Newbie squat form check after 10% reset Newbie squat form check after 10% reset

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Thread: Newbie squat form check after 10% reset

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Unhappy Newbie squat form check after 10% reset

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    Front view 11/21/22 squats 225x5 front - YouTube

    Rear view 11/21/22 squats 225x5 rear - YouTube

    Thanks for taking the time to look at these. I've never had coaching and have most likely picked up bad habits from learning on my own.

    I've been running the NLP for about 7 weeks and just reset my squat 10% back to 215 because of missing reps with 240 three workouts in a row.

    All of my recovery seems to be in order (see below) and I find it hard to believe I'm legitimately stalling out this early, so I'm wondering if it's just a form issue instead.

    Some stats:
    35 year old male
    5'11"
    171 lbs (started NLP at 155)
    4500 calories and 250g protein per day
    Sleeping ~8 hours each night
    Resting 10 minutes between squats (tracked with a timer)
    Made 10 jumps from 135-->185, then reduced and have been using 5 lbs from 185 --> 240

    Due to life circumstances, I wasn't able to eat enough for the first week or so of training. I didn't started gaining weight until I was able to start eating appropriately in the second week. I've been aiming for 10 lbs/month, about 2-3 lbs/week. This seems to be in line with the advice given in The Barbell Prescription which talks about not being able to use as many calories as we get older. Granted I'm only 35, but still.

    Am I just being a pansy with the heavier weights?

  2. #2
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    You are leading with your chest too quickly on the ascent. At the beginning of your squat, think "Reach your butt back, lean over and shove those knees out simultaneously, then drive up hard with those hips!"

    Hope this helps!

  3. #3
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    Those knees?? Those hips?? CrossFit talk.

  4. #4
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    One of the issues I noticed when failing with 240 was that my hips would shoot up before my chest out of the bottom, turning it into a good morning on the way up. I think maybe I was thinking about hip drive and the "chain" pulling my hips up TOO much.

    I've been trying to focus on keeping my torso locked at the appropriate angle once it's set, and part of that is thinking "chest up" on the ascent. Not to the point where it's leading before the hips, but just so that it doesn't collapse over.

    PS the foam roller is in place of a TUBOW to check knee travel.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Casey Trop View Post
    One of the issues I noticed when failing with 240 was that my hips would shoot up before my chest out of the bottom, turning it into a good morning on the way up. I think maybe I was thinking about hip drive and the "chain" pulling my hips up TOO much.

    I've been trying to focus on keeping my torso locked at the appropriate angle once it's set, and part of that is thinking "chest up" on the ascent. Not to the point where it's leading before the hips, but just so that it doesn't collapse over.

    PS the foam roller is in place of a TUBOW to check knee travel.
    Casey - pick the middle. Yes, the drive comes from your hips, but try to visualize the center of your belt being the point that rises. But you must do this without changing your lumbar extension. Once you get that visualization down, you'll notice that both your hips and chest maintain the same angle on the ascent. Only once your knees reach almost full extension should you even think about what your chest is doing, although at that point you already know what to do.

  6. #6
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    A few things:

    1. Your elbows are high. If you haven't had issues with elbow pain yet, you are lucky. Bring the elbows down.
    2. Bar placement is questionable - could be high but I can't tell by the video. If it is high, that might explain the "good morning" feeling when you did 240.
    3. As mentioned above - set your knees and bend over early. Point your nipples at the floor, etc.
    4. Thank you for the front view: Your feet are at around 15 degrees out. They need to be at about 30 degrees out. Also, you need to slam your knees out over your toes on the way down and keep them out. Your knees cave in on the way up. Watch this video and do the drill between 0:50 and 2 minutes. Learning to Squat | The Starting Strength Method - YouTube
    5. Your lack of weight is a problem, yes. Are you doing other things outside of the NLP? Running/etc? If so, I'd limit those things if you want to make progress/gain weight faster.

  7. #7
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    Thank you all for the replies, you're awesome!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Anders View Post
    Casey - pick the middle. Yes, the drive comes from your hips, but try to visualize the center of your belt being the point that rises. But you must do this without changing your lumbar extension. Once you get that visualization down, you'll notice that both your hips and chest maintain the same angle on the ascent. Only once your knees reach almost full extension should you even think about what your chest is doing, although at that point you already know what to do.
    I'll try that today and post some new videos. In my last session I also tried to lean over a bit more and it felt quite a bit different, but I don't know if it was too much.

    Quote Originally Posted by amilner View Post
    A few things:

    1. Your elbows are high. If you haven't had issues with elbow pain yet, you are lucky. Bring the elbows down.
    2. Bar placement is questionable - could be high but I can't tell by the video. If it is high, that might explain the "good morning" feeling when you did 240.
    3. As mentioned above - set your knees and bend over early. Point your nipples at the floor, etc.
    4. Thank you for the front view: Your feet are at around 15 degrees out. They need to be at about 30 degrees out. Also, you need to slam your knees out over your toes on the way down and keep them out. Your knees cave in on the way up. Watch this video and do the drill between 0:50 and 2 minutes. Learning to Squat | The Starting Strength Method - YouTube
    5. Your lack of weight is a problem, yes. Are you doing other things outside of the NLP? Running/etc? If so, I'd limit those things if you want to make progress/gain weight faster.
    Thank you so much for the detailed response!

    1. I know my grip is not ideal and not what's recommended in the book. I actually recently experimented with bringing my hands in and trying to get the elbows down. I managed to get my index finger about an inch from the center knurl with a thumb-over grip and my elbows were much lower than they are now, but it was incredibly uncomfortable. Not the normal "getting stretched into a new position" uncomfortable, but legit pain. After a few workouts I started developing really bad pain in my shoulders, lower biceps, elbows, and upper forearms. It kept getting worse and worse the more I squatted with that grip, to the point where I could barely lift my arms after a set.

