T Nation

Pistol Squats

Hey all.

Ok at the minute iv no access to gym just a few weights at home. Between some major injuries and university iv never got more than 3months continuous hard training and I cant wait to get going properly and do some real work. Until I get a decent gym, I’m doing pistols for legs.

I’m wondering is there a way to compare pistols to back squats. I know there are slighly different leverages and stabilizers but could anyone give rough guide to how they relate to each other. For example yesterday I was doing sets of 5 holding two 30lb dumbels. I would like to know what my squat numbers would be based on this as I haven’t squatted in ages. I’m 5’8 and about 160-165 and lean-ish!


What you’re doing is also called one-legged squats. You’re right in saying that it’s not exactly synonymous to squats, but it’s very close.

You can’t really say, I think. The skill component of single leg squats is a lot higher than back squats, so how good you are at them will affect your squat numbers. Ie: if you’ve been practicing them for a year straight and got 30’s you would probably squat less weight than if you just tried them a couple weeks ago and managed to do them with the 30’s.

Yea iv just been doing them a few weeks, ill have gym access next week so i can see where my back squat is at.

If you can use 30 lbs dumbells with pistols you doing pretty good. Most people can’t even balance themselves to complete the full ROM with bodyweight. good job. I’d say you are pretty strong. I don’t think a lot of that will carry over to back squats. You will probably do better than most starting out since you have strong and stable legs but you will still need to get your muscles used to heavy weight.

Also, with pistols your lower back will tend to round at the bottom of the movement. With back squats you will be keeping your lower back slightly arched which for me seems to make my hips activate differently.