T Nation

One Full Range Pistol Equates To..

This is just a mental masturbation.

Intuitively, one body weight pistol should provide about twice as much stress on that leg as one body weight squat would. So, for a 200 pound person, body weight squats should be about 100 pounds of stress on each leg, and pistols should be about 200 pounds on each leg. Holding a 100 pound weight, a two legged squat should be approximately 150 pounds per leg, and a pistol should be approximately 300 pounds per leg.

However, this is very rough, and does not take into account finer points such as what % of body weight is actually being squatted for either squats or pistols (the weight of your feet, your shins), leverages, and so on.

Can anyone propose a more precise formula for calculating “actual” squat weight for free squats and pistols?

Two different animals John, I don’t think you can get an accurate comparison. Two different innervation patterns, also take into account the different mechanics required to perform each. It would be nice to say 5 pistols = x # of squats or lbs on a squat, but I don’t think it can be done. Some people like to bang away at pistols, some like to use them as a supplementary movement, some like to avoid them all together. Case in point, I know of a guy that can do pistols for reps with 140lbs, can he squat 800lbs? Probably not. Now, can an 800lb squatter knock off 140lb pistols? I seriously doubt it. In both cases, specificity of the exercise rules. Pistols are a good exercise, but I don’t think an accurate comparison can be made. Just my $0.02.

Just remember, being skinny strong rules!

-Scott