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"Squeeze your Glutes" or "How not to get hurt as a fat lazy fuck new to lifting"

February 17, 2016

If you're like me, you are

  • fat
  • lazy
  • middle aged
  • sedentary
  • sits a lot

You are a prime candidate for permanently fucking up your knees and other joints by going too heavy too fast on a new weightlifting program.

My story: 4 weeks into SL I tore my meniscus on a warmup squat with the empty bar. It was a year before I squatted weight again. Eventually after doing stronglifts twice in a year I developed pain in both knees, both shoulders, and both elbows, and my strength plateaued.

The Knees

Eventually I realized the root cause of all my knee issues was FAILURE TO ENGAGE MY GLUTES. I was squatting without using my glutes. I was doing it all with my quads. I just wasn't engaging them at all.

In fact I realized that I was NEVER engaging them EVER. Not when I walked, not when I climbed stairs, never ever did I use my glutes and I had a pancake ass and a torn meniscus to show for it.

If you are like me and you are new to squatting:

  • Start with BODYWEIGHT (your fatness is already adding a bunch of extra weight)
  • Don't add weight until you can hit 15 reps with bodyweight
  • Add weight slowly; start with dumbells, work up to the empty bar
  • SQUEEZE YOUR GLUTES AS HARD AS YOU CAN THE WHOLE WAY DOWN AND THE WHOLE WAY UP (also applies to dead lift and overhead press)
  • Update: Do 3rd world squats daily; great squat mobility exercise
  • Update: Drive your knees out HARD; squats happen BETWEEN your knees; use the machine to strengthen this if you need to

I can't emphasize this last point enough. Since I had my epiphany I've been making a conscious effort to squeeze my glutes ALL THE TIME. When I'm walking, when I'm standing, even when I'm sitting. Now when I walk up stairs or up a hill I lean forward a little and REALLY use my glutes to propel myself.

When I squat OR deadlift I squeeze my glutes at the TOP and I KEEP them TIGHT the whole way down so they stretch out like a rubber band and store all that energy. I don't worry about my quads, they activate themselves, but I have to really make a conscious effort to activate my glues.

HST is beneficial to new squatters because the lactic acid released during the high rep phases triggers connective tissue growth and strengthening.

The Shoulders

My shoulder problems started, ironically, after I STOPPED strong lifts for the second time. A few days later they started to ache. There was no obvious injury, it was simply overuse from trying to break through my 185lb bench press plateu. Lifting close to my limit for weeks on end had taken it's toll.

The answer was to switch from StrongLifts to HST. After one HST cycle, my shoulder problems were gone, even after the heavy parts of the cycle. The higher rep ranges with lighter weights really work to prepare the joint for the heavier lifting to come. And restricting the heavy low rep phase to two weeks works to reduce the risk of injury. It's the lactic acid. I used to hate it. Now I LOVE it.

The Elbows

My pull strength has lagged my other lifts, partly because I developed tennis elbow in both elbows from too many heavy bent over rows.

The solution here, once again, was to switch to HST and prepare my joints for the heavier sets by doing lighter, higher rep sets first. I also added lat pulldowns and sometimes I do a few bicep curls just to get a little extra pull love. I've also started to warmup on the rowing machine; a great pull warmup.

The other thing that really helped me here was the Tyler Twist. I outgrew the red bar pretty quick so I switched to a 10lb dumbell which I raise with my free hand and lower eccentrically with the working wrist. I've gotten popular at my gym since I started telling the tennis players about it, it's really helping them.


Fuck strength, I like not being crippled by bad joints. Joints take longer to adapt than muscles do and SL and other programs with continuous low rep high weight are prone to injuring joints because of this especially in older fat fucks. Besides, once your muscles hypertrophy, you'll be able to increase your strength again.

HST is better because it has you start out with 15 rep sets. The lactic acid stimulates joint adaptation preparing them for the heavier sets to come. And when the heavier sets do come they end after two weeks so you don't grind your cartilage down to the stump trying to get that next 5 lbs. I don't like the suggested HST lifts so I made my own HST program based on compound lifts. I'm loving it and I can really see the results.

If you DO start with a strength program, STOP WHEN YOU PLATEAU and switch to HST or some other program that spends at least some time in higher rep ranges.

