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Thread: Squats

  1. #1
    Hall of Fame Member Goughy's Avatar
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    Squats

    Weightlifting question.

    A cricket forum probably isnt the best place but hey.

    Im a pretty big athletic guy but Im into my 30s and hitting weights for the first time (I always had a pretty low opinion of it, and still do to a certain extent).

    Anyway, part of my routine includes 3 sets of 10 squats at somewhere between 120 - 140 kgs (240-280 lbs).

    Ive been doing this a couple of months but Im finding myself heavy legged and Im showing a lack of acceleration and agility in soccer practice.

    Now before starting I had read a guy going off on how squats dramatically improved his 40 yard sprint time and his va-va-voom.

    I was seeing the opposite. I chatted to my boss (a workout freak) and he said he stopped squats years ago for the same reason as they built power and built the upper leg but reduced agility and speed out of the blocks.

    So Im at the decision, stop squats or continue? Do squats build speed or slow you down?
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  2. #2
    Cricketer Of The Year Manee's Avatar
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    miCoach is the person to ask on this issue and he mainly hangs around the coaching forum. My theories would be that the set/weight structure may be flawed, though this is only a theory and that you should probably be doing some sprint training to help your body adjust to the heavier legs.

  3. #3
    International Debutant inbox24's Avatar
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    I think the theory behind it is that the bigger more tank you get, the worse you become at cardio based exercises or sports, because you get more fast twitch fibres or something. That said I think you can still build endurance by doing lower weight squats with more sets and more reps and that might help you to become more lean and cut.

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    International Vice-Captain Jungle Jumbo's Avatar
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    Opened this thread expecting Goughy to be complaining about a bunch of homeless people who have moved into his house.

    Disappointed.


  5. #5
    Hall of Fame Member Smudge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jungle Jumbo View Post
    Opened this thread expecting Goughy to be complaining about a bunch of homeless people who have moved into his house.

    Disappointed.
    I was hoping for pics of drunk girls urinating in the street.

    Even more disappointed.

  6. #6
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Top_Cat's Avatar
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    Any weights you do are about strength building. It's how you do them that impacts how you want to use the muscle. If all you wanna do is bulk up, heavy weights low reps (if you can do more then 5, your weight is too light). If you want to build up muscular endurance, lighter weights, lots of reps (8-10). You should be shaking about half way through your 2nd set. If you're not, the weight is too light. Earlier and you're lifting too much.

    Big key point is form, though. This is why you really need someone to show you and watch your form and why you need to look in the mirror (if you're looking in the mirror when you're not lifting something, that's poor form. haha). Form means timing how long it takes to do a full extension. Should do it over around 5-6 seconds in and out e.g. 3 seconds in, 3 out. Either way, every movement should be very deliberate i.e. you must have control over the weight all the way in and all the way out. Don't just throw it around or you will hurt yourself.

    You, however, sound like you wanna enhance explosive power rather than pure strength. This is where the style of lift changes but only a little. You need to do what are called plyometric exercises where you increase the time taken to 'retract' the weight but push out hard and fast. In the case of squats, you want to support the weight going down very, very slowly over about a 5 second period then stand-up quickly. DON'T 'jump' or lock out your knees when you extend or, again, you'll hurt yourself. Even though you're pushing out faster, keep it under control. Make sure your breathing is right too. Critical. Don't use machines, either. They suck. Do it with a bar bell. You build up your stabiliser muscles as well as the group you're targeting. Also, because it's your legs we're talking about and they're strong, you should aim for lots of reps if you really want to work them. 12-15, in fact. Again, if you're fatiguing near the end of your second set, that's about right. Earlier, too heavy. Not at all, too light.

    Guaranteed, you'll take off from the blocks far quicker if you do those for a month. Point of plyometrics is that you're gearing your muscles for explosive power. If you were an endurance athlete, these sorts of exercises would never comprise your routine except maybe to break it up a bit.

