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Posted: 9/8/2013 4:44:13 AM EDT
I'm doing Starting Strength and my squats have been slowing down to a creep to a pretty much stand still.  I have been squating 230 for a month.  I've tried throwing on 5 more pounds and I cannot complete my 3x5 sets.  I was talking to one of the guys I bullshit with a little bit at the gym and he suggested loading up the smith machine once a week and go for broke.  He thought it would help me get past the 230 mark in my barbell squats.  If this guy wasn't about 60 years old and a combat veteran that looked like the bad guy from avatar I would have ignored his suggestion but It got me thinking about it.  He also said it may be more mental than anything.  He also spotted me in my bench press sets that day.   He thought it would be a good idea to throw on an extra 10 pounds, bringing up the mental aspect of lifting.  To my surprise I killed my 3x5 set without him even touching the bar for assistance.

Am I just not switching on my primal switch and squatting that shit?
Should I try mixing in the smith machine once a week and go super heavy ( I don't know why but just saying smith machine makes me feel like a sell out )
Should I say fuck it and bring up the safety bars, squat 235 3x5 and quit sounding like a pussy?
Is it normal to not move up 5 pounds in a month?
Is this a question I should be able to answer myself?
Why do I have nightmares about tornado's destroying everything?




Link Posted: 9/8/2013 5:09:04 AM EDT
Look up John meadows article on smith machines... They're only limited in utility, but worth a shot?  



Doing deadlift variants and step ups/split squats?
Link Posted: 9/8/2013 5:58:20 AM EDT
Quoted:
Should I say fuck it and bring up the safety bars, squat 235 3x5 and quit sounding like a pussy? yes, especially if you have a spotter
Why do I have nightmares about tornado's destroying everything?you're from KS, bro. That fear is legitimate




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Link Posted: 9/8/2013 6:11:52 AM EDT
When was the last time you had a deload week?  If you haven't done this for over a month, this would be my course of action lowering weight to 65% of max.
Otherwise bring up the safety bars and a spotter and GET IT DONE!
Link Posted: 9/8/2013 7:49:47 AM EDT
Sounds questionable to me...BUT if it's mental, and lifting heavier on a smith to break through that mental barrier then there could be some use there of course.

There's definitely a chance you just need to man up and lift. I've found that most people are not capable of really putting max efforts into lifting- it hurts, and it's really uncomfortable. Not saying that's your problem, but it could be.

You could also try 3x3 for a few sessions and go heavier to break through that weight barrier.
Link Posted: 9/8/2013 7:51:30 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
When was the last time you had a deload week?  If you haven't done this for over a month, this would be my course of action lowering weight to 65% of max.
Otherwise bring up the safety bars and a spotter and GET IT DONE!
View Quote


Agreed.  Also, correct me if I'm wrong but aren't you also dieting to lose fat?  That probably isn't helping you in your quest to add weight to the bar.

DT pointed out, deadlift variants and other squat variants would probably give you more bang for your buck.  I think you would be better served bringing up the safety bars and trying to hit 4-5 sets of doubles or singles...not to failure though.
Link Posted: 9/8/2013 8:05:17 AM EDT
The Starting Strength program is fucking hard.  Setting a 3x5 PR on squats 3x a week is very hard.  5 lbs. is not a noticeable difference to your body, only your mind.  Eat more and move up the weight.  Also, if you do something like 235 x 5,5,3 then do it again once or twice more to get to 235 x 3 x 5.

I'm 5'6" , 160 lbs and I am at 245 x 3 x 5 and shit got hard about 220 and it sucks every time.  I need to eat more myself.

A deload weak might be recommended if you have any nagging tweaks or slight injuries that have been bothering you for a while - I did one after tweaking my back and then did 20lb jumps for every squat session until within 10 lbs of my PR. My back healed up and I only took 4 workouts to get back close to PR territory (185-205-225-235).  I agree with deload weeks in general, but think during starting strength you should keep your momentum as long as possible.  It's a short and  temporary program, which is why you shouldn't worry about BF or cardio during this time.

