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View Full Version : Squats - OK I'm stumped



mikesbytes
04-25-2008, 03:48 AM
Have to say that I'm disappointed with my squat performance. I've weight trained for years but didn't bother for legs as I was a cyclist, now a racing cyclist. I'm 47 and I have really strong legs, but not the strongest in the world, as I had the misfortune to be drawn with the world champion in my division (45-49) and have seen first hand what can be done with an old body sprinting at the Velodrome.

I've been doing squats for about a year.

Anyway back to lifting. My stats are;
Weight: 79kg/174lbs
Height: 182cm/6ft 0in
Fat: Not much at all

Lifts (at current weight), all raw, not even a belt.
Deadlift 160kg/352lbs
Benchpress 80kg/176lbs (possibly a little more)
Full Squat 80kg/176lbs
Parallel Squat 90kg/198lbs

I feel that considering how strong my legs are, that the squat should of progressed to something like 120kg/264lbs, being half way between Bench Press and Deadlift.

One possibility is that my legs are trained for low rom, such as found on a bike and that would also explain the good deadlift as I have long arms so can use the low rom strength in the legs to get the bar up in the deadlift.

Any view, experiences, ideas ?

Hatred
04-25-2008, 04:02 AM
Yeah. Train legs.

timmins
04-25-2008, 05:44 AM
Yeah. Train legs.

Come on now - is this all everyone does on here? - he asked for idea's, advice etc.

Not just one random answer - Train Legs! - if there's nothing helpful for you to say - then don't say anything at all.

I would advice, that do some cross-country, or treadmill and do some work on lifting with them leg's - then keep track of your progress and see how it goes, also - try find some nice hills and run up them - this will help greatly, I know im a noob - but this is what my friends do every day and theyre legs are huge and strong.

Also - I suppose it depends on how big you want the legs to look too - the bigger, the more bulkier - thus might be giving you the issues your having on the racing cycle - it's commen sense.

Fuzzy
04-25-2008, 06:13 AM
Come on now - is this all everyone does on here? - he asked for idea's, advice etc.

Not just one random answer - Train Legs! - if there's nothing helpful for you to say - then don't say anything at all.

I would advice, that do some cross-country, or treadmill and do some work on lifting with them leg's - then keep track of your progress and see how it goes, also - try find some nice hills and run up them - this will help greatly, I know im a noob - but this is what my friends do every day and theyre legs are huge and strong.

Also - I suppose it depends on how big you want the legs to look too - the bigger, the more bulkier - thus might be giving you the issues your having on the racing cycle - it's commen sense.

Untill you can make an informed comment, then you should stay quite.

Mike, are you even squatting regularly or what? 80kg is pathetically low especially for your deadlift. I think you need to honestly reeavulauate yourself. Your legs are not strong at all.

Reko
04-25-2008, 06:24 AM
If you are a cyclist and have been for some time, chances are you have developed or been training your slow twitch fibers in your legs. A big squat max doesnt come from having "strong" legs, but from teaching your body how to squat efficiently. Good cycling legs and good squatting legs are completely separate form each other.
If you want a bigger squat, check out some of the articles on here or the other threads. However it will probably not help a whole lot in terms of your cycling conditioning.

Sensei
04-25-2008, 06:40 AM
I've weight trained for years but didn't bother for legs as I was a cyclist, now a racing cyclist.
One possibility is that my legs are trained for low rom, such as found on a bike and that would also explain the good deadlift as I have long arms so can use the low rom strength in the legs to get the bar up in the deadlift.Just about all the reasons your squat is comparatively low are listed in your post.
Boosting your squat numbers may or may not help your performance on the bike. But, if you are serious about improving your squat, it will require a lot more quality time under the bar and, if possible, with some good instruction/coaching.

Big_Byrd52
04-25-2008, 07:14 AM
i really dont know how much improving ur squat will help ur cycling honestly. how long are ur races?

i would think u need to work on strength endurance, not limit or max strength. u need to be able to turn it on and leave it on. i suggest some squatting for overall leg development, but not less than 6-8 reps. some thing like this i would think:

Squats
up to heavy set of 6-8
drop wgt some and hit a 20 rep max should be very hard and have to take breathers between reps

then something like the prowler seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZDWq1kpjTM&feature=related

and here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1IRVKtiwLU&feature=related

alternate prowler work with sled dragging. i just got and old car tire and rim and attached a chain to it. i throw weight in the hub when i need it.

bencher8
04-25-2008, 07:43 AM
Nice advice Sam! I guess you do know something about squatting and leg strength after all lol


Mike...i am a bencher, but my advice is listen to Sam..

