The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

Itís no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
    Iron4Life
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    Squat Ratios - where is my weakness?

    Wondering if anyone has seen anything online that discusses different types of squats, their ratios and perhaps where someone might have a weakness or imbalance??
    Like Poliquin's article on T-Nation where he talks about "Achieving Structural Balance"..
    http://www.t-nation.com/readArticle.do?id=459454
    however, it's only for upperbody...

    ANY advice/info is greatly appreciated!! I think I have a low back, hamstring weakness... and I know most of you guys will just say to keep squatting..
    These are my numbers: (all tested within the last 3 weeks)
    • 500 x 1 Squat - belt only - Competition depth - stance between medium to wide.. (just set this PR today.. whoo hoo - it's been a long time coming)
    • 445 x 1 ATF Squat - belt only - narrow stance
    • 365 x 1 Front Squat - belt only
    • 345 x 20 Squat - belt only, medium stance
    • Box Squats: (about 13 inches is my parallel)
      380 x 1 on 9.5 inch box
      450 x 1 on 11.5 inch box
      480 on 14 inch box
      520 on 16 inch box
    • 485 x 1 Conventional DL
    • 490 x 1 Sumo DL
    • 385 x 2 SLDL
    • No GHR or Reverse hypers at gym - but I am close to one rep of a GHR from the floor


    My current stats:
    • 5ft 8.75 inches, 248 lbs, 43 yrs young
    • short arms, long torso, femur dominant
    • Strength Goals are for PL'ing, Strongman and Highlander game competitions... would like to do BJJ too-if I could find the time
    • Obviously.. Masters Division
    • Only 1.5 yrs of "real" strength training.. on/off lifting since age 13 (details in my old journal)
    • Training consists of 40% Westside/conjugate, 20% 5x5, 20% Event Training, 5% 20 Rep Squats/DLs, 10% GPP (OL'ing,Sleds,KBs,Crossfit,tabata, etc.),5% other Sports (BB, VB, Hiking, Kids, etc.)

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Klotz's Avatar
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    I'd say you're pretty much strong all over.

    http://www.t-nation.com/article/body...r=bodybuilding
    Says your front squat is about on par, but that thing is a pretty rough estimate.

  4. #3
    Iron4Life
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    Thanks Klotz... that's an interesting article.. I guess it kinda says my DL either really sucks or somehow my squat is just much better?? I just wonder if this does indeed point to a weak back/hamstrings??

    Anyone else got a thought? or some resource?

  5. #4
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    I wouldn't worry about it Bear. Most people who don't spend a lot of time squatting have deadlifts that are better than their squats. PLers generally have more even numbers (unless they are geared to the hilt and then the numbers become scewed greatly).
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
    Lifting Clips: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=johnnymnemonic2
    Blog: http://squatrx.blogspot.com/

  6. #5
    Senior Member deeder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sensei View Post
    I wouldn't worry about it Bear. Most people who don't spend a lot of time squatting have deadlifts that are better than their squats. PLers generally have more even numbers (unless they are geared to the hilt and then the numbers become scewed greatly).
    Agreed.

    My deadlift is right on par with my squat.
    Full Powerlifting
    Squat - 595lbs -- 270kg -- Dec. 31, '09 (Provincial Record @100kg class)
    Bench - 374lbs -- 170kg -- Dec 20, '08 (@100kg class)
    Dead - 589lbs -- 267.5kg -- Dec 20, '08 (Provincial Record @100kg class)
    Total: 1537lbs -- 697.5kg -- Dec 20, '08 (Provincial Record @ 100kg class)
    Bench Only -- 358lbs -- 162.5kg -- Nov. 25, '07 (Provincial Record @ 90kg class)
    Bench Only -- 376lbs -- 171kg -- Jan. 26, '08 (Provincial Record @ 100kg class)

  7. #6
    Iron4Life
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    Thanks Sensei and Deeder...
    What about the comparisons with the Front SQ and Boxes? Are there any numbers out there that compare these with a competition SQ?

    And on the Glute-Ham Raise... wouldn't you think that I should be able to do a couple of them from the floor by now with a 500 SQ??

    But then again.. I don't really know how the floor compares to an actual GHR machine??

  8. #7
    Senior Member deeder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearwolf View Post
    Thanks Sensei and Deeder...
    What about the comparisons with the Front SQ and Boxes? Are there any numbers out there that compare these with a competition SQ?

    And on the Glute-Ham Raise... wouldn't you think that I should be able to do a couple of them from the floor by now with a 500 SQ??

    But then again.. I don't really know how the floor compares to an actual GHR machine??
    I don't know about numbers that compare front and box squats to competition numbers... I know I've read some percentages for box squats in some westside articles but I can't picture you as the multi-ply kind of guy....