I don't think the smith machine would help because the groove is different.

Something that might help with the mental aspect of heavier weights would be an over warm up.

http://70sbig.com/blog/2013/04/the-over-warm-up/

Link Posted: 9/8/2013 8:36:05 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
When was the last time you had a deload week?  If you haven't done this for over a month, this would be my course of action lowering weight to 65% of max.
Otherwise bring up the safety bars and a spotter and GET IT DONE!
View Quote



This was my first thought as well. The way the program is set up, you steadily increase the weight until you can no longer make progress, deload, and then start working your way back up. It's all covered in the book.

It's also possible that your form is off a bit. Minor tweaks in form can have a fairly large effect on your progress.
Link Posted: 9/8/2013 8:48:28 AM EDT
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Quoted:


Agreed.  Also, correct me if I'm wrong but aren't you also dieting to lose fat?  That probably isn't helping you in your quest to add weight to the bar.

DT pointed out, deadlift variants and other squat variants would probably give you more bang for your buck.  I think you would be better served bringing up the safety bars and trying to hit 4-5 sets of doubles or singles...not to failure though.
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
When was the last time you had a deload week?  If you haven't done this for over a month, this would be my course of action lowering weight to 65% of max.
Otherwise bring up the safety bars and a spotter and GET IT DONE!


Agreed.  Also, correct me if I'm wrong but aren't you also dieting to lose fat?  That probably isn't helping you in your quest to add weight to the bar.

DT pointed out, deadlift variants and other squat variants would probably give you more bang for your buck.  I think you would be better served bringing up the safety bars and trying to hit 4-5 sets of doubles or singles...not to failure though.


I have never done a deload week.  I have been steadily increasing work weight by 5 pounds every 2 to 3 weeks.  
I am dieting to loose fat but I'm eating more than I was before.  Dead animals and milk.  veggies here and there.  I have to admit I ate a few slices of pizza yesterday.  It's besides the point but I feel guilty about it.  I have been taking a little whey protein to supplement for loss.
My belt has been shrinking while my weight is staying the same sometimes.  which is good

I am almost thinking that Squating 3x5, 3 times a week is brutal.  Most times when I go back to the gym my legs are still shredded from the time before.  I don't think it allows me enough time to recover.


Would it be a good idea to completely drop squats on my 2nd workout day and maybe just make that a good 1x5 dead lift day?
Or maybe do a lighter weight front squat?
whatever gets me past the mark.
Tomorrow I'm going to say fuck it and try to push it up and see what happens


Link Posted: 9/8/2013 10:36:24 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


I have never done a deload week.  I have been steadily increasing work weight by 5 pounds every 2 to 3 weeks.  
I am dieting to loose fat but I'm eating more than I was before.  Dead animals and milk.  veggies here and there.  I have to admit I ate a few slices of pizza yesterday.  It's besides the point but I feel guilty about it.  I have been taking a little whey protein to supplement for loss.
My belt has been shrinking while my weight is staying the same sometimes.  which is good

I am almost thinking that Squating 3x5, 3 times a week is brutal.  Most times when I go back to the gym my legs are still shredded from the time before.  I don't think it allows me enough time to recover.


Would it be a good idea to completely drop squats on my 2nd workout day and maybe just make that a good 1x5 dead lift day?
Or maybe do a lighter weight front squat?
whatever gets me past the mark.
Tomorrow I'm going to say fuck it and try to push it up and see what happens


View Quote View All Quotes
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
When was the last time you had a deload week?  If you haven't done this for over a month, this would be my course of action lowering weight to 65% of max.
Otherwise bring up the safety bars and a spotter and GET IT DONE!


Agreed.  Also, correct me if I'm wrong but aren't you also dieting to lose fat?  That probably isn't helping you in your quest to add weight to the bar.

DT pointed out, deadlift variants and other squat variants would probably give you more bang for your buck.  I think you would be better served bringing up the safety bars and trying to hit 4-5 sets of doubles or singles...not to failure though.