The key takeaway WRT squats is start light and SQUEEZE YOUR GLUTES.

The other day I was in the gym and one of the trainers was saying to a new client "Yeah a lot of guys come in here who've never lifted before and they download a program off the Internet and hurt themselves" and I was thinking "fuck that hits close to home".

Especially with squats. For the love of knees, if you're a fat fuck like me, start with body weight, focus on form, squeeze those fuckin glutes, and get high rep sets, before you get under the bar. You don't even want to know what surgery costs to correct sports injuries, or what the success rate is.

Lifting is one of the best things you can do for your body. Science is discovering all kinds of great things about myokenes and their healthful effects and there's no other way to reap those benefits than to build muscle in the gym and that means hypertrophy. But take it slow. DON'T GET HURT. You only get one body and you need it to last a long time.

edit: minor

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Post Information
Title "Squeeze your Glutes" or "How not to get hurt as a fat lazy fuck new to lifting"
Author alpha_n3rd
Upvotes 99
Comments 86
Date February 17, 2016 6:58 PM UTC (7 years ago)
Subreddit /r/TheRedPill
Archive Link
Original Link
Red Pill terms in post

[–]benuntu24 points25 points  (5 children) | Copy Link

When in doubt, squeeze your glutes!!!

I actually read that a couple years ago when I started lifting. And I'll be damned if it isn't the best advice 90% of the time. Glute activation and the posterior chain is incredibly important in not only weightlifting but for overall fitness. And squeezing those glutes will aid in proper form.

[–]xray777 9 points9 points [recovered] | Copy Link

As a structural engineer with no background in anatomy (ok, some), if you are squatting weight, you need tension through your back, around your ass, and down the back of your legs. Basic physics.

If your glutes are slack, that load path is going to find another place to travel.....usually resulting in tremendous reactions (nerd speak for "forces") in your front joints....knees, hips.

The ass acts a tremendous source of what we call "section modulus", which is the thickness of something trying to hold weight. If your ass, sticking way out in back, is slack and not participating, you're a sheet of paper trying to deadlift a cinder block.

Your ass is a pulley. Engage it, and you totally change your body physics.

[–]PineTree227 points8 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

I agree 100%.

Glute inactivation can and likely will lead to back, hip, leg, knee pain and injury.

My glutes were so unable to be activated that all the exercises websites recommended to fix the issue did nothing; other muscles were still compensating instead, and I was left with terrible hip and knee pain.

What has helped me come a long way was the use of bands around the knee while squatting, which almost force you to activate the glutes.

Also, look up lateral band walks and sumo walks, if interested.

[–]alpha_n3rd[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Yeah I forgot to mention I've had occasional hip pain; that too has gotten better since switching to HST and engaging my glutes.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Damn near everything uses your glutes, abs and lower back as support muscles. Lower back injuries are common because it's your "last line of defense" if you will and takes whatever strain your abs and glutes do not.

[–]TermsOfColors10 points11 points  (10 children) | Copy Link

I was squatting without using my glutes.

Is that even possible with squats?

I would add that you should engage your abdominals as hard as you can. The weight belt God gave you.

[–]alpha_n3rd[S] 3 points4 points  (7 children) | Copy Link

Not only is it possible but seemingly common among fat pancake ass office workers. I swear our glutes have atrophied. It creates an imbalance of forces on the knee, fucking shit up.

[–]TaylorWolf4 points5 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

I heard the other day that women are able to develop hips/ass (even with a sedentary lifestyle) in order to be able to give birth.

Men on the other hand have no reason whatsoever to develop hips/ass in a sedentary lifestyle. You gotta go out there and earn it.

[–][deleted] 3 points4 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

Another thing that goes with office work is that your hamstrings get unusually tight, which pulls the glutes down, further flattening your ass. Streeeeeetch those bitches and, as if by magic, suddenly you fill out the seat of your pants and you can bring your glutes to bear.

[–]alpha_n3rd[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

yeah I usually do some toe touches and 3rd world squats to warm up the legs

[–]TurduckenII1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

This is a good introduction to gluteal amnesia, common in a sedentary lifestyle even with occasional trips to the gym.

[–]alpha_n3rd[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

I'm clenching my glutes as I sit here reading this excellent article; thanks for posting.

