1) Don’t max out too often. You need to build volume and intensity over time…not just trying to see what you can lift for the sake of ego. Sets of 5-8 are a good starting point (higher reps can work great too).
2) Experiment with different training frequencies – try squatting more or less often to find what works best for you. This may change as you progress and get stronger.
3) Form and technique is much more important than weight – don’t load more weight on the bar until you’ve earned the right to do so. You’ll never handle big weights until you can master technique…don’t even try.
4) Learn to create tension. Too many people squat with loose form and don’t learn to create tension/torque throughout the body. Think of your entire body as loading a spring – e.g: control the negative by lowering the weight as if your cranking down on a spring then accelerate on the way up.
5) Try to make every single repetition you do look and feel exactly the same. Same cadence, same foot placement, stance…etc.
6) Don’t arch your back excessively or lift your head up as you squat!! I see this too often and don’t know where it comes from.
7) Bar placement – high or low bar both have their pros and cons.
A wider stance, low(er) bar placement generally allows a bit more weight to be lifted due to the shorter distance/less mechanical work…putting more load on the posterior chain (better for powerlifting)
A high(er) bar, closer stance is generally better for leg/quad development due to more mechanical work/greater distance moving the weight (better for bodybuilding).
Ultimately you want to use a bar placement and stance that feels good to you. Don’t over complicate this!
That’s it for now!