T Nation

Carryover from Box Squats to Actual Squats?

I just came back from the gym, was suprised at how strong i am coming of a box in the squat.

i dont know what it is but i think the box adds confidence as its a bit safer and hence i went for more weight.

i am able to do 5x5 at 120kg to about 2 inchs below parallel

2 day i did 4x5 rangeing from 140kg - 170kg.adding 10kgs each set. squeezed out 2 at 180kg.

the box was stopping me 1 inch above parallel but there was a bit of “give” in it, so in think when i sat on it i was very near parallel.

so eliminating 3 inchs of movement has boosted my squat by around 30-50kgs? does that sound right or am i just pussying out on the real thing?

cheers
Scott

I missed 190 off a slightly below parallel box around the time I was free squatting 170kg x5 (probably 3-4 inches below parallel, so they were deep too…)

[quote]Hanley wrote:
I missed 190 off a slightly below parallel box around the time I was free squatting 170kg x5 (probably 3-4 inches below parallel, so they were deep too…)[/quote]

was that an answer? im confuddled…

oh and not that it matters or anything. i was squating belt, wraps free etc…

havnt used any equipment at all yet.

Sounds like you are higher than you think on the box. Have someone take a picture from the side. You might be surprised.

i took a pic as a matter of fact… its my mate pretending to unrack 180kg. you can just see the box (bench) around his knee level. im 4 inchs taller than him.

the bench has a bit of give as it is a inline/flat/decline bench so it sags a good bit once you hit it.

EDIT: I know i know, its a smith machine, but its all i have access to untill i go back to uni.

the highest DB is 35kg. its shite. plently of lunges and bulgarians thou.

I wouldn’t really worry about it until you have good equipment to train with. Trying to measure your bench (high) box squat off a smith machine to a regular squat is a lesson in futility.

Even after you get back to real equipment, I still wouldn’t worry about comparing the 2. As long as your lifts go up, keep on keepin on.

[quote] Matt wrote:
I wouldn’t really worry about it until you have good equipment to train with. Trying to measure your bench (high) box squat off a smith machine to a regular squat is a lesson in futility.

Even after you get back to real equipment, I still wouldn’t worry about comparing the 2. As long as your lifts go up, keep on keepin on.[/quote]

y im asking is basically because it surprised me and now im beginning to think im just weak in that last 3 inchs.

what are good ways to strengthen the bottom protion of the squat?

i am doing: Bulgairan S-Squats, Lunges, Romanian Deads, Stiff Legged Dead, Leg Extension, Calf Raises, Squats, Low, Parallel and High Box Squats.

Im thinking isometric holds at our below parallel… ie:
squat down to the bottom, hold position for 3-5 secs then come up. do 5x5?

Scott

If you suck in the hole, stop training off a high box and squat deeper.

Sounds like you are doing every single leg exercise in the world dude! I couldnt handle doing all of those at a good intensity myself.

If you struggle at the bottom and you feel its holding you back then like Matt says, do low box squats or squat deeper. I guess you could also try anderson squats.

[quote]Dave284 wrote:
Sounds like you are doing every single leg exercise in the world dude! I couldnt handle doing all of those at a good intensity myself.

If you struggle at the bottom and you feel its holding you back then like Matt says, do low box squats or squat deeper. I guess you could also try anderson squats.[/quote]

are anderson squats, starting with the weight in the hole and pushing it up?

im not doing all of that every workout, maybe a 1/3, max 1/2 in one session.

im ging to mix it up, box sqauts, Low squats, isometric holds, high rep work, low rep work, beyond failure work etc etc.

im planning to squat at least 3 times a week to try and bring it up to my deadlift.
i deadlift 205kg for 1RM, 5x5 squat 120, never tested my squat 1rm, but id assume it is no where near the 205 deadlift.

Scott

Not many people can squat their deadlift without equipment. Id be willing to wager that if your squat gets up to 205, then your dead will have gone up a lot by then.

Ive pulled 230kg but the most ive squated is 160kg x 2 (although hopefully that will be going up rapidly).

Anderson squats are bottom up squats like you say.

Personally ive found that with squat numbers as low as ours the best way to bring your squat up is just to squat. Do a fair amount of volume and just keep plugging away.

For instance, I only started back squatting again like 6-7 weeks ago after not having done them in 2 years. So far ive done:

week1- 130kg 3 x 3
week2- 140kg 3 x 3
week3- 160kg x 1
week4- 140kg 5 x 3
week5- 150kg 3 x 3
week6- 160kg x 2

Didnt do anything fancy, just linear progression. Other stuff was posterior chain work and single leg.

i had been following a basic enough 5x5 program. one squat, one deadlift, one press and one pull a week.

now im looking to more than double the volume for three weeks since i am unable to deadlift due to no free bars… etc

thinking about doing something like.