Lately I'm just squeezing the fuck out of my glutes during ALL my exercises. That way my glutes are ready to go when I get to squats.

[–]marplaneit1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

For people who rarely walk, sit al day, and have never done any kind of heavy lower body training, glutes are almost inexistant, and like you said "Atrophied" it is not "atrophied", but the the neuro-muscular conections are wired to mínimum level because you don't use glutes for anything...

[–]alpha_n3rd[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

atrophy is an exaggeration

[–]Senior Contributordr_warlock2 points3 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

Newbs and people with bad flexibility lean too far forward and dont go down low enough to activate their glutes fully. It's not a squat at all.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

People in such shape should be doing wall squats as a mobility drill and front squats instead of back. Back has a superior long term strength but front has a superior corrective nature.

[–]Senior Contributor: "The Court Jester"GayLubeOil9 points10 points  (16 children) | Copy Link

I really hope you get on TRT, that way your body will actually repair itself rather than falling apart like humpty dumpty.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (14 children) | Copy Link

Testosterone replacement training?

You mean steroids?

Just asking.

[–]Senior Contributor: "The Court Jester"GayLubeOil12 points13 points  (5 children) | Copy Link

It's when a man in his 40 asks his doctor to bring his testosterone to normal levels.

[–]testonator4 points5 points  (4 children) | Copy Link

Or for someone with just abnormal/low levels. I'm in my early 20s and on HRT (hcg monotherapy, works like TRT).

[–]burneracct111 point2 points  (3 children) | Copy Link

Did you get it through your normal doc?

What did the HCG bring your levels up to?

[–]testonator1 point2 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

Got referred to a endocrinologist who happen to have a lot of experience and contact with some of the leading people in this field in my country.

My levels before the therapy was around 300 and is now at around 850, I've had some problems with e2 so I might switch to Nebido instead, long lasting testosterone injection.

[–]RedPillScare1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

Before Nebido, try some anastrozole. Your doc should prescribe this. Tell him your nipples are sore if he's on the fence.

[–]testonator0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

I'm trying but e2 medication is very rarely used on men here, it doesn't seem to be a part of TRT at all which is very strange. Acoording to my doctor, gyno is one of the side-effects of TRT that you just have to live with... I might have to go the illegal way for that one.

[–]bizarrehorsecreature 5 points5 points [recovered] | Copy Link

Testosterone replacement therapy. It's steroids but it's not steroids steroids.

It's anabolic steroids, but TRT just focuses on bringing atrophied levels of testosterone up to normal levels.

Actual steroid use brings your testosterone up to multiple times what is considered "upper normal limits". And that's just with a basic test cycle. When you add in all of the various other compounds, you can gain size like a gorilla.

When you ask "you mean steroids?", what you should be asking is "you mean anabolic steroids?", because steroids simply refer to exogenous hormones. And anabolic steroids are the minority.

But TRT won't have any bad effects, especially if you're over 40. The life-threatening side effects of steroids are mostly attributed to weight gain, and not the steroids themselves. If you're 260 pounds, then you're putting yourself at risk no matter what. The other side effects such as acne, balding and testicular atrophy wouldn't concern a 40 year old. TRT doesn't really carry any cardiovascular risks and generally just serves to increase your wellbeing and quality of life if you can afford it.

[–]jnsu_3 points4 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

trt shuts down your normal test that's the only reason why I'm sketchy about not getting on trt. I'm not an expert but I heard hcg while on trt makes it to where it normal test don't shut down my test is 716 natty

[–]RedPillScare3 points4 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

You can do both. T injections plus HCG plus appropriate aromatase inhibitors gets your T up, keeps your testes from shrinking, and is less expensive than HCG alone.

[–]timmy2trashed0 points1 point  (2 children) | Copy Link

Trt is a steroid, synthetic testosterone. And synthetic t causes your body to be more anabolic. So yes it is an anabolic steroid.

[–]bizarrehorsecreature 1 points1 points [recovered] | Copy Link

You must have misinterpreted my comment. What I meant was that TRT isn't like using superphysiological amounts that you often see posted in this threads.

Like I said, it's steroids, but it's not steroids steroids. It's not like being a tren monkey. It's just meant to normalize.

Testosterone replacement therapy. It's steroids but it's not steroids steroids.

