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Old 06-06-2012, 01:31 PM   #1
Will Feber
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Squat Form Check - How much should I push it?

Doing GSLP and in the last workout the last squat set was quite tough. Last rep felt like I'm losing form and might not get the weight up. Wonder how much I should push it, obviously the reps should be hard, but to which extend? When is it too dangerous?

I'm also asking because my lower back has been feeling a bit tight after squatting.. not terribly painful or anything, but I still feel it a bit the next day.

Here is a video of the above mentioned set:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKXwDaBF6-0

(Funny how it doesn't look like much of struggle. But like I said, really kinda panicked and felt like I couldn't make the last rep safely)
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Old 06-06-2012, 01:54 PM   #2
Robert Fabsik
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Re: Squat Form Check - How much should I push it?

Use form as your primary guidance. If the reps were still good stick with them. Those all looked clean enough that I wouldn't stop.

Pain, not strain, would be another reason to stop.

Strain with good form means you are in a tough part of your cycle and hopefully you'll get stronger because of it.
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Old 06-06-2012, 02:48 PM   #3
Eric Montgomery
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Re: Squat Form Check - How much should I push it?

I think you had another rep or two in you if you hadn't given up on the set. When you start spending 5 seconds grinding out reps, then you'll know you're close to failure. Sets typically feel worse than they are--I know plenty of times I've felt like I struggled for 10 seconds on a rep, then when I look at the video it's more like 2 seconds.

There's nothing wrong with straining provided your form doesn't fall apart, which isn't the case here.

Next-day lower back pain is a different story--like K-Star says, look upstream and downstream. Hamstring, glute, or thoracic mobility could be the issue.
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Old 06-06-2012, 03:52 PM   #4
Dustin Wintczak
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Re: Squat Form Check - How much should I push it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Montgomery View Post
I think you had another rep or two in you if you hadn't given up on the set. When you start spending 5 seconds grinding out reps, then you'll know you're close to failure. Sets typically feel worse than they are--I know plenty of times I've felt like I struggled for 10 seconds on a rep, then when I look at the video it's more like 2 seconds.

There's nothing wrong with straining provided your form doesn't fall apart, which isn't the case here.

Next-day lower back pain is a different story--like K-Star says, look upstream and downstream. Hamstring, glute, or thoracic mobility could be the issue.
This. We just got through 20-rep max squat cycle. We tested once a week with heaviest weight possible for 20 reps. For me, it was a great way to learn where your limit truly is. I can tell you that nearly every week I would think the same thing on about rep 8 or 9. "F-me how am I going to make it through another 10 or 11 reps". It always feels worse than it actually is.
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Old 06-07-2012, 09:42 AM   #5
Will Feber
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Re: Squat Form Check - How much should I push it?

Thanks, guys. You are totally right that it feels like much more of a grind than it actually is when you look at the video.

Maybe I should "practice" lowering the bar to the squat rack handles 2 or 3 times, just to feel comfortable with having to do that, when I feel form completely breaks down or really can't get the bar up anymore.

I definitely have a bit of "butt-wink". Big mobility issue, especially with my hamstrings. Working on it though. You don't think that in combination with a tight lower back after squatting is a cause for concern though?
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Old 06-07-2012, 09:50 AM   #6
Will Feber
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Re: Squat Form Check - How much should I push it?

In other news.. Finally convinced the gym I go to to allow me to use liquid chalk. The difference when deadlifting was like night and day. Insane.
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Old 06-07-2012, 09:59 AM   #7
Eric Montgomery
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Re: Squat Form Check - How much should I push it?

Don't worry about the butt wink boogeyman, give this a look (WFS). It's very unlikely that whatever you see on that video (I don't see anything unusual, really) is leading to back pain. It's probably just general hamstring mobility.

If you need to dump the bar onto the rack like that all you need to do is pop your hips forward to put you on your knees and shrug the bar back off your shoulders. But yeah, you probably want to make sure you know how to do it with something less than your 5RM first.
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Old 06-17-2012, 03:37 AM   #8
Will Feber
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Re: Squat Form Check - How much should I push it?

Finally bought a belt and it makes a big difference. I just keep adding weight to the bar each workout. The belt really helps me to stay tight, especially when grinding out reps. Latest workout:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGmXjwu2uSE

Also finally convinced the gym owner that it's okay to use chalk. Also a difference like night and day. Last workout without chalk was 5x130kg, where I really struggled with the grip. Then with chalk 8x135 and now 9x140kg.

The only bad thing right now is that some people in the gym annoy the hell out of me. Happened several times that I walked out of the squat rack and somebody almost walked into me, because he was too distracted talking to his buddies. I wish I would be at a gym where there are other people I could look up to in terms of lifting. I've yet to see somebody do heavy squats with proper depth. Sometimes I see a big dude walk up to the squat rack, wearing a belt.. only to see him do less than quarter squats, with his knees falling in.. I've also never seen anybody deadlift more than their bodyweight. Unfortunately this gym is my only option, only one with a squat rack in the area.
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Old 06-17-2012, 11:23 AM   #9
Eric Montgomery
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Re: Squat Form Check - How much should I push it?

Looks pretty good. Was that a set of 5 or your 5+ set?
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Old 06-17-2012, 12:44 PM   #10
Will Feber
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Re: Squat Form Check - How much should I push it?

Was the set of 5. Did 7 reps with 125kg in the final set. Probably could have done 8, but when I finished the 7th rep, people where running around the squat rack again, got distracted and somehow didn't stay tight.. and then decided to play it safe.
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