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Thread: Squat suit help

  1. #1
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    Squat suit help

    I recently got my first suit and have used it twice now with much confusion. I've read many other posts concerning similar issues but here goes my questions. Are the legs supposed to be tighter than the hips? And if they are, could this restrict you from getting low? The times that I've squatted so far, when I get into heavier weights, for me, I feel like i'm about to fall backwards the lower i go, is that normal? My suit also has adjustable straps. Would it be better to learn the suit with the straps looser? Thanks for any assistance.
    5'6" @ 210 lbs
    Best RAW lifts squat 385- bench 400x2 reps- DL 395
    Single Ply Bench 535
    Sigle Ply Squat 505

  2. #2
    THE 800 QUEST NickAus's Avatar
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    Yep, learn it with straps up but loose..........having straps up changes how the bar feels so its good to practice that way.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    Leg openings will likely be tighter. A squat suit is kind of meant to "restrict you from going low", so to speak. Remember, when it comes to suits, the path of most resistance is the path of most assistance. If the suit is not resisting your descent, it won't be helping your ascent either.
    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/

  4. #4
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    Usually the hips will be looser than the legs on a suit when purchased, at least for me. You can always get the suit altered and have the hips brought in. I generally like my suits tight in the hips and looser in the leg openings to allow the knees pushed out better, which requires alterations. That feeling of falling backwards means that you are sitting back which is a good sign, but you have to learn to walk the fine line of sitting back and not falling back and this takes practice. Ususally when you tighten the straps down this will tend to pull you forward more and you have to remember to arch you lower back hard at that point. I would work with the straps loose first then start to tighten them over time. Good luck.

  5. #5
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    Do squat suits need to be broken in similar to bench shirts? And I guess the big question is should I continue with weights just slightly above my raw numbers or continue to add weight? I was told by several people that I could use my suit for support in my DL also, but that was a unique experience all on it's own. I could barely get down to the bar and it felt like my knees wanted to cave in. This whole gear thing is one hell of a learning experience.
    5'6" @ 210 lbs
    Best RAW lifts squat 385- bench 400x2 reps- DL 395
    Single Ply Bench 535
    Sigle Ply Squat 505

  6. #6
    JERSEY IRON Brian C's Avatar
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    Training in gear, you really should have someone training with you that knows what they are doing. But if not possible, then one thing to do is get some video of your squat so it can be critiqued. You dont have to be straps up all the time, but it is different with bar position. Stay fairly light until you learn the suit and are comfortable with it. No reason going heavy with bad form. Make sure your sitting into the resistance and not around it. Like Sensai said, the more resistance going down, the more assistance coming up. And make sure to press those knees out through the whole lift.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian C View Post
    Training in gear, you really should have someone training with you that knows what they are doing. But if not possible, then one thing to do is get some video of your squat so it can be critiqued. You dont have to be straps up all the time, but it is different with bar position. Stay fairly light until you learn the suit and are comfortable with it. No reason going heavy with bad form. Make sure your sitting into the resistance and not around it. Like Sensai said, the more resistance going down, the more assistance coming up. And make sure to press those knees out through the whole lift.
    I will hopefully have some video later tonight. I agree to take it light until I learn it rather than going heavy using bad form. I'm debating on using the suit for a meet this coming Monday. I've lifted over 25 lbs over my raw max but with the suit, but i'm not really comfortable in it yet reaching parallel. What exactly do you mean when you say to sit into the resistance and not around it?
    5'6" @ 210 lbs
    Best RAW lifts squat 385- bench 400x2 reps- DL 395
    Single Ply Bench 535
    Sigle Ply Squat 505

  8. #8
    illinois fattest lifter theBarzeen's Avatar
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    It takes some work to get used to using a squat suit, contrary to popular belief it doesn't magically add 500# to your squat..... so don't sweat not having instant success with it.

    I agree with the above posters recommending learning the suit with the straps up and loose. The falling-backward feeling is probably ( without video nothing's for sure) just the suit pushing your hips forward. The carry over you'll get out of the suit will be had by pushing your butt back in to the suit " sitting back"..... think of it like pulling back the string on a bow.

    And to answer your question about squat suit fit: it's a personal thing. I like having the legs looser, but the hips tight. Everyone is different though, and honestly, keeping it looser will help you learn it. Tightening gear is easy.

