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"Doing more exercise with less intensity,"
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of weight training. Something
must be done . . . and quickly."
The New Bodybuilding for
Old-School Results supplies
MUCH of that "something."

 

This is one of 93 photos of Andy McCutcheon that are used in The New High-Intensity Training to illustrate the recommended exercises.

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Zenontheterrible

i've recently been teaching myself to go 'ass to grass' on my squats... its been great for my hips and my overall strength... only problem is i've noticed as my weights go up that my lower back is much more fatigued and sore the next day than my quads are.... is this a form issue or just a muscle imbalance... in your opinion.
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OSAKA/J

Without actually seeing you squat, I
couldn't say. The soreness may be
because: A) you have weak lumbar
muscles. Are you doing deads or good
mornings or some kind of lower back
work?; B) you're bending over too much;
I have that same problem. The trick is
to use a bit lighter weight and center
it higher on your traps. If you want
to do a "power type squat" the bar will
be lower down, you will bend over more
and the lower back will become more
involved. (If that's what you want,
then okay; if not, keep the bar higher
up).
The only thing is to get someone
who knows about correct form to critique you and correct any faults
you have in form. If your lower back
is a weak point i.e. you don't do much
for it, then you should work it--and
hard. A big squat and a strong lower
back (and abs) all go together.
Hope this is of some help.

Osaka/J
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waynegr

Switzerland

Zenontheterrible wrote:
i've recently been teaching myself to go 'ass to grass' on my squats... its been great for my hips and my overall strength... only problem is i've noticed as my weights go up that my lower back is much more fatigued and sore the next day than my quads are.... is this a form issue or just a muscle imbalance... in your opinion.


The squat is more of an hip, butt and back exercise, yes it too hits the quads, but not as much as some people think, if you want to hit the quads harder than the squats and hit the quads only do the leg extension, as the leg extension hits two on the three major muscles of the quads more then the squat will.

Or you could try the leg press for better quad development, and if you have the right machine it will take the stress from the lower back.

I know some huge 20 reppers, 400 too 550, but their quads are not that big.

However the squat does seem to work for a few, or maybe they had big quads before.

Wayne
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waynegr

Switzerland

OSAKA/J wrote:
Without actually seeing you squat, I
couldn't say. The soreness may be
because: A) you have weak lumbar
muscles. Are you doing deads or good
mornings or some kind of lower back
work?; B) you're bending over too much;
I have that same problem. The trick is
to use a bit lighter weight and center
it higher on your traps. If you want
to do a "power type squat" the bar will
be lower down, you will bend over more
and the lower back will become more
involved. (If that's what you want,
then okay; if not, keep the bar higher
up).
The only thing is to get someone
who knows about correct form to critique you and correct any faults
you have in form. If your lower back
is a weak point i.e. you don't do much
for it, then you should work it--and
hard. A big squat and a strong lower
back (and abs) all go together.
Hope this is of some help.

Osaka/J


You could be right on the form.

Did you know Westside have 50 variations of squats.

Wayne

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McNultyEssex

I think I'm right in saying the lower back will fail before the quadriceps in the squat if form is right. Pre-exhausting with a leg extension is a good way to improve recruitment of the thigh muscles.

However, if the soreness is increasing as a result of lifting greater loads, I would suspect it's a form issue. I'd recommend using enough load to make the intensity maximal, but no more. Heavy loads won't allow you to get enough tearing in your actin and myosin to stimulate growth, but might cause the muscles to tear loose from the bone.
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Mr. Strong

The squat works all the leg muscles better than anything else, it also works the abdomen and lower back, so of course they'll be sore, just keep working at it and make sure your technique is correct.
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SanDiego

Depends on your form... a more upright stance will hit your quads harder and lessen the work that the lower back must provide.

Upright (olympic style) squatting:

http://www.youtube.com/...h?v=p3cYCNBg7J0

http://www.youtube.com/...h?v=tpA47OUohpM

http://www.youtube.com/...h?v=3VARBNALyC8

Regardless of the form, you need strong lumbars, but this type of squatting will won't fatigue the lower back as heavily as a powerlifting version.

