Squat/back Problem

This will sound fairly stupid. I just really started to work out again, and have a pretty decent set up in my garage, power rack, strong bench w/attatcments, lat tower and plenty of iron and bars.

I am 5’7", an fat 270#(I am very "proportionately fat, but do have a gut).

I haven’t done any 1Rm’s for what I lift.
However, I am having a problem with squats.

I am following a HIT type program, and my current squat weight 295, I do a couple of warm up sets after a few minutes on the treadmill, the go to failure, usually 8, 8,6.

My problem is that I am struggling with the weight, but my quads don’t feel it that much. My lower back it what gets the real workout.
I have videotaped my form and it’s good, but I have always had large, strong legs.
I tried some 1 leg squats and I am having problem with balance.

I was thinking of buying on of the upright calf/squat leverage machines (powertech, NY Barbells, etc) to push my legs until I can gain enough strength to have my back handle the weight to really work my quads.

I know switching to a volume program would do it, but I have limited time to workout so prefery yhe HIT/Heavy Duty workouts.
Any thoughts or ideas?

Why not make the smallest change that shifts the emphasis a bit more to quads?
Experiment and see what forces them to work.


A. Oly squat
B. Front squat
C. Hack squat

I’m sure there’s more.

In order from smallest change to greatest. Personally, I’d resist training left/right leg just because of time, unless one was a fair bit weaker than the other. Just personal pref., I have enough to do already.

Well your back is the weak link keep doing the sqauts and bring it up with acc. work. back extensions, GHR, RDL’s.

Also like above said variations of the squat front squat etc. ALso unilateral work, lunges, high step ups etc. to further target the quads.

You might also try a short pause in the bottom of the squat 4 seconds or so. That will take out the stretch reflex and cause pure muscle strength to get you out of the hole.

Hope that helps,

Oh and if youve got the money hell get all the equipment you can. Many worse things to blow $$$ on. Just dont stop squatting and attacking that weakness to make it a strong point.

I second front squats.

Had the same issue when I started training. Did my first RM on squats and got to a point where my back was giving way, not my legs.

After a few months of deadlifts, good mornings and bent over rows, my squat went up by 110lbs!

(Yes, it was right at the start of my lifting, as in, first time I had ever done a squat :))…

I will continue squatting in the rack. What about the theory of pre exhausting the quads with extensions and curls first? I wouldn’t want to take away from the intensity of the squat.
I definitely need to focus on my lower back.
What about squats in the rack, followed by on the machine(less back pressure, more poundage)?