Squat cues

Squatting with a high bar ? those cues are perfect:

All I think about whenever I’m trying to talk someone through the basics of squatting (Reed squats differently to me, and is stronger, he may have different advice here) is to: – push your ass back slightly

– almost immediately push your knees out (« show your crotch »)
– then sit between your legs.

If you can do that with your weight moreso on your heels than on your toes and your core and upper back tight, you’re golden. I learnt to squat using high bar, and I think that helped get this pattern down, but I moved to low bar after about a year. You may just want to start with low bar. Take the time to find something that works, but then focus on practising that something over and over.

Low bar :

1. Foot placement allowing the squatter to break a decent depth, Knee stay out, and knees don’t track excessively over the toes. Forward knee movement is ok but there is a point that it can take away from leverages. Also I don’t care who says it anytime I get FKM my knees kill me. Sure some people can do it but its not me therefore I wont teach it.

2. Bar placement should be in correspondence to the foot width. If your wide chances are lower to mid bar is for you. If closer 9/10 a mid to high bar is for you. Pretty easy to tell. If your squatting down and the hips are shooting up faster than the bar the chances are one your squat stance is to close or bar placement is to high. Could be muscle weakness as well but you can at least minimize the effect.


In both squats you should :

1. Initially break at the hips less for HB more for LB but none the less
2. Push knees and feet out.
3. Chest tall
4. Come put of the hole its just a matter of which muscles are firing.


Complex systems model of fatigue: integrative homoeostatic control of peripheral physiological systems during exercise in humans


Fatigue is hypothesised as being the result of the complex interaction of multiple peripheral physiological systems and the brain. In this new model, all changes in peripheral physiological systems such as substrate depletion or metabolite accumulation act as afferent signallers which modulate control processes in the brain in a dynamic, nonlinear, integrative manner.

This is some advice I got from Dave and Louie back in 1999 at a WSBB Seminar at York Barbell.

If your bench is stuck. Stop Benching.

Now, if you are truly using a conjugate method of training, you are probably not doing traditional barbell bench presses anyway.

Understand the best thing about the human body is its ability to adapt to any stimulus over time.

The worst thing about the human body it that it adapts to any stimulus over time.

This plateau effect cause you to stall out on these lifts. The short answer that most will give when improvements slow down is:

1. Increase Calories
2. Increase Sleep
3. Reduce Stress
4. Change the parameters of training

One and two are obvious and you may or may not have control over to an extent. Diet is controllable to a point (chicken breasts aren’t cheap). And no one that is truly successful sleeps more than 8 hours a night (at least not before they were successful.)

The third one is somewhat controllable. One thing we all have to understand is that our bodies deal with stress in similar way. Without a difference in training, other factors in your life could be causing stress which specifically increases cortisol levels. It’s like a bunch of faucet pouring into the same bathtub.

So, has there been any change in your situation recently during this plateau period? Finals, work issues, girlfriend problems, etc.?

Finally, changing your schedule, frequency, volume, load parameter, etc. can make a hug difference. For most lifters, plateauing is associated with a recovery deficiency. Not saying you are under-recovered, but usually its about that.

Here are some different ways to change things up from the WSBB template and may help get you out of a rut. These wouldn’t be permanent changes. These are random and some would even contradict each other. The key is finding what will work for you.

1. Go to a 2 or 3 day per week plan. Wendler wrote about the 3x per week plan about a decade ago. There are so many different formats.
A. 4 day plan over 3x per week.
B. Eliminating a DE day
C. Combining both DE days

2. Eliminate DE work. Replace with RE work
3. Cut out all accessories
4. Deadlift every other week.
5. Take 2 weeks off
6. Switch to 3 week rotations
wk 1: 8s
wk 2: 5s
wk 3: 3s then rotate exercises

Basically, I could throw random suggestions out here but the key is finding what is going to work. The first step is changing what you are doing. It;s hard, because you’ve got strong with the plan you are on and you are emotionally tied to it.

Hope things work out and let me know if you ever need anything else.

how long prior to training can you take on carbs and still get what you need out of them for training « energy »

The problem with taking in carbs too close to training is that actually depress the central nervous system.

It’s somewhat counter intuitive because we know that carbs are what fuel hard training.
The problem is that those carbs have to be in a « usable » state for that to happen.

We want to have elevated glycogen stores when we train (glycogen is how the body stores carbs in the muscle and the liver so that it can be broken down and converted to ATP for use as energy).
The problem with eating carbs too close to training is that the digestion of carbs raises insulin levels and insulin is a central nervous system depressant (it’s also a diuretic and causes sodium reabsorption at the distal tubule in the kidneys).

So when we eat too many carbs close to a training session, insulin levels are elevated and you end up feeling sluggish.

This is part of the reason why « post workout » carbs are so important…by eating a lot of carbs AFTER the workout, you take them in when the body is most prepared to transport those carbs into the muscle to be stored as glycogen (so they can be used during your next training session for energy).

There is more involved when you consider the benefits of periworkout carb intake and the effects that insulin have on amino acid uptake into the muscle, etc….but the easiest way to think of carbs when you want to use them to FUEL your training is that you don’t want the carbs in your bloodstream when you’re training….that will make you sluggish.
You want to eat your carbs far enough before training so that they have time to be taken up and stored in the muscle for use during your training.

It doesn’t seem quite so obvious when you think about it…but if you want to best use the carbohydrates you eat to fuel your weight training…the best time to eat them isn’t before you go to the gym…it’s AFTER you went to the gym the day before.