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Ben Nadel
It's not enough; but, not enough is better than nothing.
Ben Nadel at InVision In Real Life (IRL) 2019 (Phoenix, AZ) with: Josh Barber
Ben Nadel at InVision In Real Life (IRL) 2019 (Phoenix, AZ) with: Josh Barber@Jorshasaur )

Project HUGE: Barbell Back Squats - Shaky Form, But Getting Stronger

By Ben Nadel on

So far, a dedication to getting back in the gym is my most successful new year's resolution. My strength is slowly starting to come back; but, I'm still not pushing my shoulder or wrist too much. Today, I tried to go up in barbell back squats a bit, building up to two working sets with 225 x 10. I feel like my depth is OK, but it could be better. The last few were better for depth, but my form starts to break down - rounding the back a bit going into the bucket. My knee was feeling a bit dodgy (if you notice I break to the right a few times), but ended up holding well.


I think I need a new pair of shoes; these ones look like they've worn out their welcome, rolling out to the side a bit. All in all, though, I'm happy with the progress I'm making. I hope I can keep this going, injury free. Speaking of "injury free," while I'm still doing well, I think I'll set up an appointment with Dr. Christopher Anselmi to get some Active Release Technique done around my knee.

Reader Comments

Hey Ben,

looks like your leaning forward a bit towards the bottom which, like you said, will round your back out. Still, though, a good weight for someone who's been out of the gym for a while.

Out of interest, what is your current routine?


Yeah, I think part of it has to do with my flexibility - gotta work on that.

As for routine, I'm not following anything right now. Just trying to vary the reps and exercises. For example, this last week, for legs, I did, back squats, box squats, front squats, and tomorrow, I am gonna do deadlifts.

Currently, I'm doing 3-4 full body workouts a week: legs, push, pull, arms. Sometimes I superset the push / pull. Typically, I superset the bis / tris at the end as well.


yeah flexibility will help a lot.

I'd strongly recommend reading Mark Rippetoes starting strength, really helps you understand the mechanics involved with the big lifts and has some great methodologies for nailing your form.

I'm trying to find time to train 3 days a week at the nmoment, [squat, bench, row], [front squat, press, deadlift], [squat, incline db press, db row], but have been finding it hard to motivate myself as I have to train at 9pm when I feel totally blasted already.

If you're after a good gym shoe I have found that nothing beats the converse chuck taylors, cheap too!


Yeah, training at 9PM is killer! Being time-crunched is never a good situation. If you can get the time, it looks like you are sticking the strong basics - big, compound lifts.

I think I used to train in Converse. I have flat feet, and I'm always afraid that I am gonna need more support or my whole ankleis gonna roll in, throwing my leg out of alignment. But, looking at my shoes in the video, I feel like I really roll outward, which can't be that much better.


Yeah totally not good! I'm kind of restricted with the lifts I can do as I train at home and just have a set of oly weights with db handles, a rack and a bench. Once I get back into it and my strength is up I will no doubt switch it up and add in some assistance stuff.

btw, just watched the 365 deads vid. Some impressive lifting there mate and the form was looking pretty solid for a big weight.

Keep at it, if nothing else you're inspiring me to go home and train!


I used to workout pretty late in the day, and the worst part of it for me (aside from the tiredness) was that it amped my body making it noticeably harder to fall asleep. This, of course, became a bad cycle.

Glad it's inspiring :)