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All squatters please read

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This is an article I just found.Very interesting read.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dislike #1: People who make excuses for their high squats

 

Many people say they squat to "parallel," but they aren't even close! This may qualify as preaching to the choir, but it still needs to be said.

 

I spoke with Eric Cressey the other day and he said, "Everyone who reads Testosterone Nation knows that you should squat deep." If that's the case, why do we still see so many high school and college athletes half-squatting using huge poundages? Are our readers not out there training and coaching these kids and themselves?

 

It's like grade inflation in school. We get so numbers-oriented that we throw technique out the window. The fact of the matter is that a double bodyweight back squat done to powerlifting depth without gear is actually a pretty good lift. We've got number inflation from suits and wraps that make everyone shoot for the sky.

 

AJ Roberts, a great young strength coach and excellent powerlifter, just won the 308 pound class at the WPC World Powerlifting Championships. AJ was nice enough to give me his raw versus gear numbers. To say I was shocked is an understatement. Even with my level of experience, I have to admit to being out of touch with the effect of supportive gear. Check this out:

 

Squat: 950 pounds geared, 650 raw — 300 pound carryover

 

Bench: 700 pounds geared, 455 raw — ~250 pound carryover

 

Deadlift: 705 pounds, 661 raw — ~40 pounds carryover

 

(Note: AJ mentioned that in the last three years of powerlifting he hadn't trained for a raw max. The raw maxes were just done on a random day when he was feeling really strong in warm-ups. AJ also noted he weighed in at 276.)

 

Whether you're a front squat guy like me or a back squat guy like many other coaches, there's only one acceptable depth: powerlifting depth. Three white lights. Period. No parallel, no hamstring parallel, and definitely don't tell me you squat to "ninety."

 

This is all lame shit put forth by bad squatters who want to get weight on the bar, or excuses put forth by those who don't want to work on flexibility and mobility. Either way, I think we should be on a personal crusade to bring these crazy numbers back down to earth.

 

When I was still a college football strength coach, I had a saying. I'd tell our football coaches when they were recruiting a kid to "divide his squat by two." A high school kid who claimed to squat 500 pounds would usually get a little more than half that on test day.

 

 

 

 

Figure 1 — If you measure the knee angle on the bottom, it's 90 degrees at a half squat. On the top is legit depth, knee angle closer to 45.

 

All of the descriptions — parallel, hamstring parallel, and ninety degrees — are excuses and euphemisms for lousy squats made by lousy squatters or (worse yet) by their coaches. I've had strength coaches tell me stuff like, "My guys have trouble getting that low." Well, fix your guys.

 

Just take weight off the bar and do it right. Squatting isn't an ability you gain, it's an ability you lose. Check out a baby picking something up off the floor. Picture perfect mobility. Perfect squats.

 

 

 

I love when someone tells me they squat to "parallel" and then I get to go to the gym and watch. I think, "My God, who taught your geometry class?" Parallel to what? I start to ask myself if there's a line on the wall going downhill at a 45 degree angle. Are they parallel to that?

 

For the record, parallel really means femur parallel to the floor. Visualize your femur and see if it's parallel to the floor. It's amazing how many people say parallel and are nowhere near it. The difference between the femur parallel to the floor and the bottom of the thigh parallel to the floor has been about 100 pounds in my experience. That means a 400 pound full squatter is a 500 pound hamstring parallel squatter. It also means reductions in mobility and 100 pounds more compressive load on the spine.

 

To eliminate this, I suggest using a twelve inch box for most athletes. We actually perform a "box squat" of sorts:

 

 

 

Our box is used to gauge depth. We have pads to adjust the box up for our taller athletes, but twelve inches works surprisingly well for most of my 5'8" to 6' guys. We make small adjustments for shorter or taller athletes.

 

We squat to a light touch on the box. No rebound off the box, no sitting. This is clearly not a Westside type squat. It's just a consistent depth gauge. You'd be surprised how many athletes will be right at a true full squat at twelve inches.

