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

It’s 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
    Senior Member brihead301's Avatar
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    Squats: Hitting your target weight vs. always hitting depth

    I want to see how you all feel about this with regards to bodybuilding, because I know in powerlifting you have to hit depth or else the lift doesn't count.

    I fully understand the importance of hitting depth with squats....I have been making it a point to go below parallel for years now (I learned from starting strength how to squat).

    However, I sometimes find myself sacrificing depth for weight. I'll hit depth on all my warmup sets, and then when it comes down to the final set or sets, I find I may not go down all the way. If I were to lower the weight, this wouldn't be a problem, but you all know how it goes....you feel like you should be doing that certain weight....it's an ego thing I guess.

    I'm thinking that next squat day, I'm not going to count anything that doesn't reach full depth. I will definitely need to lower the weight, but I think I will benefit more....I'm not sure though.

    What are all your thoughts on this - going full depth as much as you can, but possibly sacrificing depth on your last set or sets just so you can use that weight?
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  3. #2
    THE 800 QUEST NickAus's Avatar
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    "What are all your thoughts on this - going full depth as much as you can, but possibly sacrificing depth on your last set or sets just so you can use that weight?"

    I used to do just that when squatting for size (last couple reps), seemed to work well.
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  4. #3
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    You see a lot of bodybuilders doing a limited range of motion with a lot of their lifts, so maybe there is something to it? I don't really know for sure. Overload and time under tension seems to be the key to building mass.

    I always try to do a full range of motion so that I can track progress better. In other words, if I "cheat" the movement I'm not sure if I got stronger or I took more range of motion out of the lift. If I want to say that my squat went up 10lbs this week, it has to be at the same depth I performed them last week.

    There is also something else to think about. A fuller range of motion should activate more muscle fibers, especially in the quads. I figure that would be important for bodybuiling purposes.
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  5. #4
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Here's the thing, what you are doing is sacrificing your form for higher loads. For bodybuilding purposes that may not be a major concern in the sense of cutting the ROM a bit likely is not much of a negative (per OffRoad's post about how most high level bbers use a short ROM), but when you are doing it simply to handle more weight you are likely also sacrificing on form in other ways which can then lead to possible injury.


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  6. #5
    Senior Member brihead301's Avatar
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    Good point Chris!

    I've pretty much made up my mind that I'm going to have to just suck it up and lower the weight again, so I can start hitting full depth.
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  7. #6
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brihead301 View Post
    Good point Chris!

    I've pretty much made up my mind that I'm going to have to just suck it up and lower the weight again, so I can start hitting full depth.
    Yes, but also incorporate days where you intentionally shorten the ROM a bit and use a greater load - just be sure to always use good form.


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  8. #7
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    What do people think of using half squats and partial squats in their training? Is it as useful as board presses for bench press for instance? I don't see much about them.

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.C. View Post
    What do people think of using half squats and partial squats in their training? Is it as useful as board presses for bench press for instance? I don't see much about them.
    I don't think people have lock out problems with squats. Once you're out of the hole you're usually good to go. Some people can bench weight off their chest they can't then lockout.

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  10. #9
    A gallon a day, everyday! ThomasG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holto View Post
    I don't think people have lock out problems with squats. Once you're out of the hole you're usually good to go. Some people can bench weight off their chest they can't then lockout.
    Once you become advanced there are times in training where your weakness is outside of the hole. I would not do Half or quarter squats to strengthen the top end of a squat. I would use bands, chains, high box, and knee wraps.
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  11. #10
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Off Road View Post
    I always try to do a full range of motion so that I can track progress better. In other words, if I "cheat" the movement I'm not sure if I got stronger or I took more range of motion out of the lift. If I want to say that my squat went up 10lbs this week, it has to be at the same depth I performed them last week.
    This is my line of thinking as well, more or less.

    I have nothing against full, half, or quarter squats, but imho, it's important to be consistent. If your log only records "squats", and you sometimes do them high and sometimes low, then how would you ever be able to look back on your training and know definitively whether you had progressed or not? Note depth - be consistent - don't allow your squats to "float" upwards as the weight increases because it's a very hard habit to break and people who do it are the guys that are completely incapable of looking at squat depth objectively. If you are doing parallel squats, then do squats to parallel. If you are doing quarter squats, do them to quarter depth EVERY TIME.

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    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
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  12. #11
    Rob Schilke | GFX Designer thecityalive's Avatar
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    I can agree with being consistent, but I can't agree with supporting anything less than a parallel squat. Perhaps this is a bit extreme of a comparison, but just because you rack pull, doesn't mean you're deadlifting.
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  13. #12
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thecityalive View Post
    I can agree with being consistent, but I can't agree with supporting anything less than a parallel squat. Perhaps this is a bit extreme of a comparison, but just because you rack pull, doesn't mean you're deadlifting.
    There's nothing wrong w. rack pulls. No, they are not deadlifts, they're rack pulls and pin position should be noted.
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
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  14. #13
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thecityalive View Post
    I can agree with being consistent, but I can't agree with supporting anything less than a parallel squat. Perhaps this is a bit extreme of a comparison, but just because you rack pull, doesn't mean you're deadlifting.
    That is because you don't fully understand the nuances of strength training. Partials can be very beneficial if intelligently incorporated.


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  15. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThomasG View Post
    Once you become advanced there are times in training where your weakness is outside of the hole. I would not do Half or quarter squats to strengthen the top end of a squat. I would use bands, chains, high box, and knee wraps.
    I assumed chains and bands, especially reverse bands, would do the job better.

    Quote Originally Posted by chris mason View Post
    That is because you don't fully understand the nuances of strength training. Partials can be very beneficial if intelligently incorporated.
    Tendon strength and psychological training? I think the biggest thing I'd get out of partial squats would knowing how light standard squats would feel afterwards.

  16. #15
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    JC, the value of the partial depends on exactly where in the ROM you are cutting it off. If you are talking just a little above parallel there will be a direct transfer to parallel squatting. Higher partials can serve various purposes. For instance, when you deadlift your quads usually do not squat to the parallel position prior to the pull so partial squats which mimic the deadlift ROM can be of benefit for those who are weak off the floor etc.


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