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
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    Core giving out before Legs on Heavy Squats

    I love squats there my favorite but latley as I have been doing heavier weights I feel like an 80 year old man once I'm done. A belt curtails these problems but I dont want to be dependent on one. I think two things could be the problem. 1. Form I rest the bar on my traps and my feet a little more than shoulder width slighty pointing out I do need to be more conciuss about where my two feet are they may not always be parrlel. 2. My core walks outs are sometimes harder than the actual squat! I fear while training my upper and lower bodies I have neglected the most important part!
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  3. #2
    Senior Member OptimumGrowth's Avatar
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    Not sure SFTS are you looking for an answer? It seems to me you realize you have neglected your core.

    Your form you have mentioned seems correct, but can't tell with out seeing. Only thing I can say is maybe too much weight.

  4. #3
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    heh yea. What are some good core excersises? Sit ups and crunches dont get that tight pull I want.
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  5. #4
    Senior Member JHarris's Avatar
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    It is unlikely that unweighted ab exercises are going to strengthen your core to the extent you need for squatting. I would recommend sticking with the compound lifts and ditching the belt all together - except maybe on maximal lifts (depends on what you are training for - a lot of Oly lifters wont put a belt on period, but Im pretty sure most powerlifters use one for competitions). Suck up some pride and drop the weight you lift to a level that you can still control it and build back up the midsection strength to be equal with your leg strength.

    Alternatively, you could work front squats more as these require more stability. Over head squats are even better for this, but they take a lot more coordination and flexibility.

    If you feel that your abs are really -that- weak, you could try doing some weighted exercises. Just remember that your abs are stabilization muscles - training them by using them in squatting or deadlifting trains them in the way you use them in athletics. Put differently, would you train for length strength with static contractions? Maybe some, but it would not have as much carryover. A lot of strength is neural adaption and effiency. There are times when isolation work is necessary, but unless you are injured or severely lacking in strength in a given muscle group, I would try to stick to fixing the problem in the compound exercise.

    Jay

  6. #5
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    Overhead squats sound good I think I'll try those on monday! Thanks for your help! My feet could probably pointing a bit more in and be more parallel Ill make those changes to!
    Last edited by SFTS; 03-24-2007 at 09:54 PM.
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  7. #6
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    OH Squats have done a world of good for me... :thumbsup

    Don't find to fill your belly full of air when you heavy squat... practice it.. it's one of the keys for PL'ing..

    You don't mention DL'ing... and/or GM'ing in your program.. is your back strong?

    And don't forget the side of your core.. the obliques... Wood Chops, Reverse Wood Chops, Saxons and Heavy Side Bends... are all good.

    GL.. and keep working on the form too!

  8. #7
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    Don''t be one of those jackass, non-belt-wearers to prove a stupid point. If you want to squat heavy, wear a belt. The point of the squat is to squat. The purpose of ab work is to strengthen the abs. Don't lose sight of why you're squatting. Anyone that says wearing a belt while squatting doesn't work the abs is absolutely stupid and has no idea what they are talking about. And, their body probably reflects that lack of knowledge. Wear a belt!

  9. #8
    Senior Member Sleepy Guy's Avatar
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    Snatch squats will really build up that core. Combined with deadlifts and squats they will help. Oly stuff helps a fair bit to but requires time to learn and develop the form.

  10. #9
    Senior Member JHarris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RhodeHouse View Post
    Don''t be one of those jackass, non-belt-wearers to prove a stupid point. If you want to squat heavy, wear a belt. The point of the squat is to squat. The purpose of ab work is to strengthen the abs. Don't lose sight of why you're squatting. Anyone that says wearing a belt while squatting doesn't work the abs is absolutely stupid and has no idea what they are talking about. And, their body probably reflects that lack of knowledge. Wear a belt!
    People who dont wear a belt while squatting are jackasses? Many international quality olympic lifters do not wear a belt - are they jackasses? That seems a bit aggressive. A lot of lifters dont wear belts not to prove a point, but because it actually DOES make you use your own stabilization muscles more. Do you think Olympic lifters have physiques that reflect weak abs? Some do direct ab work, and some do not. I promise you that all that reach a reasonably competitive level have strong cores and you dont have to do direct ab work to reach a competitive level or even a highly competitive level.

    I dont want this to turn into a gear vs. non-gear debate, but are you also going to critque people for not wearing bench press shirts while benching? Or not wearing knee wraps? There are clearly people who like wearing these sorts of things and people that dont. Neither side is 'stupid' though.

    Its clear that you come from a powerlifting background, Rhodehouse, and I respect that. But the whole point of powerlifting is to lift more in the 3 big lifts in any way possible. Sometimes, those means to getting to a bigger lift are not ideal for non-pl athletes. For example, a wide base squat just to parallel is designed to let you squat more, but is not as sport specific as a deeper, slightly narrower stance squat is for many sports.

