Just got done with my second SS workout. My main beef though is with the squats. I'm not quite sure I'm going parallel.
I'm 6' 3", so I've got decently long legs. Last workout I kept moving my weight up as I should until I hit 135 lbs. The thing is, towards the end of the exercise (maybe last few on the second set and most of the third set) I'm not sure if I'm hitting parallel (i.e. getting low enough). I'm also leaning to the right some when I come up. I did not add 10 lbs. this time b/c I don't trust that I'm doing it right this time.
Should I pull back my weight? Or is this normal? I know part of this is "check your ego at the door" (being 6' 3" and 200 lbs. makes me feel like I should be squatting more), but part of me wonders if this is correct.
Can't film myself, don't have a camera... I *may* be hitting parallel, I'm just not sure. I'm mainly wondering is this struggling in the beginning normal. I don't trust adding 10 lbs yet to the bar, at least on squat. Everything else is kosher.
Are your hamstrings touching you calves every rep? That's a good way to tell. I am going to go against SS here and say don't worry about adding weight each workout until you are using pretty good form. If not you are looking to get hurt. Watch the SquatRx video's and practice. I'm sure you need to work on flexibility also.
If you workout at a gym, have someone tell you if you're going parallel. Form is a lot more important than weight when it comes to squats and lifting in general; definitely a good idea to get your form in check before progressing forward with more weight.
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You will have gotten stronger when the weight that feels heavy is actually heavier than the weight that feels heavy now. Then the weight that feels heavy now will be a warmup for the weight that feels heavy then. But the weight will always feel heavy or you're not lifting enough weight. Clear? -Rippetoe
Yeah I don't think my hamstrings are touching my calves... I'm more close to parallel than deep squat.
After thinking this over I may just swallow my pride and roll the weight back to 95 lbs to get a really deep squat going and then bring it up SS style. Sucks to start so low but I'd rather do this right.
My press today was at 95 lbs. (starting) and I followed the rules on that one... just kept bumping it up until it started really slowing noticeably. Next press day I'll do 100.
I'm going to run tomorrow some and then hit the gym again probably Wed. or Thurs... more to report then. How do I set up these journals I see?
Push your knees out to the side in order to hit depth.
Don't worry that you're only squatting 135. When you're just starting out doing squats PROPERLY, you usually won't be able to do much weight. Focus on form 1st, then worry about getting the weight up.
Read and Reread the squat chapter of SS many times. I did, and it helped me greatly.
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^^ Agreed, make sure your feet are pointing about 30 degrees out and in line with your shoulders as foot and stance position is very important. Keeping your knees out will definitely help to get lower. I would try starting in the down position with your elbows forcing your knees out. Get a feel for that postion and then come up out of it.
Also try not to look straight ahead (at the mirror) when you are going down. As this can be bad for your form.
Ideally you should be looking at a spot about 4 - 5 feet ahead of you on the floor, with your head slightly looking or pointing down. This will help to keep you back and neck in the right position.
If I'm concerned that I'm not hitting parallel or deeper, then should I roll the weight back? It doesn't happen on the lighter weights, and I feel that the first half of my work sets get parallel. The latter half is the part I'm not sure about.
So I'm thinking either sticking at this current weight until I feel like I am hitting parallel or rolling my weight back to a lighter work set... thoughts?
^^^This. Work on your form. Don't worry if your feet are at 30 degrees or 45 degrees - take a stance that's near shoulder width (wider is OK, the wider the stance, the further out the toes will point) and comfortable foot placement. Comfortable means that you walk up to the bar and stop, look down at your feet, that's comfortable. Unrack the bar and do the same thing - step back and the position your feet stop in is the ticket. Now try to squat. As you squat and come up, your toes and knees should be in the same verticle plane.
As for depth, box squats help because then you'll know you're hitting parallel or below. Hamstring stretching will probably help, as well.
Give chalk a chance.
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Thanks for pointing that out though, I'll keep that in mind from now on.