T Nation

Hatfield Squats


Have you ever done Hatfield squats? What makes you think that you know better than Fred Hatfield and Josh Bryant? Have you set any world records, won any championships, or coached any elite lifters? Hatfield squats will overload the strongest part of the movement, which doesn’t get much stimulus otherwise. And I will do high bar pause squats on top of that (or other similar variation). Leg press and hack squats can be useful but you have to have a reason to do them first of all, and you also have to have access to the machines and I have no machines in my basement.

The other thing I wrote was a joke, or at least sort of. I just don’t see why you would replace a squat with a machine exercise unless you can’t handle more squatting.


I’m sure I will be able to lift more with these, I have never done them before so I will have to start light but after a few weeks I should be able to move some heavy weights. I’m thinking two 5-week blocks (4 weeks + 1 week deload), there is no meet around here (other than some IPF nonsense) until December so I have plenty of time. I think that is one of the advantages of using Hatfield squats, once you get back to heavy squats with a straight bar you will be prepared for the weight. Of course I am still going to do low bar squats on my light squat day so that I don’t lose the technique.


No one misinterpreted anything. You stepped in it now you own it.

Think before you write.


The only thing I’ll comment on is the “deloads”. If your weights are rising and you’re feeling “on” there should be no need for a deload. Take the deload when you feel like crap during your warmups. One way to do it is to take your last warmup weight and use it for your prescribed sets and reps. Do not add volume. If you add volume to a light day, it is no longer a light day. If you add enough volume, the light day can cause the same level of systemic stress as the heavy day.

In my case I found that on days when I feel less energetic, I can lift heavy but lack endurance. What I do on those days is lift heavy for a limited number of sets. You might do 3 x 2 instead of 3 x 5 with a heavy weight. Don’t forget that on a bad day, 90% is effectively heavier than 90% since your 90% is calculated based on a good day’s performance. I’m not sure of the science, but it’s possible that when you’re that tired you’re stressed out enough to release some adrenaline. Just an observation of mine from years under the bar and from past coaches and training partners.


Your self-reflection is really grotesque. LOL I don’t question the qualities or knowledge of Hatfield and Bryant. I’m just saying Hatfield squats isn’t a safe exercise. I don’t know why train an exercise with an bar which I don’t hold safely in my hands. This only increases the risk of injury in preparation. However, you are convinced of this exercise that you will probably train it despite the criticism. But I think instead of this exercise, it is enough to add the volume of classical squats.

To answer your question, I trained a very similar exercise - the safety bar squat.

I am surprised how many people have trouble understanding the context and how many people are offended.


I figured out through trial and error that 4 weeks of hard training is usually as long as I can go before performance starts to drop. I have used the same strategy that you describe where you just deload when you start to feel like you need it, I don’t really see one as better than the other if you have no meet coming up or other limitations and in my case you need to know roughly how much you can tolerate for how long or you will waste time deloading instead of getting stronger. When I deload I usually drop volume by 50% but still lift around 90% of the previous week’s weights, going too light makes everything feel too heavy when I get back to regular training.


It only unsafe if you have a fucked up SSB or you can’t balance the weight, which doesn’t appear to be hard at all. If it feels unsafe then I won’t do it, but you are just assuming things rather than speaking from experience.