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Thread: What's more taxing, lifts or squatting?

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    What's more taxing, lifts or squatting?

    I always come here on questions that I genuinely don't have an answer to and not only for those answers but for a better understanding as to why? So as the question states, I want to know what is more taxing on the body more so from a central nervous system fatigue sort of way. I have a hunch and I'll explain but I would like to know why so I can apply this going forward. Ok, so for starters I have some digestive ailments I've dealt with for years now that make recovery for me harder than others due to lack of absorption of foods. I'm no stranger to overtraining as I'm very in tune with my body and the signs even when I program very conservatively and methodically. It seems that I can squat pretty regularly and even pretty heavy but once I try to add another day of lifts I instantly feel the impact and the overtraining symptoms kick in (insomnia, worsening digestive issues, lack of appetite, elevated resting heart rate, elevated body temperature), it's pretty much night and day. Luckily I've had pretty good success with pushing the squat 3 days a week and only snatching and clean and jerking one day of week although it kind of sucks becaus snatch and C & J are the most fun. I just feel much more beat up after a heavy day of doing the lifts than I do after a heavy day of squats and presses. So again my experience tells me one thing but I just want to better understand why and make sure I'm on the right track, thanks for any input as always!
    Last edited by pufatr01; 10-17-2018 at 10:58 AM.

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    I don’t think there is an easy answer for this question - because it’s a general question and athletes are specific creatures.

    I personally find squats much more taxing than the competition lifts. But I would readily accept that other people might feel the opposite. We all have different ages, stages, training histories, and levels of fitness.

    I suspect one of the main reasons why you find squats easy is because you do them regularly. Work capacity is a trainable and specific.

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    I'm the same as Cleddau, I feel like I can do a lot of volume at relatively high percentages for the comp lifts and keep that up pretty well, but volume in the squats really beats me down quickly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cinnadom View Post
    I'm the same as Cleddau, I feel like I can do a lot of volume at relatively high percentages for the comp lifts and keep that up pretty well, but volume in the squats really beats me down quickly.
    I would say I’m in the opposite camp. I can squat everyday(and I have before) and continue feeling pretty good, but C&Js break me down in a hurry. Maybe it’s mental because I don’t like C&Js.

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    In general, if you are a “good” lifter, the lifts will tax you more than squats. By good, I mean your lifts are high relative to your squat or overall strength, I.e. you’re more efficient, and by definition, probably a fairly experienced lifter.

    If you are a novice, with a big squat relative to your lifts, and you miss lifts due to technique, then the squat will be more taxing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Wittmer View Post
    In general, if you are a “good” lifter, the lifts will tax you more than squats. By good, I mean your lifts are high relative to your squat or overall strength, I.e. you’re more efficient, and by definition, probably a fairly experienced lifter.

    If you are a novice, with a big squat relative to your lifts, and you miss lifts due to technique, then the squat will be more taxing.
    That fits me pretty well, I'm very efficient numbers wise and I know my strength is my limiting factor. My best clean and Jerk is 137 and best front squat 150 so thats like 91%. I know I need to just focus on the squat for a few months but the lifts are so fun it's hard to not do them.

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    The lifts by about 7000 light years.

    I'm actually really surprised with some of the responses here!

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    Lifts. Power output. Speed kills.

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    Heavy Clean & Jerks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleddau View Post
    I don’t think there is an easy answer for this question - because it’s a general question and athletes are specific creatures.
    I think that's the answer. Others have written something to the extent of "if novice w/big squat relative to lifts, then squats; if non-novice, efficient lifter, then lifts". But notice that some folks responding with "squats tax me more" are actually fairly advanced lifters without big squats relative to their main lifts. . . . so it really does depend.

    I'm a novice (<3 yrs experience) >45yr masters who can clean ~85% of my FS. So I'm not that efficient and definitely not advanced, but also not pitifully inefficient or a total newbie. Verses almost any volume x intensity variation for the main lifts, squats in any sort of volume (> 3 reps for 4+ working sets on FS or >5 reps for 4+ working sets on BS) beat the shit out of me. I can feel it not only in my knee joints (obviously, being old) but also throughout my body. The only main lift variation that comes close would be clean doubles for >2 sets @ ~90% of 1RM.

    That's just me, but many with whom I train -- almost all are decades younger and most are quite a bit more experienced -- have told me or at least gave me some indication that squat volume kills them more than most training protocols for the main lifts, though I don't know if any of these guys & gals have tried an extended Bulgarian-type approach. This opinion often is extended to other ways of attaining similar squat tonnage (doing heavy doubles for many sets).

    Here is my completely non-expert-informed opinion: squats involve much more of an eccentric component than snatch, clean or jerk; for most people -- but, evidently, not all -- doing squats at any decent intensity x volume combination capable of causing notable, WL-meaningful adaptations is usually going to be more "taxing" (painful?, harder to recover from?) than doing similar for the main lifts.
    Last edited by mb_here; 10-18-2018 at 10:07 AM.

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