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Old 12-18-2009, 09:38 AM   #11
Garrett Smith
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Box squats + raw squatting = ?

Good, bad, what? I ain't buying squat briefs.
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Old 12-18-2009, 09:54 AM   #12
Brian DeGennaro
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The key issue is strength out of the hole. The bottom of the squat is a real weakpoint, and where a lot of missed cleans happen. The bottom of a squat is very easy to lose tension and you have to teach yourself to maintain tension there. Full squats build that strength and timing in the compromised position because heavy cleans will always be met at the bottom.

Regarding strength: yeah I know we ought to strive for technical efficiency (because we all want to be the Pis who can clean more than he can squat) but c'mon, there are light lifters who are squatting more than our heavyweights have. Chakarov and Idalberto Aranda have the most famous squat pictures. Chakarov squatted 270 for a pretty easy looking triple at 90kg and Aranda squatted 290 for a ridiculously easy double at 77. To my knowledge, our own Kendrick Farris squats 255 for a triple at 85 and it looked HARD.

That is my two cents.
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Old 12-18-2009, 10:04 AM   #13
Dave Van Skike
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Originally Posted by Garrett Smith View Post
Box squats + raw squatting = ?

Good, bad, what? I ain't buying squat briefs.
my experience is that yes, low box squats can really help but no more than a lot of other things. when this subj. comes up at PB there's a lot of variation in responses. one very good raw squatter over there (700 plus) says they work great, lot's of others say they didn't work as advertised. so YMMV. for raw squatting, i think pin squats (bottom up) and pause squats worked as well or better for me. but now i box squat for a totally different reason. i don't expect to see my raw max squat go up much and i don't really care.

wrt gear. i constantly berate everyone i can who lifts in gear, as i berate everyone who calls sumo deadlifting, current training partners, coaches, strangers on the street.....in order to give these unreasonable viewpoints some credibilty, i now squat at least once week in gear and i'll pull sumo every couple weeks....trying new things is important.
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Old 12-18-2009, 12:05 PM   #14
Robb Wolf
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Since I make up all my stuff just disregard this:
When I PL'd I had the good fortune of training under Rich Wood and Dany Thurman, two world champion PL'rs in the 80's. I also read EVERYTHING I could on the sport and was heavily influenced by Fred Harfield. here is how my week broke down:
Day-1 Monday.
Sqt- Ass to grass, narrow-ish stance, but not "high bar" placement. The loading and volume cycled between body-building reps and got higher intensity, lower volume as a meet approached. 6 weeks from a meet I switched to a wide stance, which is what I used in competition.

Power cleans-Fred Hatfield talked a ton about rate of force development (called it soemthing else...need to look at his Power: A scientific Approach book to get the exact working), I did 1's and 2's with weights ranging from 100kg-125kg. This makes me want to cry writing this...I have fallen so far.

Some body-building assistance work like curls, tricep extensions etc.

Day-2 Wed
Bench- pretty narrow grip, between sets of bench I did some nicky-nacker abb/low back work as my rest periods were 5 minutes. As I neared a meet I widened out my grip to my competition grip Easier on my shoulders, even at 18-20 YO.

DL assistance-Power rack work on my sticking point(s). Id set a pin to as close to where I stalled on the DL as I could, then loaded way mor weight than I could pull. Got tight and trid to move that thing for about 6 seconds. I only did about 4-6 rounds of that, again with long rest periods.

Heavy back and bench accessory work: chins, rows, incline bench, press. Body-building rep schemes, this stuff got dropped 3-4 weeks from a meet.

Day 3 Friday
DL- Same drill as sqt, narrow pulls most of the time, wider near a meet.

I think within the confines of PL'ing the wide stance is great. it shortens the travel of the load. I think a wide stance for OL seriously fudge your game up. Some dead-stop back or front squats at 40-50%RM for rate of force development...might be interesting.

A few observations:
1-I'm surprised by how "conjugate" my training was then. No bands or chains obviously, but if you are not wearing gear, not really an issue.

2-I'm always tickled by PL'ing folks who insist the US OL'er are weak. that is not the issue. The reason US PL'rs compete on par with other word powers is PL'ing is not particularly drug tested as compared to OL, especially in the US.

