.
 

Showei

Novice
Lid geworden
15 okt 2020
Berichten
23
Waarderingsscore
12
Lengte
1m78
Massa
88kg
Vetpercentage
28%
  • Topic Starter Topic Starter
  • #3
My first question would be: what have you tried to overcome this plateau so far?

A possible solution might be to decrease the weight of your squats and slowly build the weight back up. This way you can get comfortable with the movement/weight and get stronger at the same time. So, for example: take 80% of your current 5 rep max and start squatting 5x5 with that weight. If you're successful (also meaning your depth and form is good enough), you increase the weight of your squat by 2,5 kg for your next session. Another benefit of this method is that you keep progressing in the gym, so no more motivation problems ;). However, if you find yourself 'stuck' again, try the same weight/reps three times and if you're still stuck after three times, repeat the cycle.

By the way, keep in mind that in order to gain muscle mass, your diet should be on point as well.
OMG thanks for the detailed answer, I will try this method from next session. I didn't do anything special to overcome this problem expect keep doing squat, it's just so weird only squat is not progressing.....
 

2Stronk

Competitive Bodybuilder
Lid geworden
1 apr 2013
Berichten
1.703
Waarderingsscore
2.243
Lengte
2m01
OMG thanks for the detailed answer, I will try this method from next session. I didn't do anything special to overcome this problem expect keep doing squat, it's just so weird only squat is not progressing.....
Good luck and keep it up! Most of the people have a lift that is relatively weak for them and hitting a plateau is nothing out of the ordinary.
 

chrisk

-
Elite Member
+10 jaar member
Lid geworden
24 aug 2009
Berichten
12.256
Waarderingsscore
5.047
Deadlift strength is usually a lot higher than deep squat strength so you may simply have far more room left to progress on that lift.

The app is estimating based on rep performance, so if you achieve 74.5 x 10 or 72 x 12 next time you'll see further improvement in the curve. Unless you're actually failing at achieving more (total) reps or more weight than before then you're still progressing just fine.

If both your training sessions in the week are done in the same rep-range with similar weights then I would suggest changing one session to be lighter or heavyer. You can try the 5x5 method on one day and keep working on improving the reps and weights you're doing now on the other day. That way you don't lose the rep-range and volume specific adaptations you're working on now, you get some alteration in the load and volume for recovery throughout the week, and can benefit from the slightly different adaptations each rep-range gives.

Also I don't think your knees moving in a -little- bit at the start of the ascent from the bottom is neccesarily a problem unless you have a very wide stance.
 
Laatst bewerkt:

Showei

Novice
Lid geworden
15 okt 2020
Berichten
23
Waarderingsscore
12
Lengte
1m78
Massa
88kg
Vetpercentage
28%
  • Topic Starter Topic Starter
  • #6
Good luck and keep it up! Most of the people have a lift that is relatively weak for them and hitting a plateau is nothing out of the ordinary.
Thanks again, and if I couldn't bring up the slop of my squat curve in next 2 or 3 months I would have to accept the fact that my squat sucks 😂
 

Showei

Novice
Lid geworden
15 okt 2020
Berichten
23
Waarderingsscore
12
Lengte
1m78
Massa
88kg
Vetpercentage
28%
  • Topic Starter Topic Starter
  • #7
Deadlift strength is usually a lot higher than deep squat strength so you may simply have far more room left to progress on that lift.

The app is estimating based on rep performance, so if you achieve 74.5 x 10 or 72 x 12 next time you'll see further improvement in the curve. Unless you're actually failing at achieving more (total) reps or more weight than before then you're still progressing just fine.

If both your training sessions in the week are done in the same rep-range with similar weights then I would suggest changing one session to be lighter or heavyer. You can try the 5x5 method on one day and keep working on improving the reps and weights you're doing now on the other day. That way you don't lose the rep-range and volume specific adaptations you're working on now, you get some alteration in the load and volume for recovery throughout the week, and can benefit from the slightly different adaptations each rep-range gives.

Also I don't think your knees moving in a -little- bit at the start of the ascent from the bottom is neccesarily a problem unless you have a very wide stance.
Thank you Chrisk, usually I go to failure for one set of each session, by failure I mean I have to drop the bar on the spotters at my rack. Tried really hard at most recent session to go to 72*12, but failed at rep 11.....

I was also thinking about alter high / low volume for my squat sessions, just a bit concerned about my knees for low rep maxs since I have 28% body fat currently, when my weight drops further I will definitely do this.

About my knees, I do think it compromised my squat performance at least to some degree, I did some research today, it called knee valgus, cost normally by muscle imbalance between inner and outer leg, so I will incorporate some exercises to target the weak side of my leg...at least now I know where's my weakness, hope by fixing it I can improve my squat.

Thank you again for your advice and suggestions, wish you a nice weekend!
 

Sterling

Competitive Bodybuilder
Lid geworden
18 jun 2014
Berichten
2.836
Waarderingsscore
1.999
Lengte
1m78
Massa
87kg
My 2 cents. If aiming for strength gains you’re better of staying away from failure. Nothing is gained, but the effects on your recovery are huge.
In my experience, collapsing knees are either due to form/technique or weak glutes. A cue that helped me was ‘sit down, not back’, combined with turning my toes out just a bit.
 