 

What I've realized is that there's more similarity in tibia length than femur length in most athletes. Tibia length really determines the distance needed in the descent, and it actually only varies about two inches from a short to a tall person.

 

Another thing the box does is encourage sitting down and back. After adding the box, I was amazed at how many athletes changed weight distribution during a set. As fatigue sets in, many athletes shift weight onto the balls of the feet and as a result squat higher.

 

The nice thing about my "box squats?" There are no arguments. Either they touch the box or they don't.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At my gym at home we have an 11" box,we will be using it in the strongman comp for consistency.I recommend lifters use something like this to ensure squatting depth is good.

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I use a 21.5cm box. Only because I found it like that.

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I use a 21.5cm box. Only because I found it like that.

hmm I just made up a makeshift box outta some phonebooks, was 9" (~22cm) high, first time doing these....f**king hard :lol:

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My wife squats to an 18cm box now.I still feel that 11" is all you need for a "pass mark".

 

I dont squat to the box in regular squats,I go deeper.I use it for my box squats when I sit down and start my squat from the bottom position.

 

I do use it for lifters who are borderline high squatters,I make them "touch & go".

 

Using it in the Strongman Comp will keep everything nice and simple,it wont be used in the Powerlifting though,I will be judging that.

 

Squirrel and Ghosty,because you guys are deep squatters,I dont recommend you use such low boxers for regular squats,and I recommend a slightly higher box for box squats.I have found that the sticking point in squats for deep squatters is not the bottom position,its slightly higher,where the transition from glutes and hammies goes to quads.

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Yes I have noticed that. I'll have to make or find something else.

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Just watched a video of Ghosty squatting,nice and deep,very good.

 

One thing I noticed that I had completely forgotten about,when I used to train in commercial gyms,there was always a mirror in the squat rack,you could watch yourself squatting.It takes a bit of a transition to squatting without a mirror,well it did for me anyway.Same goes for me the other way,I find a mirror off putting.

 

Just letting everyone know that there will be NO mirrors at the Strongman Comp,so start wearing a blindfold lol

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should be fine without mirrors i mean you just say when to stop going down :lol:

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fatastic article. At powerlifting events it happens all the time, you can notice a good judge straight away from the squat. I've always looked at it with nothing to do with the muscle at all. The knee joint has to be below 45deg. Keep it like that and its simple.

 

Went and bought all of my food to get stuck into it again. Have also set up my power rack so its game on.

 

Good luck to everyone achieving thier goals this year!

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I think i'm going to change one of my squat sessions for the week to box squats, i hope the gym has some.

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alright hold up a sec... how far down am i supposed to squat then?

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awesome. cause i was doing it right down so my arse was resting on my ankles... and was getting concerned i was fking it up.

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Yeah,I first went over to T Nation when Muscle Media went to shit,all the writers started an E mag,that was around 2001.It wasnt a forum then,just an E mag.

 

Now that its a forum,its pretty shit.I just read the authors articles like Charles Poliquin,Charles Staley etc

 

The forum is mostly full of knobs that cant lift for shit and think they know it all,there are some exceptions though,but for the most part,they are tools,no different to other bodybuilding forums.

 

Thats why I come down hard on some of the misinformation posted on here.I do not want to see this forum degenerate into the ones I hate.

 

I suppose if people get sick of my attitude I will gladly step aside,this forum all came about by accident,but as long as I am a moderator,I will try and keep the information accurate.

 

As more and more people are discovering this forum,it is getting harder to police,thankfully Simon,Squirrel and Ghosty have very sound ideas.

 

I also get alot of help from 12envy200SX Neil,Nico.Chris,Sherman,80SNA plus a heap of others who have sound ideas on training and eating,and hopefully you can chip in now as well.

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T nation has got some insane articles though, forums... well, like you said it all degenerates.

 

Ill def be chipping in around here.

 

Whenever my mates tell me the muscle mags are better than me... I point to the reults (me)

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I've wondered about those suits, they should be banned, its just rediculous and unnecessary. Quite obviously a big advantage.

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See the world record in my sig, those were all suited and shirted.

