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View Full Version : Need some advice from "Adept" Squatters



ArchAngel777
01-24-2006, 04:28 PM
Ok, first of all I am embarressed to say that my Squats have always been a tad lacking. Not in form, but in strength. Make no mistake, my legs are not weak, but they should be stronger in comparison to the rest of my body.

I will only do ATF Squats and nothing short of that... However, here is where I think I have a problem. I can Squat about 275 right now. I know I can do more, but I havn't yet. I can Dead Lift 345 and I can do more, but I just havn't yet. But, isn't it odd that I can Dead Lift a good 70 pounds over my Squat? To give you another picture...

When I was 17 I Dead Lifted 455, but my max ATF Squat was only about 325 ish... That seems rather odd, I think... Such a huge difference?

So, I know people are going to make wise cracks (Just work out and do the Squats!) Well, before you make those wise cracks, I do work on them, but am having difficulty and always had difficulty getting the numbers to go up for that lift.

One other note, the Bar used to rest nicely on my shoulders when I was 17, now I get a bruise on the top of my spine for about a week everytime I squat. I can't seem to find a confortable place on my shoulders. I don't remember have such pain when I do squats in the past, it almost makes them unbearable to have a bruise in that region for such a long time over and over. Anyone else experience this?

Thanks for any advice, I really want to get my numbers up on squats.

Anthony
01-24-2006, 04:30 PM
Those numbers sound balanced.

ArchAngel777
01-24-2006, 04:45 PM
Those numbers sound balanced.

Really? At 17 it looked like this for the big three all done RAW.

315 Bench Press
455 Dead Lift
325 ATF Squat

I always thought that was an imbalance in my strength levels. Clearly, my legs needed more strength, or so I thought. But then again, ATF squats are supposedly more difficult than parallel if one so chooses those types.

I am hoping that in the next 6 months I will pass those numbers again. I heard muscle comes back faster if we are regaining ground you lost. So far it seems pretty true for most lifts.

Built
01-24-2006, 04:51 PM
My ART guy assures me that pulling strength is going to be greater then pushing strength, since we're designed to do well at crawling/pulling activities.

My squats lag behind my deads, too. My squats and my RDLs are generally pretty close to each other.

WRT the spine bruising - you need to build up your traps. Just do more deads.

:)

Anthony
01-24-2006, 04:56 PM
Your squat should/will always be lower than your deadlift, unless you're not hitting parallel, you use equipment, or you have an injury that prevents you from deadlifting (maybe your hand got chopped off?). Your bench looks strong compared to the other two, but you might be built for benching.

MixmasterNash
01-24-2006, 04:57 PM
I'm 100+ lbs apart on my squat and dead. It is mostly due to body type.

Adam
01-24-2006, 05:06 PM
Your squat number is good IMO when compared to your deadlift.
Look at my signature. Those are equiped too. 403 squat with gear and a 503 deadlift RAW.
Its all about leverages when comparing your squat and dead. As stated above your deadlift should always be stronger then your squat.

As far as the bruised spine, you just have to learn, again, where to hold the bar. The correct posistion is with the bar laying almost accross the rear delts, not on your traps.

ArchAngel777
01-24-2006, 05:24 PM
My ART guy assures me that pulling strength is going to be greater then pushing strength, since we're designed to do well at crawling/pulling activities.

My squats lag behind my deads, too. My squats and my RDLs are generally pretty close to each other.

WRT the spine bruising - you need to build up your traps. Just do more deads.

:)


Thanks for the information, but on a side note, my traps are very large and muscular. In fact, I never knew it until someone made note of it to me. I was like, really? I never noticed that... I think all the OL type lifting made them strong.

Adam -- I have played around with the bar, I should take a picture of the back of my neck, I seem to have an oversized bone at the end of my spine... Not sure on the correct bone name, but basically the sucker is huge. I just cannot for the life of me find a confortable position for the bar. Or rather, one that is bearable. I will keep working on it though! Thanks!

PoutineEh
01-24-2006, 05:34 PM
probably should stay out of this since im not as knowledgeable as everyone else here, but might i suggest taking a look at the manta ray? i got one for christmas and am liking it very much. just a suggestion

Bob
01-24-2006, 05:45 PM
Those Mantra Rays are cool..
And I know it may make me sound like a wimp.. but I like to use a towel-double folded on the bar on my heavy sets.. or sometimes I even use one of those pads at the gym...

And what Adam says is true.. getting the bar off your traps is initially scary.. but you may not have that pain either..

One last thing.. take a look at those Westside articles on squatting... maybe you just need to break your leg routine up a little to get better results. http://www.westside-barbell.com/articles.htm

PS.. I am on of those weirdos with a higher Squat max.. always been that way, I am not sure why.. plus 2 major back injuries when I was a teenager didn't help..

MixmasterNash
01-24-2006, 06:18 PM
Adam -- I have played around with the bar, I should take a picture of the back of my neck, I seem to have an oversized bone at the end of my spine... Not sure on the correct bone name, but basically the sucker is huge. I just cannot for the life of me find a confortable position for the bar. Or rather, one that is bearable. I will keep working on it though! Thanks!

If you have muscular traps, it should be pretty easy to find a place that won't rest on bone. It will be uncomfortable at first, but you'll get used to it in a few sessions. This high bar position is used in olympic lifting and for ATF squats.

You could try a PL-style, which is very comfortable, with the bar resting on your delts below your traps, but you will be forced into more of a forward lean with your upper torso.

If you are thick enough, the manta ray may be a good option. I tried one just last week and it wasn't stable on my skinny shoulders.

Sensei
01-25-2006, 06:55 AM
Here's a thread I made about high-bar and low-bar squatting. http://www.wannabebigforums.com/showthread.php?t=71389 If you are placing the bar improperly, it might help you. Of course, there's always the manta-ray - at least the bar will be secure on your back with it, but you will be holding the bar even higher than a normal high-bar squat.