I have never done a deload week.  I have been steadily increasing work weight by 5 pounds every 2 to 3 weeks.  
I am dieting to loose fat but I'm eating more than I was before.  Dead animals and milk.  veggies here and there.  I have to admit I ate a few slices of pizza yesterday.  It's besides the point but I feel guilty about it.  I have been taking a little whey protein to supplement for loss.
My belt has been shrinking while my weight is staying the same sometimes.  which is good

I am almost thinking that Squating 3x5, 3 times a week is brutal.  Most times when I go back to the gym my legs are still shredded from the time before.  I don't think it allows me enough time to recover.


Would it be a good idea to completely drop squats on my 2nd workout day and maybe just make that a good 1x5 dead lift day?
Or maybe do a lighter weight front squat?
whatever gets me past the mark.
Tomorrow I'm going to say fuck it and try to push it up and see what happens




Do a reset. Let your legs rest a little.
Link Posted: 9/8/2013 10:57:23 AM EDT
I would not push it up tomorrow if you still feel shredded and have not done a deload week.  No reason to try and push it when it clearly sounds like you are mentally and physically taxed - this is when injuries can happen.  Unless there was some major reason you needed to push through I would listen yourself and deload.  

If you've been going 5 weeks or greater I would say take a few days off, come back and deload over the course of a a week to 2 weeks with some front squats, a few days later some back squats at 3x5 at 65-70% (this should be easy), repeat for another week.  You could add in some refreshing weight circuits (nothing crazy) and other activities that are not going to tax you but get the blood flowing.  I would deload 2 weeks if you've been going to failure.  



I run (or try to) a mixed program that takes bits from SS and 5/3/1.  I try to squat 3xwk but one day is a light day doing front squats at 3x5 in the 55-65% in the middle of the week between a medium day 3x5 65-75% and a heavy day 3x5 75-80%.  I do not go to failure.  If I don't feel like I can complete the 5, I quit ~ 2 reps shy.  If you follow my thread in this area that is what I am attempting to do.  First couple weeks were getting back into it and then I have been traveling the past couple weeks.
Link Posted: 9/8/2013 12:17:32 PM EDT
I'm going to deload.  
When you deload do you just drop your weight load then work your way back up?  kind of like reseting your routine from. a lower weight.  Or do you just go down to 70% for a few weeks then back to where you were before deloading?
Should I just do this with my Squats or everything
Link Posted: 9/8/2013 12:35:07 PM EDT
I come back to where I left off and see how I feel, maybe 5% below and work up on the first heavy session back.  Usually first session I am above previous weight.

Deload everything.  Your CNS will not recover if you continue to keep the intensity up doing other things.  The CNS is the big reason why you deload for so long.  Muscles will recover quickly (couple days) but the CNS is a bit slower, taking a week or more depending on the intensity you've been doing.  I typically deload every 4th week and I am not even lifting to failure which will break down the CNS system even further.
Link Posted: 9/8/2013 12:42:29 PM EDT
You are in the exact same spot, and at the exact same weight, that I was in a month or so ago.

First I manned up, but secondly I started loading the bar with 240 and struggling through a single. All of the sudden a set of 5 at 225 feels a bit easier. I also started squatting two times a week, which I now love to do. sometimes its only 4 sets of 5, but I squat twice a week and its helped tremendously.

You cant rush progress. If it takes me years then whatever, just keep pushing and working. It took me years to get this weak, Im alright with it taking 5-10 to get strong if thats what it takes.
Link Posted: 9/8/2013 1:30:35 PM EDT
Let me make sure I'm getting this straight.
Deload to about 70% on all exercises for 2 week.
Comeback like a boss where I left off or maybe a little more or less
Link Posted: 9/8/2013 1:54:30 PM EDT
Do you feel burned out mentally?  Is going to the gym "a job" or are you excited to go?  Are you trying to find excuses to miss the gym?

My concern with SS has always been the fact that you squat 3 times a week.  That's great for new guys but it gets old quick.  Squatting is a mental effort as well as a physical effort.  It's supposed to be.  Squats make you a man.

