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Black Widow

advice on squats...

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Hey guys,

 

I know this is stupid, and i've tried reading but i just want peoples opinions...

 

i squat using a smith machine simply for me to be able to maintain balance etc..and i don't know whether it is entirely causing my issue here or not but i'll ask.

 

When i'm attempting to start my squat, and lift the weights, i struggle, like i feel like i'm not going to be able to increase my squat any more than i have simply because i can't lift it (i can squat it no problems), and the other night i struggled so much, and even while having the weights rested to begin my squat, i was struggling. My upper back/arms/wrists all felt really fragile.

 

Now i don't know whether, because when using a smith machine, i have to unhook the weights to be able to squat, and it puts my wrists in an odd position. But if i try and put my wrists any other way to lift it i simply can't do it.

I might try and take a vid next time.

 

 

And on a side note, if i try and squat free weights, the weight i can squat seems to DROP dramatically..anyone got theories on why?

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I'm not an expert by any means, but I wouldnt be using the smith machine to squat. I stick to free squats. When you use the smith machine it takes out the muscles that you use for stabilizing, hence why you can lift more. It would be the same as if you used it for bench, because you dont use all of those stabilizing muscles, you can lift/press more.

 

Plus I've heard that using the smith machine you can't keep proper form when squatting..?

 

So yeah I would stick to just regular squats, drop the weight a bit so you can keep proper form and you should be sweet.

 

Also, try building up the other muscles in your legs to help. SL deadlifts, calf raises etc.

 

Like i said I'm not an expert, so correct me if I'm wrong guys. Just what I have read and experienced.

 

edit: Also try having your hands as wide as you can on the bar to help with your balance.

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When you unhook it, rest the bar on your shoulders/upper back (not near the neck area) and readjust your grip? That might help? Also, how are you lifting it? Really the bar should be resting on your upper back rather than being lifted over it.

 

Smith machines aren't very good for you apparently, but if you're trying to lift heavy weights on your own with nobody to spot or anything then you might not have a choice..

 

You can squat more on the smith because its easier to keep balance, and you're not using as much supporting stabiliser muscles as such.. some of it is mental as well, since you may be afraid to lose your balance with the free weights whereas on the smith you can just flick your wrists forward and you're safe..

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edit: Also try having your hands as wide as you can on the bar to help with your balance.

really? I read close grip was "proper"? 0_o

 

When you unhook it, rest the bar on your shoulders/upper back (not near the neck area) and readjust your grip? That might help? Also, how are you lifting it? Really the bar should be resting on your upper back rather than being lifted over it.

 

Smith machines aren't very good for you apparently, but if you're trying to lift heavy weights on your own with nobody to spot or anything then you might not have a choice..

 

You can squat more on the smith because its easier to keep balance, and you're not using as much supporting stabiliser muscles as such.. some of it is mental as well, since you may be afraid to lose your balance with the free weights whereas on the smith you can just flick your wrists forward and you're safe..

Yeah i think it might be a mental thing. simply because i'm not a big guy, and there's some BIG guys that go to my gym..so i think it's a bit of "not wanting to look like a fkstick and dropping my weights" type issue.

 

But seriously like i do 70ish on a smith machine (trying as proper technique as possible)

 

Free weights..like 20..max..so might just focus on free weights...

 

and same with benching (changing the topic entirely..), smith machine = 40kg..free...10kg..like i'm REALLY weak lol

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If I can do it you can do it, just takes time to get strong. For years I never followed a program, just did what I want, didn't train consistantly, and my squat stalled at about 130-135kg.

Took some time off, came back and started training again, stuck to a program for 8 weeks, never missed a session, my squat went from a ball breakingly slow moving 137.5kg to a comfortable 150kg.

8 weeks, never missed a session. Consistancy works, try it :thumbsup:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n61RoZJb7oc&feature=player_embedded

 

If you have free weights at your gym don't squat in the smith machine...

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Personally I wouldn't attempt them without a personal trainer to teach me the right form.

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edit: Also try having your hands as wide as you can on the bar to help with your balance.

really? I read close grip was "proper"? 0_o

 

When you unhook it, rest the bar on your shoulders/upper back (not near the neck area) and readjust your grip? That might help? Also, how are you lifting it? Really the bar should be resting on your upper back rather than being lifted over it.

 

Smith machines aren't very good for you apparently, but if you're trying to lift heavy weights on your own with nobody to spot or anything then you might not have a choice..