RedSpikeyThing
04-25-2008, 09:26 AM
Being a good cyclist doesn't immediately mean you have strong legs. Your legs have excellent conditioning, but if you don't train them for strength they will never get strong. Similarly, having a big squat doesn't mean that you'll be a good cyclist. If you're serious about improving your squat you will have to sacrifice some of your cycling. Perhaps it's something you can work on through the off-season. I would imagine you could improve your squat quickly because of the conditioning you've built up from cycling over the years.

Big_Byrd52
04-25-2008, 09:41 AM
HIS CONCERN IS NOT HIS SQUATS--- HE WANTS TO BEAT THE WORLD CHAMPION CYCLIST... IN CYCLING, NOT SQUATS

Sensei
04-25-2008, 09:55 AM
HIS CONCERN IS NOT HIS SQUATS--- HE WANTS TO BEAT THE WORLD CHAMPION CYCLIST... IN CYCLING, NOT SQUATS
Sam,
His thread is about squatting, not necessarily cycling. I could be misreading the OP and hopefully he'll post again to clear it up, but considering the location, title, and content of the thread, I'd say he's asking for advice on squatting, not improving his cycling performance.

Big_Byrd52
04-25-2008, 10:09 AM
wELL WE CAN LET HIM CLEAR IT UP, BUT MY UNDERSATANDING IS THAT HE...sorry for caps... drew the world champion for a race. he wants to beat the world champion. he wants to improve his final sprint in the race. he thinks that doing squats will improve his leg stregth for that sprint and his overall cycling performance. i say it wont help, and will more than likely hurt his performance.

so what is it mike? tell us what u want so we can send u in the right direction. is the goal to improve squats or to improve cycling performance?

or is it to improve squats because u think it will improve ur cycling performance?

Travis Bell
04-25-2008, 10:37 AM
thats the way I read it as well

Guido
04-25-2008, 01:36 PM
I say just find a good routine and keep squatting. You will get stronger if you keep adding weight to the bar each week for a while. In addition maybe try some SLDL's and glute ham raises to hit hamstrings, lunges, front squats, and leg presses to hit all areas. Part of the problem could just be that you have a strength imbalance from so much biking and you have some weak areas that just need to be improved.

garjagan
04-25-2008, 02:27 PM
What about you're core? Free squats use the core a hell of a lot and although cycling thrashes your legs hard, Im guessing your lower back etc dont get quite the same level on intensity. As with deadlifts and squats, you're only as strong as your weakest link - maybe you need to think beyond "legs".

mikesbytes
04-25-2008, 03:37 PM
Some good advice everyone, much appreciated.

Please accept my appoligies for causing some confusion, my fault. I'm a cross trainer, I'm interested in having both a better total and being a better cyclist.

BTW, weights for cyclists is a contraversal subject, sometime I'll start a thread about explosive squats, but I'll leave that for now.

In answer to the question about what sort of cycling do I do, I race short distances that are mainly flat. Most races boil down to who can sprint the best at the end, so its about putting out the maximum power output for about 30 seconds. On the velodrome I have a fix gear so need to put that maximum power output out at a variety of leg speeds where on the road I can select an appropriate gear.

Also being mainly flat, I don't need to worry about having a light body like Lance Amstrong, as I don't need to shove it over some mountain in France :omg: Also for the hills I do encounter, which are more modest, I can stand and engage my hamstrings and back to do the work. (hamstrings by pulling on the pedals)

Beat the world vet champion... in my dreams, not a chance. It was an honor to race him.

Core not strong on cyclist, this is true that many racing cyclists have weak cores. Another problem they have is poor flexibility which prevents them from getting into a good aerodynamic position.

I have spent a fair amount of time studying squats on the net, many good examples, I particularly liked the video that you did sensei.

I'm thinking that the problem is probably a combination of things and the first thing to do is to review my technique to eliminate the faults within.

Once again, thanks for the advice, I'll go through all of it and adapt my routine.

Leeman
04-25-2008, 06:36 PM
To improve your squat, gain weight.

You squated for a year and max 180, its not the training program your doing that is giving you these results. Its the fact that you weigh nothing and cycle all the time.

If you really want to make progress gain 1lb of weight a week and do 5x5 for squats and 3x10 stiff leg deadlifts. Your squat will improve.


