T Nation

Full Squats-DAMN!

today was my leg day
over the past few years i have slowly seen my squat form detoriarate (as my “strenth” went up)
eventually i was squatting 325 *10-12 for six sets
i wasnt doing quarter squats or anything THAT bad, but was going just short of parallel

finally, today i decided to go full out like i used to, going absolutely until i cant go down anymore

man, what a difference
i dropped down to 255 * 8 and could only do five sets
afterwards my legs were quivering

a few questions:
my knees felt a little weird with this-is going BELOW parallel dangerous at all?
also, i am worried that in doing full squats i wont be using enough heavy weight to make my quads grow-is this a problem? any benefit to doing leg press every other week?

Welcome to the world of full squats.

Regarding your questions:

  • Executed properly, full squats are not threatening to the knees in the least. In fact, they may be safer than stopping at parallel.

  • I suspect your full squat will increase fairly rapidly, at least at first. Having said that, the (accursed) leg press is an option for those looking for non-functional hypertrophy.

What happened to you is not uncommon when embarking on full squats. What happened with your knees is probably just because you weren’t fully warmed up or weren’t used to the movement. Full squats are often good for getting rid of some cases of knee pain. Regarding the weight don’t worry about it. Youd probably get more development using 135 lbs on a full squat vs 315 on a half squat. As for the leg press it’s up to you but it probably won’t give you the same stimulation as the full squat. If you’re still looking to implement the supramaximal squats (1/2 squats or 1/4 squats) you can do both in the same workout. Simply work up to your heavy weights using sets of 1/2 squats and then begin stripping weight off performing full squats towards the end. That way you get the best of both worlds and your full squats will be stronger had you not done the heavier 1/2 squats at first.

Second both the above posts- the full squat should probably be considered the more “natural” movement- why stop 1/2 way through the full range of motion around the joint? This in itself could be considered a stressor to the knees.

You’ll soon get used to it, and I would guess form will improve too. As Kelly mentioned, there’s nothing to stop you performing 1/2 squats (to parallel) too, with heavier weights. However I think the safest (and most effective) way to do this is powerlifting style -wide-stance, +/- Box.

you might want to keep in mind that your knees felt a little strange because they just weren’t use to the deeper movement. Also, full squats will engage alot more glut- hamstring than what you are use to which may be good if you have a case of no-ass-at-all.if you’re like me, heavy squats build my gluts pretty fast if I don’t use a plate or block under my heels, which I hate. So I usually suffer from squaters ass.

If i used squats on leg day this week, than I would deadlift on back day the next week, and use heavy leg press on leg day. I found this to work well and give my CNS time to recoop.By all means keep the press loaded and go balls to the wall and you will see it can compliment your squating .
good luck bro