View Full Version : Embarassingly crappy squat strength

Dave Seng
11-20-2013, 09:16 AM
I've been going mad attempting to get my squat numbers up. I'm 35 years old, 6'3" and 220# and a current 1RM is 315#. My training PRs for the Snatch and C&J are 97kg and 107kg respectively, though I've not been able to successfully C&J more than 100kg recently. My coach, and others, that have seen me squat say that my form is spot on, but that my height and limb proportions are what are limiting me.

I joined this newly formed weightlifting club in April, and essentially self taught myself the Olympic Lifts over the previous year before that. Before that I was crossfitting for two years before and then becoming obsessed with the Olympic lifts. Before that I had had no idea what I could use a barbell for or what the Olympic lifts were.

Looking through my training log, in August of 2012 I tested my 1RM squat and hit 305#, then in Oct 2012 I hit 315#, and this frustrates me to no end. Another thing I note is that in August of 2012 I weighed 202#, so in a way, I'd say my strength has gone down? Is this just an age thing?

Over this period I've cut from 6 days a week, down to 3 days a week. Currently our coach has us wrapping up a second Smolov cycle. I think I eat pretty clean, i.e. I avoid processed food when possible, I eat rice, but no other grains, and a ton of meat like beef and eggs and veggies. The scale I use, which are deemed inaccurate, says my BF is 12%.

I feel like I'm putting in the work, I'm just not getting the results I'd expect. Is this kind of lull something to be expected?

Dave Seng
11-20-2013, 09:50 AM
Here are my lifts from a mock competition I did on Sept 7th '13.


Sorry, these are the only videos I have.

Andrew Kerwin
11-20-2013, 12:58 PM
I am no expert by any means but looking at your C&J (its a better angle to analyze), it looks like you have somewhat weak core strength. When you catch in your front squat, the positioning is pretty decent, but your chest collapses a little bit and your elbows come forward (obviously a common fault, especially for maximal attempts). Then if you look at your jerk, the same thing happens..although I didn't pay close attention to your arm placement, your chest comes forward when you dip, which to me is an indicator of a weak core. I'll go back and double check.

Dave Seng
11-20-2013, 01:09 PM
I do have issues keeping the chest up. I've also had a chiropractor tell me that I tend to hyper extend my thoracic spine, which isn't common. I've been told to do band pull aparts, and pile them on. Keeping the chest up, and keeping my rib cage down feel like two conflicting cues that I guess I'm trying to combine somehow. Information overload is probably also a problem. :D

Andrew Kerwin
11-20-2013, 06:37 PM
Just tell yourself one or two cues before you touch the bar man, don't over analyze things :)

Dave Seng
12-04-2013, 09:44 AM
I tested my squat last Saturday. This is a 1RM (325#) attempt.

Looks like I came up on my toes, didn't drive elbows down in the hole, but I made it. I lost sleep getting to this day.

Any other critiques would be appreciated.


Blake Barnes
12-05-2013, 07:09 AM
Your chest comes down a bit but squat maxes aren't going to look perfect. Looks solid for a PR. Good job.

Jason Denny
12-09-2013, 06:02 PM
I understand where you are coming from. I have "bird" legs. They were my weakest area. I hit a wall at 375lbs for a couple of years (of doing CrossFit) and decided that I needed to concentrate on strength. After a year of 5/3/1 and recently following Catalyst programming, my squat is 425+ and rising. It takes time to develop strength and everyone is different. Keep working at it and your weakness will be your strength.