    Good luck
    Meet PR's: 1008-750-750 - 2464

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  9. #9
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    I had a buddy take some video of me squatting in the suit tonight. I didn't know until I watched it but he was focused on my hips and nothing else. I know without seeing my whole body, proper critique can't be given but if I could get some comments as far as depth being good or not i'd appreciate it. I have a meet next week so it won't be after that until I'm able to take another video of everything. Thanks guys for all the help and advice.
    5'6" @ 210 lbs
    Best RAW lifts squat 385- bench 400x2 reps- DL 395
    Single Ply Bench 535
    Sigle Ply Squat 505

  10. #10
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    Skip to 26 seconds in, I couldn't figure out how to edit. The main lifts I'm concerned about are the last two or three
    Last edited by shocker4221; 06-16-2011 at 08:55 PM.
    5'6" @ 210 lbs
    Best RAW lifts squat 385- bench 400x2 reps- DL 395
    Single Ply Bench 535
    Sigle Ply Squat 505

  11. #11
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shocker4221 View Post
    What exactly do you mean when you say to sit into the resistance and not around it?
    Brent Mikesell put out a video a number of years ago and what he said was (approximately) "You have to force your groove on the suit; you can't go where the suit wants you to go".

    When I say "the path of most resistance is the path of most assistance", it means exactly that - that if you consciously or unconsciously modify your technique to reduce suit tension (which is damn uncomfortable), you are not getting as much out of your suit and you're risking injury to boot.

    For most people (it seems that) when they put on a suit and straps, at first, they end up shooting the knees forward and rounding the lower back. They do this because the pressure build up is intense and flexing at the knees and lower back does little to increase suit tension. It makes sense because they are (unconsciously) trying to avoid all that pressure the suit puts on the hips, shoulders (straps), and torso.

    Hope that helps.

    As far as the videos go, it looks like the knee and lower back thing might be an issue for you, but I'd have to see how you squat without a suit to compare. Depth is an issue so, unless your fed is pretty liberal about what parallel is, you're going to need to sink them deeper.
    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/

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sensei View Post
    Brent Mikesell put out a video a number of years ago and what he said was (approximately) "You have to force your groove on the suit; you can't go where the suit wants you to go".

    When I say "the path of most resistance is the path of most assistance", it means exactly that - that if you consciously or unconsciously modify your technique to reduce suit tension (which is damn uncomfortable), you are not getting as much out of your suit and you're risking injury to boot.

    For most people (it seems that) when they put on a suit and straps, at first, they end up shooting the knees forward and rounding the lower back. They do this because the pressure build up is intense and flexing at the knees and lower back does little to increase suit tension. It makes sense because they are (unconsciously) trying to avoid all that pressure the suit puts on the hips, shoulders (straps), and torso.

    Hope that helps.

    As far as the videos go, it looks like the knee and lower back thing might be an issue for you, but I'd have to see how you squat without a suit to compare. Depth is an issue so, unless your fed is pretty liberal about what parallel is, you're going to need to sink them deeper.
    Would you suggest to continue working the suit with weights I have already used in order to reach proper depth or should I add a bit more? The last few reps on the video felt like I simply couldn't get any lower. I understand what you mean about rounding the back and knees going forward. I know I don't usually round my back when squatting raw but I think my knees still go forward a bit.
    5'6" @ 210 lbs
    Best RAW lifts squat 385- bench 400x2 reps- DL 395
    Single Ply Bench 535
    Sigle Ply Squat 505

  13. #13
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    If I were you, I'd probably stick w. the weights I was using and try to improve technique and get lower. That's what I've done in the past, but I'm not sure it's the best route with a new squat suit. Hopefully other people will chime in.
    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/

  14. #14
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    I will definitely try that. I only ask because my last reps in the video were more than i've ever done and I did it for a double. I felt like I could go with more weight but was more concerned about getting low enough with what I had.
    5'6" @ 210 lbs
    Best RAW lifts squat 385- bench 400x2 reps- DL 395
    Single Ply Bench 535
    Sigle Ply Squat 505

  15. #15
    illinois fattest lifter theBarzeen's Avatar
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    yea.... it looks like exactly what I posted above......

    the suit is pushing your hips forward because you aren't sitting back in your suit..... this forces your knees forward ( which is bad) and robs you of lbs gained in carryover ( also bad)

    Your back is rounding out bad, not sure if it's you trying to get deeper because the suit is cutting you off ( it is, you are still a bit high high in the video) or if it's just not strong enough to hold the weight.

    If it were me I'd start by setting up an inch or so wider ( probably more than that, but not all at once. Move out gradually, set by set or week by week) Focus on keeping your knees out and your hips BACK.... head up and chest up will help too. Sitting in to the suit and keeping your head up will keep the pressure out of your head and help you hit depth easier. If your back is still collapsing add more back work.... high pulls, barbell rows, rack lockouts.


    Good luck!
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  16. #16
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    Tough to tell from the side but I agree with the previous post that you need to widen your stance and sit back more. Remeber to push your knees out hard. Depth will come with time and you have to be patient.
    I had an issue of rounding in the upper back which in turn causes your hips to rise and making depth lower and I found the remedy to be bucket loads of upper back. Unsure if your is rounding from the video but I am just throwing it out there.

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