Unless you dont try at all... like most people

RedSpikeyThing
04-25-2008, 07:15 PM
To improve your squat, gain weight.

You squated for a year and max 180, its not the training program your doing that is giving you these results. Its the fact that you weigh nothing and cycle all the time.

If you really want to make progress gain 1lb of weight a week and do 5x5 for squats and 3x10 stiff leg deadlifts. Your squat will improve.


Unless you dont try at all... like most people

In all fairness, he shouldn't need to gain weight with a 200 lb squat at 175 lbs.

Torrok
04-25-2008, 07:20 PM
Untill you can make an informed comment, then you should stay quite.

Mike, are you even squatting regularly or what? 80kg is pathetically low especially for your deadlift. I think you need to honestly reeavulauate yourself. Your legs are not strong at all.

:withstupi:

yeah id listen to this guy

ya need to squat more often kid. "you aint' squat till ya squat'"

RedSpikeyThing
04-25-2008, 07:22 PM
ya need to squat more often kid. "you aint' squat till ya squat'"
You do know he's 47 years old, right?

mikesbytes
04-26-2008, 02:58 AM
Squatting more often is something I've been thinking of. Currently I do a 3 day split, once a week. Perhaps I should add a set of squats every time I hit the gym, which is 4 - 5 time a week (once or twice for other activities).

Torrok
04-26-2008, 07:32 AM
You do know he's 47 years old, right?

sorry, habit. "sir" :)

i call everyone kid...

Fuzzy
04-26-2008, 08:30 AM
I just reread the post. I am still confused but if you are track cycling you need to devote a HUGE amount of your time to heavy dead lifts, squats and Oly lifts.

The Meares sisters, both gold medallists squat 150-170kg atg, alot of the male track cyclists at SASI squat well over 200kg.

Hit the squat rack

Leeman
04-26-2008, 12:04 PM
In all fairness, he shouldn't need to gain weight with a 200 lb squat at 175 lbs.

Very true, but its been a year and he squats 180, when you squat 180 you can trip and add weight to your squat. So I assume that its not the training program that is failing, its just him.

Weight gain is the only significant thing I can think of, if a year of squating means a 180lb max (taking newbie gains into account) then there is no squat program worth while for him.

Smolov would give this guy like 5lbs on his squat if he keeps making gains at the same pace.

(no offense OP)

mikesbytes
04-26-2008, 04:25 PM
I just reread the post. I am still confused but if you are track cycling you need to devote a HUGE amount of your time to heavy dead lifts, squats and Oly lifts.

The Meares sisters, both gold medallists squat 150-170kg atg, alot of the male track cyclists at SASI squat well over 200kg.

Hit the squat rack

I've heard of these track cyclists squatting heavy, I'm interested in knowing what weight routine they are doing.

I'm a cross trainer, I lift weights because I'm a weight lifter, I cycle because I'm a cyclist. If one benefits the other then that's a bonus, but it's not important.

As mentioned before, for the cycling I need power, not the endurance that you see on Tour de France, so there is some overlap from the weights room for me.

Weight wise, I've lost 5kg/11lbs this year with virtually no loss in strength and I've upped my calorie intake, so it's time to build.

Age wise, while I may be 47, I would be in the top 1% of 47 year olds for fitness level. There are probably 2 disadvantages to being 47 over a younger guy in strength building;
1. Injury risk is a little higher and recovery is a little lower.
2. You body produces a little less testerone (yeh I can't spell), so building muscle is a little slower.

And I've had passing thoughts about masters power lifting, but would prefer a higher total before starting.

BTW Fuzzy, are you still rowing?

Big_Byrd52
04-26-2008, 07:12 PM
i really dont know how much improving ur squat will help ur cycling honestly. how long are ur races?

i would think u need to work on strength endurance, not limit or max strength. u need to be able to turn it on and leave it on. i suggest some squatting for overall leg development, but not less than 6-8 reps. some thing like this i would think:

Squats
up to heavy set of 6-8
drop wgt some and hit a 20 rep max should be very hard and have to take breathers between reps

then something like the prowler seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZDWq1kpjTM&feature=related

and here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1IRVKtiwLU&feature=related

alternate prowler work with sled dragging. i just got and old car tire and rim and attached a chain to it. i throw weight in the hub when i need it.

Taking ur explanation and goals into account, i still maintain that something along these lines is going to be to ur best advantage.

