T Nation

Having a High-Low Bar Meltdown


So, my background is that I started training a decade ago doing silly CrossFit shit, ending up owning a "box," and eventually transitioned into Oly Lifting as a focus, gaining respectable enough numbers for a dude who weighed 155 along the way. I burnt out, drank too much, ate like crap, and didn't touch a weight for 4 years.

Coming back, I wanted to gain a baseline of strength, as I was always naturally weak, so I started Starting Strength, not having done it back when I was a true novice. Was going fine, until I realized about 6 weeks in, squatting 225 3x5, that I was still high bar squatting like crazy. I daialed down to 175 and have been trying to change to low bar, for 2 reasons:
1) My posterior chain has always sucked hard; I used to FS more than I could BS, and couldn't deadlift a thing.
2) I'm doing SS, so I figured why not give Rip the respect to sqaut how he prescribes?

Problem is, I can't get my body to adapt to the LBBS, at all. I'm so used to vertical squats, after all the Oly work, and I prided myself on how vertical I was, that my body defaults when weight gets heavier. My form for LBBS looked pretty decent at 175-190, and then the last 2 days of training, crap. I fell apart but managed to rep out at 200 3x5, and then failed to even do a single rep at 205 on my 3rd set today, after putting up 225 3x5 w a high bar a month ago. At this point, I'm wondering should I:
A) Deload like crazy and train the LBBS with higher reps and slower pace at a super low, like 135ish weight?
B) Say F it, and just high bar squat, throwing in RDL's or some such for the hammies
C) Fight to correct form and keep at the weight I'm at, attempting the LB squat
D) Do another program

My BW is about 165, numbers have gone (all 3x5, except DL is 1x5)
Squat 115-225/200 (HB vs LB)
DL 135-275
Bench 95-180
Power Clean 95-165
Press 65-125

Definitely messing with my head, and the form breakdowns I felt today were scary. Not trying to get hurt.

Thanks for any input.


Take a deep breath. You're doing fine. Quit psyching yourself out.

Personally, I don't see anything wrong with high bar squats for starting strength. If you want to low bar squat, then work on it, but I know of quite a few people who built too much posterior chain and not enough quads from low bar squats and deadlifts, myself included.

No need to include RDL's. You're still working your posterior chain with high bar, and you also have power cleans and DLs.

Make sure you're eating enough, and rock on.


yea i agree with above. nothing wrong with high bar squats, although one thing i'd note is that the LBBS serves as a big stimulus for the deadlift in SS. if your deadlift starts having trouble, try giving it some ramped sets or drop down sets for a little extra volume, simple fix.


It really depends on how you perform the HB squats if you want good carryover. Most likely strengthening your erectors, hams and hips will help but it's hard to know for sure without understanding how you perform the lift.


This. If you want tack in some box squats. You could use them as a way to learn low bar technique. I don't think anything I've come across makes me feel my hams, glutes and low back more than box squats.

But seriously, don't worry. You'll be fine.