It's anabolic steroids, but TRT just focuses on bringing atrophied levels of testosterone up to normal levels.

I plainly stated that TRT is using anabolic steroids.

[–]timmy2trashed0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Yup I misread what u said. Stupid brain added a not in there, my bad. Carry on

[–]bigmfkr0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

steroids simply refer to exogenous hormones

Well, actually, steroids refer to a group of chemicals with similar structure. Namely, 4 specifically aligned carbon rings. Some of them act as hormones, some don't. My favorite examples are vitamin D3 and cholesterol. Both are steroids, and people's brains explode when I explain it to them.

[–]ankorage15 points6 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

Don't be the huffing fat dude that decides to enter a gym and run full speed on the treadmill, get on the bike. Easier on the knees.

[–]alpha_n3rd[S] 6 points7 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

I do the elliptical. The bike killed my knees.

I'm not even that fat, just really really sedentary.

[–]ChadThundercockII4 points5 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

3rd world squats

The primal human pattern that shaped our bodies and was used for sitting, shittng, and contemplating the wonders of the universe is now called a 3rd world squat. HA

[–]redfallhammer8 points9 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

Serious question, did you read Starting Strength by Riptoe before lifting?

[–]tripthree3 points4 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

I would suggest if you are new to the gym or unfit that you start with a partner or trainer. They can watch your technique, you will progress faster, and you will come to the gym more often if you know someone is waiting for you. Or consider a crossfit type of class, where the instructor can give you advice on the spot. Just dont try to push the recommended weight when you're new. Less is better when you're new.

[–]alpha_n3rd[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

yeah I probably should have done that but I'm poor and a "do it myself sort of guy". Yeah, I paid the price, but even in hindsight I dunno if I'd have gotten a trainer. Your odds of getting a shit trainer are pretty good.. I mean I do watch the other guys there, we've got a few serious bodybuilders, but hardly anybody squats, I'm one of the few and the proud.

[–][deleted] 4 points5 points  (3 children) | Copy Link

Fellow fat fuck here. I recently switched from Stronglifts to Arnold's Golden Six for similar reasons. Sure it feels good to be able to lift two plates or whatever but that struck me as a distraction from the real goal, which is to chisel a physique from this 300+ pound lump of fat that is my cube farm fashioned body, thus improving my SMV.

She wants to run her fingers across your six pack, not your equipment.

I like Golden Six because it's higher rep range converts fat to muscle just a skosh better. Plus I get a good workout and don't feel like I'm risking injury.

As for the glutes, I've found that activating them helps in every...single... exercise. Don't know why, but I can (metaphorically) squeeze a few extra reps out of any set by (literally) squeezing my glutes.

[–]LiftingStrongLifts0 points1 point  (2 children) | Copy Link

not trying to be a dick but the purpose of lifting heavy weight is to get in good shape for most of us.

Honestly, and you're not alone here, but people always blame themselves last. Tons of people have successfully completed stronglifts and are greatful for it. The program's not at fault, you are.

It's a challenging program that requires you to squat 3 times a week yes but you gotta keep your ego in check. Start with the bar and keep improving form. It took me 40 days to get my form right and I made changes repeatedly and kept plateauing myself so I could nail form. I'm almost done the program and my legs are much bigger, my chest is nicer, I'm seeing abdominal toning, etc. Must have spent at least 25 hours total on squat research.

Look in the mirror first before blaming the program. In fact, take that as advice for anything in life. I do agree it's a challenging program but it's usually the individual that is at fault. Cheers.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy Link

not trying to be a dick

You seem to have managed it nonetheless.

[–]LiftingStrongLifts0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

if that's your takeaway from the post, so be it. Have a good day.

[–]102117991078 points9 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

You are confusing the conscious squeezing of the glutes with the subconscious activation of them. You can't squat if your glutes aren't activated, they're part of the posterior chain. Anytime you squat they're activated you just don't know it. You voluntarily squeeze them and now you think they "never" activated before.

Not to be a dick but this misinformation. Don't believe me, head over the Mark Rippetoes site and look up glutes activation. Here it from the man himself. Proper LP progression with correct form and loading will make everything involved in squatting stronger. Glutes included.

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Hire a trainer and have him teach you to squat, deadlift and stretch.

