The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

Itís no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
    Wannabebig Member
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    ATF squats vs. parallel

    Are ATF squats that much more difficult that true parallel squats?

    I ask because I started out doing parallel squats, and decided to try ATF squats today. Boy, was that a huge freakin' peice of humble pie. I was barely able to do 1x5 of 50 lbs less than I had been doing on parallel. It felt like it was impossible to get out of the 'hole' at the bottom of the squat.

    Is this difference due to the fact that ATF is that much harder, or just because I need to get used to the motion and balance associated with the bottom half of the squat?

    Thanks.

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  3. #2
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    it's that much harder. Think of how much further you have to move the weight.

  4. #3
    THUNDER THIGHS! Fuzzy's Avatar
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    Tricky question. I guess neither is harder in the pure sense. Rather the atg requires more range, flexibility and balanced.

    I full squat 484 raw, I cant parallel 400. GO figure.
    Being a strong teenager means nothing.

    My wrists hurt, but some people don't have wrists to be sore. My knees have tendinitis, but some people don't have legs to get tendinitis in. I seem to be going backwards with training, yet some people can't even walk let alone lift 400 pounds on a daily basis.

    Dust out the vagina, and keep on lifting.

  5. #4
    The Flyfisher rbtrout's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mongoose06 View Post
    Is this difference due to the fact that ATF is that much harder, or just because I need to get used to the motion and balance associated with the bottom half of the squat?
    Yes.
    You have to get used to the balance and the motion. I've had to "retrain" myself a few times on my squat form to get all the way down. I can't go until my ass hits my ankles, but I get as low as I can, which is way past parallel.

    You should see results doing atf's. Make sure you don't relax your legs/knees at the bottom or bounce at the bottom. It has to be controlled down and burst up.
    Give chalk a chance.


    49 years old

    665 squat
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  6. #5
    Wannabebig Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbtrout View Post
    Make sure you don't relax your legs/knees at the bottom or bounce at the bottom. It has to be controlled down and burst up.
    That may have contributed to my problem. I was definitely stopping the motion at the bottom, and then feeling like "Oh, ****, I'm stuck".
    Last edited by mongoose06; 07-23-2008 at 05:44 PM.

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuzzy View Post
    Tricky question. I guess neither is harder in the pure sense. Rather the atg requires more range, flexibility and balanced.

    I full squat 484 raw, I cant parallel 400. GO figure.
    hmm never heard that before. Maybe it's because you practice bouncing out of the hole?

  8. #7
    Crikey, its a 30 foot ape! Kong's Avatar
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    I think that atf are better for overall growth and progress but paralell is much better for powerlifting/strongman comp where you want minimum possible ROM and maximum weight/reps
    Current 1RM's - Bench 264lbs (Target 308lbs)/Squat 396lbs (Target 352lbs)/
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  9. #8
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuzzy View Post
    Tricky question. I guess neither is harder in the pure sense. Rather the atg requires more range, flexibility and balanced.

    I full squat 484 raw, I cant parallel 400. GO figure.
    You're just not used to that range or having to put on the brakes. When you go full range, your body stops you because you can't go any further, whereas at parallel you are the one who has to stop the movement.

    I have a friend at school who is just like you. He can full squat more than he can parallel. He's a thrower on our track and field team. I don't make him do parallel squats though, I like him to keep moving fast

    Really it just depends on your goals


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  10. #9
    Ich bin Legende. Torrok's Avatar
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    could somebody video themselves doing atf squats, i want to see your back when you get low to the ground

    everytime my back..or butt kinda lowers and bends a little at the bottom, cant really control it...
    Green Tea
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  11. #10
    Breaker of Skulls Guido's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torrok View Post
    could somebody video themselves doing atf squats, i want to see your back when you get low to the ground

    everytime my back..or butt kinda lowers and bends a little at the bottom, cant really control it...
    Just google it. I'm sure there are plenty of examples on youtube of people ATF squatting. Or you could just google and olympic lifter doing a clean and jerk since they are generally front squatting ATF when they catch the bar on the clean.
    5'9" 195 lbs
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  12. #11
    Meow CleverName's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torrok View Post
    could somebody video themselves doing atf squats, i want to see your back when you get low to the ground

    everytime my back..or butt kinda lowers and bends a little at the bottom, cant really control it...
    Mine does the same.. I can't really help it either. Here's a vid of me.

    Video

  13. #12
    My own personal trainer dumbbell's Avatar
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    I had always heard that any rounding of the lower back was a definite no-no. True?

    I go as low as I can while maintaining the flat back set, which for me is just below parallel. I had been one of your typical gym 1/4 squatters. It's what everyone was doing. Plus most training books don't properly show the full bottom position.

    I've recently started honestly training my squat form. Weight went way down for me as well. Working on getting the flexibility to go ATG, but not there yet.
    Jason

    It is currently a fad, at this writing, for boys to think they need a "six pack", although most of them don't have an ice chest to put it in.
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  14. #13
    Ich bin Legende. Torrok's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CleverName View Post
    Mine does the same.. I can't really help it either. Here's a vid of me.

    Video
    yeah thats what happens, but i dont know if its bad for your back or not. my back is perfectly straight the whole time other than at the lowest point.
    Green Tea
    17ys -175lbs
    Squat: 300
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    Deadlift: 360
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  15. #14
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    There's a difference between a small degree of movement and full out lumbar flexion. Those squats look good, clever, minus the forward knee movement at the bottom.

  16. #15
    Meow CleverName's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kastro View Post
    There's a difference between a small degree of movement and full out lumbar flexion. Those squats look good, clever, minus the forward knee movement at the bottom.
    What do you mean forward knee movement?

  17. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by CleverName View Post
    What do you mean forward knee movement?
    The first rep is good, and it gets progressively worse from there. You're allowing your knees to slide forward at the bottom of the movement. This makes the knee angle more acute, and since the hamstrings attach to the tibia this movement effectively contracts the hamstrings without the bar moving upward at all--you have reduced their contribution to the lift.

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