3-Because of the increased technicality of OL more of one's training must be specific to OL. OL for supplement to another sport...different story, we have some significant latitude.

it's my plan to get back into PL and old dude BJJ. 181 for PLg for 175 for jits. God help me. I'll be using a more moderate stance in competition as it is easier on the hips and a bib more athletic.
"Survival will be neither to the strongest of the species, nor to the most intelligent, but to those most adaptable to change."
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Old 12-18-2009, 01:06 PM   #15
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The response I think of when I hear "US Oly lifters aren't strong enough" is, so what do you want them to do? I bet Louie or Rippetoe would say, box squats or low bar back squats and deadlifts, respectively. But would that really help? Shane Hamman back squatted 1008#, albeit in gear, and when he got his ass toasted at the Olympics, they asked him after the meet "What was the difference between you and the gold medal?", and he replied "They were stronger than me." Stronger than a 1008# back squatter? It seems to me that if strength is indeed the issue, back squats are not the solution, as a 1008# back squat won't get you on the podium. Front squats are the solution. Oly lifting is a quad dominant sport, and maybe box/low bar back squats don't carry over all that well. We've all seen that short video of Reza front squatting 617# for an easy double, will back squatting get you that?

I'm weak as shit, but this holds in my experience as well. I did SS for a while, low bar back squats and everything. I decided I wanted to try olympic lifting for a while, and it just wasn't clicking. I couldn't do anything without leaning way far forward. It took quite a while until I developed the quad strength to be upright throughout the lift. That can't be developed by anything but front squats, in my experience.

I can't come up with a link for this right now, but I recall reading a discussion on IGX in one of the more tame threads about one of Louie's articles about how Oly lifters need to be stronger. Sig, who trains guys who have spent a lot of time at the OTC, said that when his lifters went to the OTC, they did tons of squatting and pulls, and they got a lot stronger, but their lifts didn't go up.

Maybe strength is indeed the issue (though I think the drugs and the potential lifters playing in the NFL instead are bigger ones), but if it is, I don't know that Louie's solution would solve it. Front squat 617# for an easy double, then let's see if that might help.
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Old 12-18-2009, 01:24 PM   #16
Yuen Sohn
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Old 12-18-2009, 02:02 PM   #17
Arden Cogar Jr.
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My two cents worth on this topic.

I'm getting older. I, ocassionally, "tweak" a knee. When that happens, do I stop training - no, I train around it. I convert my dynamic movemetns from full to power. And Box squatting is how I can continue to train while I'm letting that knee heal up. I vary the stance from set to set. Just as I do when I do my regular back and front squats. I do this because I'm still very much a novice with OL and I never land the same way twice.

I powerlifted when I was younger and I train pretty darn heavy on squats and pulls. Ever since my weight training has been focused toward OL, I've found it very difficult to do a ultra wide stance (ala West Side in the Monolift) holding the bar in a low bar fashion.

I know Louie. I've known him for over 20 years. Met him when I was still a teenager and competing in Powerlifting. He's a great coach. He's very intelligent. He knows his athletes. Could he produce a champion OL - unlikley. Too many technical issues that need the watchful eyes and instruction of a Victor Gallego, Leo Totten, or David Miler.

Now, too me, the sport of powerlifting does not have the technical nuances of OL. But it does require more brute strength.

One of the things I don't like about comparing today's lifters to lifters during the 70s is that the 70s lifters were all juicers with access to the same juice. As time went on, the US got stricter with it's legislation and the quality available to athletes lessened. Further, the strength athletes began to focus or specialize instead of spreading themselves between disciplines. Further, Bodybuilding and "ego" training took off and those that dropped weights were often scuttled out the door. When that happened, the black market for juice exploded, but OLers weren't part of that "gym" craze - because dropping weights was prohibited.

I say, in time, the US will become competitive in OL lifting. It will take some time, but it will happen as crossfit gyms and strength coaches in high schools and colleges re-introduce OL to main stream athletes. Simply give it time.

All the best,
Lifting heavy stuff is fun and relative......
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Old 12-18-2009, 02:22 PM   #18
Jay Ashman
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Robb, that is a damn solid PL template and one I have seen used a lot with slight modifications.

I'm not sure how strong US Oly lifters are compared to the rest of the world, but it would seem that we have some ways to go, and I do think that the lifters need to be stronger in the US, whether westside or just plain lifting more heavy squats is the answer, who knows, I am not an Oly coach so I can't tell anybody what is right or what way works the best for Oly lifting.

But also, Alex, Shane's 1008# wasn't ass to grass like you need when you do an Oly Lift. Gear, low bar, going to parallel and not below... those are all factors that play into the fact that maybe he does need to get stronger, especially in the hole.
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Old 12-18-2009, 02:31 PM   #19
Brian DeGennaro
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You also have to take into account that no matter what, we don't put the time into lifting like other countries. Training twice a day,nearly every day, seems to be average for Bulgarians, Chinese, Polish, Russian. I think twice a day is the bare minimum they are training. These guys put a ton of work into their sport.

Other things to consider is many of our lifters are not as "fast" as the winners.
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Old 12-18-2009, 02:45 PM   #20
Jay Ashman
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Brian that is because for many lifters over in those countries they are paid to lift, not that way in America necessarily. They have the time to devote their lives to being in the gym 4-5 hours a day training.
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