T Nation

Ass to Grass vs. Box Squats

Suppose you have 2 lifters and they both have a 400 max squat. The first lifter does ass to the grass squats and the second does box squats. Could one be considered “stronger” than the other, even though their max weight is the same? Does full ROM beat out static overcome by concentric, or the other way around? Which would be a more difficult feat of strength?

[quote]jesuban wrote:
Suppose you have 2 lifters and they both have a 400 max squat. The first lifter does ass to the grass squats and the second does box squats. Could one be considered “stronger” than the other, even though their max weight is the same? Does full ROM beat out static overcome by concentric, or the other way around? Which would be a more difficult feat of strength?[/quote]

What is the box height? If the box height is the same depth as that of where the reversal takes place in the ass to grass squat, then the box squatter would be “stronger” in terms of the squat because they are negating the stretch reflex and dynamically overcoming the resistance (this is of course assuming that it is done as a proper box squat with a pause on the box).

Hope that helps,

Pat Battaglia

Full squats are harder than box squats. The guy that has a 400 max box squat would probably not be able to get that same weight out of the hole from a full squat because he never trains through that full range of motion. Is one stronger than the other? They both are doing a 400 max squat, but the full squater will have more strength in the bottom half of the squat, simply because he trains the full ROM.

I have to agree with Tags on this one…if the box is below parallel and performed correctly the box squatter will be much stronger.

Complex question- It really depends. If you dive-bomb into a rock bottom position on a free squat and bounce out of the hole, you may well be able to move more weight than if you were to ease back onto a parallel box, pause, and then come up.

Generally, box squatting should greatly reduce the stretch reflex you would have in the free squat. However, if you slowly decended into an A-to-G position and paused before coming up, you would probably not be able to move as much weight as sqautting off a parallel box. An additional variable to consider is stance. Box squatting lends itself to wider stance squatting than in these deep olympic squats.

I don’t really see the point of this question. Are you trying to justify using one over the other? Can you do one, but not the other? What’s the point?

The formula for potential energy is

PE = Mass x Force of Gravity x Height

This would infer that in a case of comparing 2 different masses the one using the heigher rom would be creating more PE

Pretty much Work is Force x Distance. As for strongest. I’m gonna relate strength to workload and say that the Rock Bottom squatter is stronger.

[quote]Tallman555 wrote:
Complex question- It really depends. If you dive-bomb into a rock bottom position on a free squat and bounce out of the hole, you may well be able to move more weight than if you were to ease back onto a parallel box, pause, and then come up.

Generally, box squatting should greatly reduce the stretch reflex you would have in the free squat. However, if you slowly decended into an A-to-G position and paused before coming up, you would probably not be able to move as much weight as sqautting off a parallel box. An additional variable to consider is stance. Box squatting lends itself to wider stance squatting than in these deep olympic squats. [/quote]

He never said anything about wide-stanced or parallel. He just said box squat. You can use a narrow stance and squat down to a 4" box if your strength and flexibility allow it. My contention is that if both lifters used the same stance and squatted through the same ROM using the same weight, than the squatter who paused on the box and “flexed” back to the start position is MUCH stronger than the squatter who decended than qucikly rebounded into his start position. I have nothing against both kinds of squats as I think both are great, but the lifter with a 400lb ass to grass BOX squat will have a greater than 400 lb ass to grass regular squat.

Pat Battaglia

Also you must consider the Pause and total loss of the strecth reflex from the Box squat.

This is one of the advantages of them forces you to get more pure out of the hole strength.

So it could be very well possible that the 400lb box squat guy may be able to push quite a bit more when not pausing to unlock the hips and using the rebound/stretch reflex. Once again depending on the box height of course.

Unless the poster meant something alone the lines of what Mr. Bettaglia says above, it seems to me that the more useful question would be:

All things considered, in the context of a given program, is it more useful to spend your time training for a 400-pound ATG squat, or for the poundage box squat that will be produced be the same amount of training?