 

You can squat more on the smith because its easier to keep balance, and you're not using as much supporting stabiliser muscles as such.. some of it is mental as well, since you may be afraid to lose your balance with the free weights whereas on the smith you can just flick your wrists forward and you're safe..

Yeah i think it might be a mental thing. simply because i'm not a big guy, and there's some BIG guys that go to my gym..so i think it's a bit of "not wanting to look like a fkstick and dropping my weights" type issue.

 

But seriously like i do 70ish on a smith machine (trying as proper technique as possible)

 

Free weights..like 20..max..so might just focus on free weights...

 

and same with benching (changing the topic entirely..), smith machine = 40kg..free...10kg..like i'm REALLY weak lol

 

Physically, I'm pretty sure you should be able to bench more with free weights than smith

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OK, I wasn't going to post in this but there has been so much shit been posted on here I believe everyone who has read this thread has now lost a few IQ points. I should just warn all of you for it.

 

Firstly, don't use the Smith machine... EVER. Unless you only have 1 arm and can't hold the bar on your back. If that is the case then you are excused. I'm pretty sure almost every gym has a squat/power rack of some kind.

 

Secondly, of course your not going to be able to squat as much with free weights as the Smith machine as you have not strengthened your core and other stabilising muscles. Plus you don't get in the right grove or squatting position when you use the Smith machine.

 

I don't care if you only stick with the bar but start squatting. Just put the bar on your back and squat all the way down. Squatting should be a natural movement, you've been doing it size you were a kid. Watch any toddler, perfect squatting form. If you still have trouble with it then put a chair or a box behind you and sit back onto it. Presto. You've just learnt how to squat. Just go slow. Don't try and rush it and start throwing weight on the bar and then get stapled to the ground.

 

In regards to hands, closer is better as it bunches the muscles in your back making your back tighter and giving you a better platform to rest the bar.

 

Hope that helps.

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OK, I wasn't going to post in this but there has been so much shit been posted on here I believe everyone who has read this thread has now lost a few IQ points. I should just warn all of you for it.

 

Firstly, don't use the Smith machine... EVER. Unless you only have 1 arm and can't hold the bar on your back. If that is the case then you are excused. I'm pretty sure almost every gym has a squat/power rack of some kind.

 

Secondly, of course your not going to be able to squat as much with free weights as the Smith machine as you have not strengthened your core and other stabilising muscles. Plus you don't get in the right grove or squatting position when you use the Smith machine.

 

I don't care if you only stick with the bar but start squatting. Just put the bar on your back and squat all the way down. Squatting should be a natural movement, you've been doing it size you were a kid. Watch any toddler, perfect squatting form. If you still have trouble with it then put a chair or a box behind you and sit back onto it. Presto. You've just learnt how to squat. Just go slow. Don't try and rush it and start throwing weight on the bar and then get stapled to the ground.

 

In regards to hands, closer is better as it bunches the muscles in your back making your back tighter and giving you a better platform to rest the bar.

 

Hope that helps.

Yep works for me.

Thanks

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Personally I wouldn't attempt them without a personal trainer to teach me the right form.

PT's are wankers.

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If I can do it you can do it, just takes time to get strong. For years I never followed a program, just did what I want, didn't train consistantly, and my squat stalled at about 130-135kg.

Took some time off, came back and started training again, stuck to a program for 8 weeks, never missed a session, my squat went from a ball breakingly slow moving 137.5kg to a comfortable 150kg.

8 weeks, never missed a session. Consistancy works, try it :thumbsup:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n61RoZJb7oc&feature=player_embedded

 

If you have free weights at your gym don't squat in the smith machine...

 

thats prety fucing tough ghosty at 70 kegs

 

where do you train in brisbane ?

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Generally FF @ Toowong between 6-9pm depending when I can fit it in.

Mon - squats

Wed - bench

Fri - deads

Sat - military press

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i'm going to have to join the no smith maching chorus.

 

Your weight might drop, but you work a lot more muscle groups and stabilizers. Its better for you long term and will improve your overall strength faster.

 

Yes the number goes down, but you're just as strong as you were before, numbers dont mean anything if you're working hard. Its virtually a different lift raw to using a smith machine so dont compare the two. Just build up your raw squat and you'll find it far more rewarding.

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Little bit off topic, but what are your thoughts on using wrist straps for dead lifts?

