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Old 12-17-2009, 07:33 PM   #1
Daniel Gam
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Default wide stance PL squat

have you guys seen the louie simmons videos on the CF site? what do you guys think
he makes some pretty bold claims about the wide powerlifting squat and its usefulness. do you think that a wide stance/box squat would ever have any place in olympic lifting training?

it feels similar to doing good mornings except with a wider stance allowing a more vertical torso
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Old 12-17-2009, 08:59 PM   #2
Donald Lee
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Originally Posted by Daniel Gam View Post
have you guys seen the louie simmons videos on the CF site? what do you guys think
he makes some pretty bold claims about the wide powerlifting squat and its usefulness. do you think that a wide stance/box squat would ever have any place in olympic lifting training?

it feels similar to doing good mornings except with a wider stance allowing a more vertical torso
I don't think it has any place in OLW. You could argue that wide stance squatting is an effective variation for low bar back squatting to parallel. Louie Simmons is most likely correct when he states that wide squatting translates to narrower squatting but not vice versa. Wide squatting brings the adductors into play to a greater extent than in narrower squatting. But a relatively narrow powerlifting squat is way different from a full Olympic squat. If you want to work the hamstrings, glutes, and adductors, the wide squat could be useful. If you want more balance, you could utilize the high bar squat. Also, Louie Simmons is correct when he states that feet angle has been proven to show no effect on quadricep recruitment.

The below may provde useful to some people...or it may not:

Wretenberg P, Feng Y, Arborelius U High- and low-bar squatting techniques
during weight-training.
Med Sci Sports Exerc 1996 Feb; 28(2):218-24

National class weightlifters performed "high-bar" squats and national class
powerlifters performed "low-bar" squats, with a barbell weight of 65% of
their 1 RM, and to parallel- and a deep-squatting depth. Ground reaction
forces were measured with a force platform and motion was analyzed from a
video record of the squats.

The peak moments of force were flexing both for the hip and the knee.
The mean peak moments of force at the hip were:

1. Weightlifters 230 Nm (deep) and 216 Nm (parallel)
2. Powerlifters 324 Nm (deep), and 309 Nm (parallel).

At the knee the mean peak moments for:

1. Weightlifters were 191 Nm (deep) and 131 Nm (parallel)
2. Powerlifters, 139 Nm (deep) and 92 Nm (parallel).

The weightlifters had the load more equally distributed between hip and knee,
whereas the powerlifters put relatively more load on the hip joint. The thigh
muscular activity was slightly higher for the powerlifters.
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Old 12-17-2009, 09:00 PM   #3
Donald Lee
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Here's what Bud Charigna wrote on his site:

...Box squats. There is no such thing as box squat technique
because no one should do squats to a box or another rigid surface for
that matter. The illogic associated with this movement is connected
with the fact that its adherents mistakenly believe squats are hard
on the knees and back. Therefore, the thinking is that if the knees
are flexed less there is less stress on these joints. This is not

In actuality, unless one leans greatly forward, there is more stress
on the knees in a half squat or bench squat depth because the
resistance arm relative to the knee joint is at or near its greatest
length, i.e., the moment on the joint is highest.

Leaning forward is also not a viable option in squatting. The weak
link here is the lumbar spine. Like the knee joints with a half
squat, leaning forward increases the moment on the lumbar area.
Keeping the back as vertical as possible is of course the best
technique in squatting, but squatting to a rigid surface places the
discs of the spine between "a rock and a hard place." This is not a
good idea.

One of the principal sources of misinformation in regards to the
perceived value of box squats, especially at the present time, comes
from the power lifting community in the USA. The reader is referred
to the web site of the International Power lifting Federation to
peruse the results of the worlds championships for the past ten
years. You will note that the American champions are very few and
far between, and, apparently, none come from Columbus, Ohio which is
a hotbed of box squat activity....
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Old 12-17-2009, 09:01 PM   #4
Donald Lee
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Here's Louie Simmons' response:

Response to Bud on the Value of Box Squats:

The first 800 squat was done by Pat Casey in 1970 at the Culver City
The largest squat is 1250, by Vlad Alhazov who trained at Westside
Barbell in Columbus, Ohio before making this historical lift. How?
by doing box squats. It also pushed his deadlift up from 860 to 925.
How? By taking his stance out very wide to utilize the stronger hip
muscles that are involved in squatting and pulling of any kind.
Oh, by the way, in Columbus, Ohio we have two women Amy Weisberger,
who squatted 540 at 132 bwt and 590 record at 148 bwt and Laura
Phelps has done 740 at 165 and 770 at 181 bwt and both hold world
records . Remember Bud, these are women.

We hold the 181 world record for men at 905 which is Phil Harrington,
the 220 world record at 1025 lbs. and at 275 ,Chuck Vogelpohl has a
1150 at 264 bwt. We have the only teen to squat 1,000, Dave Hoff at
251 actual weight squatted 1005. We have 14 over 1000 and three over
1100 to go along with 15 men who pull over 800 lbs. We also have five
women who have pulled 500 or more the lightest 148 lbs.

I don't talk about things I don't know, but when it comes to box
squatting there are a lot of experts.
There is one way to box squat, you don't crash on a box, the box is
somewhat below parallel. We're not Bigger Faster Dumber, we are
Westside Barbell.

As far as crashing on the a box, how about the foam box? What's that
you say? We squat on foam about half the time, you know like sitting
on your couch.

You box squat to gain more kinetic energy. Your glutes and hamstrings
are much larger than your feet equaling more mass. When a sprinter's
feet contacts the track he is producing 4 or 5 times bodyweight per
step.We are not sitting on a box at that rate of speed . without
bands the eccentric phase is roughly nine tenths of a second with
bands adding in the overspeed eccentric phase, the time is reduced to
five tenths of a second. Does anyone in their right mind think a box
squat done correctly is more dangerous than crashing down into a full
front squat and bounce out of it? my reasoning is that the world's
best Olympic lifter is 20 to 25 years old the world's best
powerlifters are roughly 40 yrs old.

