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Old 01-15-2013, 02:33 PM   #21
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I squat multiple times a week, and don't break at the hips nor worry about knee travel.

I definitely rely on the quads during squats.

I prefer this style for raw lifters too, but sometimes it can be a hard egg to crack because everything in strength training is so Westside-centric.
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Old 01-15-2013, 02:37 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Paradox View Post
I hope I'm not stepping on any toes here, but from personal experience the "Russian" style of squatting is far superior WHEN RAW. I have a lot easier time getting depth, it feels more natural, and overall has been beneficial for my squat. I took a hit in numbers for about a month, but I've since caught up and love it. Does that help? I can try to explain better if needed.
I think most people would agree with that. Lets be honest, they do weights in single ply that must US lifters cant do in multiply. So I would even go as far as to say its superior all around.

I should note that I am not a westside style guy lol
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Old 01-15-2013, 02:41 PM   #23
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I am interested in getting into powerlifting. I need to increase my squat significantly as to not completely embarrass myself! I started Wendler's 5/3/1 with a tested max of 310. After 8 cycles I hit a max of 325 (probably could have tested at 335). Not a true 1RM test, but still pretty sad for 8 months work.

I used the BBB template so my accessory work was some form of squat for 5 sets of 8-10 at 50-60%. Also tried to work on my weak hams with RDL's for 3 sets of 5-8. I only increased my training max by 5lbs per cycle as I did not want to stall out too quickly on the program. I think this was probably a mistake.

Anyway, I'm not sure 531 is the program to get me to where I need to go. I feel like I probably need more volume at higher weight. My training experience is still what I would consider newby, so I have no business trying to create my own program. Any help from the huge pool of experienced powerlifters here on this form would be greatly appreciated!

Feel free to post advice in this thread or PM me if you can help! Thank you
To save us both time, I will not beat around the bush. You have to squat, and often. A short explination of what I would do if training someone in your shoes is have them squat 2x per week. One day as a lighter squat paired with some back movements, the other as a full out squat day. The heavy day should be a ball buster to say the least.

Most guys when they tell you to squat multiple times a week, they are not talking about near death experiences.....I AM!
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Old 01-15-2013, 02:42 PM   #24
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Some of the single-ply lifters that compete in the IPF and other European federations just blow my mind. 460kg single-ply squats? Jesus Christ.

I would also agree that a sitting down style of squat is best for single-ply.
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Old 01-15-2013, 02:44 PM   #25
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I only increased my training max by 5lbs per cycle as I did not want to stall out too quickly on the program. I think this was probably a mistake.
I don't like training that way to be honest. You are forcing a certain progression instead of letting it come to you.

I prefer novices and intermediates do a lot of AMAP sets, only to the point where their form stays good - and progressing when they can based on current set performance.

My squat went from Bar to 365 for a triple in 18 months when I was 18. I let progression naturally do it's work instead of limiting it.
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Old 01-15-2013, 02:49 PM   #26
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I'd love to elaborate more!

Firstly, I'd like to edit that comment. I shouldn't just assume most of the forum is "American" style of training. It's still a small sample size I've yet to see! Anyway, from what I've seen on the internet, technique on the squat can essentially be broken into two techniques or styles.

1) American. This is the style popularized by Louie Simmons and Westside Barbell, where you break at the hips, sit back, and don't let the knee travel over the toes. Now, this is obviously difficult when squatting raw, but the American approach still tries to limit the knee traveling. Most of what I've read on the internet is this style of squatting, as most websites are American and promoting a westside type squat.

2) Russian/European/Whatever. This style of squat allows for you to almost break at the knees and hips simultaneously and sit down. Your knees will travel farther forward, and you'll get a ton more quad activation. If you're squatting a lot, you might get a bit of pain underneath your knee cap, but that's from your quads tightening up. You won't blow a kneecap out anytime soon, so don't worry lol. Here's a video of someone sitting down instead of back:

Malanichev. SQUAT. The 2nd hard workout in the new season. 28 february 2011. - YouTube

I hope I'm not stepping on any toes here, but from personal experience the "Russian" style of squatting is far superior WHEN RAW. I have a lot easier time getting depth, it feels more natural, and overall has been beneficial for my squat. I took a hit in numbers for about a month, but I've since caught up and love it. Does that help? I can try to explain better if needed.
Thanks Paradox! The vid helped a lot with what you were saying. I have a hard time with depth, and it seems when I break at the hips first, I start to lean a little forward from the very beginning. I would also note that I high bar squat to try to help with the leaning issue.
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Old 01-15-2013, 02:52 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by J_Byrd View Post
To save us both time, I will not beat around the bush. You have to squat, and often. A short explination of what I would do if training someone in your shoes is have them squat 2x per week. One day as a lighter squat paired with some back movements, the other as a full out squat day. The heavy day should be a ball buster to say the least.

