T Nation

ATG - Parallel Squat Conversion

For anyone who has done both ATG and regular squats, what were your maxes on both of them?

I’m trying to figure out (hypothetically speaking) what someone who ATG squats X amount can do if they stop at parallel, and vice-versa.

Obviously its somewhat impractical since the muscles worked are slightly different, but lets hear your responses anyway.


I full-squat, and I can get maybe 20lbs more if I stop at parallel. So that’d take me from 365 to 385.

It’s really not that much. But then again, my sticking point is right above parallel, so maybe that’s just me.

Depending of course on factors like gear (if so what type) and no gear, and your definition of ATG…I consider the difference between “parallel” and IPF depth to be ~3 inches.

Raw for me between “parallel” and IPF depth about 30lbs.

In single ply gear about 50lbs.

about the same maybe 15 - 20 extra pounds. feels weird though…

In most people, A2G is probably only an inch deeper than parallel.

Unless you are on olympic lifter, if you say you are doing “A2G” squats, it’s probably not truly A2G. In fact, it’s probably barely parallel.

Parallel means the crease of the hip is at the same level as the top of the knees.

For most lifters, a A2G or BD2F squat is essentially the same as a parallel squat. If someone is claiming a big difference, it is because they have lousy depth on the “parallel” squat.

Part of it depends on specificity of training. If you usually go ATG, then the difference will be smaller. If you rarely go ATG, it will be larger.

I’ve found I could parallel back squat about 20 pounds more than I can squat ATG.

however, this is with the same stance and technique. If I changed my footwear and stance and did more of a “power squat” variation, I would think the difference would easily be 40+ pounds raw.

But I’m squatting medium narrow and atg like more of an olympic style, so I think that would result in a bigger difference because the leverage is worse.