    I find that GHR's are easier on an actual GHR 'machine'. Off the floor I can't even do one with my body weight but on a GHR I can do a set of 5 or 6 holding a 25lb plate.
    Full Powerlifting
    Squat - 595lbs -- 270kg -- Dec. 31, '09 (Provincial Record @100kg class)
    Bench - 374lbs -- 170kg -- Dec 20, '08 (@100kg class)
    Dead - 589lbs -- 267.5kg -- Dec 20, '08 (Provincial Record @100kg class)
    Total: 1537lbs -- 697.5kg -- Dec 20, '08 (Provincial Record @ 100kg class)
    Bench Only -- 358lbs -- 162.5kg -- Nov. 25, '07 (Provincial Record @ 90kg class)
    Bench Only -- 376lbs -- 171kg -- Jan. 26, '08 (Provincial Record @ 100kg class)

  9. #8
    THUNDER THIGHS! Fuzzy's Avatar
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    Oooh, I got you by one pound in the atg squats pops!

    I would say you look very balanced, the 500 to 455 sounds pretty good, maybe a little too much on the atg side.

    On a more off topic note, how are ya?
    Being a strong teenager means nothing.

    My wrists hurt, but some people don't have wrists to be sore. My knees have tendinitis, but some people don't have legs to get tendinitis in. I seem to be going backwards with training, yet some people can't even walk let alone lift 400 pounds on a daily basis.

    Dust out the vagina, and keep on lifting.

  10. #9
    Iron4Life
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    Thanks Deeder... you're right, no ply right now... I'll take a look back thru the Westside articles and see if I can find something.. even if they do somethem to an equipped squat, maybe I can back some numbers out..

    Thanks Fuzzy.. doing ok.. not as impressive as you though... so you are thinking that my competition/break parallel squat should be higher? If you are 1 lb ATF stronger, what's your break parallel squat at these days?

  11. #10
    THUNDER THIGHS! Fuzzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearwolf View Post
    Thanks Deeder... you're right, no ply right now... I'll take a look back thru the Westside articles and see if I can find something.. even if they do somethem to an equipped squat, maybe I can back some numbers out..

    Thanks Fuzzy.. doing ok.. not as impressive as you though... so you are thinking that my competition/break parallel squat should be higher? If you are 1 lb ATF stronger, what's your break parallel squat at these days?
    I have absoloutely no idea what my paralellel is, I cant remember the last time I didn't go deep. I was judt going by a few Oly and strong man guys I know who compete in powerlifting, they usually have about 70 pounds difference.
    Being a strong teenager means nothing.

    My wrists hurt, but some people don't have wrists to be sore. My knees have tendinitis, but some people don't have legs to get tendinitis in. I seem to be going backwards with training, yet some people can't even walk let alone lift 400 pounds on a daily basis.

    Dust out the vagina, and keep on lifting.

  12. #11
    Iron4Life
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuzzy View Post
    I have absoloutely no idea what my paralellel is, I cant remember the last time I didn't go deep. I was judt going by a few Oly and strong man guys I know who compete in powerlifting, they usually have about 70 pounds difference.
    Thanks Fuzzy...

  13. #12
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    I think your along the lines of alot of raw lifter so I wouldn't worry about the differences.

    Your dl is probably help up by your short arms and bigger torso. Keep box squatting and it will come around.

    What is the reasoning for the box 4" in the hole? Just curious.

  14. #13
    Iron4Life
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Moore View Post
    I think your along the lines of alot of raw lifter so I wouldn't worry about the differences.

    Your dl is probably help up by your short arms and bigger torso. Keep box squatting and it will come around.

    What is the reasoning for the box 4" in the hole? Just curious.
    Thanks Ben...
    You think my DL is "helped" by short arms?? I have to basically go down to almost a parallel squat to do a convention DL... that's why I moved to sumo..
    or did you mean "held"?

    I do the deep boxes b/c of some articles I read from some speed trainers... PL'er don't nessecarily need them.. but deep boxes will supposedly help the hams and glutes building explosive speed. Which I really need...

    Although... I did read one Westside article
    http://www.westside-barbell.com/Arti...20BENEFITS.pdf
    Where "John Stafford has sat on a 6 inch box; he is 6 feet tall, 285 pounds."
    and "at 290 body weight, can jump onto a 35 inch box with a pair of 35 pound
    dumbbells.
    "
    Last edited by Bob; 02-04-2008 at 09:36 AM.

  15. #14
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    on the glute hams bear - on a regular glute ham machine i can do sets of 10 with a band wrapped around my head, you should try them on a machine

    your numbers look good man.
    2000 or bust

  16. #15
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    Haha, I meant held.

    Thanks for the explanation.

