Bench bigger than squat

Kaisersemmel

Level 2 Valued Member
Yep. I have incline bench pressed 80kg/175lbs for 5, 3, 2 reps and when I tried to work up to a 5RM on the front squat I almost got stuck with 70kg/155lbs. Didn't feel so heavy at first but once I started to push back up from the hole my legs struggled quite a bit. On rep 5 they were pretty much done :D

Ok, yesterday was actually the first time I did barbell squats. I am thinking of giving "Reload" a go and am testing my strength on certain lifts. But I found it surprising, embarrassing and a bit funny. :)
 

Antti

Level 9 Valued Member
It's not rare. It is atypical if one has trained all the lifts equally. Depends on goals and preferences. A bit exacerbated by your exercise selection, comparing the overhead press to the back squat is another example.

But it seems to be a trend to value the upper body more, for example on this very site it is typically seen fit to load the upper body relatively much more heavily than the power body. Lots of presses with kettlebells, but the legs don't get a similar load. Most seem content with the way. But I get you, I too find it odd.
 

Kaisersemmel

Level 2 Valued Member
I didn't know what I was expecting going into this training session. But given that I regularly deadlifted I never even thought of my lower body as being weak. In hindsight it makes sense. But this sensation of sitting in the hole trying to stand up with a weight that doesn't want to move was gold. All leg strength and obviously not very much :)
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
I didn't know what I was expecting going into this training session. But given that I regularly deadlifted I never even thought of my lower body as being weak. In hindsight it makes sense. But this sensation of sitting in the hole trying to stand up with a weight that doesn't want to move was gold. All leg strength and obviously not very much :)
Yes, sounds like a good candidate for "Reload"! Or you could go even simpler... Because the good news is, the barbell squat is probably the most satisfying training area in terms of seeing a rapid increase in strength with a simple linear progression. Try 3 sets of 5 reps, 3 times a week, adding 5 lb to the bar each session. I'm borrowing that from Starting Strength novice linear progression-- that one is designed as part of a comprehensive 4-5 lift program and using the LBBS instead of the front squat, but I think you could use it for your front squat. You'll be amazed. Don't forget to eat and rest accordingly. Based on your description you may want to start at 130 lb where it's not so hard, and work up from there. When 5 lb increase every time is too much a few weeks in, make your middle day a light day with 2 sets of 5 at 90% of the first session of the week's weight.
 

Kaisersemmel

Level 2 Valued Member
Yes, sounds like a good candidate for "Reload"! Or you could go even simpler... Because the good news is, the barbell squat is probably the most satisfying training area in terms of seeing a rapid increase in strength with a simple linear progression. Try 3 sets of 5 reps, 3 times a week, adding 5 lb to the bar each session. I'm borrowing that from Starting Strength novice linear progression-- that one is designed as part of a comprehensive 4-5 lift program and using the LBBS instead of the front squat, but I think you could use it for your front squat. You'll be amazed. Don't forget to eat and rest accordingly. Based on your description you may want to start at 130 lb where it's not so hard, and work up from there. When 5 lb increase every time is too much a few weeks in, make your middle day a light day with 2 sets of 5 at 90% of the first session of the week's weight.
Thanks for the tip @Anna_C. I am not sure if I will use the FS. I just did it yesterday because I want to know how I do at the 1RM, 80% and 5RM test with all the different exercises in the book :)
 

North Coast Miller

Level 7 Valued Member
Don't overthink this, you get the results you train for and you have done essentially no barbell backsquats. A great deal of the instability you feel in the hole is a simple lack of neuromuscular familiarity.

You will find if you put in the work your squat will take off like a rocket, and drag all your other lifiting weights up with it.

When I was into BB work I stalled on my benchpress at about 250 for a few reps. One of the gym Bros told me flat out "you don't squat enough, and you don't squat heavy - it's holding you back"

Took it to heart and began really working squat, gained 10 lbs in about 6 weeks and my bench started climbing again as well. Heavy backsquat is probably the closest thing you can do to taking anabolic steroids - the entire body responds.
 

Oscar

Level 6 Valued Member
But it seems to be a trend to value the upper body more, for example on this very site it is typically seen fit to load the upper body relatively much more heavily than the power body. Lots of presses with kettlebells, but the legs don't get a similar load. Most seem content with the way. But I get you, I too find it odd.
You think? You may be right, I havent seen it that way.

I found S&S to be more lower body oriented. In the three main exercises, the upper body only works isometrically (except for the very minor floor press of the TGU). In two years doing the program I experienced some lower body growth, not so much upper body (I think). My legs and butt grew for sure.

I´m now starting ROP and it has a much higher focus on the upper body. but the first time I did a lot of presses my butt and and quads were very sore, to my surprise. But that was probably because I wasnt used to the isometric tension in the legs during the presses.

I´m now feeling my upper body a lot more during ROP than during S&S. The presses hit the upper body a lot. And I feel the snatches in my upper back and biceps, while the swings I feel mostly in hamstrings and butt.
 

Antti

Level 9 Valued Member
You think? You may be right, I havent seen it that way.

I found S&S to be more lower body oriented. In the three main exercises, the upper body only works isometrically (except for the very minor floor press of the TGU). In two years doing the program I experienced some lower body growth, not so much upper body (I think). My legs and butt grew for sure.

I´m now starting ROP and it has a much higher focus on the upper body. but the first time I did a lot of presses my butt and and quads were very sore, to my surprise. But that was probably because I wasnt used to the isometric tension in the legs during the presses.

I´m now feeling my upper body a lot more during ROP than during S&S. The presses hit the upper body a lot. And I feel the snatches in my upper back and biceps, while the swings I feel mostly in hamstrings and butt.
I haven't done S&S per se so I'm not sure I'm qualified to comment on it. But in any case it wasn't what I thought of originally. Neither is ROP, I suppose.

But I find it typical to see that the typical kettlebells are enough for both the squats and the presses. Even if we're talking about the kettlebell front squat, which is relatively lighter on the legs as it's harder on the midsection. My military press is my best lift and I back squat well over twice that I press. Imagine if I had to limit myself to my press weights with the squat?
 

Oscar

Level 6 Valued Member
I haven't done S&S per se so I'm not sure I'm qualified to comment on it. But in any case it wasn't what I thought of originally. Neither is ROP, I suppose.

But I find it typical to see that the typical kettlebells are enough for both the squats and the presses. Even if we're talking about the kettlebell front squat, which is relatively lighter on the legs as it's harder on the midsection. My military press is my best lift and I back squat well over twice that I press. Imagine if I had to limit myself to my press weights with the squat?
Yes, I see what you mean. And the growth I have noticed from S&S is nothing compared to heavy squatting. Similarly, my upper body has grown very little compared to a bench press and pull ups program. My conclusion probably is that I havent seen much hypertrophy, but I have seen more in the lower than the upper body during S&S.
 
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