Fuzzy
04-27-2008, 08:37 AM
I've heard of these track cyclists squatting heavy, I'm interested in knowing what weight routine they are doing.

I'm a cross trainer, I lift weights because I'm a weight lifter, I cycle because I'm a cyclist. If one benefits the other then that's a bonus, but it's not important.

As mentioned before, for the cycling I need power, not the endurance that you see on Tour de France, so there is some overlap from the weights room for me.

Weight wise, I've lost 5kg/11lbs this year with virtually no loss in strength and I've upped my calorie intake, so it's time to build.

Age wise, while I may be 47, I would be in the top 1% of 47 year olds for fitness level. There are probably 2 disadvantages to being 47 over a younger guy in strength building;
1. Injury risk is a little higher and recovery is a little lower.
2. You body produces a little less testerone (yeh I can't spell), so building muscle is a little slower.

And I've had passing thoughts about masters power lifting, but would prefer a higher total before starting.

BTW Fuzzy, are you still rowing?


Haha, rowing at 105kg, I tried going for a row in a single and sunk it. Im not kidding, 5 strokes in and the boat was under water.

As for the AIS program, god knows, Marv is an abso****ingloute genius with his programming.

I know they are lifting heavy twice a week, usually a hip focus or quad focus with the other one being single led work. They are in the gym 5 times a week to.

So heavy deads and lunges OR heavy squats and single leg good mornings.

They do alot of single side work, single leg power clean, single leg snatch

mikesbytes
05-01-2008, 09:35 PM
Bigger quadriceps certainly wouldn't hurt my riding

Chris Hoy (http://www.chrishoy.com/) (in the middle)

http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/photos/interviews/hoy-podium2.jpg

Travis Bell
05-01-2008, 09:59 PM
those look like some big ol' front squattin legs!

squatzilla phil
05-08-2008, 09:04 PM
well you should not squat real heavy at all you are a clycle est . you need alot of sled work and reps squats .#1 thing you can do is front squats they hit the tear drop hard in the leg and give you a great leg drive or for you a steady leg movement in cycling for long distance . also you need plenty of GPP WORK .also plenty of plyo jumps and a plyo swing

mikesbytes
05-08-2008, 09:24 PM
I've added a set of front squats, a set of zercher squats and a set of static lunges to my leg workout.

I think that part of my problem is technique, that I'm not sufficiently utilising the glutes and hamstrings - working on improving my technique.

Travis Bell
05-08-2008, 10:17 PM
from that picture, it might seem that quads are a little more important

f-rider
05-09-2008, 02:37 AM
It's hard to say why your squat isn't bigger without looking at your technique. Do you have any videos of your squats?

My experience is somewhat similar to yours. I use to cycle a lot, worked as a tour guide in the Rocky mountains (tons of climbing!), did some mountain biking (more climbing!), then basically stopped for a couple of years. Then I decided to start going to the gym (Oct 06), was also full-squatting about 80kg at around 160lb bodyweight at 5'9" (didn't bench or deadlift, just squatted and did military presses), then met some powerlifters, stopped full-squatting (Feb 07), now I'm 200+lb and squat 200+kg (with equipment).

I recently moved to LA and started cycling again in January. I ride a fixed-gear bike, and pretty much only come out riding for group rides and alleycats, but I can hang with the bike messengers and outclimb a lot of the geared-bike folks, at least for a while. So much for the suggestion that squatting won't make you a good cyclist. :)

I find that the big limiter for me is upper body strength. My legs seem to respond very well to training and are basically always outpacing my lower back. I never have trouble getting out of the hole in the squat or getting a deadlift past my knees (well, since I switched to sumo), but I do get bent over, and fail to lock out. Does that sound familiar? Again, it is hard to tell without looking at your technique. Do you do Good Mornings, and if so, what kind of weight and set/rep scheme? That is a pretty good indicator of back strength needed for both the squat and deadlift.

I do agree with some of the posters here that given your height, you should think about adding some bodyweight if you want to improve your squat. I wouldn't discount the effect of extra weight on your performance in the velodrome though.

One thing I am confused about: I just took a look at your training log, and last November you were doing 90kg for sets of 8? So you would like to raise your squat working weight? What is your max raw squat? What kind of rep/set scheme are you following, on what days of the week? Do you periodize? Answering these questions will provide a lot of insight into the problem.

mikesbytes
05-09-2008, 05:19 AM
It's hard to say why your squat isn't bigger without looking at your technique. Do you have any videos of your squats?