 

I know they dont help your grip improve at all, but i can dead lift a lot more with them...

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i prefer to do them without straps to improve forearm strength at the same time

 

but that said i haven't got to a weight that feels like its going to rip my fingers off just holding the bar :lol:

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Yeah thats what stops me from going heavier, even with an over/under grip it starts to slip after my 4th or 5th rep.

 

I will start to work more on my grip though thumbsup.gif Thanks for the advice

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are u resetting after each rep or just bouncing the bar off the floor and pulling it back up? i find resetting for each rep works well with my grip although ive only got 130kg on the bar

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I rep over 200kg, and I'm very skinny.

 

Get some chalk, get some grip strength.

 

Wraps will not make you any stronger.

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Yeah ive actually decided to tuck my vagina away and hold on like a bloke.. DLing 110kgs no straps. Not a massive figure i know, but we all had to start somewhere right? 6-7 reps before it slips, but with the training im doing i dont need to do any more than that. 8 rep max. Figure if i do more than 8 i can put more weight on the bar.

 

Grip is improving too.

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I heard anywhere between 4-8 is good, but there is so much conflicting info out there..

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How much is 'less' though. Is there much point in doing 1 rep? Unless you work up (or down depending on how you look at it) to it?

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I personally wouldn't really go past 5 reps for deadlift.

mind if I ask why? cause of form suffering or...?

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I personally wouldn't really go past 5 reps for deadlift.

mind if I ask why? cause of form suffering or...?

 

More like, "cos its a form of suffering"...

 

I generally only use 1-4 reps. Deads don't need high rep work.

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With regards to the OP, the way I see squats without using the smith machine (which works well for me) is to sort out your feet position and make sure ur comfortable. To determine ur feet position, pretend ur an asian guy squating on the street reading a newspaper or smoking a ciggie (im assuming u know what i mean, lol). Try squating like that urself without a weight, with your feet flat to the floor, not on your toes while making sure youre comfortable. Then look at the position of your feet, thats how your feet should be positioned when squatting. This position can get you to squat low without straining your calves.

 

I see heaps of noobs in my gym with the feet positioned heaps close, and doing tiny little frog leap squats with the bar stacked to shit.

 

Take my advice, dont take it, wotevs, but it works for me and makes it that much more comfortable going low, and it stops your knees from swaying left and right when going up.

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How much is 'less' though. Is there much point in doing 1 rep? Unless you work up (or down depending on how you look at it) to it?

 

No point

 

Even westside training u are doing single reps however u start at 50% of 1rm and end up at 105%

 

U dont just do 1 rep.

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How much is 'less' though. Is there much point in doing 1 rep? Unless you work up (or down depending on how you look at it) to it?

 

No point

 

Even westside training u are doing single reps however u start at 50% of 1rm and end up at 105%

 

U dont just do 1 rep.

 

I don't even know what that means.

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I find deads to be conflicting. i only did them to meet some goals. Squats and Stiff legged deadlifts is my preference. To me it's just a combination of the two.

 

My SLDL standing on a low platform are currently at 180x5 (last set, 5x5) i find after a few weeks your hammies wont get sore anymore and thats when you need to get a bigger platform because they adapt and stretch easily.

 

My belief is no stopping, touch and go reps. Thats how every other excercise i do is performed, why make them different? I also dont have a problem with straps, if your grip is weak then no reason why doing half the sets with straps and half without. That way your not making your back pay for your weak grip.

 

Straps is a problem when i see people doing lat pull downs and seated rows. that's a joke. I also like to use the seated leg press and smith machines. I do allot of BTN smith pressing after standing MP. I don't have to worry about hurting my shoulder on a smith.

 

 

As for the not getting embarassed in the gym thing. Do your thing with weight you can handle, no embarassment in that. ego is the failing point of many. No matter how big you get theres always going to be someone bigger and better so never think your shit dont stink.

 

 

 

Do whatever you like, too many heros around. I dont stick to powerlifting moves and never will i like variety it helps keep me motivated. Which is important to me... only been back in to it for 6 weeks on a 4 day schedule but have made lots of progress, better than ever (almost) with every lift i'v ever done previously. make sure you turn up and mix up your routine to keep things fresh. Hopefully it keeps me on track this time.

 

Who wants to be the best powerlifter? most are fat and ugly :D id rather have a body like kevin levrone did. he saw the light and dropped the crap bits of powerlifting...

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