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
    Iron4Life
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    Box Squats - limited ROM

    I've been incorporating a lot of box squats into my routine... taking a lead from the Westside theories....

    Was wondering if anyone had an opinion on a limited ROM on these?

    In other words, the box I have is 12 inches and instead of coming all the way up, I only stand up half way up instead of standing all the way up. It keeps the tension on the quads/gluts and is really tiring. So if I do a set of 5 reps, 4 are limited and the last one is all the way back up to the pegs.

    I do make sure that I do not break good form coming out of the hole... and of coarse, the weight is somewhat lighter then regular box squats.

    Thanks..

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  3. #2
    SFW! drew's Avatar
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    As long as you're keeping a tight arch and not dipping forward, it could be a good thing. I would say give it a try for 6 weeks and see how your squat max does. If it follows along, maybe cycle it in and out as I'm sure it will be pretty taxing over time.

    Stats: Age: 34 Weight: 205 Height: 5'6"
    Gym PRs: Squat:635 Bench:560 Deadlift:495
    Meet PRs: Squat:575 Bench:520 Deadlift:510 Total: 1605@220

  4. #3
    Iron4Life
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    Thanks Drew.. I appreciate that from a competitive PL'er such as yourself.

    BTW.. Drew and any PL'er out there.. do any of you do the majority of your squatting with box squats? Seems Westside does almost nothing but box squats..

  5. #4
    Breaker of Skulls Guido's Avatar
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    I do incorporate box squats every other week but not in lieu of regular squatting. I'm going to make box squats more of a focus in my next training cycle, though, and see how it works out.
    5'9" 195 lbs
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    "Most people don't want to learn new things. They only want to hear about things that validate crap they're already doing." - Mike Boyle

  6. #5
    There may be hope yet. JustinASU's Avatar
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    I used box squats exclusively for a few weeks earlier this year. I found that when I reverted back to free squats, instead of helping me, I was actually much weaker. My box squat had jumped up to about 500, whereas my free squat had dropped about 30 lbs. Box squats absolutely have their place, but cycle them in with free squats for a good balance. I also noticed that strictly speaking from a bodybuilding standpoint, my quads lost mass with exclusively box squats even though I was getting stronger. No one in this forum should care too much about aesthetics, but I thought I'd throw that in.
    Last edited by JustinASU; 09-01-2006 at 11:45 AM.
    Credulous at best
    Your desire to believe in
    Angels in the hearts of men.
    But pull your head on out of your hippie haze
    And give a listen
    Shouldn't have to say it all again

  7. #6
    SFW! drew's Avatar
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    I box squat for speed every week. I try to alternate max work with and without a box. For a long time I did nothing but box squats, it didn't kill my free squat, but I felt more comfortable practicing max work without a box.

    Stats: Age: 34 Weight: 205 Height: 5'6"
    Gym PRs: Squat:635 Bench:560 Deadlift:495
    Meet PRs: Squat:575 Bench:520 Deadlift:510 Total: 1605@220

  8. #7
    Iron4Life
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    HEy guys thanks... and Justin, that is really interesting on the quad mass.. something to think about.. after, I don't want my wife just to lust after me for improved glutes & hammies.. lol

    How about depth? I've got a 12 box... which is probably about 3-4 inches below parallel for me...
    Anyone go lower?

    I've seen some insane Westside videos down to 3 inches.. heck I don't think I could stand up with just the bar at that depth... let alone if I could stretch that far.. I think my ATF is about 7-8 inches

  9. #8
    Senior Member HeavyBomber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drew
    As long as you're keeping a tight arch and not dipping forward, it could be a good thing. I would say give it a try for 6 weeks and see how your squat max does. If it follows along, maybe cycle it in and out as I'm sure it will be pretty taxing over time.
    I agree.

  10. #9
    Senior Member HeavyBomber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustinASU
    I used box squats exclusively for a few weeks earlier this year. I found that when I reverted back to free squats, instead of helping me, I was actually much weaker. My box squat had jumped up to about 500, whereas my free squat had dropped about 30 lbs. Box squats absolutely have their place, but cycle them in with free squats for a good balance. I also noticed that strictly speaking from a bodybuilding standpoint, my quads lost mass with exclusively box squats even though I was getting stronger. No one in this forum should care too much about aesthetics, but I thought I'd throw that in.
    I have had the same experience and yes my quads have become the weak link and is now hindering my progress on free standing squats.

  11. #10
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    I used to box squat a lot and to be honest, I don't think it was the best for me. I think it helped my deadlift more than anything. I use a 10" box most of the time which is almost an ass-to-ankles squat, but I'd use a 12" or so box too. I still box squat once in a while and like them, but I put more of my focus on free squatting now.

    I love Westside, but I think I need more free squatting than in the regular template.

    I love bands too, but again, the groove of a banded squat is different than a free squat. When I took off the bands, my groove was crap until I relearned the movement.
    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
    Lifting Clips: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=johnnymnemonic2
    Blog: http://squatrx.blogspot.com/

  12. #11
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    I think box squats are a great powerlifting excercise, if you do it correctly. I use a low box, my coach tells me that it's 11 and 3/4 inches, but it looks like 10'' to me!...Anyways, my flexibility is bad, and it's hard for me to go all the way down, so I have to warm up thoroghly, and then I do 12 sets of 2 reps, fast, in an explosive manner, going fast on the way up, controlled on the way down. It has done wonders to my squat, it really works, I don't see how not going all the way up is going to help at all, maybe it'll work the quads a little harder, but the quads are not that important for a big squat, the hamstrings and lower back, that's what's the important thing. Worring about looking good for the wife shouldn't be the major concern in powerlifting, neither should it be building bigger quads just for the sake of it. The important thing in powerlifting, is building a bigger squat, period! If you are lean, your legs are going to look alright, my legs look good, muscular and lean, I like my powerlifting legs, they may not look exactly like a bodybuilder type of leg, but still, I think my powerlifting legs are hot, even if I don't have bulging quads that sag over my knees...At least not yet...lol
    Keep up the great work!

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