for mass and strength gain is there a huge difference whether u choose to do 3x5, 3x3, 3x4, 2x6, 5x3 for squats?
I have been doing 3 sets of 5 reps ever since i started, but lately on my last few reps, my lower back is so tired that i cant keep it straight anymore (doing kind of a good morning on the way up) no matter how hard i try. I am worried I might injure myself if i keep doing this. I'm wondering if i can change this up somehow by either doing less sets, or reps, or both.
I'll be lifting more weight too, so instead of 305lbs 5x3, i'll be doing maybe 315lbs 3x3, etc...
drop the weight and work on form rather than be in a rush to get more weight up. if your rounding on 305 then you shouldnt do 315. form is most important. even more weight is definitely not the answer.
knock off around 20lbs or even more if you have to and get that squat near perfect. forget the rep ranges, the heavier you go the more important form is. the chances are that youve tried to get the poundage up too fast -i.e. faster than your legs get stronger.
back off until you can do your target reps with ABSOLUTELY STRICT TEXT-BOOK FORM. if need be even lower the weight further and go for volume to get it down perfect, doing sets of 8 or 10.
squats and deadlifts, utilising the lower back can cause extremely serious injuries if done wrong with heavy weight.
i spent quite a few years living and breathing powerlifting and can say one thing for certain - theres nothing impressive about a heavy squat done wrong. id much rather see a lifter squat 250lbs with dead on accurate technique, than 600lbs the wrong way.
your back will thank you.
Last edited by joelhall; 02-23-2009 at 04:15 PM.
thanks, yah i think i increased kind of fast, i was going up 5 lbs everytime i got into the gym because i was doing rippetoe's ss.
I think my form is pretty good i've been working on it for about 8 months now altogether, got hurt a few times and learned from my mistakes, i can do the first 2 sets with proper form, but by the time i'm on the last set, my lower back is so tired that no matter what i do i'm not able to keep it perfectly straight.
if youre happy with your technique then its most likely the weight. drop it for a few weeks, or even cycle it - drop down say 30 odd pounds, then build back up. squats are heavy work so you can tire easily if youre working too intensely for too long. and this can be different for everyone as we all have slightly different fibre ratios in our muscles.
For mass and strength I would keep the reps between 3-8. You should also include variation so if you have been using the same rep scheme for an extended period of time then I suggest that you do change things up a bit.
Do not underestimate occasional high rep squats to spark growth and gains as well. I typically do power movements in the 2-5 rep range and then in many cases will do a drop set of up to 20 total reps, or an endurance set where I perform a 15-20 rep max (either max reps or max reps in a certain time limit).