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
    Cardio bunny Alex.V's Avatar
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    Okay, I was reading my a few books I had lying around, and I had a question for y'all out there who love to argue.

    *looks at Maki, cack, chris, and powerman*



    The question is...is there a difference between the "powerlifter" and the "bodybuilder" squat, in terms of mechanics and muscle stimulation?

    ----By these terms, I'm referring to a wider-stance, toes slightly further out position as the PL squat, whereas the BB squat has a more upright back, closer stance, etc. (I realize these are generalities...but that was the way one author explained it. It was either Poliquin or Hatfield....)

    Anyway, I do find I can use a bit more weight in the "PL" squat.... I try to keep my squatting almost ATF, with closer stance, etc., but my max for reps there is a rather sad 225. However, with a much wider stance, I can do around 265. I realize a certain amount of this is range of motion, but I'm wondering:

    Are the muscles worked differently in each type of squat? Which involves more quad/glute/hamstring/lower back, etc..... Or are they fairly similar in those respects? Is there a distinct advantage to one in terms of overall leg training? Or is it a matter of body shape and personal preference?

    Thanks, guys.
    Last edited by Alex.V; 07-08-2001 at 12:26 PM.
    "Except Belial. He knows everything. This isn't a sarcastic attack, either. He really knows everything." -----Organichu
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  3. #2
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    i remember reading some stuff by poliquin aout when squatting didderent amounts of your % of your 1rm effects emphasis of different quad muscles. this make sense as different parts of the quad will have different amounts of fast and slow twitch muscles fibres with in the muscle. but i can not remember which way round it is. i just squat with a wider stance as i find it hard to get parrell so a wider stance makes it easier as i am not supple.
    overall if you squat either way you will end up with big powerful legs which is what we all want. and there is probably not to much difference between the two when talking about hypertrophy.

  4. #3
    Senior Member Cackerot69's Avatar
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    IMO, doing the wide stance squat is better because your balance is generally better which means less potential for injury. Yes, the glutes are involved a little more, but if you are extending the knee you're working the quads, too. If it's really a problem, I suggest doing a set or two of leg ext before (or after) your wide stance squats to get the benefits of the bodybuilding squats as well as the mechanical benefits of the PL squat (better balance).

  5. #4
    Wannabebig Member
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    The powerlifting style squat with a wide stance does involve the hips, glutes, and hamstrings more. You will hit the quads a little more with a closer stance, but the knee is more succeptable to injury. This is because it is harder to keep the knees from extending over the toes, and when that happens, a lot of stress is placed on the knees, possibly causing injury. The reason for the greater poundages on the wide squat is probably due to the more powerful hips and glutes coming into play.

  6. #5
    Cardio bunny Alex.V's Avatar
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    Originally posted by c.u.fan
    The reason for the greater poundages on the wide squat is probably due to the more powerful hips and glutes coming into play.
    cack and c.u.fan, This all makes sense, but it was often hard to tell with the wider stance if the extra glute soreness was simply because it was being stretched further. However, there does seem to be a lot more stress on the HIP joint with the wider stance, though I'm not sure if this is simply due to lack of flexibility.

    And yes, body, again, this whole issue may be nitpicking, since they'll all lead to growth, but it's still interesting to me.
    "Except Belial. He knows everything. This isn't a sarcastic attack, either. He really knows everything." -----Organichu
    "Alex is all knowing and perfect"-----Jane (loosely paraphrased)
    -515/745/700 bench/deadlift/squat
    Current mile time: 4:23
    Marathons: 3
    Century races: 3
    Ironmans: 1
    Ultramarathons: 1
    Current supps: http://www.atlargenutrition.com/prod...covery/results

  7. #6
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    I think you can answer your own question if you think about the 2 movements. The one you should do is completely up to you. Some people are more comfortable with a wider stance because of their indivual build, while others prefer a narrower stance. Tom Platz comes to mind for the latter as well as my friend Chuck Lapose. For myself, I have always preferred a wider stance. Do whatever works best for you. The bullsh*t about your knees being more prone to injury etc. is just that.

