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  1. #1
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    Getting bored of squats; bad idea to sub in leg press for time being?

    For the longest time, I really only did squats and deadlifts with the occasional leg curl for lower body training. Since the last few months of 2019, I took my squat from 285 lbs to 340 lbs. My leg development was fairly decent but in that time period, I simply grew bored of the exercise. Would it be a bad idea to sub in for leg press for a the next few weeks or so? I don’t feel too fatigued from squatting but the magic of it is now lost. I do plan on keeping deadlifts, however.

    Edit: by magic, I refer to the satisfaction of pushing heavy ass weight from the bottom
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    I personally wouldn’t, but if there’s potential for adherence to be compromised then do what you need to do. Alternatively, you could try a new squat variation instead of omitting it completely. I think it’s important every program has a barbell squatting movement if you’re physically able. Whether that’s a back, front, safety bar squat is entirely up to you. Just MO, though. Sounds like you need more variation in your programming to keep it interesting, but my approach would be to add/alternate movements between sessions as opposed to complete omission.
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    Time is Muscle ECGordyn's Avatar
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    How about keeping one solid set of squats in your training, and then doing most of your quad work with a variation or something?

    Keep squats in so that you don't detrain the lift. If you come back to squatting in the future, you'll have more work to do to get it back up.
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    I would hack squats instead of leg press if it’s a substitute. Then some kind of unilateral work like single leg presses, side step ups, split squats etc.
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    Originally Posted by ECGordyn View Post
    How about keeping one solid set of squats in your training, and then doing most of your quad work with a variation or something?

    Keep squats in so that you don't detrain the lift. If you come back to squatting in the future, you'll have more work to do to get it back up.
    ^^ Seconded. This happened to me with Bench the beginning of last year. Gyms closed for two months and I went from high reps with 2 plates and a 300 max to failing a 5 x 5 with them in only that span of time. It didn't take too long to get back to and even exceed where I was, but there was definitely still a lot of lost ground to go back over.

    I didn't even think I was losing strength because my door-frame pullups involved some chest work with the elbows so close together. I even stupidly posted a thread about how I didn't think I had lost strength but I certainly had, as EC commented at the time.

    Honestly I don't see how someone could get bored of them because they're so challenging lol.
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    I don't think leg press is an equal to squats, UNLESS you have top tier mobility. Very few people are able to get full hamstring to calf knee flexion on a leg press tho without rounding their spine.

    Hack squat or pendulum squat, absolutely, and imo far better options for leg development. If you see me barbell squatting, literally the only reason is because i felt like barbell squatting. They aren't the superior modality for leg growth that people make them out to be
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    Squat variations, safety bar is top of my list
    Paralell pin squats
    Belt squat
    Hack squat

    Leg press would be my final option if for some reason none of those were
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  8. #8
    Han shot first! TolerantLactose's Avatar
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    Legpressing is more exciting than squats?
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    You might think about doing a different type of squat.
    Front squats can be a good one.
    The weight will be lower and your form has to be fairly upright.
    A good quad developer.
    Some powerlifters use the leg press as an assistance exercise for the deadlift.
    It's a bad thing to take a break from squats but when you get back to them your going to be trying to gain what you lost in strength back.
    If your after mostly leg development do higher reps 10-20 range and focus on the quads working rather than just trying to move the weight.
    This could something for you to do instead of max weight.
    Something like 5 sets of 20 reps with 225 could be something to shoot for.
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    Thank you everyone, I decided to try out front squats. Is there a major disparity between the working weights? I can back squat 275 lbs for reps down to parallel (or an inch below) while I can barely do the same with 135 lbs on the front squat. The vein conncting my index and middle fingers was irritated in my right side due to the weight of the bar. I have yet to do the bodybuilder style of crossing my arms


    The weight was easy for my legs of course yet my upper body was a major weakness. I had the bar rest on my delts and upper chest near my clavicle
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    Originally Posted by metallick View Post
    Thank you everyone, I decided to try out front squats. Is there a major disparity between the working weights? I can back squat 275 lbs for reps down to parallel (or an inch below) while I can barely do the same with 135 lbs on the front squat. The vein conncting my index and middle fingers was irritated in my right side due to the weight of the bar. I have yet to do the bodybuilder style of crossing my arms


    The weight was easy for my legs of course yet my upper body was a major weakness. I had the bar rest on my delts and upper chest near my clavicle
    Precisely why I hack squat. I already get enough back work so with the back out of the question I can focus on my legs.
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    Registered User jk202's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by metallick View Post
    Thank you everyone, I decided to try out front squats. Is there a major disparity between the working weights? I can back squat 275 lbs for reps down to parallel (or an inch below) while I can barely do the same with 135 lbs on the front squat. The vein conncting my index and middle fingers was irritated in my right side due to the weight of the bar. I have yet to do the bodybuilder style of crossing my arms


    The weight was easy for my legs of course yet my upper body was a major weakness. I had the bar rest on my delts and upper chest near my clavicle
    You haven't really specified what the goal is. If you're trying to bring up your legs development wise, i wouldn't even consider a front squat for the exact reason you mentioned: legs will never be the limiting factor in a set. They put you in a great position to bias quads, but the stability component pretty much cancels that out. I'd rather just do heel elevated back squats

    I totally agree with WolfRose, SSB is at the top of my free weight squat list. Basically the same mechanics as a Front squat with way more stability and loading ability. Hacks are still my #1 tho.

