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How Do You Program Box Squats?


How do people usually put box squats into their program?

The people in my gym have never really done them, so unfortunately I had no around me with experience.

Following my coach, he would have me squat heavy weights 3 x a week. I couldn't do that forever so I insisted taking Wednesdays to do my own thing. Also, my hamstrings are really weak or not flexible or something. I don't know -- they just suck. So I decided to try box squats and my schedule ended up like:

M: Heavy squats
W: Box squats
F: Heavy squats

I followed the advice in http://www.elitefts.com/documents/box-squat.htm, doing 10-12 sets of 50-60% max for 2 reps. Afterwards I would sometimes also do one set of full squats, something like 3-5 reps for 75% my max. Whatever felt good.

I thought it worked out pretty well. Gave me good time for recovery and I found my squats on Friday often had better form. Could be carry over from the box squats or just from resting. Either way, it worked out well.

But again, no one else in my gym does them, so I would love to hear from others' experiences and how they've used box squats in their training.


Dyanmic Effort Squats- Once a week, always with a box. Weight depends on what phase of training I'm in.
Max Effort Squats (1-2 times a month)- 60-70% of the time done to a box, 40-30% without (only later in training when the meet is getting closer.

Thats about it!


STB - would you say that box squats have more carryover to geared rather than raw? I believe there are benefits for sure, especially if you're weak out of the hole for geared lifters, but I don't know if they have all the benefits that geared lifters will receive.


It all depends on HOW you train, not the actual exercise. Train off a low box with a close stance and your raw squat will go up. Personally, I have not done a free squat since I tore my hamstring in April. Yesterday was the first time I have gone heavy and smoked a 605 raw squat with 140lbs of chain. Thats a 5lb PR on the weight and I had the cahins set much higher than usual.

Also, it depends when you use it in your training. If you are going geared, use the box all the way up to the meet. If raw, drop it a few weeks out for your hravy lifting. I really think speed work should always be done on a box just because you recover much faster from them compared to a super high volume of free squats.

Like I said before, I do at least 60% of my heavy squatting off a box and still make decent progress on my raw and geared squats.

It's hard to give actual reccommendations on what to do. Everyone has different levers, weaknesses, recovery abilities, etc. If I could just free squat all of the time and still get strong I would do it but that is just not the case for me anymore.


Storm I'm the same way. I like Dave Hoff's advice on this. If your a raw lifter do box squats for 3 week cycles then onb that 4th week, do a free squat. I would repeat for 3 waves with chains and straight weight and see how it goes. But box squatting will do nothing for you if technique on the free squat is bad.