[quote]Ross Hunt wrote:
Unless the poster meant something alone the lines of what Mr. Bettaglia says above, it seems to me that the more useful question would be:

All things considered, in the context of a given program, is it more useful to spend your time training for a 400-pound ATG squat, or for the poundage box squat that will be produced be the same amount of training?[/quote]

YES thats what I want to kno…

[quote]Xen Nova wrote:
Ross Hunt wrote:
Unless the poster meant something alone the lines of what Mr. Bettaglia says above, it seems to me that the more useful question would be:

All things considered, in the context of a given program, is it more useful to spend your time training for a 400-pound ATG squat, or for the poundage box squat that will be produced be the same amount of training?

YES thats what I want to kno…[/quote]

That’s what periodization is for. It’s not like you have to pick one and only one to last you forever.

[quote]tveddy wrote:
The formula for potential energy is

PE = Mass x Force of Gravity x Height

This would infer that in a case of comparing 2 different masses the one using the heigher rom would be creating more PE

Pretty much Work is Force x Distance. As for strongest. I’m gonna relate strength to workload and say that the Rock Bottom squatter is stronger.[/quote]

I totaly agree with Tveddy. good useage of the formulas buddy.
Dane

[quote]Dane Percival wrote:
Full squats are harder than box squats. The guy that has a 400 max box squat would probably not be able to get that same weight out of the hole from a full squat because he never trains through that full range of motion. Is one stronger than the other? They both are doing a 400 max squat, but the full squater will have more strength in the bottom half of the squat, simply because he trains the full ROM. [/quote]

There are boxes that are below parallel, therefore you are training a full ROM.

Besides, the Westside guys only do free squats during competition and they are mastadons. Many of them have 900 squats.

What etaco said. Use them both.

[quote]Mr. Bear wrote:
Dane Percival wrote:
Full squats are harder than box squats. The guy that has a 400 max box squat would probably not be able to get that same weight out of the hole from a full squat because he never trains through that full range of motion. Is one stronger than the other? They both are doing a 400 max squat, but the full squater will have more strength in the bottom half of the squat, simply because he trains the full ROM.

There are boxes that are below parallel, therefore you are training a full ROM.

Besides, the Westside guys only do free squats during competition and they are mastadons. Many of them have 900 squats.

[/quote]
You defiantly can use a box lower than parallel, that would make a big difference. I was going with the assumption the box squater was going to parallel as the other squater was going ATG.
We’re the same as the Westside guys too, only doing free squats in comp. your right, I have seen some massive squats for these guys.

  1. Apples and oranges.
  2. I just wish could do anything with 400 lbs, any squat, dead lift, anything besides just look at it.

[quote]jamej wrote:

  1. Apples and oranges.

  2. I just wish could do anything with 400 lbs, any squat, dead lift, anything besides just look at it.[/quote]

  3. If you have never lifted anything close to 400lbs, how can you say apples and oranges. More like Red Delicious vs. Granny Smith.

  4. That part is mental. Don’t idolize the 400 lbs, it’s not that much.

Cheers,

Pat Battaglia

IMO this discussion is pretty pointless, because correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t strength expressed relative to the movement? At the end of the day you can only say 400lb is better than 350lb in the same movement pattern, in the same circumstances.

Since both SQ lifts have different knematics and muscle activation patterns, trying to argue over which is easier is not possible

You would be better to compare a box squat vs. a regular PL SQ. Then you could say the 400lb box SQer is stronger than the 400lb free SQer, becasue the box squat has no SSC activation. Since both movements if done correctly are exactly the same, except for the box.

Anyway as too what has already been said - unless you are an OLer or PLer, you would be wise to use both.

I would be more impressed if I saw someone take 400 to their heels then to a box at paralell. That being said, why not incorporate both forms of squating into your lifting and try to improve on both of them just like you would your other lifts.