I also feel this version distributes stress more evenly across the hips, lower back, quads, and hams (more of a bodybuilder's squat).

I can see how a 500 pound squatter doesn't develop incredible quads if the movement is performed to mainly stress the hips.
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medici

Spain

Zenontheterrible wrote:
i've recently been teaching myself to go 'ass to grass' on my squats... its been great for my hips and my overall strength... only problem is i've noticed as my weights go up that my lower back is much more fatigued and sore the next day than my quads are.... is this a form issue or just a muscle imbalance... in your opinion.


First off, short of observing your movement it's impossible to know what's going on. I'd quickly add that age can be another factor.

One movement that assists getting deeper on the squat is doing front squats, preferably with a couple of 25 lb plates or a heel board to help depth and stability.

Back squats are trickier. First, your relative limb and torso length are always a factor in movement.

One element generally not taken into account is how you currently are with respect to flexibility and stability. Also, do you tend to be quad (frontal) dominant or posterior kinetic chain dominant. The latter is often a big factor with middle age and older athletes.

This is where functional training becomes a real boon in establishing better flexibiity and stability to progress to a more natural feeling deep squat. T-Nation, on whose server this website operates, has had several articles in recent times regarding remediation of tight hips, knees, and quads - including carefully performed deep squat stretching with no weight, duck walks, lateral/posterior/anterior lunges with no weight - all aimed at either warm up or rehabilitation. They work, too.

When I was young I used to do very deep squats. It was easy then. In recent years, in my early 60s, I noted how difficult deeper squats had become. Some dismiss that as aging. Doing functional movements has helped me tremendously. The biggest problem I was having was referred pain going into my knee from tight IT band in one leg. Doing lunges in a manner with the toe out, leg out of the offending leg, including a lateral twist to that side, has removed the pain.

All of this is to say we often assume nothing's out of order with us, that it's just a structural pattern. A good Active Release Technique therapist can make pretty quick analysis of your movement along with relative tightness/shortness of the various muscles throughout hips/quads/hams/knees.

I've also found that doing good mornings once weekly is a tremendous helper for squatting - and for hamstrings. I've yet to see someone new to good mornings not have hamstring soreness lasting for up to five days despite some years of using leg curl machines.

Do check out T-Nation for more ideas, always very practical ones.

Most importantly, get someone with eyes skilled in movement analysis to observe how you squat. Many people unconsciously rotate one hip more than the other, almost like a corkscrew squat - noting imbalance in the hips.

best luck
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SanDiego

Re: "corkscrew" turning in the squat

I've also heard that the lumbars can fatigue unilaterally? So that your right lumbar muscle may fatigue earlier than your left lumbar muscle... creating a similar effect?
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goya

I always feel squats throughout my quad, glutes, hamstrings and lower back when I perfrom them.

But my hamstrings and lower back are the muscles that always stay sore the longuest. So I am sure there are some muscle fiber type and recovery rate differences.

But I also know that when comming out of the hole, the hamstrings are really heavily solicited.

So it is hard to say which muscles work harder overall.

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josh_pitts

Ontario, CAN

SanDiego wrote:
Depends on your form... a more upright stance will hit your quads harder and lessen the work that the lower back must provide.

Upright (olympic style) squatting:

http://www.youtube.com/...h?v=p3cYCNBg7J0

http://www.youtube.com/...h?v=tpA47OUohpM

http://www.youtube.com/...h?v=3VARBNALyC8

Regardless of the form, you need strong lumbars, but this type of squatting will won't fatigue the lower back as heavily as a powerlifting version.

I also feel this version distributes stress more evenly across the hips, lower back, quads, and hams (more of a bodybuilder's squat).

I can see how a 500 pound squatter doesn't develop incredible quads if the movement is performed to mainly stress the hips.



