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Steven Walczak
12-01-2008, 09:02 PM
I just started getting into weightlifting about 3 months ago and love it more everyday. Right now I do 5x5 on squats with an olympic routine and my weight at the moment ramps from 150, 165, 185, 215, 250... the first 3 sets are pretty easy to drop down fast into a full ATG squat, but the last 2 are quite hard, to the point where im slow and do more of a below parallel type squat and not full ATG. Is there a decent way to practice getting more down on high weight or is it something I have to keep doing, possibly failing to get the grasp of it?

Greg Everett
12-01-2008, 09:23 PM
Sounds like it's time to swallow your pride and drop the weight a bit on the last sets to something that allows you to perform the squats completely. It's an unappealing idea, I realize, but the only way to get stronger in that ROM is by squatting through it with progressively heavier weights.

Steven Walczak
12-01-2008, 10:00 PM
Would it be wise to set one day for high weight low speed and another for low weight high speed? I plan on training on an olympic routine for awhile now so i'm willing to sacrifice weight for speed and form.

Dave Van Skike
12-02-2008, 08:36 AM
The more you work in a less than full ROM, the longer it will take to find the bottom with a heavy weight. be brave, notch those weights down a bit to where every rep is perfect and the speed will come.

at this point working on squatting fast won't really add much. WRT to the squat (not Oly lifts or variants) i've yet to see a sub 400 pound back squatter get much of anything out of actual speed work or what powerlifters call dynamic effort, on squats...deads and presses seem different but the squat is a more technical lift...further many PL'er only do speed work from a box so the explosive part is more intuitive and easier to do correctly at the right depth.

Greg Everett
12-02-2008, 09:16 AM
What Dave said. To add to it, though, if you're training for OL, ALL your squats should be fast - as fast as the weight will allow. This won't look like speed training in the WSBB sense - it's more the effort to accelerate as much as possible on your way out of the hole.

Steven Walczak
12-02-2008, 10:36 AM
Thanks for the advice guys :)

Steven Walczak
12-03-2008, 04:08 PM
The more you work in a less than full ROM, the longer it will take to find the bottom with a heavy weight. be brave, notch those weights down a bit to where every rep is perfect and the speed will come.

at this point working on squatting fast won't really add much. WRT to the squat (not Oly lifts or variants) i've yet to see a sub 400 pound back squatter get much of anything out of actual speed work or what powerlifters call dynamic effort, on squats...deads and presses seem different but the squat is a more technical lift...further many PL'er only do speed work from a box so the explosive part is more intuitive and easier to do correctly at the right depth.

I'm confused by the second paragraph. Don't olympic lifters train to squat faster than normal squats to train for olympic lifts? Would it be wrong to squat slower in full ROM and explode up or should it be the same speed throughout?

Dave Van Skike
12-03-2008, 04:26 PM
I'm confused by the second paragraph. Don't olympic lifters train to squat faster than normal squats to train for olympic lifts? Would it be wrong to squat slower in full ROM and explode up or should it be the same speed throughout?

I have no idea what Olympic lifters do for squats specifically but a lot ofstrength athletes employ different types of "speed work" or dynamic efforts... I'm just saying that until your until your work sets are at 1.5 to 2 times body weight in the squat, I wouldn't worry too much about focusing on a seperate day or whatever for "speed work". I just think that you should always try to explode up as quickly as you can with perfect form.

Most people lifting heavy will slow near ther sticking point appreciably at or near maximum efforts, these lifts often look like a grind. it's just way it goes.

that said, theres a guy in my gym with perfect leverages for lifting and every squat from 400 pounds to a 700 pounds off a box are fast as hell.

Brian DeGennaro
12-03-2008, 04:28 PM
You want to control yourself in the eccentric portion because that is where you are most likely to injure yourself. Nothing like gravity and 300lbs of weight crushing your joints, tendons, and muscles! Typically when doing an Olympic squat, you control yourself up until the last few inches, drop and use that bounce and bar whip to rise out of the hole.

Greg Everett
12-03-2008, 04:34 PM
Steven -

I think Dave is referring very specifically to what would be termed speed work or dynamic effort work in the PL world - this is not the same thing as trying to squat fast. It's using much lighter weights to genuinely move fast. With OL squatting, you're attempting to move as quickly as possible - but with a heavy squat, you won't be moving remarkably quickly no matter how much you're trying (unless you're like the guy Dave describes, who we all hate).