Showei

Novice
Lid geworden
15 okt 2020
Berichten
23
Waarderingsscore
12
Lengte
1m78
Massa
88kg
Vetpercentage
28%
  • Topic Starter Topic Starter
  • #9
My 2 cents. If aiming for strength gains you’re better of staying away from failure. Nothing is gained, but the effects on your recovery are huge.
In my experience, collapsing knees are either due to form/technique or weak glutes. A cue that helped me was ‘sit down, not back’, combined with turning my toes out just a bit.
Thank you Sterling, I go to failure for squat one set per session because I was so desperately want to increase the progress speed for it... And you are the right, it literally beat me up... I will stop doing it and incorporate some advice from other guys here, and yes my glute is weak, that's why I'm doing Hip Thrust, and it hurting my bones 😂, but that's another issue for other time....
 

bartman

Competitive Bodybuilder
+15 jaar member
Lid geworden
13 mrt 2004
Berichten
2.562
Waarderingsscore
349
What i do is decrease the weight and gradually add more reps. I only add weight when i feel comfortable with 15-20 reps with the previous one. Less stressful on your back and knees and easier to concentrate on the tension in my quads in a comfortable position.
 

chrisk

-
Elite Member
+10 jaar member
Lid geworden
24 aug 2009
Berichten
12.256
Waarderingsscore
5.047
Might help if you don't go to failure every time but work up to it over a few weeks. For example you may start a new weight at 4x8 reps and then next week try to get one more rep on the first set, and another rep the week after that, and so on untill you get to failure. When you got 12 reps or more add weight and restart from 4x8.

Or preferably stay a rep away from failure, but that will take some experience in order to judge accurately. And sometimes you might surprise yourself what you can do. But there's no real need to go to actual failure on squats. Maybe leave that for easyer movements like leg extensions.

Knee valgus isn't always an issue. Depends on the severity and your squat style. Many world level squatters have a little knee movement coming out of the bottom of a deep squat. It does help to try to push the knees out, but that is in order to move up more efficiently from the hips not because a little inward movement is inherently bad.

Some examples:
 

Showei

Novice
Lid geworden
15 okt 2020
Berichten
23
Waarderingsscore
12
Lengte
1m78
Massa
88kg
Vetpercentage
28%
  • Topic Starter Topic Starter
  • #12
What i do is decrease the weight and gradually add more reps. I only add weight when i feel comfortable with 15-20 reps with the previous one. Less stressful on your back and knees and easier to concentrate on the tension in my quads in a comfortable position.
Hi bartman, what do you feel in terms of fatigue by doing high reps compare to mid rep like 8 to 12 range? I somehow find that high reps need much more rest compare to mid reps if let's say I put equal effect to them....
 

Showei

Novice
Lid geworden
15 okt 2020
Berichten
23
Waarderingsscore
12
Lengte
1m78
Massa
88kg
Vetpercentage
28%
  • Topic Starter Topic Starter
  • #13
Might help if you don't go to failure every time but work up to it over a few weeks. For example you may start a new weight at 4x8 reps and then next week try to get one more rep on the first set, and another rep the week after that, and so on untill you get to failure. When you got 12 reps or more add weight and restart from 4x8.

Or preferably stay a rep away from failure, but that will take some experience in order to judge accurately. And sometimes you might surprise yourself what you can do. But there's no real need to go to actual failure on squats. Maybe leave that for easyer movements like leg extensions.

Knee valgus isn't always an issue. Depends on the severity and your squat style. Many world level squatters have a little knee movement coming out of the bottom of a deep squat. It does help to try to push the knees out, but that is in order to move up more efficiently from the hips not because a little inward movement is inherently bad.

Some examples:
Hi Chrisk, thank you for the video examples, my knee valgus situation is exactly like the first video, only thing is that he is doing 3RM, I'm doing a set of 10, and having knee valgus for last 7 reps 😂, at least I will try to improve it now, since I am a beginner, I want my form be as good as possible.

In terms of progressing overload, I'm already doing exactly what you suggested for all my exercises, increase weight a bit when I can reach 4*12 at current weight. The period of weight increment for my other exercises are generally within 2 weeks for now (which I considered good and normal, as newbie gains).

But for squat... As you can see my curve, I struggled at 72kg, for less than 4*10 for like a month already, and I have to go to failure for this result, other exercises I always at least have 1 or 2 rep in reserve.... That's why I feel quite weird and asking about it here. Thanks to you guys at least now I have a couple of directions to try.
 

Showei

Novice
Lid geworden
15 okt 2020
Berichten
23
Waarderingsscore
12
Lengte
1m78
Massa
88kg
Vetpercentage
28%
  • Topic Starter Topic Starter
  • #14
Might help if you don't go to failure every time but work up to it over a few weeks. For example you may start a new weight at 4x8 reps and then next week try to get one more rep on the first set, and another rep the week after that, and so on untill you get to failure. When you got 12 reps or more add weight and restart from 4x8.

