Recently I was trying to really push my squat numbers up, but after months and months of trying I realised that I have not even improved in the slightest. My first thought was ” Is this really all I got?”, but right now is not the time to give up. So to overcome this plateau I did some research about what was holding me back.
So the 5 things that were holding me back in improving my squat PR was my inconstant training schedule, neglecting my form, ignoring proper recovery, bad nutrition, and and not progressively overloading. Once I started doing these 5 things I felt the difference.
Table of Contents
Inconsistent Training For Your Squat PR’s
Consistency is key when it comes to making progress but this especially true when aiming to increase your squat PRs (Personal Records).
Here are a few reasons why inconsistent training can destroy your squat PRs:
Lack of Adaptation
When you perform squats regularly, your muscles gradually adapt and become stronger. This adaptation is necessary to increase the weight you can lift. However, if you skip workouts or have long gaps between training sessions, your body loses the chance to adapt effectively, ultimately hindering your progress.
Loss of Muscle and Strength
When you consistently challenge your muscles with progressive overload, they respond by getting stronger. However, training inconsistently leading to muscle atrophy (muscle loss) and strength loss. Over time, this can result in a decrease in your squat PRs and overall performance.
Regression in Technique
Performing squats with proper form and technique is crucial for maximizing strength gains and preventing injuries. Consistency in training allows you to reinforce correct movement patterns and build muscle memory.
When you make a commitment to regular squat training, you build discipline, motivation, and a sense of accomplishment as you progressively set and achieve new goals.
However, inconsistency can lead to feelings of frustration, demotivation, and a loss of focus.
Increased Risk of Injury
When you skip workouts or have long breaks between training sessions, your muscles will become deconditioned and less prepared to handle the demands of squatting. This puts you at a higher risk of strains, sprains, and other injuries, which can set you back even further and disrupt your squat PRs.
Proper form is essential for not only maximizing your strength but also preventing injuries.
Here are a few reasons why neglecting your form can lead to a decline in your squat performance:
Decreased Muscle Activation
When you neglect your form, you may not be engaging the target muscles effectively. This can result in lower muscle activation and reduced strength gains.
By maintaining proper form, you ensure that the targeted muscle groups are being activated optimally, leading to better progress over time.
Increased Risk of Injury
Squats involve heavy loads and are compound movements that put stress on various joints and muscles.
Poor form, such as rounding your back or allowing your knees to cave inwards, can lead to strains, sprains, or even more serious issues like herniated discs.
Neglecting your form can result in an imbalanced development of muscles.
For example, if you favour your quads over your glutes and hamstrings, you may experience strength disparities and an increased risk of injury. Proper form ensures balanced muscle activation and helps you achieve optimal progress.
Plateau in Performance
In the beginning, you might be able to get away with just ok form and still see improvements in your squat performance.
However, as you get better and aim for higher PRs, having a solid foundation of technique becomes crucial. Neglecting your form can hinder further progress, leading to plateaus and frustration.
To avoid destroying your squat PRs, remember to prioritize your form. Focus on maintaining a neutral spine, keeping your knees in line with your toes, and distributing the load evenly throughout your feet.
Recovery is an essential part of any training program because it allows your body to repair and adapt to the stress placed on it during workouts. If you neglect recovery, you are putting yourself at risk of hindering your squat PR (Personal Record) and potentially destroying your progress altogether.
By properly recovering, you give your muscles time to repair and rebuild themselves stronger than before. This means taking rest days, getting enough sleep, and fueling your body with proper nutrition. Neglecting these factors can lead to overtraining, muscle imbalances, and increased risk of injury.
Additionally, ignoring recovery can lead to decreased energy levels, diminished focus, and overall fatigue, making it harder to push yourself during your squat workouts.
If you want to learn about 18 ways you can recover faster click here!
Having poor nutrition can greatly impact your squat PR (Personal Record), hindering your progress and overall performance in the gym. Here are a few reasons why:
Squatting will use a lot of energy, especially when lifting heavy. Poor nutrition, mostly a lack of calories and carbohydrates, can leave you feeling fatigued and depleted of energy.
Muscle Growth and Repair
In order for these muscles to grow and adapt to increasing demands, they require a good supply of essential nutrients like protein, vitamins, and minerals.
Poor nutrition can stop or slow down muscle growth and repair, making it difficult to make progress in your squat PR.
Recovery and Adaptation
A high amount of protein intake is essential for muscle recovery, while carbohydrates help replenish glycogen stores and provide energy.
Without these nutrients, your recovery may be slower, leading to a plateau or even a decline in your squat PR.
Weakness and Increased Injury Risk
When you have poor nutrition, you may experience muscle weakness, decreased bone density, and compromised immune function. These factors can increase the risk of injuries while squatting, as your body may not have the strength or resilience to handle heavy loads.
Inadequate nutrition can also impair your ability to maintain proper form and technique, further increasing the risk of injury.
Lack of Progressive Overload
Progressive overload is the holy grail of training no matter if you want to build muscle, build strength, or be the worlds best soccer player, you have to keep progressively overloading.
But some of you might be asking but what actually is progressive overloading mean?
Well if I had to put it very simply it is continuing to challenge yourself at the same level, so if doing a 20 kg bench is a 8 out of 10 difficulty and a month down the line it becomes a 5 out of 10 difficulty. Then you can keep doing the 20 kg bench, you might still be making progress but it won’t be nearly as much progress than if you move up the weight back to that 8 out of 10 dificulty range.
If you are struggling with improving your squat PRs don’t worry you are not alone, but the 5 things that I did to help me improve are the following inconstant training schedule, neglecting my form, ignoring proper recovery, bad nutrition, and and not progressively overloading.
Remember improvements take time, so be patient happy lifting!