Most guys when they tell you to squat multiple times a week, they are not talking about near death experiences.....I AM!
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Originally Posted by BendtheBar View Post
I don't like training that way to be honest. You are forcing a certain progression instead of letting it come to you.

I prefer novices and intermediates do a lot of AMAP sets, only to the point where their form stays good - and progressing when they can based on current set performance.

My squat went from Bar to 365 for a triple in 18 months when I was 18. I let progression naturally do it's work instead of limiting it.
So hitting it hard on squat day along with some AMAP sets for assistance, then AMAP squatting as assistance on deadlift day sound like a plan of attack guys?
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Old 01-15-2013, 02:53 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Paradox View Post
I'd love to elaborate more!

Firstly, I'd like to edit that comment. I shouldn't just assume most of the forum is "American" style of training. It's still a small sample size I've yet to see! Anyway, from what I've seen on the internet, technique on the squat can essentially be broken into two techniques or styles.

1) American. This is the style popularized by Louie Simmons and Westside Barbell, where you break at the hips, sit back, and don't let the knee travel over the toes. Now, this is obviously difficult when squatting raw, but the American approach still tries to limit the knee traveling. Most of what I've read on the internet is this style of squatting, as most websites are American and promoting a westside type squat.

2) Russian/European/Whatever. This style of squat allows for you to almost break at the knees and hips simultaneously and sit down. Your knees will travel farther forward, and you'll get a ton more quad activation. If you're squatting a lot, you might get a bit of pain underneath your knee cap, but that's from your quads tightening up. You won't blow a kneecap out anytime soon, so don't worry lol. Here's a video of someone sitting down instead of back:

Malanichev. SQUAT. The 2nd hard workout in the new season. 28 february 2011. - YouTube

I hope I'm not stepping on any toes here, but from personal experience the "Russian" style of squatting is far superior WHEN RAW. I have a lot easier time getting depth, it feels more natural, and overall has been beneficial for my squat. I took a hit in numbers for about a month, but I've since caught up and love it. Does that help? I can try to explain better if needed.
Awesome info! Thanks for taking the time to type it up. I've been practicing towards this exact type of squat technique over the last couple months and last night I ended my squatting two sets early because on the 3rd rep of the 3rd set (5x5 is goal) I felt under my knee cap tighten or slightly strain as my knees went forward over my feet. I had never felt this so I finished the last two reps of set cautiously and felt okay afterwards just a little tight under the kneecap. I feel so much better about it now and understand this can be normal! Seriously, thanks a ton for sharing your knowledge and experience!
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Old 01-15-2013, 02:54 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by KD5NFW View Post
Thanks Paradox! The vid helped a lot with what you were saying. I have a hard time with depth, and it seems when I break at the hips first, I start to lean a little forward from the very beginning. I would also note that I high bar squat to try to help with the leaning issue.
Dude, I had the same problem. It got to a point where I couldn't really even get to depth by sitting back. Not real depth at least

I got the olympic shoes, starting sitting down, and now depth isn't an issue at all.

As for forward leaning, bar placement does play a huge role. I still squat with a relatively low bar (more "medium" not anything) and have a slight lean. You'll notice the guy in the video does have a lean. In my opinion, forward leans to that extent are fine in PL. However, high bar is great, has better carry over to olympic lifting, and in my opinion just looks better. Glad I could help a bit.

Another bit I might add for bringing your squat up. If you're going to switch to this style, focus on your front squat a little bit as well. What is your front squat number compared to back squat?
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Old 01-15-2013, 02:56 PM   #30
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Awesome info! Thanks for taking the time to type it up. I've been practicing towards this exact type of squat technique over the last couple months and last night I ended my squatting two sets early because on the 3rd rep of the 3rd set (5x5 is goal) I felt under my knee cap tighten or slightly strain as my knees went forward over my feet. I had never felt this so I finished the last two reps of set cautiously and felt okay afterwards just a little tight under the kneecap. I feel so much better about it now and understand this can be normal! Seriously, thanks a ton for sharing your knowledge and experience!
No problem, man. Glad to help. A very good lifter recently had me make the switch over. He's writing an article about it now, so when it's published I'll be sure to share. Somewhere in the article he states that you need like 4400N to rupture your patella, and you don't get anywhere near that in a squat.

Focus on rolling my IT band has helped a bit. I'm a fan of being tight as possible (without hindering performance) as the tightness typically helps, but if the pain becomes too much, stretch your quads. Mobility work on your hips might help as well, but that's just a guess.
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