    Since this seems to be a common issue, I read every forum post and article and watched every SS Youtube video I could find on the subject. For about 3 weeks, I tried various things I saw recommended: using a thumb-under grip, widening the grip slightly, ensuring the wrists were straight, the Horn stretch, you name it. The things I saw working for other people just didn't seem to work for me. Not that I'm a special snowflake...I was probably still doing something incorrectly. But in the absence of having someone able to in-person correct me, I've been squatting with my normal, wider grip the past few workouts. The pain has almost disappeared. I know it's not ideal, but I haven't noticed the bar sliding around on my back, and most importantly, I can keep squatting pain-free.

    2. Yeah I'm still not 100% I have it placed correctly either. I'm following the guidance to put it below the spine of the scapula, but it's hard to tell for sure without someone else looking in-person.

    3. I tried leaning over more on my last session and it felt quite different. I'll try it again today and post some videos.

    4. Seems like no matter how much I focus on keeping the knees out, they inevitably cave once the weight gets heavier! I don't have a problem keeping them out with warmup weights, though. Is that just weakness or is that somewhat expected with working weights?

    5. The only other "exercise" I get outside of lifting is walking every day, 1-1.5 miles with a 20 lb weight vest. I do stay fairly active otherwise and try to move around as much as possible by doing house/yard work when I'm home. My goal is 10 lbs/month until I'm around 230, then reassess from there (which will probably be when my NLP is over anyway). I have no aversion to gaining bodyfat and I know it does help you lift more to some extent, I just don't want to go crazy and turn into a slob (like I did the last time I got up to 230!)

  8. #8
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    As mentioned the biggest (and most dangerous) is your knees are buckling. When this happens with me I will usually deload on the next day's sets and try to find the point where my knees don't buckle because it implies a weakness in gluteal strength. If you think physically what is happening with your tendons and legs your knees bow because the bow-shape is generally capable of holding more weight due to the force distribution. You can tell this lack of gluteal strength is likely the reason because it becomes more pronounced (you actually do it at the bottom and the top of one of the reps) as the reps increase.

    You're also falling forward (hips are going backwards). This could imply a general lack of core strength. Have you tried lifting without a belt? 225 is not a whole lot of weight on your frame. You should be able to do it without a belt. It may make it more obvious the core is the problem.


    If I had to guess you're actually squatting less than 225 for reps. Maybe 20 pounds less. Give 205 a shot and form check to be sure you can do it without rocking back with your hips or bowing your knees. Then experiment with adding more weight until you reach the bowing point, and dial it back.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by j410s View Post
    As mentioned the biggest (and most dangerous) is your knees are buckling. When this happens with me I will usually deload on the next day's sets and try to find the point where my knees don't buckle because it implies a weakness in gluteal strength. If you think physically what is happening with your tendons and legs your knees bow because the bow-shape is generally capable of holding more weight due to the force distribution. You can tell this lack of gluteal strength is likely the reason because it becomes more pronounced (you actually do it at the bottom and the top of one of the reps) as the reps increase.

    You're also falling forward (hips are going backwards). This could imply a general lack of core strength. Have you tried lifting without a belt? 225 is not a whole lot of weight on your frame. You should be able to do it without a belt. It may make it more obvious the core is the problem.


    If I had to guess you're actually squatting less than 225 for reps. Maybe 20 pounds less. Give 205 a shot and form check to be sure you can do it without rocking back with your hips or bowing your knees. Then experiment with adding more weight until you reach the bowing point, and dial it back.
    This is all complete bullshit. The bow-shape? The fucking "core"? You're making this up as you go, when we've already made it up for you.

    Casey, look at what happens between rep 2 and 3. Look at your chest, and what it does to your knees. Note the change in bar speed. See what you're doing? If you lift your chest, hamstring tension drops, and the load goes to the quads and adductors. As we've said many times, stay in your hips. Stay In Your Hips. If you drive through the middle with the same back angle, the speed doesn't drop and knees don't cave.

  10. #10
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    starting strength coach development program
    Quote Originally Posted by Casey Trop View Post
    Front view 11/21/22 squats 225x5 front - YouTube

    Rear view 11/21/22 squats 225x5 rear - YouTube

    Thanks for taking the time to look at these. I've never had coaching and have most likely picked up bad habits from learning on my own.

    I've been running the NLP for about 7 weeks and just reset my squat 10% back to 215 because of missing reps with 240 three workouts in a row.

    All of my recovery seems to be in order (see below) and I find it hard to believe I'm legitimately stalling out this early, so I'm wondering if it's just a form issue instead.

    Some stats:
    35 year old male
    5'11"
    171 lbs (started NLP at 155)
    4500 calories and 250g protein per day
    Sleeping ~8 hours each night
    Resting 10 minutes between squats (tracked with a timer)
    Made 10 jumps from 135-->185, then reduced and have been using 5 lbs from 185 --> 240

    Due to life circumstances, I wasn't able to eat enough for the first week or so of training. I didn't started gaining weight until I was able to start eating appropriately in the second week. I've been aiming for 10 lbs/month, about 2-3 lbs/week. This seems to be in line with the advice given in The Barbell Prescription which talks about not being able to use as many calories as we get older. Granted I'm only 35, but still.

    Am I just being a pansy with the heavier weights?
    Rip gave you all the technical advice you need.
    My advice is, get a 3 inch belt and gain 40lbs as quickly as you can. If you are actually eating 4500kcal a day and only doing the NLP we should see you gain 20lbs in the next 4 weeks, at least. If you are not, eat 5000kcal

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