  8. #7
    MulletII - AKA Ninja Boner Gyno Rhino's Avatar
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    Agree with Chris. Your knees are only more prone to injury if you're using a form of squatting that is unnatural for your body type and squatting style.

  9. #8
    Gaglione Strength Chris Rodgers's Avatar
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    All those who are saying they squat wide, are you talking PL wide? PLers squat as wide as possible. To the edge of the rack wide. I can use way more poundage this way, but I also feel pain in my hips. Recently, I have been doing close stance and going deeper. They feel better, even with less weight.
    Best Meet Lifts(Raw w/wraps):
    @165- 435 SQ 270 BE 560 DL.....1255 total
    @181- 535 SQ 300 BE 570 DL.....1400 total
    Best Meet Lifts(Multi-ply):
    @148- 575 SQ 315 BE 515 DL.....1400 total
    @165- 680 SQ 380 BE 540 DL.....1555 total
    @181- 700 SQ 375 BE 535 DL.....1605 total
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    545 SQ 305 BE 585 DL

  10. #9
    Cardio bunny Alex.V's Avatar
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    All right, chris. So essentially, you're saying that both stances are equally good for overall leg/glute development. (With only minor differences...)
    "Except Belial. He knows everything. This isn't a sarcastic attack, either. He really knows everything." -----Organichu
    "Alex is all knowing and perfect"-----Jane (loosely paraphrased)
    -515/745/700 bench/deadlift/squat
    Current mile time: 4:23
    Marathons: 3
    Century races: 3
    Ironmans: 1
    Ultramarathons: 1
    Current supps: http://www.atlargenutrition.com/prod...covery/results

  11. #10
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    No, not really, what I am saying is that you should use the stance that works best for you. You may have relatively strong hips and glutes and therefore a wider stance works better. Or you may have very long legs, so a wider stance feels better. Get it? Actually, powerlifters don't all use a super-wide stance, some of them actually use a narrower stance. Powerlifters use a stance that biomechanically allows them to take advantage of their unique structure to move the most weight possible. Either (wide or narrow) form will develope you just fine.

  12. #11
    Rockin' the midlife crisis xraygirl's Avatar
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    You also need to take your body habitus into consideration. For instance, I am short waisted, with a fairly large pelvic girdle and longish legs. So I have to use a slightly wider stance than someone with...better proportions. You just have to find what works best for your body.

    D.

  13. #12
    Player Hater PowerManDL's Avatar
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    The PL squat, traditionally, is done with a wide stance. As has been said, that width is generally much wider than shoulder width.

    Doing squats like this brings the glutes, hams, and hip extensors into play heavily, and also allows you to do a lot more weight.

    On the other hand, the high-bar squats, what was referred to as BB or Olympic-style squats, with the narrow stance and erect torso, doesn't involve those groups to nearly the same degree; in OL squats, the quads tend to take the brunt of the work.

    However, unless you've got you're form down perfect, you can risk knee injury if you can't keep them from crossing over the toes.

    This is the form I'm currently trying to maximize, taken all the way to the floor.

    As far as which style to use, do both. PL squats used to be my mainstay, but I've found I get better results in *both* types when I do OL squats ATF style.

    Power

  14. #13
    As I Am Paul Stagg's Avatar
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    PLers tend to use a wide stance for one main reason:

    Shortens the ROM, and allows for more muscles (hips, glutes) to get used. Tends to put you in a stronger position - but certainly not always.

  15. #14
    Wannabebig Member
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    besides the signifigant differencces in the stances whether narrow or wide the other part of the equation of b/b vs p/l squatting techniques is also in the placement of the bar. b/b's tend to take the bar up higher resting on the traps for most where as the p/l will take the bar quite lower resting it almost along the rear delts.
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