Ever since I stopped doing squats 3 days a week and started the 5/3/1 program I feel weak under the bar. I like everything about the program but I feel weaker since I started it. Nothing else has changed with my diet, sleep, stress, etc... I know it is a proven program and has worked very well for many people but after 2 months of doing it I feel weaker.
This is what I was doing.. Monday-Squat, Wednesday-Front Squat, Friday-Squat. To the 5/3/1 which would have you doing squats on say Monday and then not again til next Wednesday.
What do you guys think? Give it some more time or go back to what was working good?
Could you post a link or give more details about your entire program? It's tough to look at one exercise and give advice... Without seeing the whole, it's difficult to comment on the parts.
If I was trying to bring up a novice-intermediate's squat, I'd generally recommend that they squat more than once every ten days...
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
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What are your numbers at? Do you mean 5/3/1 as in leading up to a 1 rep max? If so, you will burn out quick with this. I recommend the bill starr 5x5... I think its the best workout ever when you hit a plateau. I have been using it the last 6 weeks and I went from 225 x 5 to 285 x 5 just today. You gradually go up 5-10 pounds a week but you never feel burnt out because its ramping sets. Great routine. Also, make sure you stretch your IT band, hips, glutes, hamstrings at least once a day. If any of this is tightening up it will affect your numbers.
Elm, what are your assistance exercise choices?
I do front squats on deadlift day as an assistance. I keep Deadlift day as a lower day and everything has continued moving in the right direction.
If you were doing M,T, Th, F that gets you squattin' twice within the week.
And BTW, I know what you mean about not having the bar on your back often enough or heavy enough.
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I think this is the approach to take. You obviously need to work in some more squat volume if you're only squatting once a week/every 10 days. Front squats or back squats on deadlift day would be a good way to do it, as would adding a few backoff sets or sets across at the top weight on the squat day.
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This is what I am doing now...
Monday- OH Press, Pull Ups, Dips
Wednesday- Dead Lift, Good Morning, Hanging Leg Raise
Friday- Bench Press, Incline DB Press, Rows
Monday- Squat, DB Lunge, RDL
I was doing this...
Monday- Squat, Bench, Row, Good Morning or Pull Through.
Wednesday- Front Squat, OH Press, Dead Lift, Pull Up.
Friday- Squat, Bench, Row, Dips.
Go back to your old routine if that is what was working for you.
I may just do that and see what happens. It's all about figuring out what works best for each of us I guess. Another thing I may do is follow my body instead of a program. If I feel good on that day I will go heavy and if I don't I will stay with some medium weights and get a good workout in.
Also, my numbers are.. Squat 240x5, Deadlift 335x5, Press 125x5, Bench 225x5. I have been doing squats for 7 months.
I'm sure you could just incorporate 5-3-1 into a westside style routine as well. I don't see why not. *shrug*
Jim Wendler, 531 Method"Donít fall for the crap that people are peddling on message boards, in magazines or on TV. Get your **** in order, and get your training in order. Start kicking ass, and take out the crap that doesnít matter. Start doing and believing in the stuff that works, and do it today and forever. You want science and studies? **** you. Iíve got scars and blood and vomit."
What do your squats look like under 531? With a lower max, you may not be getting much volume between warm ups and then working sets.
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Odd, I'm actually experiencing the exact same thing. I'm almost certain it's because of the lack of volume. Front squats are a great idea to add on the deadlift day. I should either do that or go back to Westside which worked wonders for me.
Age: 24 Height: 5'9" Weight: 185
Gym PRs: 365/240/440=1045
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