Strength Training Training

A Bigger Squat Through Partial Training: Variations

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I’m BACKKKK! Third installment in my Bigger through Partials series….

The squat is an amazing exercise that has been under fire as of late. Many are crying foul and voting to ban this compound movement, but that’s neither here nor there. I want to help you get a bigger squat, and as the title suggests we will be using variations of the squat. Many also hate the squat…shut up and embrace it! Squats can save the world and even save you, Mr. Chicken Legs!

Moving right along, we will use two of my favorite variations of the squat: Box Squat and Bottom-start or Rack Squats.

Main lift: Squat

Box Squat

This variation is probably the best for generating power out of the hole which is where many lack strength due to weak hips, glutes, hamstrings, and core strength. Using a sturdy box (as the name suggests) at parallel or below, descend to the box, rest and drive back up. It is just that simple.

Don’t have a box? Build one, or buy one. Google that ish son! A couple of things to remember:

  • Stay tight through the entire movement.
  • Keep your arch.
  • Don’t plop on the box, come to a complete stop and then drive back up.
  • Never ever let your knees travel past your toes. Spread them as you sit back.
  • Focus on driving your hips through.

Rack Squats (parallel position)

This movement is a squat/power rack movement that I have found to be very beneficial to building incredible lockout strength. Place safety pins at parallel or close to parallel and rest the bar on pins. Take time to get comfortable with the movement as this requires correct positioning each time.

Focus on driving your heels, staying tight, and not allowing the movement to become a Good Morning…not good. Return the bar back to the start position.

For these movements you will work yourself up to 90% of your 1RM for doubles. Don’t get ahead of yourself, these are just movements to help your main movement the Squat.

Example of your workset: (5 sets of 2 @ 365. Assuming your 1RM is 405) Feel free to plug these lifts into your training cycle in two week blocks.


  • Wk 1-2: Box squat / Rack squat
  • @ 80%
  • Wk 3-4: Rack Squat / Box squat @ 85%
  • Wk 5-6: Box squat / Rack squat @ 85%
  • Wk 7-8: Rack Sqaut / Box squat @ 90%

However, feel free to experiment as you like with these movements, volume and intensity (volume = rep load, intensity = weight percent load)

Good luck and go hard!

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