There's a whole bunch of people doing SS and all doing something a bit different.  There's a whole 5/3/1 thread and all of us are doing something different.  The trick is finding what works for you.

It may be a deload at this point, it may be doing some heavy doubles and singles to "get your mind" used to heavier weights, it may be accessory work holding you back.  It may be combination of all 3.

You won't lose strength by deloading so it's probably a great start.  If you are thinking a deload sounds great right about now, then it's probably right.  If you are thinking that a deload sounds shitty because "screw those girly weights", then it might not be the answer.

70% or 60% or whatever it doesn't matter.  If you're going to deload then deload and don't do a bunch of accessory work because that's counter productive too.
Link Posted: 9/8/2013 2:38:15 PM EDT
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Quoted:
Do you feel burned out mentally?  Is going to the gym "a job" or are you excited to go?  Are you trying to find excuses to miss the gym?

My concern with SS has always been the fact that you squat 3 times a week.  That's great for new guys but it gets old quick.  Squatting is a mental effort as well as a physical effort.  It's supposed to be.  Squats make you a man.

There's a whole bunch of people doing SS and all doing something a bit different.  There's a whole 5/3/1 thread and all of us are doing something different.  The trick is finding what works for you.

It may be a deload at this point, it may be doing some heavy doubles and singles to "get your mind" used to heavier weights, it may be accessory work holding you back.  It may be combination of all 3.

You won't lose strength by deloading so it's probably a great start.  If you are thinking a deload sounds great right about now, then it's probably right.  If you are thinking that a deload sounds shitty because "screw those girly weights", then it might not be the answer.

70% or 60% or whatever it doesn't matter.  If you're going to deload then deload and don't do a bunch of accessory work because that's counter productive too.
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I don't feel burnt out mentally.  Honestly I look forward to going to the gym.  I actually get my shit done at work faster so I can get there sooner.  
I think it's more of a recovery thing than anything.  I can hit my 3x5 set but on that last rep i have to really force it up.  Vein popping out of my forehead force it up.
I think a deload for a few weeks might be in order.  I also think I'm going to start doing lighter front squats on my second day of the week.  

Link Posted: 9/9/2013 8:46:53 AM EDT
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Quoted:
Let me make sure I'm getting this straight.
Deload to about 70% on all exercises for 2 week.
Comeback like a boss where I left off or maybe a little more or less
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Pretty much.  I wouldn't lift at 70% more than three times in that time frame.  Add in the easy front squats on other days (up to 3 days).  I am not sure how many reps your doing total with all the other exercises but I would cut the total reps down 20%.
Link Posted: 9/9/2013 5:11:46 PM EDT
So I went into the gym today ready to deload.  I was getting ready to do a nice light set of front squats with 135lbs.  It felt like a really nice warm up.  One of they guys that shows up about the same time I do starts with his routine doing squats on Monday and we usually end up working in and bullshitting a little.  
"Front squats today huh?"
"ya,  I've been sore as hell and feel stuck so I'm going to take it easy for a few weeks."
"probably a good idea.  Do you mind if I work in?"
"Sure man, let's get you set up.  How much are you throwing on?"
"Oh I don't know.....maybe......235."
"235....okay, I will load up this side. ( you have got to be kidding me
he does a quick set of 5 and asks me if I want to go back down to 135 for my front squat.
"No thanks man I was just getting warmed up."
"Didn't you just say you were taking it easy?"
"I have no idea what you are talking about."

Eventually I just knocked out 3x5 235
It really wasn't that bad.
I really was planning on deloading but I just couldn't, not yet
Link Posted: 9/9/2013 5:21:06 PM EDT
So you made your goal weight 3x5?  What do you mean eventually?
You didn't mention anything about being sore before either.

Mental strength.... it is powerful stuff.
Link Posted: 9/9/2013 6:03:32 PM EDT
I just wanted to get past a 3x5 set of 230
felt stuck.
when I said eventually I just meant after me and that other dude was done on the squat rack I finished My 3x5 set of 235
Link Posted: 9/9/2013 7:15:44 PM EDT
way to man up.








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