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View Full Version : ATF Squat + Chain > Regular Squat?



nejar462
02-15-2010, 12:57 PM
Does anyone feel that an ATF Squat with chain is just straight up superior to the regular squat for most athletes? Especially say in grappling? I feel like the ATF Squat has the greater ROM, and with chains the load is far more even throughout the lift. Also, since you'd generally do less weight with ATF Squats with Chains they're probably safer too. They're also significantly more draining, but I think its probably worth it for the benefits.

4g64fiero
02-15-2010, 01:22 PM
I'm not man enough to try these yet.

I'll be sticking with ATF squats without bands for little while.

One thing that always confuses me, ATF squats without chains let you do more weight at the bottom, so technically, that would make you stronger "in the hole". So so do I lighten the load if I use chains or do I simply keep the weight and volume the same?

Gah I'm a nub.

slashkills
02-16-2010, 05:53 AM
Does anyone feel that an ATF Squat with chain is just straight up superior to the regular squat for most athletes? Especially say in grappling? I feel like the ATF Squat has the greater ROM, and with chains the load is far more even throughout the lift. Also, since you'd generally do less weight with ATF Squats with Chains they're probably safer too. They're also significantly more draining, but I think its probably worth it for the benefits.

I wouldnt say its superior but it has its benefits. The hamstrings are the most important muscle group invloved in sprinting. Most sports require fast acceleration which is mainly the posterior chain. ATF squats hit the quads more than the posterior chain and by adding chains or bands your only adding to the problem. They are beneficial but shouldn't be the focus of any routine.


I'm not man enough to try these yet.

I'll be sticking with ATF squats without bands for little while.

One thing that always confuses me, ATF squats without chains let you do more weight at the bottom, so technically, that would make you stronger "in the hole". So so do I lighten the load if I use chains or do I simply keep the weight and volume the same?

Gah I'm a nub.

you will have to drop the weight with bands and chains. How much depends on the band tension or weight of the chains at the top.

Travis Bell
02-17-2010, 11:46 AM
For the majority of athletes, their hips are their biggest weakness, so no, I would not say that close stance Olympic style squats (hate the term ATF, sound like something from BB.com)

Wider stance and box squats done to appropriate depth are usually much more beneficial.

nejar462
02-17-2010, 09:03 PM
I never knew most people had weak hips. I would say if anything is my weakness it's probably my extremities, my core, probably my hip most of all, is strongest.

Do box squats and wider stance squats adequately recruit the glutes? I always feels like my glutes aren't being hit hard unless I go below parallel and I usually do my squats wide stance.

Mike G
02-18-2010, 03:03 PM
For the majority of athletes, their hips are their biggest weakness, so no, I would not say that close stance Olympic style squats (hate the term ATF, sound like something from BB.com)

Wider stance and box squats done to appropriate depth are usually much more beneficial.

I know we had a discussion on this in the past, but where do you stand on using chains and or bands with your athletes? I couldn't find the thread and I don't remember what your response was before. I think you said you use bands?

I've been thinking about this the past few days and honestly, I'm not sure where I stand anymore. I've read a few opinions in the past and thought Wendler made a great point about raw athletes getting messed up with chains because of the strength curve. Now, I'm not so sure. With a raw athlete, the hole is going to be the toughest part of the lift, usually. You could still hit your max weight in the hole and then add resistance throughout the lift (where you're stronger) using chains/bands, right? Maybe I'm just way off, though.

nejar462
02-18-2010, 05:52 PM
With a raw athlete, the hole is going to be the toughest part of the lift, usually. You could still hit your max weight in the hole and then add resistance throughout the lift (where you're stronger) using chains/bands, right? Maybe I'm just way off, though.

Those are my feelings. I thought that would be a better way to train myself.

Travis Bell
02-18-2010, 08:50 PM
I never knew most people had weak hips. I would say if anything is my weakness it's probably my extremities, my core, probably my hip most of all, is strongest.

Do box squats and wider stance squats adequately recruit the glutes? I always feels like my glutes aren't being hit hard unless I go below parallel and I usually do my squats wide stance.

Yes the wider stance does include the glutes well, although most likely you're suffering from a technique failure if you're not getting your glutes into it enough. Really focus on spreading the floor with your feet as well as squeezing your glutes very hard. Get that arch nice and tight


I know we had a discussion on this in the past, but where do you stand on using chains and or bands with your athletes? I couldn't find the thread and I don't remember what your response was before. I think you said you use bands?

I've been thinking about this the past few days and honestly, I'm not sure where I stand anymore. I've read a few opinions in the past and thought Wendler made a great point about raw athletes getting messed up with chains because of the strength curve. Now, I'm not so sure. With a raw athlete, the hole is going to be the toughest part of the lift, usually. You could still hit your max weight in the hole and then add resistance throughout the lift (where you're stronger) using chains/bands, right? Maybe I'm just way off, though.

There certainly are lots of opinions on that topic aren't there? lol

I use bands and chains. Nothing helps a person develop speed better than using bands and chains. Why? I just go with what works.

I've had kids from as young as 14 all the way up to my collegiate athletes go from cycles of using only straight weight, to using all different variations of bands and chains. When they stick with the bands and chains, they make much bigger gains on their PRs than when they stick with straight weight only.

Obviously all the athletes lift raw as there is no point for them to be wearing gear. But their squats go up, however we don't test free squats all that often. They get more of a benefit from box squatting and most of my kids free squat more than they box squat because of how strict we are on their form.

Yes the hardest part is in the hole, however you can compensate for the band problem with not using as heavy a band tension. Use one that is in correlation to their strength. For some this will be mini bands or just one set of chains.

Sticking in workouts with straight weight is imperative as well. But it doesn't have to be the totality of their training cycle.

Where most people get hung up is they want to go to one extreme or the other. Either all bands, or none. It doesn't need to be that way. Anything that is done to an extreme is not going to work. Granted, people who train by percentages can't really use the bands much because it is impossible to figure the exact poundages. But those of us who train athletes without the use of percentages (for the most part) don't really need to worry about it.

Sensei
02-20-2010, 07:34 AM
Where most people get hung up is they want to go to one extreme or the other. Either all bands, or none. It doesn't need to be that way. Anything that is done to an extreme is not going to work. Granted, people who train by percentages can't really use the bands much because it is impossible to figure the exact poundages. But those of us who train athletes without the use of percentages (for the most part) don't really need to worry about it.
Exactly. Adding some light bands or chain can be a great way to help a kid learn to stay tight on the set-up and throughout the movement, but that doesn't mean you go all bands/chain all the time.

nejar462
02-24-2010, 08:13 AM
Travis,

I think I understand your point. You would say that the variation is more important than actually doing one exercise vs. another right? So maybe I should alternate between the two week after week or something like that? The true benefit of the band and chain isn't that the loading is superior, simply that the loading is different?

Travis Bell
02-24-2010, 10:25 AM
Well it's actually both. They get heavier at the top because that's where people are the strongest, but yes it's also good because it's a change.

I would go in 2 week waves for your best bet.

wk 1 - band tension 1
wk 2 band tension variation 2
wk 3 chains 1
wk 4 chains 2
wk 5 straight weight

And so on

BigRic
02-25-2010, 06:05 PM
For the majority of athletes, their hips are their biggest weakness, so no, I would not say that close stance Olympic style squats (hate the term ATF, sound like something from BB.com)

Wider stance and box squats done to appropriate depth are usually much more beneficial.
I wasn't wondering what you would consider appropriate height? I love doing box squats and the bench I use is just above parallel, which I feel allows me to get the best mixture speed and load, to really feel the box squat working.