I have no idea why anyone would listen to an Olympic lifting coach
when I believe they placed 1st man 8th at the Olympics. This ,if you
look at the world ranking by Mike Soong on www.powerliftingwatch.com
and you will find the U.S. holds 7 of the 12 world total records so
please do a little research before you speak.

I squatted 920 at 52 yrs old at 235 bwt. It was the third biggest
that year in the world and 6th all time in 2000.

Why do I bring this up? In 1991, i had a complete rupture of my
patella tendon. I rehabbed it with sled pulling and box squats. I
started on a 17' box and worked my way down to a 10' box. I was full
squatting 500 in 6 months. When you box squat you sit back very far
to the point that the shin is past vertical. This places all the work
on the hamstrings and glutes. I don't put stress on the knees at all.
If you are worried about the quads, do leg squats or commonly known
as belt squats. I got this from the Soviets in 1975. All my methods
come from the eastern block countries. I took all their training
methods and intergraded them into powerlifting. Our Olympic lifter
for some reason has neglected to do the same. When doing Olympic
pulls, the shoulders must remain over the bar as long as possible yet
they squat with the torso erect as Bud suggests but with the body
inclined forward it simulates the exact pulling needed to pull
Olympic pulls. Have you ever thought about that? Bud was talking at
Wake Forest and stated that strength does not matter if from and
speed and technique are equal. If that was true, why wouldn't a 123
lbs. lift what a SHW does?

If you want to jump high, sit on a box and jump to a second higher
box. I have a 18 year old who is 6' 2' and 240 lbs. jump onto a 57
1/2' box.

I recall calling Bud in 1983 for all of his translations. He said but
these are like class books. I said that's exactly what I want. Later
on, I was talking to a group of people about training afterwards and
Bud said you know Lou, that wont work. I replied what do you do with
your book, read them then throw them in the fire? I find it strange
to have to defend myself with box squatting. When my friend from
Eskil was visiting the Polish weight lifting facilities and found box
squatting in their weight lifting journal dating back to 1950. I
would like to thank Bud for the books and how they influence my
training of not only NFL teams but Olympic gold sprinters and too
many to count, world record holders.

In the 1970s, Olympic lifters like Lowe, Nip, Picket, Cole and so on
did both Olympic and powerlifting. That's unheard of today and they
are loosing their absolute strength has killed our Olympic lifting
program. It has been said that Louie Simmons has never produced a
great Olympic lifter. I replied 'That's true, and neither has anyone
else except they are afraid to come here and train.' Bud and all the
rest have an open invitation to come visit me whenever they like.

Louie Simmons
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Old 12-18-2009, 03:54 AM   #5
Garrett Smith
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I did not like what I perceived wider squatting to do to the imbalances in my hips, but this is likely my fault. I was also turned out, so I wasn't straight ahead.

I would bet Louie would say that people need to squat more than once a week...oh well, there goes CF.

I'd love to see Louie's results with some OL lifters...it is too bad that may never happen.
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Old 12-18-2009, 05:19 AM   #6
Brian DeGennaro
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I don't know of any Olympic lifter in the world who utilizes anything but front and back squats, with pauses from time to time. Sometimes the foot placement is fooled around with but for what reason I do not know.

Louie has one thing right, American lifters can definitely be stronger, but that is not the only thing that holds us back I think.
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Old 12-18-2009, 05:58 AM   #7
Aaron Austin
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I'm not a powerlifter but I thought box squats were usefull to the powerlifter because they trained you sit sit back into your gear.
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Old 12-18-2009, 07:07 AM   #8
Michael McKenna
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Throwers use them, and have for decades. I have a copy of Ulf Timmerman's interviews/ postings on The Ring from 99/2000 and he talks about them. There's talk on The Ring the last couple of months about the "double spinal compression" being bad for you. I've also done box squats, with bands and chains, and to be honest, they were okay; I see a benefit from them for certain sports and for jumping. I did learn to finish hard and fast, but I don't think they should be a staple for Olympic lifters. But throwing them in once in a while won't hurt as an extra squat day or to replace something in the program for, say, six weeks at a time. But I still prefer to stick with Front and Back squats almost exclusively, and I haven't box squatted in six or seven years now. And when I plan my squats into my routines, I plan Fronts, Backs, some Overheads once in a while, and sometimes step-ups or single leg squats as extra leg movements. The box squat isn't in my training stable on a regular basis. Training athletes for other sports, though, I might add it, especially if I were working with an advanced shot putter or discus thrower.
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Old 12-18-2009, 07:15 AM   #9
Jay Ashman
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Goddamn, I love Louie. Of course PL and OL are two entirely different sports so comparing squat form in one as it works for the other is a moot point.

But its funny to read him rip apart Bud Charigna in that reply, and I do agree with him on one point, it seems that we have forgotten about raw strength and gotten too technical with the lifts.

Brian, can you shed some light on that since you are in the OL world? Don't necessarily speak from your point of view, how do you feel with what he says and its relation to your sport in general?
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Old 12-18-2009, 08:09 AM   #10
Dave Van Skike
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an unstoppable bombast meets and an immovable arrogance...

marshall white who's a pro strogman her in WA as wellas one other pro SM i know of have both said box squats,(high box squats low or regular and in briefs)have made the biggest difference in building strength for SM.

squatting wide and to a medium box paired and narrow front squats overloaded with chains at the top are currently a staple for me..but i'm a weak squatter. so what do i know. jeezus it's just squatting.
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