 

DO you know these records are going to be next to imposible to break raw? These invole me DL and SQ over 300 kilos, and benching over 200. Im only human.

 

Basically half that total... thats how much that *milkshake* would have done raw. The advantage is ridiculous, its so unfair.

 

But if I do pull it off, then I can rub into every equipped lifters face... I did it raw, or I could simply say, I DID IT.

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Just recently I read an analysis of a current day 700lb squat,using the modern suits,monolift and questionable depths.When it was all broken down,it was the equivalent of a 400lb squat of yesteryear.

 

The suit adds around 200lb,no walkout adds around 50lb,and the depth being 2" higher than yesteryear added around 50lb.

 

Without a monolift,those guys couldnt even achieve that super wide stance with that suit on.The sport has gone to shit.

 

Big Fuzzy,hit the Strongman circuit,more fortune and fame.

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Its looking more like the path Ill have to follow everyday... but I still love powerlifting.

 

But your right, with strong man, itl be a much better income.

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Thought I would get this thread fired up again with all the new members of late.

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I hope everyone on here reads this. IF thier is one thing that people take off this site it should be squat depth.

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At the recent comp,there wasnt one shallow squat called,and in the strongman,everyone had to squat to my 11" box,which didnt present any problems.

 

It seems that most are getting it,but not all.Of all the lifts its the squat that is brings on the most contraversy.In the bench,you either touch the chest or you dont.In the deadlift,you either stand up or you dont,but in the squat,its a judgement.

 

I liken the box in the squat to your chest in the bench,either you can touch it or you cant,no ifs or buts.

 

The box doesnt lie.

 

Plus it adds a degree of safety.I was box squatting in November and I had just made 170kg.On the next set I tried 180kg.I pulled a hammy on the descent.Without a box I feel I would have suffered a major injury,but I just sat on the box while my wife and son stripped the bar.

 

The strongest powerlifters in the world all use box squats.I have a pic of an 80kg lifter doing a 250kg squat to an 8" box,he squats 400kg in competition.

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I see "high squatters" at my gym on the regular.. and they aren't even loading the bar anywhere near what I do. I go DEEP.. taught by power lifters.. and train like a powerlifter in many respects..

 

I don't know how many times I have yelled at others in the gym to go lower.. all the guys and the girl that I train squat deep... some still not deep enough for my liking.. but they know what is required.. otherwise It's "one more rep", pretty much until they get right down.

no I don't let my trainee's fail or get injury like others I have seen..

workmate has torn both his Pec's in the past due to poor spotting!

 

there really is only one way to squat!

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Great article!

 

All too often at my gym I see people squatting to about 45degrees (North of parallel) and I only look at think to myself, "that's not doing much mate.." at the times when I do offer some help, the most common answer is "I can't go that low!"..

 

I get lower than parallel on my squats. Has always been my aim. Have many-a-time squatted to the point where I get out of the car when I get home, walk down the driveway and my legs just give way. It'd be a funny site to see me fall down the drive way :D :D

Edited by SIRdknz

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i go to gym with 2 guys. 1 in which has started squating deep with a low weight to get his technique right, and another that makes excuses for not squatting at all or when he does he loads the bar up but doesnt even touch parallel. hes excuses range from "oh my hammy hurts" or "no, your only meant to go to parrallel"

 

gives me the f**king shits arguing with him about weather going low is the right way of doing it or not, ive since given up on him and i just let him do his own shit now while me and my other mate point out eachothers problems and fix them

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Question, does it matter when the knees go past the toes?

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from a vertical point of view? like your knee extending further out than your toes are. no, http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=Hxa_kj2aBCU watch that, you can see his knees are further than his toes are.

 

Yeh if your looking side on, should the knees go past the toes. The vid of ronnie shows it on a bad angle, so i cant assume hes going past toes. But yeh, i get the idea, thanks man.

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Some people go blue in the face saying that your knees should be aligned with your hips and ankles, others say it doesnt matter as long as your form is good and you're deep. Personally, my knees are always past my toes.

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