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Started By nbusetti (Bunbury, WA, Australia)

Started on: 12/23/2006 5:52:55 AM, viewed 727 times
Strength Issues With The Squat

Hi Everyone.

Just wondering how all of you cope with the squat. I am doing them in the Smith Rack and am going to parallel but I seem to struggle pushing the weight back up. Does anyone have problems with the positive lifting phase of the squat. I was keeping my feet directly under the bar, but then I tried keeping my feet a bit further away from the bar so basically my but when it is at parallel is directly inline with the bar.

I am using 90kg but I think that weight is not super heavy. Some things I have been thinking that could be causing my squat to suffer are:

Maybe weak lower back and abdominal muscles.

I am finding my legs are shaking a bit when pushing the weight up.

Doing the Athlets routine there is no ab work but the lower back gets down on the big power movements.

Anyone got any ideas.

All the best for christmas and the new year


This Topic has 14 Replies: Displaying out of 14 Replies:

bloodandguts (Alburg, vt, U.S.A.) on 12/23/2006 8:58:00 AM

remember if you want to get better at squatting then you need to squat, a LOT!

So, first thing to do: Ditch the smith machine and do squats in a power cage or squat rack. The smith, by nature, prohibits proper movement of the exercise and is most likely the cause of most of your problems.

Second thing: unless you have flexability issues, do not stop at parallel as this puts all the force of the resistance on your knees. Using a fuller range of motion utilizes all the muscles of the movement more effectively, including the all-important tightening of the hamstrings for the rebound motion at the bottom which is how the body naturally drives "out of the hole" when in that position.

to further perfect your squatting technique i HIGHLY recommend picking up a copy of "Starting Strength" by Mark Rippetoe. Whereas most BBing and training books devote a paragraph or two to an exercise, Mark devotes 50 pages to the squat alone.

after reading and re-reading several chapters i can honestly say that I feel this book should be MANDATORY reading for anyone interested in building strength and size.



nbusetti (Bunbury, WA, Australia) on 12/23/2006 8:27:05 PM

Hi B&G;,

I am not sure if I got my terminology incorrect but is a Smith Rack a squat rack, the one I use has hooks to catch the bar. When you say a power cage or squat rack is that using a barbell in a free weight style manner in a rack?

I am not sure about my flexibilty I can reach my feet with my hands when stretching my hamstrings. I know when I used to do hamstring curls I was not super strong with those.

I stopped doing squats a few years ago as I have weak inner thigh muscles. I have overcome the pain I once had and have brought up the inner thigh muscles but I think they maybe still a bit weak. I was doing some research last night and I think that could be another issue effecting my performance in regards to the inner thigh muscle.

Yes I will look into getting a copy of Starting Strength probally off Amazon and do some reading.

Thanks B&G;

bloodandguts (Alburg, vt, U.S.A.) on 12/24/2006 1:22:52 AM

What you′re using is called a "Smith Machine" and should basically be avoided for squatting. You are correct, i meant that you should do them with a free bar in a rack or even better in a good power cage (especially if you train alone!)

the best way i know of to overcome weak inner thighs or any other weakness when squatting is to keep on squatting. Keep the weights light and work on your form until you feel confident to take it up a notch and then start increasing the weight GRADUALLY.

(One of my own worst training mistakes in the past has been making too big a jump in poundages in an effort to "hurry" my gains. Mentzer′s recommendation of 10% increases is WAY too high for most people. All this did was make my progress come screeching to a halt. Stupid mistakes that wont happen again.)

your hams and inner thighs will definitely get stronger if you squat low and get your whole body involved in the movement.

I cant recommend Rip′s book enough! In a few short weeks my form on the major lifts has changed so much it′s basically been like learning them all over again. Squatting 3 times a week (as most strength coaches would have you doing) definitely helps with the re-learning process too.

we get better at the things we do the most.

Please, let me know your thoughts on that book after you read it!

happy holidays!


nbusetti (Bunbury, WA, Australia) on 12/24/2006 2:30:00 AM

Hi B&G;

Thanks for the reply.

Can I ask why it should be avoided to use the Smith Rack for squats?

Yeah I have found since being on the athletes routine that my strength in the smith rack for squats has become stale and am finding it difficult to push out from the bottom of the lift. It makes it difficult when you do one set every 2 weeks. I will try the free weight version and see what happens. I think the difficulty with the squats maybe hampering my intensity as well.

I remember doing the Ironman magazine Size Surge 2 a few years ago and they made you perform squats twice a week on a 3 workout plan and then the next week you would only do squats just the once and would perform deadlifts twice the next week. Anyway I did notice my strength was alot better then it is now as I was doing a couple sets for squats.

Yeah I will take it easy with the poundages and hopefully get better at squating.


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