8x3-5 heavy day for one day
4x10 sqaut/box sqaut for another
5x5 day with the emphasis on the hole, might try out anderson squats.

thats the plan, then some assistance work, alternating between some stuff.

Scott

Weak in the squat? Weak in the hole? I suggest a lot of heavy deep squating!

Add in some box squats after if you’d like.

If your squating using a smith machine then I would not box squat… yucckkk.

Just because you have 8 more posts than me Iain dosent mean you can give advice! :wink: lol. Seriously, you re right though. Now if only someone could convice Monkcheese…

[quote]thosebananas wrote:
Hanley wrote:
I missed 190 off a slightly below parallel box around the time I was free squatting 170kg x5 (probably 3-4 inches below parallel, so they were deep too…)

was that an answer? im confuddled…[/quote]

My point was that if your box is at or below parallel then it should be really close to your free squat. If it’s significantly higher, it suggests your box is quite a bit above parallel.

I don’t know how the dynamics change with a smith machine tho.

smith squats are harder (used them for a few months) really forces u to keep the bar on that straight up and down line the whole lift, helped my squat alot actually lol

[quote]bignate wrote:
smith squats are harder (used them for a few months) really forces u to keep the bar on that straight up and down line the whole lift, helped my squat alot actually lol[/quote]

lol smith squats harder?

Anyways I don’t like box squats for the most part, they might be good to use with gear but for regular squatting I don’t find any benefit. I don’t have a great box since I had to make it out like the pilates stuff but still don’t see the benefit. It messes up my squat form and makes it harder for me to get into my normal squat rhythem. I generally squat olympic style also so the box I had was just awkward and when I had it too low put too much stress on my knees.

If your having trouble out of the hole, or hitting depth you should just be practicing normal squatting. Many olympic weightlifters are some of the best squatters in the world and don’t do any box squatting-not to mention doesn’t seem that popular with IPF/USAPL-. The westside ideas seem to be held as the ONLY way you should train for a lot of people. They work for them, but they are a VERY small group of people compared to how many people lift. Most people just squat normally and its the most natural movement you can do.

If you have trouble squatting normally you should really be working on that before you go messing with other stuff, especially when you have the most problem at the bottom.

[quote]bignate wrote:
smith squats are harder (used them for a few months) really forces u to keep the bar on that straight up and down line the whole lift, helped my squat alot actually lol[/quote]

i was going to ask about this, but i was afraid of getting flamed.

i was squating 120kg 5x5 to below parallel (most sqauts were checked as i train with a powerlifer and a strongman)

then i took maybe 1/2 weeks of while moving home etc. then i had to start out squating 5x5 at 90kg. i thought i had just got weaker, but it did feel weird going lower in the smith as it was straight up and down. after i got 3/4 of the way down, it felt more like my ass was kicking out as opposed to my knees bending.

Scott

[quote]shizen wrote:
bignate wrote:
smith squats are harder (used them for a few months) really forces u to keep the bar on that straight up and down line the whole lift, helped my squat alot actually lol

lol smith squats harder?

Anyways I don’t like box squats for the most part, they might be good to use with gear but for regular squatting I don’t find any benefit. I don’t have a great box since I had to make it out like the pilates stuff but still don’t see the benefit. It messes up my squat form and makes it harder for me to get into my normal squat rhythem. I generally squat olympic style also so the box I had was just awkward and when I had it too low put too much stress on my knees.

If your having trouble out of the hole, or hitting depth you should just be practicing normal squatting. Many olympic weightlifters are some of the best squatters in the world and don’t do any box squatting-not to mention doesn’t seem that popular with IPF/USAPL-. The westside ideas seem to be held as the ONLY way you should train for a lot of people. They work for them, but they are a VERY small group of people compared to how many people lift. Most people just squat normally and its the most natural movement you can do.

If you have trouble squatting normally you should really be working on that before you go messing with other stuff, especially when you have the most problem at the bottom. [/quote]

in 5 weeks i went from 5x5 90kg on smith to 5x5 120kg on smith, but i think a good bit of that was getting used to the motion. i was using box squats so i could overload my legs a bit more and also for a smallish change from normal squating.

ive also been coached them for rugby, something about reactive muscles, like the motion comes to a stop and your leg relax slightly then have to fire completly again.

Scott