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

I have been arguing with a few guys here on TRP about this. I was advocating a GPP (General Preparedness Program) using kettle bells over jumping straight into 'lifting'. I figured they were in their teens or early 20s. I am in my early 30s and I have seen too many people take on poorly thought out plans, ignore their stability, or conditioning, general fitness for the goal of getting strong, or worse yet 'getting big'. People trying to develop their main movers instead of their stabilizers. What happens to these guys most of the time? They get some immediate short term gains and then usually an injury or some other imbalance.

[–]LiftingStrongLifts0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

the individual and his ego is at fault, not the program.

[–]QQ_L2P2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Also, when squatting, make sure you've set the safety bars up properly. If you feel your heels come off the floor, and you're new to squatting, DO NOT TRY TO PUSH OUT YOUR CHEST AND RECOVER YOUR FORM. Drop to one knee and get that weight off. Once your form is gone, you've failed the rep. Stop and start again.

If you haven't done any sort of conditioning for your lower back this is the fastest way to get yourself put out for 3 months. I got cocky because I used to be able to squat 150 Kg and thought "how could 90 hurt me"?

Don't get cocky. Respect the weight.

[–]Money_Bags971 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

Not to mention the ass gainz from squeezing those glutes

Glutes for sloots

[–]alpha_n3rd[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Dude it's true my wife is starting to notice I've got something back there now

[–]EdmondDaunts1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

A number of things:

1) You slightly over emphasise squeezing glutes with a subtle "showing your balls" movement so as to help spread the weight over your feet. It means the knees track over your feet when you squat and so you don't get the slight cave-in that over time can mean hurt knees.

2) For heavy sets get squat shoes. You can squat flat feet for lower weight or different styles of squat. But when you are at your heaviest use squat shoes. It helps a lot with form.

3) Shoulder problems? Do the Press ( overhead press ). Learn how to grip the bar so that you are pushing up with your arm bones instead of wrists. You twist your hands slightly and hold the bar at a slight angle to your palm. Keep it tight and lift. It sorts the shoulders right out. It also teaches you to bring the shoulder blades back when benching.

Lastly if you are getting joint problems periodize with heavy and light sets. There's no rush.

[–]alpha_n3rd[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

I wear all-stars with an arch support insert that lifts the heel a bit. I'll get real shoes someday.

I overhead press every workout. My shoulders never hurt while I was lifting, only later. I think I might have aggravated it somewhat by not keeping my shoulder blades squeezed together and flat on the bench. Now I'm super focused on keeping them tight.

You're absolutely right about the periodization. I think the 15 rep sets is the key factor of the HST program that cured my joint problems; starting with high reps low weight and working over time to lower reps higher weight.

The other thing that helped my shoulders that I forgot to mention were these mobility exercises, although I only really used occasionally them to relieve symptoms.

[–]Rasalom722 points3 points  (8 children) | Copy Link

Firstly, if you started SL, and you didn't READ his documentation, and you didn't watch his videos, where he SPECIFICALLY TELLS YOU what to do.. then you deserve to get hurt.

He tells you to focus on your glutes and your abs. He says it numerous times. Don't be a dumb ass and read/ follow the directions given.

[–]bragason6 points7 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

The SL teaching material is pretty sub-par tbh.

[–]alpha_n3rd[S] 3 points4 points  (5 children) | Copy Link

I THOUGHT I was using them.

[–]PineTree223 points4 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

Many people that sit all day lose (temporarily) the ability to engage/activate the glutes properly, even while focusing on it. The neural pathways just don't work as they should.

OP probably thought he was squeezing them, but other muscles were likely still involved when they shouldn't have been.

Gluteal amnesia usually requires slow/light rehab to rework these pathways.

[–]alpha_n3rd[S] 2 points3 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

Totally, and that's exactly what I did, just started squeezing the fuck out of them all time, especially when walking uphill or upstairs, and doing lots of bodyweight squats. I'm taking it super slow with adding weight. My squat is pathetic but I'd rather have a pathetic squat than bad knees.

[–]LiftingStrongLifts0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

you're welcome to inbox me, I've put a considerable amount of time into squat form.

[–]marplaneit-1 points0 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

I feel bad for laughing at the injury with an empty bar, maybe you should try some SARMs...

