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  • Squat regression on Bridge 3.0?

    Hey BBM,
    • Background: 37 y/o M, 163lbs
    • Started SS in November 2019 (first time ever touching barbell) - finished with squat E1RM 230, DL 261
    • Bridge 1.0 around March 9th - finished: squat E1RM 261, DL 296
    • Bridge 3.0 around May 11th - currently on week 5
    My squat has started to regressed since the 2nd week in Bridge 3.0.

    Current estimates since starting:
    263 LBS [week 1]
    270 LBS
    267 LBS
    265 LBS
    248 LBS [current week]

    2 weeks ago I noticed I was squatting very high, so I dropped some weight from the squat and tried to hit depth properly. Similarly, I've noticed since week 3 that the squat were feeling heavier and heavier -- especially the singles at RPE 8

    It lead up to today, where after doing a single heavy 245 last week with OK depth at RPE 8, I added five lbs to try and do 250 with proper height, and completely failed the lift. I had even added additional warmups on my way up to ensure I could handle it -- my single at 225 felt fine.

    It's the first time I've 'failed' a lift since like, my 2nd month in SS.

    My deadlift has continued to go up and has felt good:
    301 LBS
    303 LBS
    303 LBS
    308 LBS

    ....however, I've noticed my legs in general are not feeling rested anymore. Around the same time my squat started to get impacted, my legs have remained tight and a bit sore. There's no pain like injury... they just feel over used.

    My weight has remained the same since about starting Bridge 1.0; my sleep is actually better than ever; stress is consistent.

    I had already purchased Powerbuilding I in anticipation of running that after this, but now I think I may want to go to hypertrophy for a bit.

    Any thoughts on what could be going on with my squat progress? Am I being too aggressive with myself?

    Love your work; thanks!

  • #2
    CMorales,

    Thanks for the post. If I had to guess, I think you were squatting high before and now with the change in depth, you have less development there- making the majority of these reps really hard. Additionally, having no prior exposure to singles makes it hard to compare e1RMs from 1 @ 8 sets to 5 @ 10 until you get a bit more experience. Finally, I think that it's important to say we'd prefer if you didn't fail a rep, but rather err on the side of caution. I'd be curious to see the 245 x 1 single, as it represents the heaviest weight you've done for 1 rep (if I'm reading your log correctly). If it was a smokeshow the week before, then 250 was the right choice and...sometimes it just be like that. If it was a little grindy or high, I'm not sure I'd expect to go up.

    So, a few questions baked into that response above. Let me know!

    -Jordan
    Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
    ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

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    • #3
      I had definitely not intended on failing the rep, and one of the things I love about the Bridge (1.0 and now 3.0), is that I haven't experienced the horrible grinds that had tormented me towards the end of SS LP. I think, however, I need to respect RPE a lot more, and perhaps I've been treating Bridge 1.0 and 3.0 like a weekly LP... up to this point, I've been pretty much able to add weight to squat and DL every week, and perhaps I've been in denial about how I've gotten here with regards to my squat form.

      A bit of my weekly single RPE 8 squat history is (going from this week and going backwards in time

      - 250 [ failed; did not attempt another single rep this day. Adjusted E1RM to 245, and reset all squat reps that day from that weight -- they all went fine, but were a lot lower weight)
      - 245 [ RPE 8.5 ; apparently good depth but I did not see it and my training partner is very new ]
      - 260, 255 [ RPE 9; the 260 was very high according to my workout partner, so I rested and tried again at 255. They recorded me this time, and I could see I was still high, so that's when I committed to dropping 10lbs for next week and trying again ]
      - 250 [ RPE 8; no one to call out my depth]
      - no heavy single this week -- first week of Bridge 3.0
      - 240 [ RPE 8; no one to call out my depth. end of Bridge 1.0 ]
      - 238 [ RPE 9; no one to call out my depth ]

      In your experience, how much 'harder' is squatting high (~2-3" above parallel) than reaching depth (just below parallel). Worth an RPE or 2, or more?

      I will record next week's heavy single... I will probably drop the weight further for that lift. Perhaps even dramatically so to like 235 or 230, but will try to do a better job of letting the warm-up dictate how it feels. The problem I experience, however, is that warm-ups don't feel particularly good until I start moving heavy weight, and the first sets of heavy work dont feel as good as the 2nd, 3rd, and sometimes even 4th sets. It's almost like I am slow to warm-up, and then hit a kind of "runners' high"

      I will reflect more on, "If it was a little grindy or high, I'm not sure I'd expect to go up.", and try to incorporate this into my expectations, only doing so when the lifts felt good.

      What thoughts do you have on the Bridge 3.0 leaving me feeling sore and tight more-so than 1.0 ever did? Should I listen to this soreness and not try to add weight to muscle groups if they are still sore/tired?

      I also wanted to add that I had incorporated Front Squats on my 3rd squat day since I didnt have access to a leg press or SBS. And because I had never done those before, my early weights for front squats were very, very light. Despite being 10 reps, I doubt they were adding much to my ability to LBBS. They started off with an E1RM probably 1/3 my LBSS. After a few weeks, they're up to a little past 1/2 my LBBS, but still so light I dont know what kind of specific transfer/benefit they have. Could this essentially mean I've cut out adaptation-causing squat volume, and am effectively only squatting 2x a week? Early on when I was first starting out (back in late 2019), I would only squat 2x a week, and found I stayed sore until I went 3x.

