Its funny that this topic has come up because its something I've recently been discussing with some folks.
I just started O lifting and have recently switched up my back squats from low bar, parallel to Oly style. Anyways, the question came up as to whether I should squat ATG with heavy, low reps or do high reps, lower weight.
So one person, a certified coach, told me that unless i'm planning on competing I should treat the back squat as an accessory to the clean and jerk/snatch which means they should be a little lighter, more volume with emphasis on technique. And that when you go really heavy on a squat like that and that deep the rotational knee forces and low back flexion that occurs could be dangerous.
However, I emailed one of my Oly coaches and he said (I'm cut and pasting here - cuz i'm lazy):
As for going deep, it's safer!!! The half squat puts the most rotational torque on the knee when the thighs are parallel to the floor. That's when the hips are the greatest horizontal distance from the knee and the longest lever exists to the knee from the hip. And at this moment of greatest torque on the knee, you are required to stop the descent and change direction! It always amazes me that general body builders and power lifters think this is better on the knees that an oly squat.
With the full squat, you can rest in the bottom position and relieve the tension on the knees, and when you start back up you are at the sticking point..that is the hardest part of the lift. If you can start to ascend, you're knees are safe as the hip flexors get recruited for the rest of the lift.
Now most folks can squat much more with a half squat than an Olympic squatÃ?Â¦ that's because of the sticking point in the bottom position. In my opinion, more weight and greater knee torque for the half squat makes it more dangerous and it does not load the muscle during the full range of motion. Can't see much benefit for that for anyone except the half squatters. They will get better at half squatting
And low back problems? We teach excessively to keep the back arched. Nothing better for the core than an arched back squatting with a heavy weight.
Anyways, I'm still not sure of what the consensus is on this - should i still go "heavy" on front and back squats? (i do 5x5 rep scheme)
What do y'all think?