[–]alpha_n3rd[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

not my issue. my sex drive is fine. I have backne. I'm gaining size and strength on all other lifts. just bad knees + bad glutes + bad form == torn meniscus and wait 8 months to start squatting again.

[–]alpha_n3rd[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

I mean I fuck off at work and read lifting stuff just about daily. I've read everything thats online.

[–]RealityBitesU1 point2 points  (7 children) | Copy Link

Tore your meniscus on an empty bar? Goddamn, that's a level of pathetic-ness I pray I never reach.

In looking over OP'S advice, it seems geared for invalids and cripples. In that respect, it's probably solid.

[–]alpha_n3rd[S] 8 points9 points  (6 children) | Copy Link

It was a warmup rep. I was getting ready to do 5x145lbs. This was after 5 weeks of squatting. I was on the way down. As usual I didn't activate my glutes so I stopped my descent with my quads. Near the bottom I heard a pop. PT diagnosed it as torn meniscus.

Now a year later I squat pain free with a lot of focus on consciously squeezing my glutes. I just recently hit 165 which is still pretty pathetic as far as squats go, but it's progress, and my knees are pain free so I don't plan on stopping.

I got my deadlift up to 300 despite the knees so I've got that going for me.

As I said, my advice is geared towards bigger older guys who've led sedentary lifestyles, IE fat nerds, we seem to be well represented around here and almost universally have a fat gut and weak posterior chain.

[–]Wncsnake1 point2 points  (5 children) | Copy Link

If you are deadlifting 300 and squatting half that, you are more than strong enough to squat 275, I think you just need to work your cas to get used to the weight, and to not be intimidated by it. Do you have any videos of you squatting?

[–]alpha_n3rd[S] 0 points1 point  (4 children) | Copy Link

I will get there, I just had to take, like, 8 months off from squatting to let my knees recover, now I'm just getting back to where I stopped originally at 5 weeks into SL.

[–]Wncsnake0 points1 point  (3 children) | Copy Link

Do you have previous knee injuries? Also, jumping (literally just jumping up and down, forwards and backwards) is a great way to get all of your lower body to harden the fuck up and to start working properly. There is a process to doing it properly, so that you don't hurt yourself. I am on mobile right now, but I will link the article when I get home tonight.

[–]alpha_n3rd[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Not really, although they would occasionally get random aches and pains. They generally feel better than ever now.

I used to ski a lot, which I think is another factor in the imbalance; again I always emphasized my quads. I actually have pretty well developed legs compared to the rest of my body, even as a fat lazy nerd, I credit teenage skiing.

[–]bleed-red0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy Link

Can you share this link or PM me?

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

The hip hinge motion is very important too. Chest forward, shoulders back, core tight. All important.

[–]jnsu_0 points1 point  (2 children) | Copy Link

would a weight belt be good for this?

[–]alpha_n3rd[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

No. Start with bodyweight, then switch to dumbells, then when you get over 40 lbs combined dumbell weight switch to the bar.

[–]RedPillScare0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

No belt will make your gluten fire, unless it's slapping your ass, and this is the wrong subreddit for that.

[–]snake_case0 points1 point  (3 children) | Copy Link

Care to share what your modified HST routine looks like? I created my own as well after about a year(ish) with SL5x5, and I'm interested in seeing how others design theirs. I would have gone with an established program, but I'm just a contrarian asshole.

[–]alpha_n3rd[S] 0 points1 point  (2 children) | Copy Link

The main thing was I wanted to keep doing the same compound lifts, but one of the key aspects of HST is working every muscle group at least every other day and I wanted to keep doing a 3 day/wk whole body program. So this is what I came up with.

Standard HST progression; 15 reps for 2 weeks, 10 reps for 2 weeks, 5 reps for 2 weeks. If I can get a few extra I do. If I can't quite make them all I don't worry about it.

  1. 2 sets overhead press (push)
  2. 2 sets bent over row (pull)
  3. 2 sets bench press (push)
  4. 2 sets squat or 1 set deadlifts (legs)
  5. 2 sets pec fly (push)
  6. 2 sets lat PD (pull)

Plus the usual warmup sets, like 0 or 1 when just starting the 15s, work up to about 4 for the 5's. Plus I do 10 mins of cardio pre-workout to warmup. I found the elliptical was pretty good for my knee, although now I'm rowing to try and give my pull some extra love.

