T Nation

Olympic Squat Progress


Hey everybody I don't usually post in the Olympic lifting forum, but I have a problem regarding my squat....I used to squat powerlifting style with a wider stance, toes flared out, only to parallel, and wearing converse chuck taylors....6 weeks ago i bought a pair of adidas adistar weightlifting shoes and began squatting olympic style in hopes of training myself to get better depth and more consistently. Since then, I've not added a single pound or rep to my squat...you'd think improvements would be drastic, since my body would be rapidly adjusting and growing to adapt to the new style...and yet i've gotten no better. I've been paying a lot of attention to my quads which may be an issue, and I've also used a slightly different stance every week since then just to find what's comfortable, so perhaps that's why i haven't gotten any stronger? lack of consistency with stance width? in any event, like i said ive been trying to hit the quads hard, since they are vitally important in raw squatting. i plan to compete in powerlifting and understand the narrower style to be superior for raw squatters, not so much to ATG depth, but that's why i switched fyi. sorry this was long winded but if anyone could throw some ideas out there that would be great.


You only get stronger in positions you practice with.

Stick to a slightly wider then shoulder width
Toes pointing outwards a bit
Sit DOWN, it isn't a PL squat where you sit back to maximise your hamstrings and posterior chain

It will take time to adjust.

If I decided to do a PL squat I'd be crap at it as I don't do it. I Oly squat high bar, hell my BS should be pants as I haven't done BS more then 8 sessions in the past 8months. I only FS.



How often do you squat per week? If you do one squat session weekly then increases will be slow. The olympic deep squat lends itself nicely to high frequency training, at least more so than powerlifting squats. As well as developing a consistent technique, as suggested by Koing, I think upping frequency is the most important factor.


only squatting once per week...im actually using jim wendler's 5/3/1 program so i do three sets based on a percentage of my max, and then i follow with 5 sets of 10 of squatting also with about 50-60% ....it seems like Oly style squatting is best suited for lower reps for some reason. doing more than 2 or 3 with any weight kills me


You can't compare your PL squat to your relatively untrained Oly squat. Add up the amount of PL squat hrs you have done to the amount of hrs you have spent for your Oly squat. You need to test your Oly squat number which will be down anyway due to lack of experience in the exercise.

Your quads aren't use to the volume of doing 10reps x 5sets. Seems insane. In your PL squat your maxing out different muscle groups.

Test a 1RM Oly squat and you'll get use to it.



Start oly squatting at least 3 times a week. After a week or so try to squat daily if you can. This will seem counter-intuitive based on what you have probably learnt from powerlifters but it is the best way to increase your squat fast. I increased from a 140 to 180 b squat in roughly 4 months including a month out in thailand where I didn't touch a bar using this technique. Squat to max then drop and perform sets of 3 till you can't anymore


Just to reinforce the advice posted here, it is good. Squat with frequency. I keep it to low reps, my work sets I never go more than 3 reps. This will add a considerable amount to your squat with time. What are you numbers now? Using this method I put 100 lbs on my squat in about 8 months


I would agree with increasing squat frequency, but not to every day (yet). Eventually sure, you should be able to do that, but you're so not used to it that trying that now would wreck you.

Also, look at the guidelines for Thibaudeau's HF strength work--they take a lot of principles in common with Oly guidelines for loading: a) a daily "max" isn't a true max, it is the max you can handle WITHOUT 1) technique breakdown 2) slow grinding of the rep (must be smooth and powerful) and/or 3) no mental psyching up.

Basically when you squat daily or near daily you do much much more submaximal work in PL terms, at least in the beginning as you're getting used to it. You go up in weight only until technique breakdown or speed breakdown.

So when you increase squat frequency consider that as guidelines for loading parameters.