My experience is somewhat similar to yours. I use to cycle a lot, worked as a tour guide in the Rocky mountains (tons of climbing!), did some mountain biking (more climbing!), then basically stopped for a couple of years. Then I decided to start going to the gym (Oct 06), was also full-squatting about 80kg at around 160lb bodyweight at 5'9" (didn't bench or deadlift, just squatted and did military presses), then met some powerlifters, stopped full-squatting (Feb 07), now I'm 200+lb and squat 200+kg (with equipment).

I recently moved to LA and started cycling again in January. I ride a fixed-gear bike, and pretty much only come out riding for group rides and alleycats, but I can hang with the bike messengers and outclimb a lot of the geared-bike folks, at least for a while. So much for the suggestion that squatting won't make you a good cyclist. :)

I find that the big limiter for me is upper body strength. My legs seem to respond very well to training and are basically always outpacing my lower back. I never have trouble getting out of the hole in the squat or getting a deadlift past my knees (well, since I switched to sumo), but I do get bent over, and fail to lock out. Does that sound familiar? Again, it is hard to tell without looking at your technique. Do you do Good Mornings, and if so, what kind of weight and set/rep scheme? That is a pretty good indicator of back strength needed for both the squat and deadlift.

I do agree with some of the posters here that given your height, you should think about adding some bodyweight if you want to improve your squat. I wouldn't discount the effect of extra weight on your performance in the velodrome though.

One thing I am confused about: I just took a look at your training log, and last November you were doing 90kg for sets of 8? So you would like to raise your squat working weight? What is your max raw squat? What kind of rep/set scheme are you following, on what days of the week? Do you periodize? Answering these questions will provide a lot of insight into the problem.

Your right, I hadn't realised that I was squatting that much, it seems that I have actually gone backwards a little, though I may of been doing a bit less ROM on those sets. I have lost some weight, 5kg/11lbs and over the same period of time my Bench and DL have not gone down. However I'm now eating harder to counteract the weight loss, hopefully I'll put more on my legs and triceps.

I don't believe that my 1RM would be much more than my reps, I don't seem to have that extra peak, sorry hard to describe.

I've moved my training log over to here (http://bicycles.net.au/forums/viewtopic.php?t=4219) for 2008. Being an Australian site I can be lazy and not convert the weights to lbs.

I was doing good mornings for a while, particularly when I had my broken hand and had to do back without pulling, I think I got up to 50kg/110lbs. I'll put them back in the routine and build to 60kg/132lbs.

Being a cross trainer makes defining a routine a bit more complex. I did weights before I became a bike racer and I don't do weights to improve my bike performance, I do them to improve my weights performance. I've ended up splitting the week into 2, with Thursday PM thu to Monday PM being bike, with Monday AM thru to Wednesday AM being weights and a yoga session on Thursday AM. Friday being a rest day or a weights catchup day if I miss a session. While the schedule varies, it typically looks like this;

Monday AM Chest, Biceps
Monday PM Track (Velodrome) bike sprint training
Tuesday AM Back, Shoulder
Wednesday AM Legs, Triceps
Thursday AM Yoga
Thursday PM Stationary Bike Training (2 sessions)
Friday rest, optional extra or catchup
Saturday PM Bike Race
Sunday AM Bike Road Training Ride
and I commute on a bike Monday - Friday.


Difficult to move things, can only do the Yoga Thurs AM, the Stationary sessions on Thur PM. The track session can be done on Monday PM or Wednesday PM. I can do the odd race Sunday AM instead of Saturday PM, which means I racing in a different club.

Agree some video's would be great for getting feedback on my form. Will look into it.

Sorry don't know what periodize is.

And I have had passing thoughts about competing in power lifting. In 2011 I would move into the Masters 2 category (50+), perhaps next year I could start competiting.

BTW how many inches did you ride on your fixie?

mikesbytes
05-20-2008, 09:01 PM
Update

I think I have tracked down what the problem is. I had my squats reviewed by an a fellow squatter. He felt that my legs and knees were correct and the problem was not switching on the core and leaning too far forward.

f-rider
05-21-2008, 07:20 PM
That figures. You should work out with that fellow squatter more.

I ride a 48x17. Don't know what that is in inches.

mikesbytes
05-22-2008, 06:40 AM
That figures. You should work out with that fellow squatter more.

I ride a 48x17. Don't know what that is in inches.

76 inches (depending on which method you use to calculate it.

http://dhbc.org.au/index.php?pr=track5