  17. #16
    Senior Member Big_Byrd52's Avatar
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    looks like pretty well rounded lifts. if u could tell me where u fail in ur rep sets and 1 rep maxes i could offer more help. a video would be great.

    where does ur DL stall at?
    All Time 198 Squat Record of 1,050 pounds
    http://ironscene.com/view_video.php?...e=&category=tr

    All Time 220 Squat Record of 1,100 pounds

    ** 1063 squat , 611 bench, and 733 deadlift for 2408 Total
    All Time 242 Squat Record of 1,108 pounds At 228)
    ** 1108 squat , 639 bench, and 700 deadlift for 2447 Total

    What I Lack in Genetics, I Make Up For With Determination and Discipline

  18. #17
    Senior Member Big_Byrd52's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klotz View Post
    I'd say you're pretty much strong all over.

    http://www.t-nation.com/article/body...r=bodybuilding
    Says your front squat is about on par, but that thing is a pretty rough estimate.
    i dont think that is anywhere close to accurate. At least not for me.


    i should be pulling 987 based on my 705 raw squat max...

    or

    i should be squatting 480 based on my 675 raw DL max...

    at least my actual pull is 68% of my projected pull, and my projected squat is 68% of my actual squat... now im getting confused. in short... its a bit off.
    All Time 198 Squat Record of 1,050 pounds
    http://ironscene.com/view_video.php?...e=&category=tr

    All Time 220 Squat Record of 1,100 pounds

    ** 1063 squat , 611 bench, and 733 deadlift for 2408 Total
    All Time 242 Squat Record of 1,108 pounds At 228)
    ** 1108 squat , 639 bench, and 700 deadlift for 2447 Total

    What I Lack in Genetics, I Make Up For With Determination and Discipline

  19. #18
    Iron4Life
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    Thanks Stumpster... but that's the problem.. I don't access to a GHR machine, so I was trying to get an idea of how it compares to doing them on the floor??

    NP Ben.. thanks..

    Thanks Big Byrd.. Sam, I usually fail on a ME Squat in the hole.. if I get it moving, then I can usually bring it all the way up... Same thing with a DL, if I get it moving off the floor, especially more then 3-4 inches, then I will complete it..

    I don't have any ME vids.. but I have these squat for reps vids from the WBB contest.. I did 315 x 22 here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6S0KzT0Wcw
    and a different angle here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GbFgC3S3fiQ

    My ME squat might be just a little bit wider stance, but not more then an inch... I'm pretty good keeping my form consistant - light or heavy weights...

    About the only difference now, is that I've lately been wrapping my thumb on top of the bar instead of wrapping it.. to keep my forearm/wrist straight.. not bending my wrist... I learned that this relieves the tension on the elbow - which can cause lateral epicondylitis/tennis elbow .. which I just rehab'd from.

  20. #19
    Senior Member Big_Byrd52's Avatar
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    Well i can tell u fo sho u are one sick bastage! haha

    From watching the side vid i seriously doubt it is a hamstring or glute weakness. on all ur reps coming out of the hole ur hips moved back placing all the emphasis on ur hammies.

    i dont think u have a back weakness because u never let urself get rounded over when u were tired.

    i would say do some more work for ur quads, close stance (shoulder width), raised heal squatting. the main thing is going to be the hips tho. the only way to do that is multiple singles and doubles in the 80% range. a peaking cycle is not about getting stronger. its about getting ur body coordinited, geting ur timing and rythem down during heavy squats. u cant do that high reps or with limit weights. 4-6 weeks of 6 sets of 2 at 80% and ur squat will probably jump quite a bit. ur form looks dead on.
    All Time 198 Squat Record of 1,050 pounds
    http://ironscene.com/view_video.php?...e=&category=tr

    All Time 220 Squat Record of 1,100 pounds

    ** 1063 squat , 611 bench, and 733 deadlift for 2408 Total
    All Time 242 Squat Record of 1,108 pounds At 228)
    ** 1108 squat , 639 bench, and 700 deadlift for 2447 Total

    What I Lack in Genetics, I Make Up For With Determination and Discipline

  21. #20
    Iron4Life
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    Thanks Sam...
    Haha.. I don't do those high reps very offer... but this WBB forum was having a challenge(http://www.wannabebigforums.com/showthread.php?t=97291), so this old man had to prove we could keep up with the young'uns... lol

    I really didn't think about the quads.. maybe I haven't been hitting them hard enough??? Reading so many Westside/Tate articles - I've tried concentrating on the hams and glutes.. but without the benefit of a GHR or reverse hyper..

    And it looks likes I'm going to be getting on the right track... I've recently been doing a lot of 3s, 2s and singles.. right now, my squat/DL routine follows something like this:

    ME Squats - work up to 1 RM
    5x5 Squats
    ME Squats - 3s@80%, 2s @90% and singles @ 95
    DE Squats
    ...Repeat...

