Until about 6 months ago, the only type of squats I did were down to parallel free squats, but an older guy that I was lifting with told me that there was no need to do free squats, claiming that squats on the smith machine gave the same results w/a much lower risk of injury. Since he is huge, I listened and started doing only smith squats, mixing up parallel, ATF, and limited ROM squats. My max on the Smith squats started at around 315, same as free weights, and within 3 months, I could squat 450 2x. However, when I tried free squats just for fun a while back, I couldn't do $hit (315 ish). To me, the smith machine seems to isolate the legs much, much better, and it takes the back bending out of the squat movement, so my back doesn't hurt as bad at the end of every leg day. However, I am worried about the supporting structures of the leg not getting enough work from the smiths.

So my questions are this:

1) Which type of squat is best, Smith or Free?

2) Should I do only one of the types or mix it up some?

3) I want size, really don't give a d*** about strength (sure, its nice, but size gets attention.... who gives a rats a$$ if you can bench 345 and dont have the size to show it, like me), so which gives the best size gain.


BTW, I know the answer to all three ???'s is 1)there is no "best" type, 2) Mix it up, and 3)combination of all. However, I don't want to believe it, because i have a deep seated hatred for free squats from my not too distant days in high school athletics.