Dave Van Skike
12-03-2008, 05:25 PM
Yes Greg...we hate him. I woudl love to see him learn even the power variations of the Oly lifts or even strongman HG stuff. He's so explosive it's ridiculous.

Steven Walczak
12-03-2008, 05:39 PM
Steven -

I think Dave is referring very specifically to what would be termed speed work or dynamic effort work in the PL world - this is not the same thing as trying to squat fast. It's using much lighter weights to genuinely move fast. With OL squatting, you're attempting to move as quickly as possible - but with a heavy squat, you won't be moving remarkably quickly no matter how much you're trying (unless you're like the guy Dave describes, who we all hate).

I understand, I try to move as quickly as I can under heavy weight, i'm not trying to mimic powerlifting squat or anything but trying to work on my squat speed so I can get under the bar faster. I guess I got confused a bit, but I get it now.. thanks :)

Aaron Gainer
12-04-2008, 12:02 AM
You may also want to tell us which bar style your squatting with. I would advocate high bar if your looking to increase pure leg strength especially for olympic lifting. Otherwise, low bar(rippetoe routine) works well for just squatting heavier poundages.

Craig Loizides
12-04-2008, 07:04 AM
I understand, I try to move as quickly as I can under heavy weight, i'm not trying to mimic powerlifting squat or anything but trying to work on my squat speed so I can get under the bar faster. I guess I got confused a bit, but I get it now.. thanks :)

For getting under the bar quickly you would be better off practicing something like tall cleans instead of fast squats because the bar isn't on your back when you're getting under it. You need to start pulling yourself under the bar while the bar is still on the way up.

Arden Cogar Jr.
12-04-2008, 02:15 PM
For getting under the bar quickly you would be better off practicing something like tall cleans instead of fast squats because the bar isn't on your back when you're getting under it. You need to start pulling yourself under the bar while the bar is still on the way up.


Absolutely agreed on that one.

There's a lot of great commentary in this thread. Special Thanks to Greg and Dave for the thought and effort.

At one point, I thought about doing something similar to drop front squats or drop back squats to get myself accustomed to catching those weights in the hole. Then I realized that was compltely stupid and dangerous.

If the lifts are performed properly, the thighs are already close to parallel when you "catch" or recieve a snatch or clean.

To me, increase stability from that point to the hole is about a few movements - dead stop lifts from pins or off jerk boxes; and heavy snatch balances.

But nothing will replace simply practicing the full movements.

All the best,
Arden

Steven Walczak
12-04-2008, 04:41 PM
You may also want to tell us which bar style your squatting with. I would advocate high bar if your looking to increase pure leg strength especially for olympic lifting. Otherwise, low bar(rippetoe routine) works well for just squatting heavier poundages.

I have been squatting high bar for several months, low bar is way too awkward for me.. and I will definitely try tall cleans :)

Steven Walczak
12-22-2008, 08:49 PM
Wanted to bump this.. been full squatting on lower weight with a heavy single at 205 lbs. However, I feel I might be leaning forward too much.. my stomach hits my thighs which I assume is normal for full squats but I seriously try to straighten my back the best I can. Is this a weight issue or a form issue?

Greg Everett
12-22-2008, 09:06 PM
Steven -

If your stomach is hitting your thighs, you legs are probably directed too straight forward - your stomach should basically be dropping between your legs. This photo might help clarify - http://tomcampitelli.zenfolio.com/p143397750/h3f74d476#h3e2fb9d1

Steven Walczak
12-22-2008, 09:48 PM
Sorry Greg, I should have clarified, my stomach(or I guess side of stomach) hits the side of my thighs .. which I assume is going on in your photo as well. I actually can feel the position you are in with higher weight so I guess it's just certain weight gets so heavy you can't be 100% straight.

Steven Walczak
01-15-2009, 10:06 PM
I figure I ask this since it has to do with squats. When people talk about sitting into a squat, how far back are we talking? I usually practice sitting back without weight the best I can, and sometimes I sit so far back I fall over.. now i'm not sure if this is normal and I have to adapt or i'm truely doing air squats too far back. Anyway, when i'm squatting with weight, I get into the hole and am between my thighs but it feels more like sitting down than back, am I doing something wrong?

Brian DeGennaro
01-16-2009, 05:26 AM
You want to sit between your legs, not behind them.