Problems with the squat Problems with the squat

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Thread: Problems with the squat

  1. #1
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    Default Problems with the squat

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    Hello everyone, I am a 200lb 6'3" - 6'4" 19 year old man and have been doing the novice linear progression while eating in a deficit (I am about 20% bodyfat give or take), my current lifts (3x5 and 1x5 for deads) are Squat 270, Deadlift 360, Bench 175, OHP 125. Progression on my presses is becoming a slog and I expect this while I'm in a deficit as I'm aware that presses are extremely sensitive to bodyweight, however my deads are still going up at 10lb and my squat at 5lb. I know that I need to gain weight and I will, I intend to eventually finish the NLP at 250+, I just want to lose more bodyfat before I fully commit to the eating. I used to be 260ish fat. I think given my current bodyweight that I will be able to milk the hell out of the NLP and get a 4 plate+ squat.

    Since I'm in a deficit the squats are getting difficult and it feels like they are progressing through shear willpower, every set feels like a 5rm but I somehow still do them. I recently got a soreness in my shoulder after a squat workout that was very bad at first and slowly got better over the course of a week or 10 or so days and I stopped lifting because it would exaggerate it. I deloaded and worked back up to 270 squats and the same shoulder pain is rearing its head again. I know this is a broad question, so I will provide some detail. I know uploading a form check video and posting in the other forum would be ideal though I don't have the means to do that right now.

    The shoulder pain is on my right side only, it is a soreness and not a sharp pain. Most of the time I can't feel it day to day, I only feel it when I stand and retract my arm into the squat position as if I am re-enacting the squat without the bar on my back. When I squat it gets worse. Bench aggravates it a little bit. I have widened my grip and it still happens, I go thumbless grip. The level that I have the hooks set at is such that I need to go ever so slightly onto my toes to re-rack the bar which I am aware is dangerous and not ideal (maybe when I'm re-racking it I'm also pushing the bar upward with my shoulder?), but if I drop the hooks one more level it feels way to low to me. I believe my bar position is correct, just below what I am quite sure is the spine of the scapula.

    If anyone has some advice for me in dealing with this I would greatly appreciate it as this is hindering my training. Apologies if this is the wrong forum to post it on I only chose this one because I didn't have a video to submit with the question.

  2. #2
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    What do you want us to tell you?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by RealGlass View Post
    Hello everyone, I am a 200lb 6'3" - 6'4" 19 year old man and have been doing the novice linear progression while eating in a deficit (I am about 20% bodyfat give or take)
    Don't do starting strength in a deficit at 20% bodyfat. I don't even know how you're measuring bf%, but for your height you are very light, extremely light when put in the perspective of people who pursue strength. People who can get away with the LP in a deficit are people with something more like 30%+ bodyfat. They have a shitload of reserves to call on and the body doesn't freak out and not want to build muscle when those reserves start getting used. At your weight and height, you should be absolutely looking to gain, which means surplus, not deficit.

    As for the shoulder thing, that's probably gonna take a form check or possibly even in-person coaching to evaluate.

  4. #4
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    Running NLP in a deficit is a waste of time unless you're morbidly obese. Which you're not. When do you plan to get to 250 if not now? Add at least a 100 lbs to all your lifts and work on adding 50lbs to your frame, and you can diet down after that. And it will be a lot easier to do with more muscle mass.

    As to your shoulder we can't see it from here so it's pointless to give advice without a diagnosis.

  5. #5
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    Youíre right, itís hard to answer this question without more detail. Was just wondering if anyone has had experience with similar shoulder pain, or if someone knew what would be the cause of pain like this

  6. #6
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    Measuring my bodyfat by eyeballing it, though I had a scan a few months back that I don't think was accurate and it came back at 24%. Either way i've got a belly etc. I wanted to get the weight loss done because I was about 260 and cut down from there, its not body dysmorphia I know I am under-muscled but I am also carrying extra fat I don't want to exacerbate. If I'm still adding weight to my squat and deadlift consistently in a deficit why change it for now? Ive got no issues eating when I let myself it's just that I'm 19 and want to live a bit without worrying about my belly and fat bouncing around. And I also read that the body builds muscle more efficiently at lower bodyfats, as in the muscle : fat ratio is better.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by RealGlass View Post
    The level that I have the hooks set at is such that I need to go ever so slightly onto my toes to re-rack the bar which I am aware is dangerous and not ideal (maybe when I'm re-racking it I'm also pushing the bar upward with my shoulder?), but if I drop the hooks one more level it feels way to low to me.
    RG, this is not so good and you're putting yourself in a vulnerable position after, as you describe, very heavy sets of 5. Does that rack offer any other style of J hook that maybe would use the same hole, but would put the bar a little lower? Or are there other racks available to try? You want the bar roughly at sternum level so youíre using a little hip and a little knee flexion to unrack the bar - like a mini squat. Needing to tiptoe the bar up to the hooks is a liability that you donít want to endure after a tough set of squats. Good thing youíre aware of this issue.

    Per your shoulder pain, more information is needed. Are you sure itís from the squat itself or could it be a form issue on one of the pressing movements?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by RealGlass View Post
    You’re right, it’s hard to answer this question without more detail. Was just wondering if anyone has had experience with similar shoulder pain, or if someone knew what would be the cause of pain like this
    Where in the shoulder does it hurt exactly? What does it feel like? Is something getting compressed? Is something getting stretched? Is it deep in the joint? Is it somewhere in the muscle or tendons? That's the kind of stuff that's needed to even have a chance of someone over the internet even being able to identify what's going on.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by RealGlass View Post
    And I also read that the body builds muscle more efficiently at lower bodyfats, as in the muscle : fat ratio is better.
    Instead, read this: A Clarification | Mark Rippetoe

  10. #10
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    Dec 2021
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    Quote Originally Posted by BareSteel View Post
    RG, this is not so good and you're putting yourself in a vulnerable position after, as you describe, very heavy sets of 5. Does that rack offer any other style of J hook that maybe would use the same hole, but would put the bar a little lower? Or are there other racks available to try? You want the bar roughly at sternum level so you’re using a little hip and a little knee flexion to unrack the bar - like a mini squat. Needing to tiptoe the bar up to the hooks is a liability that you don’t want to endure after a tough set of squats. Good thing you’re aware of this issue.
    Low hooks mean you have to do a little more of a minimally partial squat to unrack the bar. High hooks mean you risk injury, catastrophe, embarrassment, inconvenience, and injury. (Yes, I meant to repeat that one.)

    Always opt for a little low for the hooks.

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