    You won't just magically forget how to squat and suck at back squats if you stop doing them for a few months. Add 2 plates a side to a hack squat and i guarantee your 5 rep squat will improve as well.
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    Originally Posted by BeginnerGainz View Post
    Precisely why I hack squat. I already get enough back work so with the back out of the question I can focus on my legs.
    Apparently I’m an idiot and always thought it was just a behind the back deadlift. Will try this out in the future. Everyone is raving about it so I might as well.

    My gym does have a single SSB (crappy commercial gym). There’s always a line for that equipment so I cannot see myself sticking to that for an extensive period of time
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    Originally Posted by metallick View Post
    Thank you everyone, I decided to try out front squats. Is there a major disparity between the working weights? I can back squat 275 lbs for reps down to parallel (or an inch below) while I can barely do the same with 135 lbs on the front squat. The vein conncting my index and middle fingers was irritated in my right side due to the weight of the bar. I have yet to do the bodybuilder style of crossing my arms


    The weight was easy for my legs of course yet my upper body was a major weakness. I had the bar rest on my delts and upper chest near my clavicle
    Front squats take a while before they become the quad builder you’re after. It took me almost a month of training them consistently before I started feeling them in my legs. But keep consistent - they do work. Your thoracic extensors, abs, wrists aren’t strong/mobile enough to have a strong rack, which does take time. Try using straps in the meantime while you work on your front rack position.

    The research shows that front squats elicit the same growth response as back squats with 15-30% less axial loading. This does make them a viable long-term substitute and potentially superior from a hypertrophy point of view as the lower axial loading frees up some fatigue in your program to which you’ll be able to allocate more workload.

    As the others have mentioned, safety bar and hack squats are great options too. If you care about preserving your free weight squat strength, the safety bar may work a tad better for that purpose.
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    Originally Posted by metallick View Post
    Apparently I’m an idiot and always thought it was just a behind the back deadlift. Will try this out in the future. Everyone is raving about it so I might as well.

    My gym does have a single SSB (crappy commercial gym). There’s always a line for that equipment so I cannot see myself sticking to that for an extensive period of time
    Not with a barbell and elevated heels, I’m referring to the sled variation. Haven’t lost, and actually gained strength on my SSB squats. I don’t ever squat with a barbell. Ever.
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    Originally Posted by jk202 View Post
    You won't just magically forget how to squat and suck at back squats if you stop doing them for a few months.
    ...as long as you're doing some kind of squat + leg accessory work. It's important to keep the squat motor pattern with free weights, but it's fine to do most of the volume with other lifts.
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    Originally Posted by ECGordyn View Post
    ...as long as you're doing some kind of squat + leg accessory work. It's important to keep the squat motor pattern with free weights, but it's fine to do most of the volume with other lifts.
    That's a fair statement. I would postulate, provided you're already a pretty accomplished squatter, you can still improve your free weight squat pretty substantially with just something like a hack and other accessories. Yeah

    Obviously not a direct correlation, and probably not as true for a 1RM where there is a large skill component.
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    Originally Posted by ECGordyn View Post
    ...as long as you're doing some kind of squat + leg accessory work. It's important to keep the squat motor pattern with free weights, but it's fine to do most of the volume with other lifts.
    👆

    I usually only do a single or top set for my main squat and dead variations.

    The rest comes from stuff like..

    Stifflegs, rdls, good mornings, block/defecit pulls, ghr/hamcurl
    Pause & tempo, Ssb, cambered, goblet, hack sled, belt squat, lunges,

    So long as you are actually loading your spine with weight.. (the benefits for Health and longevity are just too good to be a weak back bitch you get older.)

    do what it want.. No Guarentees taking the easy route will give you the gains you want.. But at least you will be getting the health benefits while you learn your lessons and pay your dues.
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    Am I the only one who gets more all-around leg activation with a press?

    After the years, I have a slight herniated disc and some bad knees. So I stopped squatting alltogether; went to a sled and not only feel better body-wise, but get better activation, pump and development with a leg press.

    I've figured a few things out with it as far as foot and torso positioning on the machine but once I got that dialed in, I see no need to ever squat again.
    Seems like a vanity movement to me now.
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    Originally Posted by smokinal View Post
    Am I the only one who gets more all-around leg activation with a press?

    After the years, I have a slight herniated disc and some bad knees. So I stopped squatting alltogether; went to a sled and not only feel better body-wise, but get better activation, pump and development with a leg press.

    I've figured a few things out with it as far as foot and torso positioning on the machine but once I got that dialed in, I see no need to ever squat again.
    Seems like a vanity movement to me now.
    Definitely not alone there. SSB squats basically turn into a low back exercise for me, forget about a straight bar....

    So goblets, hacks and leg presses, plus single leg work.
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    Unregistered User MyEgoProblem's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BeginnerGainz View Post
    Definitely not alone there. SSB squats basically turn into a low back exercise for me, forget about a straight bar....

    So goblets, hacks and leg presses, plus single leg work.
    I can't envision how a ssb is more of a back workout than a goblet Squat..

    They are the same movement, especially the goblet and ssb. Same torso angle and groove.

    If anything the goblet/Zercher position is harder on the back..

    Unless you are performing something drastically different.. And calling them a different name to the common vernacular.

    If not.. Get a vid or two sent over if you want (dm is cool) and we can look at fixing your position/groove and getting your ssb more in the leggys. Or bringing up the weakpoint causing it to be low back
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    I'd imagine this thread would give Mark Rippetoe an aneurysm.
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