I agree w. everyone else. It's normal for your DL numbers to be higher than your squat for most people new to training. Most PLers train the squat more than DLs because there is more carry-over from squats to DLs than from DLs to squats, so the numbers tend to even out later. Equipment is also a big part of it.

Guido
01-25-2006, 09:08 AM
These people doth spaketh the truth. Body type, equipment, and the fact that you are going ATF all affect the proportions of your lifts. Look at my numbers and consider that my ATF max is only about 315 compared to my regular squat max of 385 x 2. My RAW deadlift max is in the 440 range.

ArchAngel777
01-25-2006, 03:06 PM
Thanks for the information guys... I looked at that thread Sensie and found that I am placing the bar correctly (as I thought) but that on your back I didn't notice the oversized bone that I have. If you look at your high bar picture, that is exactly where I have the bar, except that it rests on my "C7 verterbrae"... I had to find a medical chart in order to indetify the oversided vertebrae. So, my C7 vertebrae is like a gold ball... Anyway, it sticks out so that even my traps being large cannot stop the weight from sitting on it. As a result, the vertebrae becomes very bruised from squats.

Sensei
01-25-2006, 03:08 PM
If you jam your head backwards, is that bone still protruding?

ArchAngel777
01-25-2006, 03:11 PM
Also found some information from another website


Barbell resting high on neck: The traditional “Bodybuilding Squat” generally places the bar on top of C7 (in some individuals T1. These are the most prominent, protruding vertebrae at the base of the neck. The reason why many bodybuilders prefer this position is because the center of gravity (CG) moves forward, allows the bodybuilder to take some of the stress off the hips and gluteals and shift more stress to the quadriceps (front thigh muscles). Bodybuilders are far more concerned with their quadriceps than they are with their hips and gluteals (butt). While bodybuilders may be interested in this benefit, you may not and you need to be aware of the risks from this technique.



The majority of the weight of a loaded stainless steel bar is coming down on your C7… and your C7 doesn’t like it. Injuries to C7 (or any of your vertebrae) can be extremely painful and in worst-case scenarios, damaged vertebrae can cause partial or complete paralysis. Bodybuilders will use foam pads wrapped around the bar to decrease the discomfort, but the weight of the bar could still cause injury. If you decide to use one of the gyms pads (you would probably never do so again if you ever looked at the bacteria growing on the pad under a microscope – years of sweat and dead skin create a universe of critters that could star in a Science Fiction Movie) be cautious, pads eliminate the friction that keeps the bar in place and have been known to slide down people’s backs.


Later on in that article...


Barbell resting on top of trapezius/scapula: This is a far safer and much more comfortable position. The bar rests on top of trapezious I (upper portion of the traps) and directly over the scapula (shoulder blades). In this lower position the bar extends lateral, directly over top of the posterior deltoids. You will see how a “platform” holds the bar in place. Sometimes, when power lifters want to showoff, they will elevate their elbows slightly and take their hands off a fully loaded bar and the bar stays put on the “platform” (this is one possible explanation for the reason why woman live longer than men… men will occasionally allow their testosterone to talk then into doing something insanely stupid). Never take your hands off the bar with any exercise until it is completely safe to do so, you will find that regardless of what country you are working out in… gravity works!


This position is preferred by power lifters since the shorter lever arm (bar closer to the “core”, hips and CG) increases total strength and enables the power lifter to press more weight. Power lifters use a strong “weight-lifters arch” (posterior pelvic tilt: picture your hips as bucket full of water and you will pour the water out-right at your belly button; so you “arch” your lower back to pour the water out the front) to keep the body upright, from the hips to the head, during the squat so there is little or no decrease in the stress on the quadriceps.

ArchAngel777
01-25-2006, 03:15 PM
If you jam your head backwards, is that bone still protruding?

Yeah, it is... I am not a freak though... LOL so don't go saying that.

Sensei
01-25-2006, 03:21 PM
I've worked with some pretty "bony" people and most of the time it's just a matter of them finding the proper high 'shelf' and making sure their head doesn't droop forward. I, personally, NEVER feel like the bar is resting directly on my vertebrae even when doing high-bar squats, but I could just be lucky I guess....

I'll try to take some side shots and maybe that will be helpful... Probably won't be until next week, but I'll see what I can do.

edit: Where did you quote that from?

Sensei
01-25-2006, 03:26 PM
From the quote you gave, I'm not really sure what they are talking about. I could never take my hands off the bar when I'm squatting with it "low-bar". I can balance the bar if I'm doing it "high-bar" though.

I don't know if it will shed any light on it or not, but here's a clip of me using a high-bar placement: http://media.putfile.com/concentric-squat

Canadian Crippler
01-26-2006, 08:19 AM
These people doth spaketh the truth. Body type, equipment, and the fact that you are going ATF all affect the proportions of your lifts. Look at my numbers and consider that my ATF max is only about 315 compared to my regular squat max of 385 x 2. My RAW deadlift max is in the 440 range.Is the 315 with a pause? That's a big difference. My ATF vs. Parallel (when I could squat) were maybe 20lbs apart.

tize
01-27-2006, 08:33 AM
It is mostly due to body type.
.

ArchAngel777
01-27-2006, 09:39 AM
From the quote you gave, I'm not really sure what they are talking about. I could never take my hands off the bar when I'm squatting with it "low-bar". I can balance the bar if I'm doing it "high-bar" though.

I don't know if it will shed any light on it or not, but here's a clip of me using a high-bar placement: http://media.putfile.com/concentric-squat


Sensei (and others),

Thanks for the helpful advice here... I will do what you suggested. Next Monday or tomorrow will be Squat day.