Note how I'm alternating push/pull and trying not to do two back exercises in a row (doing row then deadlift sucks). I usually work the pec fly and lat pd sets in together.

Biceps and triceps don't get any isolation but they get 4 compound sets each so I think it's OK. Pecs get a little isolation since their only other involvement is in bench press. Lats only get lat PD but whatever, and lat PD also hits your bis.

This way I get 4 sets on the bis, 4 on the tris, 4 on the pecs, 2 on the lats, shoulders get hit on almost everything, 3 or 4 on the back, 1 or 2 on the legs. It could probably use some trap work and some more lat work.

On the legs, well, research shows that with each successive set you get diminishing returns. Optimizing hypertrophy means causing the right amount of the right kind of damage to the muscle at the right intervals. Too many sets is no bueno. Even Medhi says 1 set of deads, and 2 sets of squats has been working well for me both in increasing strength and size. Besides my legs are already disproportionately larger and better developed than my upper body.

I've noticed a slight imbalance in my left arm so sometimes I give it a few dumbell isolation exercises at the end. Also my pull strength and bicep size has has lagged my push/triceps somewhat so sometimes if I'm not running late I do some faggot bends to try and even things out.

[–]snake_case1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

Nice! I arrived at about the same general workout (though I do squats + deads every workout and no OHP because I'm a moron - should really start those). Cheers!

[–]alpha_n3rd[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

I found squats + deads + rows every workout to be too much on my back, but YMMV.

[–]Endorsed ContributorJamesSkepp0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link


Do squeeze them as hard as you can BUT start with light squeeze, short time and move to harder longer. As with any exercise - start slow and let your body adapt.

This is very important as squeezing glutes will most likely result in activating your hamstrings too, and that is an easy way to knee injury.

Again - squeeze hard but first week start light.

[–]RedPillAccount690 points1 point  (2 children) | Copy Link

Add weight slowly; start with dumbells, work up to the empty bar

Does this mean hold two dumbbells on your shoulders as you do squats?


[–]alpha_n3rd[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy Link

Just hold 'em out in front and to the side enough they don't hit your knees or the floor.

[–]Scorp010 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Inb4 snap city from deadlifting next

[–]EBPLLRP 1 points1 points [recovered] | Copy Link

Thank you for the post!

This was what I needed. I rely on the joints instead of the muscles thus injury. I noticed in yesterday's workout when I rushed through the warm-up. I woke up with pain in elbows. I'm glad I didn't push myself squatting yesterday because my knees just started to improve from previous injury.

Warm-up is key. Plus, glute activation.

[–]alpha_n3rd[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Yup, plus stretching, plus mobility work, plus accessory prehab work, plus high rep sets sometimes.

[–]monkmode666 1 points1 points [recovered] | Copy Link

They should put this on the side bar. The 1st couple months should be devoted to extremely light weight lifting if you want big muscles in the long run and to remain injury free. Trainers at the gym load people up with so much weight that it ends up killing the mitochondria in the cells-burnout. They're core muscles fire but the auxiliary muscles/joints end up being overused.

[–]TheDialecticParadox4 points5 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Months of light training is ridiculous. If you have a proper trainer they will get your form perfect on all the lifts in 1 or 2 sessions, then you can start loading on more weight.

It's a different story if you're an intermediate/advanced lifter and need to re-learn everything you know after years of training.

[–]alpha_n3rd[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

I didn't have that problem so much, I just maxed out my neurological adaptation and that point you can't get stronger without first growing the muscle or stressing the joint.

[–]logicalthinker10 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

You don't need to "squeeze" them. Just do a proper squat and you'll engage your glutes just fine

[–][deleted] -3 points-2 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

"Activate your X" is broscience.

If your glutes weren't activating you would fall over.

[–]alpha_n3rd[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

It's possible to emphasize your quads to the point you tear your meniscus, ask me how I know. It's also possible to squat pain free even with a torn meniscus by properly activating your glutes, again, ask me how I know.

*I should add that my glutes were sore as fuck after the first day I actually used them in the gym, none of my shit had been so sore since day one so more evidence that just wasn't using them prior

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