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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 07-14-2009, 10:06 AM   #1
Steven Webster
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My 20 rep squat gripe!

As part of my routine I often venture into 20+ rep territory. I do both low bar from a box and Olympic squats.

The other day I finished off my squat workout with 20 reps of low bar squats and came to some conclusions. In the low bar position my torso is forced forward slightly so there is constant isometric tension on the lower back muscles, obviously. For some reason breathing tends also to be harder doing high rep low bar squats.

I could have continued the set but the weight on my back was getting pretty unbearable, and I thought 'what's the point of putting myself through this stress. I guess if the aim is to make my back bulletproof then it's a good option. They are just too uncomfortable, and more uncomfortable in a different way than olympic style 20 rep squats.

But, if my aim is to work the 'lower half' of my body, I thought it's probably best to take the weight off my back for a few seconds then, go for some more strength endurance work.

The worst part about this exercise is having to pace yourself, because most of the time is spent standing there, and it's really hard not to think during this time. Rushing the set is pure suicide with any significant weight. Personally, if I'm standing there I prefer standing up straight, although I'm sure the low bar sets will further condition me and compliment Olympic style sets.
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Old 07-14-2009, 03:09 PM   #2
John Seiler
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Re: My 20 rep squat gripe!

Just 'pop' the bar up further on your shoulders as you finish your rep. When you've taken your breaths let it roll back to your low position. Works for me.
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Old 07-14-2009, 09:38 PM   #3
Thomas Green
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Re: My 20 rep squat gripe!

Are you doing 20 reps off the box?
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Old 07-14-2009, 11:11 PM   #4
Steven Webster
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Re: My 20 rep squat gripe!

I have tried popping the bar further up once or twice with olympic squats but it didn't seem to relieve the discomfort. With low bar I can only see it causing additional isometric tension on the lower back.

I do touch and go off the box partly to reinforce my depth, but also if I want a more difficult rep I can sit more fully. I don't use a box when using an Olympic style. I'll probably get around to doing reps without a box at some point.
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Old 07-15-2009, 09:40 AM   #5
Jacob Cloud
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Re: My 20 rep squat gripe!

Good 20 reppers are gonna be pretty uncomfortable no matter what

My biggest gripe is that the bar starts slipping down my back to an extremely low position. No bueno. I need bigger back muscles to hold the dang bar, obviously.
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Old 07-15-2009, 01:55 PM   #6
Jason Peacock
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Re: My 20 rep squat gripe!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Webster View Post
I guess if the aim is to make my back bulletproof then it's a good option. They are just too uncomfortable, and more uncomfortable in a different way than olympic style 20 rep squats.

But, if my aim is to work the 'lower half' of my body, I thought it's probably best to take the weight off my back for a few seconds then, go for some more strength endurance work.
Here's the problem - you're trying to use squats for isolation training. Squats are not leg exercises, they're full body exercises. Legs, back, core, hips, etc.

What this is telling me is that your back is the weakest part of your squat (which is normal) and that until it gets stronger that will be the limiting factor of your workouts. There's nothing wrong with this, other than you're trying to focus on a 'leg workout' but using a fully body movement.

I have the same experience in my deadlifts/squats - my back will be weakest & limiting factor for a while, then it gets stronger and my legs are the weakest and limiting factor. Repeat forever, but I'm still getting stronger each lift!

You need to either change your focus, or change your movement

Also, ditch the box. It's good for warmups maybe and learning how deep you need to go, but really you should always be going as deep as you can.

p.s. try a 15-20RM set of overhead squats and I can assure you that you won't be complaining about your back...
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