Or preferably stay a rep away from failure, but that will take some experience in order to judge accurately. And sometimes you might surprise yourself what you can do. But there's no real need to go to actual failure on squats. Maybe leave that for easyer movements like leg extensions.

Knee valgus isn't always an issue. Depends on the severity and your squat style. Many world level squatters have a little knee movement coming out of the bottom of a deep squat. It does help to try to push the knees out, but that is in order to move up more efficiently from the hips not because a little inward movement is inherently bad.

Some examples:
Another thing is, I'm overweighted, so since I started to do lifting, I lost quite a lot weight, if I subtract say, 60% of weight I lost from my squat weight progress, the curve will be even more flat.... And recent month it could be going down after normalization..... and I'm pretty sure I'm gaining muscle and losing fat at same time, evidencing from my good progress of other exercises and some tape measurements. If I think this way, my squat is even more frustrating.....
 

chrisk

-
Elite Member
+10 jaar member
Lid geworden
24 aug 2009
Berichten
12.256
Waarderingsscore
5.047
Hi Chrisk, thank you for the video examples, my knee valgus situation is exactly like the first video, only thing is that he is doing 3RM, I'm doing a set of 10, and having knee valgus for last 7 reps 😂, at least I will try to improve it now, since I am a beginner, I want my form be as good as possible.

In terms of progressing overload, I'm already doing exactly what you suggested for all my exercises, increase weight a bit when I can reach 4*12 at current weight. The period of weight increment for my other exercises are generally within 2 weeks for now (which I considered good and normal, as newbie gains).

But for squat... As you can see my curve, I struggled at 72kg, for less than 4*10 for like a month already, and I have to go to failure for this result, other exercises I always at least have 1 or 2 rep in reserve.... That's why I feel quite weird and asking about it here. Thanks to you guys at least now I have a couple of directions to try.
Ah good, yeah definately try resetting reps when you reach failure or when you can't progress for a couple of weeks. May just need some more time practising and adapting to the weight with less fatigue.

Another thing is, I'm overweighted, so since I started to do lifting, I lost quite a lot weight, if I subtract say, 60% of weight I lost from my squat weight progress, the curve will be even more flat.... And recent month it could be going down after normalization..... and I'm pretty sure I'm gaining muscle and losing fat at same time, evidencing from my good progress of other exercises and some tape measurements. If I think this way, my squat is even more frustrating.....
Actually losing a significant amount of weight/size will make squatting harder due to changes in leverages and increased range of motion around the joints.
 

Showei

Novice
Lid geworden
15 okt 2020
Berichten
23
Waarderingsscore
12
Lengte
1m78
Massa
88kg
Vetpercentage
28%
  • Topic Starter Topic Starter
  • #16
Ah good, yeah definately try resetting reps when you reach failure or when you can't progress for a couple of weeks. May just need some more time practising and adapting to the weight with less fatigue.


Actually losing a significant amount of weight/size will make squatting harder due to changes in leverages and increased range of motion around the joints.
Hmm.... Never thought about this... Does this also apply to deadlift? I guess squat is the most affected due to its movement pattern...make sense. Thank you! I think (and hope) this might be the reason after all. Question answered! I can sleep good now 😂
 

chrisk

-
Elite Member
+10 jaar member
Lid geworden
24 aug 2009
Berichten
12.256
Waarderingsscore
5.047
Hmm.... Never thought about this... Does this also apply to deadlift? I guess squat is the most affected due to its movement pattern...make sense. Thank you! I think (and hope) this might be the reason after all. Question answered! I can sleep good now 😂
I think it affects deadlifts a little too but they might also get easyer as your starting position improves. But it can't bounce on tissue and the joint angles aren't as extreme as with squats. Bench press is another lift that can get much harder as you lose size.

Nice going on such significant weight loss though, when it stabilizes your performance should catch up with your strength gains.
 

Showei

Novice
Lid geworden
15 okt 2020
Berichten
23
Waarderingsscore
12
Lengte
1m78
Massa
88kg
Vetpercentage
28%
  • Topic Starter Topic Starter
  • #18
I think it affects deadlifts a little too but they might also get easyer as your starting position improves. But it can't bounce on tissue and the joint angles aren't as extreme as with squats. Bench press is another lift that can get much harder as you lose size.

Nice going on such significant weight loss though, when it stabilizes your performance should catch up with your strength gains.
I hope so! And thank you Chrisk for all your help, appreciate it. Good night and nice weekend!
 

chrisk

-
Elite Member
+10 jaar member
Lid geworden
24 aug 2009
Berichten
12.256
Waarderingsscore
5.047
Have a good one!
 

Showei

Novice
Lid geworden
15 okt 2020
Berichten
23
Waarderingsscore
12
Lengte
1m78
Massa
88kg
Vetpercentage
28%
  • Topic Starter Topic Starter
  • #20
Have a good one!
Hi Chrisk, I just want to let you know that I finally solved my knee valgus! What I did is replacing the yoga mat I stand on with a piece of hard wood, and it works like a charm! I suddenly started to feel all three contact points from my feet and my entire body feels rock hard, and the knee valgus is gone!
 

Naar boven