    All that said, make sure someone can see your form before you try plyometrics. If it's off, you'll hurt yourself. Get used to do doing it first. With squats, this is particularly crucial because it's a load on your back if you're doing it wrong. You should feel virtually no lower-back pain if you're doing them right.

    Once you get into that, give pyramid sets a go. They're a new level of pain but, in my experience, they absolutely work in hitting all three of strength, power and endurance. There are bazillions of variations but the general gist is this;

    5 sets in total, first 3 you're putting the weights up at the beginning of each set but also doing fewer reps per set. Last 2, you take weight off but do more reps. You know you're doing it right when you're on your last set and even though you're lifting a lighter weight, you feel like you're going to die.

    My pyramid bench press set, for example, went something like this;

    1st set: 80kg x 10 reps
    2nd set: 85kg x 8 reps
    3rd set: 90kg x 5 reps
    4th set: 85kg x 8 reps
    5th set: 80kg x 10 reps

    The lifters might scoff at the weights but I was never into doing big weights because I ride so it's just more bulk for nothing. The principle remains the same, though.

    EDIT: By the way, I share your loathing of gyms. Haven't been near one for months and don't miss it at all. I did weights purely for strength work and if I'm training for a specific sport or event, I head back there. But, for now, sticking to road work.
    Last edited by Top_Cat; 26-01-2009 at 05:44 PM.
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  7. #7
    Cricket Web Staff Member Burgey's Avatar
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    Was at the gym yesterday and had to spot for a bloke who had 170kg on the bar for a bench press. Scary stuff - I've got tendonitis in my elbow so when I had to spot him I thought I was gonna drop the bar and kill the poor bloke. Ridiculous weight, though he was a huge bloke.
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  8. #8
    Cricketer Of The Year ripper868's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Top_Cat View Post
    Big key point is form, though. This is why you really need someone to show you and watch your form and why you need to look in the mirror (if you're looking in the mirror when you're not lifting something, that's poor form. haha). Form means timing how long it takes to do a full extension. Should do it over around 5-6 seconds in and out e.g. 3 seconds in, 3 out. Either way, every movement should be very deliberate i.e. you must have control over the weight all the way in and all the way out. Don't just throw it around or you will hurt yourself.
    I lol'd.

    and everything you said is pretty spot on, reading that was essetnially the first class i had at uni concerning movement and muscle development etc, plyometrics is where one should focus to improve agility etc, muscle memory and all that.
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  9. #9
    International Debutant inbox24's Avatar
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    Sorry to hijack the thread.

    But does anyone else find that you gym and get big, but even if you stop for a few days you start to shrink. How do you maintain the tank?

  10. #10
    International Vice-Captain Redbacks's Avatar
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    ^^ Diet plays a big part in maintaining Cardivascular fitness during layoff's, I pressume muscle is the same. You would need to be meeting your calorie needs, decent timing of 5-6 meals a day to reduce muscle loss. I gather the loss is usually along the lines of use it or lose it, otherwise your body will start to use muscle as an energy source.

  11. #11
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Top_Cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by inbox24 View Post
    Sorry to hijack the thread.

    But does anyone else find that you gym and get big, but even if you stop for a few days you start to shrink. How do you maintain the tank?
    Like any injury (and muscle building is essentially deliberate, controlled muscle tearing) it swells up and feels hard when damaged and shrinks when healed. To really build muscle, you need to do it consistently. Building muscle seriously is incredibly difficult to do and to even see minor gains, you'd be at it for 6-12 months without shortcutting via juicing, even if you supplement with every weight gainer you can lay your hands on.

    So, sorry, but you're not building much muscle after a gym session.

    Incidentally, for those who are lifting, any protein supplement which offers greater than 30g of protein is a waste of your money. Your body will only use 30g in one hit and will piss out the rest. Most supplements are really only useful if you're lifting serious amounts and want to maintain it. If you're doing it to just to get a bit fitter, save your money and just eat more fish/chicken.
    Last edited by Top_Cat; 26-01-2009 at 10:39 PM.

