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  1. Angry-Monkey is offline

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    Posted On:
    8/09/2008 11:06am

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    squatting epiphany from a beginner

    So I started lifting consistently about 5-6 months ago after about a year and a half of sporadic visits to the gym. I got a lot of good advice here and I just wanted to share a recent experience with everyone.

    I read "New rules of lifting" a few months ago and it really changed my outlook, I've been sticking mainly to barbell exercises and weighted pullups and dips and I recently started Stronglift's 5x5.

    Unfortunately I really took one of the "New Rules" very seriously and was adding weight to my squats every session. When I was squatting my bodyweight (~160lbs) I was getting down to parrallel but as I gradually increased weight I was also gradually losing ROM. I ignored this as I was becoming obsessed with increasing my working weight every time I worked out so that two weeks ago I was "squatting" 230lbs but probably only doing half squats. In my mind I knew I was cheating but my ego was not letting me drop the weight to get proper ROM.

    Yesterday I finally cracked and during my warm up sets I told myself that I was going to do ass-to-grass until it became too difficult and then stick to that weight for my work sets. At 205lbs I felt that I couldn't go any heavier without comprimising ROM so I took my rest and started my 5x5. It was incredible. I've never had such a tough and fulfilling squat workout in my life. The usually only go all the way down with an empty bar. Even in my warm up sets I would just go to parrallel, this is my first time doing working sets ass-to-grass and my legs felt like complete jelly afterwards, awesome!

    So moral of the story (which really should have been obvious to me before I tried it): Full ROM squats at 205 lbs >>> half squats at 230 lbs.

    I think the strain and exertion from such a tough squat workout messed with my head because I was supposed to do 1x5 deadlifts afterwards with 255 lbs but I screwed up the mental math and ended up doing 265 lbs, a new PR by 15 lbs!

    Thanks again for your help everyone.
    Last edited by Angry-Monkey; 8/09/2008 11:08am at .
  2. Emevas is offline
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    Posted On:
    8/09/2008 11:48am

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    There's nothing wrong with parallel squatting, and half/quarter squatting, as long as you know how and when to apply it. Everything has an application, you just got to know how/when to apply it.

    That being said, ego is always a tough variable in lifting. Bands and chains can also help in that regard. By starting a lift over with bands/chains as opposed to straight bar weight, your mind doesn't know what it's "supposed" to be lifting, and you just start over focusing on better form.
    "Emevas,
    You're a scrapper, I like that."-Ronin69
  3. Sakmongkol is offline

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    Posted On:
    8/09/2008 4:24pm


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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    When would you reccomend a partial ROM on squats Emevas?

    When I started my flexibility only allowed me to go just below parrallel. Now I'm a little deeper as my flebility has improved. I find deeper squats give such a punishing workout to the core, posterior chain and quads that I can't really see why quad dominant quarter squats would ever be useful?

    Also Band squats absolutely destroyed me. It felt fine as I was coming out the hole but as I'm rising it literally owned my core when the resistance increased. They were a great workout but I think I would struggle to implement them with any regularity.
    Last edited by Sakmongkol; 8/09/2008 4:29pm at .
  4. SuperGuido is offline
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    Posted On:
    8/09/2008 4:39pm


     Style: BJJ

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Slight tangent.

    I've been working on squatting per Rippetoe's guidelines, but I was using a Smith Machine since I have some stabilizer issues in my lower extremities.

    Another gym rat tried to help me out, as apparently my form was screwed up (too much weight on my toes, not enough on my heels). I took his advice, did a deep squat, then felt something pop in my calf. **** hurt for several weeks.

    Now I stay off the Smith Machine, lower my weight, and I'm sticking to bench squats until I'm confident that my stabilizers can handle a deep squat.

    Wow, that wasn't useful to you at all.
    Quote Originally Posted by Exodus
    Helio was submitted by Kimura
  5. Emevas is offline
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    Posted On:
    8/09/2008 7:20pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sakmongkol
    When would you reccomend a partial ROM on squats Emevas?

    When I started my flexibility only allowed me to go just below parrallel. Now I'm a little deeper as my flebility has improved. I find deeper squats give such a punishing workout to the core, posterior chain and quads that I can't really see why quad dominant quarter squats would ever be useful?

