T Nation

Heavy Back Squats and Light Box Squats, Which First?


#1

I know if I squat deeper, it helps me lose weight, but after I turned forty my knees stiffened up and at my heavier weights I barely squat parallel.

So I’ve been doing box squats at a very light weight but a much lower depth and it helps me lose weight. That’s the good news.

But if I want to back squat heavy and box squat light on the same day, which should I do first? Normally I would instinctively do the heavy work first, but the box squats help me lose weight and that’s more important to me right now.


#2

Box first. Open the groin, and get the hips and glutes going. Take the load off your quads, and get it onto your butt and hamstrings.

You could even work in abs and back raises between sets.

Then, when you squat heavy, it will be easier to hit depth. Your knees won’t drift forward so much, and they won’t hurt as much.

Don’t think of it as pre-exhaust. It’s pre-activation.


#3

I’m over 40 too and have my share of knee problems. ACL and medial meniscus reconstruction in R knee, and had gunk scoped out of L knee. Mine are stiff and ‘old’ feeling.

But I found mobility work to the key to happy, pain free knees. I use body tempering with the ex wife popularized by Donnie Thompson.

Mine is a 120 lb cylinder that I use 2x week on the posterior chain, and notably quads, abductors and IT band. It seems to get things loosened up so I can squat to depth pain free.

And, what flats said totally makes sense.


#4

If I never do a regular back squat again, I won’t miss it. I box squat with a SSB when I can and I love it. At this point (approaching 40) the exercise needs to fill a specific role. If I ever do a PL meet, it’ll probably be geared and then I’ll revisit. I guess my reply is a long way of asking whether moving back to full squats is even something you want to do? Not discouraging it by any means, but worth considering.


#5

have you done a powerlifting meet?


#6

In my thirties I back squatted low enough to feel it in my butt and hams, but after I turned forty … well, I should have corrected this problem before it became a problem. Thanks for the advice!


#7

Once I achieved my strength goal of squat+dead lift+ bench =1000 pounds, I decided to really focus on losing weight, and box squats have let me squat low enough to have that effect. Once I’m down to my college weight again, I’ll revisit my goals. Probably try to be able to press my own weight overhead.


#8

Nope. I’m strong for my gym, but never saw myself as competition material. Or are you suggesting I go watch?


#9

Nope. I injured my shoulder a couple of years back when I first started getting strong (was closing on a 400 raw bench). I’ve been rehabbing the shoulder aggressively over the past year or so and have actually really started making progress.

I swapped to strongman training because my shoulder only bothered me pressing in horizontal plane so I can go pretty nuts on OH press.

That being said, I just hit 10-lbs under where I was before on bench this week so after I do a strongman event, I’ll reevaluate. I’d have to set some pretty specific criteria for being competitive and I’m nowhere near that right now. It’s a hypothetical at the moment.


#10

OK just curious b/c putting gear as a qualifier for your first powerlifting meet is odd. Most move into gear after getting some competition experience. Personally, I plan to stay raw with wraps.

Nothing wrong with gear though, I just don’t want the hassle.


#11

More to do with injury history around my shoulder than anything else. It’s not a dig on raw lifters at all. If I had two healthy shoulders, I’d probably not have moved over to strongman training and would want to compete raw.


#12

I don’t use gear because I don’t want my main muscle groups to out pace my supportive muscle groups, and like I said above, I’m not competing anyway.


#13

After this discussion yesterday, I “squatted” (SSB, High Box) wearing my briefs. It was the first time I wore supportive equipment in years.

The weights were pretty light, I was in briefs, so the workout wasn’t too taxing. But it was a great session.

Later, about to take a shower, I walked past the mirror and saw my legs. It looked like I had somebody else’s legs! I had so much external rotation of the hips, it looked like my knee caps were pointing out at 45 degrees. VMOs and quads were popping.

One workout is too soon to know for sure, but I think some support may have let me use weaker muscles, more.


#14

Last post was Thursday. Now it’s Monday. Today I was pretty sore over the weekend. I wore the briefs again today and broke my SSB box squat record by 5 pounds. Usually it feels like my crotch will burst when I push this lift heavy. Today it was still hard, but everything was “held together” so it felt like a Better squat.

I didn’t feel great enough to go for a second record though. I’ll probably wear these things to squat for awhile.


#15

[quote]I know if I squat deeper, it helps me lose weight, but after I turned forty my knees stiffened up and at my heavier weights I barely squat parallel.

So I’ve been doing box squats at a very light weight but a much lower depth and it helps me lose weight. That’s the good news.

But if I want to back squat heavy and box squat light on the same day, which should I do first? Normally I would instinctively do the heavy work first, but the box squats help me lose weight and that’s more important to me right now.[/quote]

Box Squats

If you are preforming Box Squats as a Power and/or Speed Movement; you should preform them first when you Type IIb/x “Super” Fast Muscle Fibers are fresh.

Preforming Power and/or Speed Movement first enable you to demonstrate and to you greater force production (Power and Speed)

To some extent is is a Warm Up for Heavy Squats.

However, there is an exception to the rule…

Post-Activation Potentiation Training

This method “Super Set” a Strength and Power and/or Speed Movement.

Research and empirical data have demonstrated when a Heavy Lift precedes a Moderate to Light Lift, greater force production (Power and Speed) are produce in the lighter exercise.

I have use Post-Activation Training for years. It is a very effective method.

There are a multitude of article on Post-Activation Training on line. Google Contrast Training and/or Complex Training.

Weight Loss

  1. Squatting deeper does not help you lose weight.

  2. Box Squat do NOT help you with weight loss.

Weight loss occurs when more calories are expended than consumed.

Squatting Deeper involve more muscle fiber being used.

Explosive Box Squats require more energy expenditure.

However, the amount of calories burned via Squatting Deep and Explosive Squat is minuscule. It it tantamount to spit in the ocean.

The MOST Effective Exercise for Weight Loss

Pushing back from the table, consuming fewer calories.

Kenny Croxdale