  12. #12
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Top_Cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redbacks View Post
    ^^ Diet plays a big part in maintaining Cardivascular fitness during layoff's, I pressume muscle is the same. You would need to be meeting your calorie needs, decent timing of 5-6 meals a day to reduce muscle loss. I gather the loss is usually along the lines of use it or lose it, otherwise your body will start to use muscle as an energy source.
    Not quite as big a problem if all you're doing is lifting, really. Your body is building muscle with weights, yes, and some exercises do feel strenuous but you're not pushing your heart as much as if you're riding 30km or running 10. It's why it's possible for a lot of guys who lift to carry quite a lot of fat and muscle.

    Guys who are cut and muscly (body builders, for example) have very, very strict diets with no fat/oils, tons of proteins and almost no carbs. That's what's responsible for their fat loss far more than the exercise they're doing. Body building, in terms of sustainability, is a very unnatural way to be and if you love the act of eating, you're in for many nights of steamed broccoli and chicken breast with no condiments. Yuck.

  13. #13
    Hall of Fame Member Goughy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Top_Cat View Post
    Like any injury (and muscle building is essentially deliberate, controlled muscle tearing) it swells up and feels hard when damaged and shrinks when healed. To really build muscle, you need to do it consistently. Building muscle seriously is incredibly difficult to do and to even see minor gains, you'd be at it for 6-12 months without shortcutting via juicing, even if you supplement with every weight gainer you can lay your hands on.

    So, sorry, but you're not building much muscle after a gym session.
    Its an interesting question. How long until you see results. In 2 months Ive seen fair changes in my triceps and gains allround. I understand that its just the start but there are noticable differences even this early.

    Ive been doing a bit of reading (I dont claim to know anything about this) and there are people that are fast gainers in terms of muscle and weight? Is that correct. I add fat and lose it easily (ie natually yo-yo between well built (95 kg) to chubby (110 kg) ) and seem to put muscle on easily as well. Does that sound realistic?

    I think, from reading this thread, that Ill take the squats out and just add something more dynamic. Shame really as its my 2nd fav exercise.
    Last edited by Goughy; 27-01-2009 at 02:21 AM.

  14. #14
    State Regular readie's Avatar
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    Top Cat is spot on. You need to make sure that you use explosive movements as this will target the development of power and speed through the muscle

  15. #15
    International Debutant inbox24's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Top_Cat View Post
    Like any injury (and muscle building is essentially deliberate, controlled muscle tearing) it swells up and feels hard when damaged and shrinks when healed. To really build muscle, you need to do it consistently. Building muscle seriously is incredibly difficult to do and to even see minor gains, you'd be at it for 6-12 months without shortcutting via juicing, even if you supplement with every weight gainer you can lay your hands on.

    So, sorry, but you're not building much muscle after a gym session.

    Incidentally, for those who are lifting, any protein supplement which offers greater than 30g of protein is a waste of your money. Your body will only use 30g in one hit and will piss out the rest. Most supplements are really only useful if you're lifting serious amounts and want to maintain it. If you're doing it to just to get a bit fitter, save your money and just eat more fish/chicken.
    Ok, so protein is only for serious bodybuilders then?

    I guess in the gym I tend to do the same routine everyday, and the muscles I hit feel like they are gaining a bit, but when I stop I feel it gets smaller. Like for example if I go Mon-Fri and do biceps everyday, and stop for Sat and Sun, then instantly i feel it's shrunk. But then on the other hand, if I like special allotted days, like Mon is chest tris, Tues is back bis, then I don't feel like it's getting bigger at all for some reason. What routine would you recommend?

    And just with lower body, I know squats are important, but I always have trouble with my knees and get some knee pain afterward, especially if I increase the weight. Any tips on that?

    Thanks for all yer help.

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