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Joe Cloutier 10-14-2006 06:06 PM

Ok I've been having some really weird things happen to my squats and deadlifts lately. This summer I left to work as a counselor in a summer camp and basically had to stop working out for two months. Before leaving, my numbers were:

Bodyweight 150lbs @ around 11% bodyfat
Squat 205 lbs
Deadlift 190lbs

Coming back from the summer camp in september (can't remember too well, so see this as an approximation) the numbers were:

Bodyweight 150lbs @ a lower BDF (clearly defined six-pack, which I didn't have when I left)
Squat 175 lbs
Deadlift 205 lbs

Now I did not work out at all in the summer (actually 3-4 times, but not enough to make a difference). How is it possible that my body composition changed for the best while I simultaneously lost strenght on my squats and gained strenght on the deadlifts?

And there is more to the mystery. Approximately a month and a half back into training after camp, here are my current numbers:

Bodyweight 150lbs @ more than 10% BDF(no more six-pack)
Squat 205 lbs
Deadlift 315 lbs

These last numbers just don't add up. I don't understand how my deadlift bumped up so much in such little time while my squats seem to be stuck in a plateau.

My diet at camp was bad. It was low-end cafeteria food that would leave anybody with the least concern for health really mad. Now back at home I eat a healthy diet with whole foods, lots of proteins etc. but I know that at the moment I'm not eating enough. I'm probably averaging somewhere between 300-500kcal under my daily needs (rough approximation again, I haven't weighed my food for ages).

I'm 18, and the only sports I practice are parkour and weightlifting.

Thanks in advance for any input you might be able to give me!

Matthew Mackey 10-14-2006 07:16 PM


I'm fairly certain having a heavier deadlift than your squat is normal, so I wouldn't worry about that too too much.

As far as your squat progression, consider your sticking points in the movement--Eric Cressey wrote an article for T-Nation discussing body type and how it applies to squatting you might find useful ( Essentially, you should be considering movements beyond just squatting, single leg work, etc in order to shore up whatever weak points might be holding you back. Really there's all sorts of things that could be a limiting factor, so really try and consider all of the aspects that go into a successful heavy squat when looking for issues.

That's all I can think of, perhaps a more experienced lifter could offer better advice...

William Winger 10-14-2006 09:22 PM

I know Westside says very often that the best way to train the deadlift is to... not train the deadlift. Although that doesn't really apply in this case, since they simply train tons of assistance exercises.

I'm expecting you haven't been training their way... here's what it may be:

The training you've been doing for your deadlift is in fact de-training you. Perhaps you need to work on your form, you need to be more aggressive in upping the weight when you can handle it, or maybe you're training the deadlift too often, before your CNS recovers fully (so a full rest you're able to do more), etc.

Maybe these reasons don't stick with you, but I can't think of anything else. I'd be happy with that if I were you, 315 is a great pull at your weight!

Joe Cloutier 10-14-2006 10:06 PM

Thanks for that guys, I appreciate it.

Matthew, that was a very interesting article indeed. I'll try to follow the strategies explained there to get my squat back up to a respectable weight. I'm aiming for a solid 225 for reps by christmas if all goes well.

I'll bump up my calories again and make the effort to eat big once more. I've already gone through a few mass gain cycles à la bodybuilding (used to weigh 115-120 lbs!), but this time I'm doing it for strenght. My goals now have become to improve strenght as much as possible while keeping my weight as stable as possible, thus maximizing strenght/weight ratio.

So more calories, harder training (powerlifting rep schemes), and everything should get back in order. This squat plateau is really annoying me right now though :furious0:!

Ross Hunt 10-15-2006 08:13 AM

I hate to be the one to ask the obvious question, but: How often, and how heavy, are you squatting?

Joe Cloutier 10-15-2006 09:31 AM

Lately I've been squatting twice a week at around 185-190 (depending on how I feel) for 4 sets of 5. Haven't really been able to up the weights past this 190 barrier for reps though.

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