T Nation

ATG Squatter and Box Squats


I was an olympic lifting, but now I do the lifts for fun and train solely for strength. I have little interest in being a competitive powerlifter, even though my training is powerlifter orientated (WS4SB). My squatting style is ATG and have no interest in low bar wide stance squats. But, would box squatting, say on an 6-8" box, help increase my squat max? My sticking point is never the bottom, but about three inches out of the bottom, the point where catching the bounce wears off and the grind begins. Current max is at 320ish.


that's a very very low box. you wouldn't be able to wide stance squat to a box that low anyway. to get that low you would almost have to do an olympic style squat anyway.

sounds like you are relying too much on the stretch reflex to get out of the hole. i've found that squatting off pins against bands have been the shit. remove that stretch reflex and you will get rid of that sticking point.


I would take a different approach to this and state that you are probably looser than you think in the hole.

I have some Jackal's influence in me (more than a little) so we run 6-8 week cycles of high bar Oly style squats and although I feel like a pussy when I talk to Krogman or Tylutki (600+ for a 2X) about their numbers (let alone Gilli) one thing I know is to get that deep you sacrifice some tightness out of the hole. Certainly compared to just breaking.

So, what I would recommend is spend some time getting just an inch below, which will feel weird but you should be able to hold body position very well and if you do it well will be remarkably tight.

You will likely get more sore in your mid and upper back and inner thighs but work on a tight, relatively fast descent and learn to pop up when you just break and you will be amazed at the weight you can move within 2-3 weeks.

Again, it will feel kind of awkward but get tight as hell, hit that spot and pop it up.

With a little work you will be surprised how powerful you feel.


I've been squatting to an 8" box the past few weeks and have experienced quite a boost in strength when doing wide stance, PL legal squats. Dunno how my experience would fit into your goals, but...


PL squats to an 8" box? Shit, those would even pass in USAPL...


I dont think he meant hes been doing PL squats to an 8" box.


Our coach always emphasized catching the bounce out of either front or back squats, because of the carry over to the competition lifts. I train in at my school's rec center now and it has power racks etc, but no bands or anything of that sort are in there and are frowned upon (don't want people getting too strong...). Could you describe the set up for doing reps off of pins?


here's how we set them up for front squats.


That's the point I'm trying to make to you. You end up having to basically 'recover' after the bounce and then drive through. You are losing tightness.

The problem is the bar isn't in your hands and you aren't setting up for the double bump. It's on your back.

If you no longer have aspirations of competing in the OL, treat the Oly style squat as something in your arsenal, not a standby.

In terms of box squats or squatting from pins, you probably couldn't chose a movement much different than the one you are performing in an Oly squat.

I don't see the logic there.


Your sticking spot isn't that uncommon, so there isn't really a need to work specifically on it. Instead of complicating things, I would just give the tried and true Russian Squat Routine a go:


Ahhhhhh. Exactly. Thank you.

What you are experiencing is inherent to an Oly style squat.




Wait a minute here.. you were talking such trash a few months ago about what 'real' olympic lifters do in training. You spoke down to Dfreezy and me about how we train (mocking the pulls we do under 100%), yet you squat 320 (145kg) as a 94? Or even as an 85? So basically, you were mouthing off as nothing more than a beginner in the sport? You've got to be kidding me.


That's funny as hell.

I was going to post something similar when he basically ignored posts on this thread explaining that what he was experiencing is normal in that style of squatting. With a 320 squat, he just needs to squat more. Not perform silly accesory movements.

Probably a young kid who doesn't know what he doesn't know. This place is full of them.

Post that link if you get a minute.


A. I haven't trained in 3 months, because of injury
B. My max backsquat was around 390.


C. You have less than 2 years training under your belt.

Don't try to make yourself out to be something you are not. Most of us can see right through it.

From my perspective, you are one of these kids without the discipline to stick with something so instead of just moving on you choose to try and make yourself sound better by saying, "well I used to....."

I am sure you prance around telling people you were a competitive OL just like some of the people I know who do one meet and then spend the next 10 years telling people they, "used to powerlift."

You didn't "use to" do anything. You quit likely when it started to get difficult or you got a boo-boo.

dfreezy is nobody I would engage in debate with at your level. I saw some of his vids and he is a strong young man who is goal oriented and seems to be doing all the right things.



A max backsquat of around 390 (which probably translates into a 175kg backsquat since people tend round up and you said 'around') is what one of my 85kg lifters is lifting right now with about a year of Olympic lifting experience. He qualifies for National Collegiates, but not the American Open nor Nationals. I am guessing you were a 94, which makes your backsquat somewhere underneath an intermediates for the sport, which is suggestive of you being a beginner at the actual competitive lifts.

You've been a huge dick on these forums to people. I'm not surprised to find out that you are not a particularly good lifter.

And for the record, I haven't been able to train well for the last 4 months due to a back injury, yet at your bodyweight, I still jerk 25kgs more than your current squat. Don't mouth off so much.


I had two years of training when I tore my labrum in HALF and tore my supraspinatus in summer 06. After a year off, I came back and two years later I had started to have some problems with my shoulder again. You're right, I quit because it became boo hoo because I couldn't roll over without waking up in pain. I value having a functional shoulder more than putting big weights over my head. I would rather have a $15k shoulder than a $30K+ one.


My 2 cents: bottom squats at varying depths work. Set the bar at low pins and go at it. Or you could try double squats. I have good success with these as well. Go all the way down, go up half way go back down and then go back all the way up. These really work if done explosively. Instead of bouncing work on pausing at bottom.


come on... he doesn't need to do more "silly accessory stuff". he just needs to squat more. that'll fix em.

i do mostly "silly stuff" and my squat is about 700 raw now. i guess if i just squatted more, i'd be at 1000 right now:)