    Also Band squats absolutely destroyed me. It felt fine as I was coming out the hole but as I'm rising it literally owned my core when the resistance increased. They were a great workout but I think I would struggle to implement them with any regularity.
    I'd reccommend a partial ROM squat when one desires to develop strength from the top portion of the squat, or when one is following a rack progression routine ala Paul Anderson.

    You gotta keep in mind that you're supposed to use a lot more weight when you reduce the ROM of the squat, which is the whole benefit of a reduced ROM. Lockout work will really develop core strength and help overload your body.
    "Emevas,
    You're a scrapper, I like that."-Ronin69
  6. Sakmongkol is offline

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    Posted On:
    8/10/2008 12:53pm


     Style: Muay Thai

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    Quote Originally Posted by Emevas
    I'd reccommend a partial ROM squat when one desires to develop strength from the top portion of the squat, or when one is following a rack progression routine ala Paul Anderson.

    You gotta keep in mind that you're supposed to use a lot more weight when you reduce the ROM of the squat, which is the whole benefit of a reduced ROM. Lockout work will really develop core strength and help overload your body.
    I've heard this being said before but about using gear when lifting.

    I.e. squatting shorts and bench shirts. They help on the sections where the lifts at its hardest i.e. the bottom portion but since they offer no assistance at the top they help develope core strength and help "overload" the body at lockout. It also helps you get used to the "feel" of supporting vastly heavier weights. Its the only time I've ever considered gear to have any use.

    I guess all these things, partial ROM and lifting gear are only useful for an advanced lifter though. When it all falls down is when novices are replicating this.
  7. TheRuss is offline
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    Posted On:
    8/10/2008 3:04pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Sakmongkol
    I guess all these things, partial ROM and lifting gear are only useful for an advanced lifter though.
    "Lifting gear" (read: bench shirts, squat suits, and deadlift suits) is only useful for people who plan to participate in equipped powerlifting competitions, end of story.
    Last edited by TheRuss; 8/10/2008 3:13pm at .
  8. Angry-Monkey is offline

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    Posted On:
    8/10/2008 10:12pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Emevas
    There's nothing wrong with parallel squatting, and half/quarter squatting, as long as you know how and when to apply it. Everything has an application, you just got to know how/when to apply it.

    That being said, ego is always a tough variable in lifting. Bands and chains can also help in that regard. By starting a lift over with bands/chains as opposed to straight bar weight, your mind doesn't know what it's "supposed" to be lifting, and you just start over focusing on better form.

    Problem was that I wasn't trying to do half squats, I was just getting so obsessed with "progress".

    I'll second that about the core thing that was mentioned. I've always known that my core was being engaged but I could really feel it at the bottom of the full ROM squat, my stomach was really tight and was burning afterward. I've never felt that before from a squat workout.
  9. Emevas is offline
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    Posted On:
    8/11/2008 3:04pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheRuss
    "Lifting gear" (read: bench shirts, squat suits, and deadlift suits) is only useful for people who plan to participate in equipped powerlifting competitions, end of story.
    Ummm...says who? Who ended this story.

    And the moral of my story was not that partial lifting is only for advanced athletes. I don't quite know how this became a discussion on lifting gear, but partial lifts are still useful for a beginner. Ultimately tough, beginners need to get rid of this "black and white" notion of training that they can only do one style of squatting their whole career and that once they pick a style of squatting you can never, ever go back to anything else. Rotate lifts in and out of your routine and have a specific purpose for your lifting and you'll make a lot more progress than if you spend time trying to find the one "perfect" exercise.

    It's funny, because the lifting culture used to be about changing movements only for the sake of changing movements, and that was pretty foolish. Now, it's about never changing movements, and sticking with one movement forever, which is also kind of foolish.
    "Emevas,
    You're a scrapper, I like that."-Ronin69
  10. TheRuss is offline
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    Posted On:
    8/11/2008 5:29pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Emevas
    Ummm...says who? Who ended this story.
    The same guy who posted it - me. Of course, if you have some novel form of training that can justify the expense and risk of a bench shirt, squat suit or deadlift suit for someone who does not intend to compete in an equipped powerlifting competition, I'm all ears.

    Edit: For anyone who has no idea what bench shirts, etc. are, Josh Levin has a decent primer on Slate.
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