      Once again, thank you for all of your programs and efforts. The fact that you find the time to respond to these posts is incredible, and has made me appreciate your organization even more. I try to spread the gospel whenever I can, and have even managed to convert some other lifters from SS to your programs (and gotten them to buy some, too!)

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      • #4
        Originally posted by cmorales954 View Post
        I had definitely not intended on failing the rep, and one of the things I love about the Bridge (1.0 and now 3.0), is that I haven't experienced the horrible grinds that had tormented me towards the end of SS LP. I think, however, I need to respect RPE a lot more, and perhaps I've been treating Bridge 1.0 and 3.0 like a weekly LP... up to this point, I've been pretty much able to add weight to squat and DL every week, and perhaps I've been in denial about how I've gotten here with regards to my squat form.

        A bit of my weekly single RPE 8 squat history is (going from this week and going backwards in time

        - 250 [ failed; did not attempt another single rep this day. Adjusted E1RM to 245, and reset all squat reps that day from that weight -- they all went fine, but were a lot lower weight)
        - 245 [ RPE 8.5 ; apparently good depth but I did not see it and my training partner is very new ]
        - 260, 255 [ RPE 9; the 260 was very high according to my workout partner, so I rested and tried again at 255. They recorded me this time, and I could see I was still high, so that's when I committed to dropping 10lbs for next week and trying again ]
        - 250 [ RPE 8; no one to call out my depth]
        - no heavy single this week -- first week of Bridge 3.0
        - 240 [ RPE 8; no one to call out my depth. end of Bridge 1.0 ]
        - 238 [ RPE 9; no one to call out my depth ]
        Yea I think this is mostly due to the shifting depth. I'd also bet some of your work sets may be high as well, which confounds the issue. Got a video, by chance?

        Originally posted by cmorales954 View Post
        In your experience, how much 'harder' is squatting high (~2-3" above parallel) than reaching depth (just below parallel). Worth an RPE or 2, or more?
        Hard to say RPE-wise, but it can be a substantial amount of weight.

        Originally posted by cmorales954 View Post
        What thoughts do you have on the Bridge 3.0 leaving me feeling sore and tight more-so than 1.0 ever did? Should I listen to this soreness and not try to add weight to muscle groups if they are still sore/tired?
        I wouldn't use that marker to make any changes, as we expect you to get used to it. That said, you might not be able to catch up if your RPE is always a bit high, so I would advocate for conservative RPE use for the remainder of the program and see how you do.

        Originally posted by cmorales954 View Post

        I also wanted to add that I had incorporated Front Squats on my 3rd squat day since I didnt have access to a leg press or SBS. And because I had never done those before, my early weights for front squats were very, very light. Despite being 10 reps, I doubt they were adding much to my ability to LBBS. They started off with an E1RM probably 1/3 my LBSS.
        Yea that's not unusual. However, I wouldn't necessarily agree that they're not adding anything to your LBBS. We have evidence showing that if they're using the same relative intensity, e.g. 50%, 70%, or 100%- both variations activate the same amount of muscle mass and motor units.

        It might not be very specific for you, but we can only tell that retrospectively after the program is over and I would assume a reasonable amount of transfer.
        Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
        ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

        Comment


        • #5
          I will go ahead and start being more conservative with RPE, especially with my squats, for the remainer of the program and see if I go back to feeling more recovered (I basically feel tight/sore all week long, and it kind of gets old).

          Today was paused beltless squats. I had my wife record me and yell at me for depth, and if I forgot to pause. I brought my weights down by ~30-40lbs.

          Hitting the depth, and trying to pause (something I routinly forget to do in paused squats), made these a lot harder.

          This was my first working set, and it was supposed to be an RPE 7, but it felt more like an 8: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Dsu...ature=youtu.be

          I subsequently adjusted the other sets accordingly.

          Thanks again!

          Comment


          • #6
            Looks like your last rep was a bit high there. I would have your wife count "one one thousand, two-one thousand" so you remember to pause at the bottom of each squat.

            Other things I see:

            1) Looks like you're focusing a lot on hip drive. I'd probably cue you to drive up with your legs so your hips don't shoot back.
            2) You could take an additional moment to get tighter with your valsalva and pulling your elbows down prior to your descent.

            Otherwise, carry on!
            Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
            ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Jordan Feigenbaum View Post
              1) Looks like you're focusing a lot on hip drive. I'd probably cue you to drive up with your legs so your hips don't shoot back.
              Interesting! So this was kind of surpising feedback. I had developed that movement from a SS seminar I went to back in January here in Florida. I've also found that, under heavy weights -- this has helped me move more weight / get out of the hole, but it has made the transition midway in standing up very hard (i.e., kind of feels like going from hip dominant to more quad involvement). Do you have a link to additional form guidance/resources you'd give on this specific cue? I've even seen Rip (just in videos) seem to ignore it in lifters, so while I noticed my knees shooting back, I thought maybe it was OK. Would the cue be more to just stand-up like in a deadlift? Trying to figure out how to maintain my hip draaahve vs. just standing up. Thanks!

              Comment


              • #8
                Yea, this is a SS-hold over and while all cues have their appropriate time and place, I've found that people focusing on hip drive sometimes drive the hips back a bit too much and get too horizontal. I don't think we've written or made additional content on this just yet. However, I'd recommend thinking about leg drive and keeping your knees rather stationary on the way up.

                Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
                ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

                Comment


                • #9
                  Awesome; sounds like I have some homework and new lessons to work on. Thanks for the guidance!

                  Comment

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