    I usually get 2-3 days rest between Squat/DL workouts... Biz Traveling gets in the way of having exact days of the week for workouts... but I'm pretty consistant... getting 2 Squat/DL a week, along with 2 heavy Upper workouts, 1 event training and 1 OL/Speed/Plyo a week... sometimes I have to combine them into one workout..

  22. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big_Byrd52 View Post
    a peaking cycle is not about getting stronger. its about getting ur body coordinited, geting ur timing and rythem down during heavy squats. u cant do that high reps or with limit weights. 4-6 weeks of 6 sets of 2 at 80% and ur squat will probably jump quite a bit. ur form looks dead on.
    excellent advise - wish I had taken it 4 weeks ago!

  23. #22
    Senior Member Big_Byrd52's Avatar
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    thats good. the 3s,2s,1s, should not be maxes tho. u want to stay in the 80-85% range so u can build build force and power. have u heard of the inverted U? hatfield talks about it alot. it shows the optimal weight range for power and strength production, which lies.... at about 80%.

    i have had great results with this for peaking routine only. this follows a couple months of higher volume work with 5s, and ocassional 10s.:

    I MUST ADD I USE THIS FOR RAW (BELT ONLY). I DO NOT NOR HAVE I EVER TRAINED IN GEAR.

    SQ/DL tues(heavy) and fri. (light)

    week1
    day 1- SQ 80% 6x2, rack pulls at knee for 2x3-5 reps (with 1-2 left in the tank each set.), GHR 3x12-15 (u can just do lying leg curls)

    day 2- below parallel comp squat beltless (2" below) for 5x5 at 50-60% (usually 60%), SLDL off a plate for 3x10 w/ same weight. only last set of 10 is difficult, but not a max usually.


    week 2

    day 1- SQ 82.5% for 6x2, rack pull or off the floor for same as wk 1, same assist.

    day 2- same. increase SLDL weight if u can.

    week 3

    day 1- SQ 85% 6x2, again rack or floor ur choice 2x3-5 reps. whatever u are feeling that day. but not max efforts, leave 2 reps in the tank each set. same assist.

    day 2- same

    week 4

    day 1- SQ 3x10 at 50%, near max DL test, abs and done. no more. rest week

    day 2- SQ 6-8x2 at 60% moving fairly quick, 90-120 secs between. walk lightly on treadmill for 20 minutes on small incline (2.5-3 speed at 5 incline). should just start to break a sweat as u get off.

    Weeks 5, 6, and 7
    repeat cycle

    week 8
    complete rest from squatting or pulling. light cardio both days as mentioned earlier. I have tested my rep max here before, then rested the next week, then max attempt on week 10. the set of 5 will tell me about where i should be on the single. 5reps on squat is about 87% of max.

    Week 9
    retest ur max squat.
    Last edited by Big_Byrd52; 02-07-2008 at 12:47 PM.
    All Time 198 Squat Record of 1,050 pounds
    http://ironscene.com/view_video.php?...e=&category=tr

    All Time 220 Squat Record of 1,100 pounds

    ** 1063 squat , 611 bench, and 733 deadlift for 2408 Total
    All Time 242 Squat Record of 1,108 pounds At 228)
    ** 1108 squat , 639 bench, and 700 deadlift for 2447 Total

    What I Lack in Genetics, I Make Up For With Determination and Discipline

  24. #23
    Senior Member Big_Byrd52's Avatar
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    u could also start this at 75% the first week, then 77.5 and 80, then start week 5 at 80% and work up 82.5 and 85.
    All Time 198 Squat Record of 1,050 pounds
    http://ironscene.com/view_video.php?...e=&category=tr

    All Time 220 Squat Record of 1,100 pounds

    ** 1063 squat , 611 bench, and 733 deadlift for 2408 Total
    All Time 242 Squat Record of 1,108 pounds At 228)
    ** 1108 squat , 639 bench, and 700 deadlift for 2447 Total

    What I Lack in Genetics, I Make Up For With Determination and Discipline

  25. #24
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    Way too much thinking about this. Treat each lift as a seperate lift, because they are. I know that's not what you want to hear, but, it's the truth. If your Squat and DL go up, your training is on. If your Front Squat doesn't help your Competition Squat, don't do it. If you just lift to be strong, compare each lift with what you've already done. ie: break a PR.

    Don't overthink this stuff. It's not that complicated.

  26. #25
    Iron4Life
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    Wow.. 2 1000 lb squatters fighting over giving an old-man some advice.. THANKS..

    I see both of your points & suggestions..

    Sam-I'll give this cycle a try - I just have to figure out when to throw event training into the picture. Stones especially. Also - you don't do any Plyo work?

    Rhodes-One of the reasons I went down this path was because of the Westside mentality of working on your weaknesses. I'm trying to see where the weakness is in my squat to see what I need to concentrate more on. I guess what you are saying is that everything is weak? And just keep doing them all?

    Thanks guys...

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