    Further - the point of a squat is to squat? What does this mean? Are you trying to say that the primary movers are all that get worked? Do pullups not strengthen your biceps as well as your upper back? Does bench not work your anterior deltoids? Does a deadlift not tax your grip a great deal? Yes, working the squat raises your squat max (or that's one big reason why people do it), but another big reason is that it works a great portion of your body at the same time and forces you to be an athlete by coordinating many muscle groups.

    I dont mind you disagreeing with things that I write, but try not to act like Im an idiot and you are completely correct - Especially if you aren't going to back anything you say with logic or argumentation and instead are just going to say things like 'dont be a jackass' and 'the point of a squat is to squat'. The subjects are not especially clear cut and there is room for debate.

  11. #10
    Senior Member bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RhodeHouse View Post
    Don''t be one of those jackass, non-belt-wearers to prove a stupid point. If you want to squat heavy, wear a belt. The point of the squat is to squat. The purpose of ab work is to strengthen the abs. Don't lose sight of why you're squatting. Anyone that says wearing a belt while squatting doesn't work the abs is absolutely stupid and has no idea what they are talking about. And, their body probably reflects that lack of knowledge. Wear a belt!
    I know Rhodes can back his own self. Jay maybe reread his post. He didn't call you stupid. He didn't say squats without a belt are wrong. I don't pretend to know his view on that though.

    To the OP Walkouts are extremely tough, and your core may be fine. That one of the reasons of the monolifts. That is also why heavy walkouts are practiced when, a monolift isn't being used.
    At 16 if your squatting you are well ahead of most.
    Remember, to get big, you have to get strong. The two are interconnected. Lift heavy, work hard, and size will come. Like night follows day. It works. Arnold
    Do work son. Big Black (Rob and Big)

  12. #11
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    I actually come from a football background and lifting to improve athletic performance. After football, I got into powerlifting.

    It's not about gear v. no gear. It's about someone saying that their core gives out before their legs are taxed. Common sense says, wear a belt if you want to tax your legs with the squat more. When I squat, I don't care about strengthening my core. I care about lifting whatever weight I have on my back as safely and effectively as possible. If your core strength breaks down, then you risk missing the weight, tiring before the legs are worked, and learning bad lifting habits that will possibly lead to injury. The point of the squat is to squat, not to strengthen the core. A side effect of squatting is a strong core. Again, common sense tells me that if my core gives out first, before my legs are worked, put on a belt and get some real work done. I squat with a 1,000 lb squatter who has never done ab work. He puts his belt on with 135. I guess he doesn't work his core because he's got that belt on. The 1,003 and 1,008 squats that he's done must have been an act of god, because he wears a belt for every set. I'll be sure to let him know that. I've squatted 900, twice. I put my belt on at 315. I guess my abs are weak, too. If you can perform the weights that you want to get to with perfect form and no risk of injury, by all means, don't wear a belt. If there is ANY breakdown in form, at all, that could be fixed by wearing a belt, you should put a belt on a get squatting.

    As far as a wide base squat not being optimal for athletes - that's absolutely wrong. Athletes must not need strong hips, groins, hamstrings, and quads, then. Show me a shortstop that is in a shoulder width stance. I'll show you a shortstop that is on the bench. Show me a linebacker in a shoulder width stance. Check the back of his uniform, because his name will be covered in grass stains and dirt. On the contrary, a wide satnce DOES favor the athlete in any sport.

    There was no insult pointed to anyone. The title of the post should've answered his own question. Sorry, I don't sugarcoat things. To me, it's just plain dumb to not wear a belt while squatting. If you believe in not wearing a belt, that's awesome. My 900 tells me that I might be on to the wearing a belt thing. JMO. Life's too short to bleed rectally because I gave my opinion openly and honestly. Take the advice or don't. It won't affect my lifting. SFW!

  13. #12
    Senior Member Sleepy Guy's Avatar
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    Rhode you are the weakest link. If you core is lacking then build it. The body would be better off strong as a whole rather then strong in parts but that is my opinion.

    It would be better for a person to build on a weakness then rely on a crutch. Like the saying goes only as strong as the weakest link.

  14. #13
    Senior Member JHarris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RhodeHouse View Post
    It's about someone saying that their core gives out before their legs are taxed. Common sense says, wear a belt if you want to tax your legs with the squat more.
    He doesnt seem to want to tax his legs more - he admits his weakness is his core. Commen sense here would indicate that he needs to not use a crutch to get past this point, but actually not use the crutch and get stronger.

