T Nation

PL and Oly squats

When (or, for whom) is it better to use Olympic style squats and when (or, for whom) is it better to use powerlifting style squats? Why? Which squatting method should be primary for a gym rat who wants to be big and strong?


Unless you plan on competiting in powerlifting and provided that you are able to squat deep while staying relatively upright, a close-stance, full back squat should constitute about 75% of your squatting volume. The other 25% being power squats, 1/2 squats, front squats, etc.

by PL squats im assuming WS style? These focus much more on the hamstrings and glutes, with the full kind still having a big focus on hamstrings and glutes but more emphasis on the quads and are better for OL’s because this is the position in their oly lift. You could cycle both, one week use one type, the next the other, or in a quad dominant workout use the full, in a hip extension workout use the WS style, use one for one training block and one for the other, etc…

y a close stance?

Well, by close stance I mean hip wide or shoulder width at the most… not too close. This will maximize quads recruitment.

a lot of people think that westside never does olympic squats thats wrong…i do 10-12 inch low box box squats with a close stance and goodmorning-squats ass to the grass usually twice a month as a max effort movement, the carryover you get in the olympic squat by using a powerlfting squat off a box is unreal…i have done 500 pound gm-squat ass to the grass with a 1 second pause in the bottom…i have also hit over 500 pounds in the low box squat 10-12 inches with the safety squat bar wich makes the movement much much harder so i would say my olympic squat has to be in the 550 range …all this is without any real focus on the olympic squat i just do them as a max effort movement about 2 times a month on a low box without ever doing a free squat having primary focus on wide stance box squats for speed with bands on my dynamic squat day…so what i am saying is dont limit yourself to just one kind of squat…think about it like this…have 900 pound power squater do a 500 pound olympic squat it will be easy for him because it will be like speed weight and he has the hams, glutes, hips, and low back to hit a 900 pound power squat so a 500 pound olympic squat will be cake…but now have a olympic squater try to do a 900 pound oly squat he wont have the low back or hams to hold that weight…do dont limit yourself…also one last story after charles poliquin claimed a few years back that he beleived no one in america could do a 500 pound oly squat…louie simmons got pissed and made every member of the morning crew at westside all 800-1000 pound squaters do a max effort day where they used a 8inch box now thats ass to the grass and do a close stance low box squat with the safety squat bar down to a 8 inch box…every member could do 500 pounds easy and some members got all the way up to 700 pound range…so dont limit yourself use all training methods to become better…big martin