T Nation

Box Squats and Humility

since school has ended here at ucsd, the gym is pretty quiet for the most part except for the regulars that stay for summer school and other patrons that come on a regular basis. so i decided to do some squats… then figuring i had the space and time, i decided to try out box squats, thinking i was going to just breeze through a few sets with them. the box i used as about 2-3 inches below parallel for me and i was squatting 225 at the time for good measure. i was lucky to do more than 2 reps. i have been humbled–i had to drop down to 185 to accomplish a set of 5 before i racked the weight and drank a good 1/5 of my water bottle. i just wanted to get that off my chest lol.

humbled and enlightened (again, by t-mag and westside),

Ya I know that feeling I did the same thing about A month ago. I can usually squat 4 sets of 8 with 455lbs I tried box squats with 285 did 3 my legs were cramping and I didn’t know if I could get the last up. I felt like A complete wuss. I ended up doing 225 for 2 more sets of 5.

You guys shouldn’t feel so bad. i tried box squats for the first time last week, and after a pathetic attempt with 205 (i normally squat 365 for sets of 8), i decided it was best to just use the bar for my entire workout. i plan on doing this for the next couple of weeks until i get the form down perfectly - my balance is lousy.

I could be wrong but it sounds like your free squats are pretty high. The first time I did box squats I hit 330 while my max squat was 365.

I wouldnt get too suprised about this. The chances are first of all that you most likely are not doing them correctly ie wide stance, sitting back onto the box, flexing with the hips of the box, knees out etc. So of course you are not going to be able to use alot of weight. Also once you get your technique down you will need to drastically strengthen the posterior chain and hips which are lacking in most people as you are most likely a quad dominant squatter. Typically my box squat is around 100lbs less than my free squat, for instance i box squattted 700lbs a few weeks before i did 800lbs in a meet. So learn how to box squat correctly and improve your weak areas and you will get alot better at it.

That’s kind of strange how couple of you guys are so off from your normal squatting poundage when doing box squats. Were you guys squatting all the way down in your normal squats?

with me I ussual go an inch down form parrell and the box i use is 3 below.
because i’m almost 6’4" 1rm is not know my workout partner quit after imonth back in the gym, so no spotter.

subhuman (or anyone),
got any good tips for us taller guys? I too am 6’4" and have tried sqautting various ways, including box squats and have even been trained a few times by Cathy Millen. In essence i suck, and although i guts it out and technique (i’m told) is ok, i feel like a wuss lifting girly weights. Is it simply a matter of forging on and swallowing my pride, or is there a better way for tal guys to squat. I front squat nearly as much as medium stance backsquat, and suck on the box. Obviously quad dominant?

“I could be wrong but it sounds like your free squats are pretty high. The first time I did box squats I hit 330 while my max squat was 365.”

I agree completely. Rarely, rarely do I see folks breaking parallel in their squats. Especially the high school kids that are trying to impress each other. But there are many “seasoned” lifters in my gym that squat high just so they can put those additional 45’s on the bar. It’s a real surprise when you gotta keep going down to hit that box!
Friends don’t let friends squat high!

i’m not super strong or anything like that but my tech. is pretty good, now.
at my gym they have A piece of equipment called the pendulum, it can go at angles or straight up and down. I put A stop on it so it would go down to a point and stop, then I press up it helps to clean up your technique.
but your going to have to look like A puss for awill till you get your legs up to par. good mornings help and stiff leg deads. some people don’t like leg press but when you can put all the weight that BASTARD will hold and go deep and press it up it does help, and it makes you feel like A BAD ASS!
hope it helps