    The point of the squat is to squat, not to strengthen the core. A side effect of squatting is a strong core.
    Maybe for you. But some people squat only to improve general athletic performance. If this is the case, a strong core might not just be a side effect but one of the main reasons to squat since studies show that squatting and deadlifting are 2 of the most effective ways to increase core strength and stability.

    I squat with a 1,000 lb squatter who has never done ab work. He puts his belt on with 135. I guess he doesn't work his core because he's got that belt on. The 1,003 and 1,008 squats that he's done must have been an act of god, because he wears a belt for every set. I'll be sure to let him know that.
    Now, now. I never said that not using a belt leads to weak abs, did I? I pointed out that if you have weak abs using a belt would not help strengthen them. I believe in my original post that I said that he should drop weight until he can actually do squats effectively without a belt and work back up. Read my post again; I specifically stated that there are OL's that do use belts. You specifically stated that if you want to squat heavy you have to wear a belt. I pointed out that that is patently not true. You are the one who claimed that people exist that think that wearing a belt takes your abs completely out of the lift. I did not say such a thing. I stated that without a belt, your core has to work harder to stabilize - that is all. Common sense would suggest if it has to work harder to stabilize, it is being stressed more and thus should grow stronger.


    I've squatted 900, twice. I put my belt on at 315. I guess my abs are weak, too. If you can perform the weights that you want to get to with perfect form and no risk of injury, by all means, don't wear a belt. If there is ANY breakdown in form, at all, that could be fixed by wearing a belt, you should put a belt on a get squatting.
    I never stated your abs are weak. Again, read my post. You are putting words into my mouth here. I never stated wearing a belt makes your abs weak. Also, notice in my first post that I said that I thought he should ditch the belt all together EXCEPT maybe on maximal lifts. I recognize that belts can be useful for some for safety at times.

    As far as a wide base squat not being optimal for athletes - that's absolutely wrong. Athletes must not need strong hips, groins, hamstrings, and quads, then. Show me a shortstop that is in a shoulder width stance. I'll show you a shortstop that is on the bench. Show me a linebacker in a shoulder width stance.
    Again, read my post, Rhodehouse. I stated a slightly narrower stance than a PL'ers - not necessarily a shoulder width stance. Further, I said that a deeper squat is better and that I wont back off of. You gain more flexibility and glute and ham recruitment from going lower than parallel. You said yourself athletes need glute and ham recruitment. Flexibility is very useful too. Further, linebackers dont stand around in a very wide stance like a PL'er. A standard athletic stance is a little wider than shoulder width which qualifies as narrower than a pl'er's stance. Sprinters are very narrow stanced, as are jumpers, throwers.. the list goes on. So I guess my point wasn't 'Absolutely wrong'.

    In general, when someone brings a problem up about a specific lift, its usually my feeling that the issue is likely with their form. If his abs have not been growing in strength with his legs, his recruitment pattern for squatting is probably off and the best thing he could do would be to lower weight and retrain himself. IMO, putting a belt on here is placing a bandaid on a deep puncture - yes, the bleeding will stop for a bit, but its not attacking the bigger problem. The fact stands that the squat is a hard lift to do right. Sure, everyone thinks they are squatting well, but you dont see a ton of athletes going to a good depth, staying on their heels, keeping their chest up, arching their back, etc in high schools or even colleges.
    Last edited by JHarris; 03-25-2007 at 04:59 PM.

  15. #14
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    Thats allot to digest. As of now I use belts for heavy squats (for me that would be 315+) A belt does stabalize me more (I can tell) as of right now I lift mainly for football once that is over I do want to get into powerlifting. Thanks for all the opinoins!
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  16. #15
    Breaker of Skulls Guido's Avatar
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    If you hunch over when you squat, do good mornings and deadlifts (especially SLDL's) to bring your back strength up to par.
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  17. #16
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    JHarris, it seems we will disagree. I'm done with this stupid argument. I know what I'm talking about, and I believe in some of your points as well. However, I wasn't even responding to you in my first post. I was responding to SFTS. I didn't even read your first post, and quite honestly, don't care what you wrote in it. I wasn't attacking you until you found it necessary to ramble on about things that, in my estimation, you have no idea what you are talking about. I'm done with this. If SFTS wants to take my advice, he can. If not, that's fine, too.

    Further, linebackers dont stand around in a very wide stance like a PL'er. A standard athletic stance is a little wider than shoulder width which qualifies as narrower than a pl'er's stance. Sprinters are very narrow stanced, as are jumpers, throwers.. the list goes on. So I guess my point wasn't 'Absolutely wrong'

    This statement tells me everything I already knew about your knowledge of sport. Best of luck with your lifting. SFW!

  18. #17
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    I did some overhead squats to they and I could really feel my core working to keep everything stable. These are going to become a staple
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