That first video is amazing. I don't know how much weight that is but that guy does not "appear" to be able to lift it.
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medici

Spain

SanDiego wrote:
Re: "corkscrew" turning in the squat

I've also heard that the lumbars can fatigue unilaterally? So that your right lumbar muscle may fatigue earlier than your left lumbar muscle... creating a similar effect?


not necessarily the lumbar spine since the hips tend to do that corkscrew just as well. Bottom line, again, is your individual configuration - best checked by an external observer who can see what you're really doing!
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medici

Spain

goya wrote:
I always feel squats throughout my quad, glutes, hamstrings and lower back when I perfrom them.

But my hamstrings and lower back are the muscles that always stay sore the longuest. So I am sure there are some muscle fiber type and recovery rate differences.

But I also know that when comming out of the hole, the hamstrings are really heavily solicited.

So it is hard to say which muscles work harder overall.



That's why back squats are overall good for hypertrophy. Front squats, on the other hand, emphasize quads far more. If one is posterior dominant, then fronts can be a real helper.
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Zenontheterrible

Thank you all for your opinion... thats why i posted here rather than T-Nation cause i knew I'd get help, and at T-Nation I'd get flamed!!

First off, great Youtube video's, it was actually the second video that originally inspired me to do deep Olympic squats rather than the cheater squats I'd been doing before. I think i go deeper than the guy on the third video.

I guess some more information on my part would be pertinent. I originally didn't post my workout cause ... well ... *hangs head in shame* I've been doing high volume workouts (they work!). Here is what last week looked like (I'll included lbs numbers for leg exercises):

Monday
Squats 225lbs x 5sets of 5-6 reps
Scott Abel rows (haha) 5x5
Leg extensions 110lbs x 3x12
Straight arm pull downs 4x10
Work wrists still i can't close hands.
10min recumbent bike cool down.

Tuesday
Turkish Get-ups 2 sets of 10
Reverse Biceps Curls 4 sets of 10
Single Arm Shoulder press 3 sets of 10
Single arm Cable Curls 3 sets of 10
Neutral Grip Lat raises 2 sets of 10
If I'm up to it - Chin ups - 5 sets of 5

Thursday
Dead lifts 275lbs x 6 sets of 3
Bench Press 5 sets of 6
Leg Curls 60lbs x 3 sets of 10
Cable Fly's 4 sets of 12
Reverse trunk Curls
Sit ups
10 min cardio cool down

Friday
blah blah blah... triceps and shoulders.

Now i know most of you will say this is too much volume... and maybe it is a little to much, but for the most part i feel great and not over trained, plus I've been using Surge since about June and its been great for recovery, I've put on 15lbs of lean mass since i started using Surge.

My main goal when i designed this program for myself was to have Monday as a Legs push and upper body pull day. Tuesday as an arms pull and shoulders push. Thursday as a legs pull, and upper body push. then Friday as an arms push and a shoulders pull day.

After reading what most of you have to say i think i missed the boat in that Back Squats tend to be a posterior chain dominant movement for me, so i think my lower back was being over trained from the back squats and the dead lifts. I think I'm going to replace the dead lifts on Thursday with back squats (since my goal is to get my squat numbers up) and replace the back squats on Monday with either front squats or hack squats.... does that sound reasonable?

Oh as for flexibility and mobility... I can do one legged jumping squats (pistols) fairly easily along with various lunge matrix's so i don't that is a issue.

Also what do you think of sumo squats(sumo dead lifts?). Could i perhaps do a Monday Back Squat, Wed Front Squat (or hack squat), and Friday Sumo Squat??
I"m just trying to get as much leg work in without over training or under training any part.

Once again its great how everyone on this site is so helpful.

*edit* oh and Kayo, i've noticed i do tend to 'corkscrew' a little bit... in that my left hip gets tired before my right hip... good tip... i'll try to work this out.
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Zenontheterrible

thanx for the help guys! today i set a new 3rm personal best for me of 255 (i know its not very much but my ass touched my calves lol!) and even better yet i did so without the left hip pain that i was getting three weeks ago (i stopped the twist, thanx kayo)
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