T Nation

PL Squat and Athletes


How many of you that train for athletics rather than for competitive PL still use the wide stance squat form of a Powerlifter rather than a narrower stance form? I am interested in starting the beginner Westside program on Elitefitness, but as someone interested more in athletic performance rather than just moving more weight for competition (I want the numbers to go up too) will the program and the auxillary exersizes help to bring up my weight using that specific form, or only if I am using a super wide power Lifting stance. I understand you can apply conjugated periodization in alot of ways, but how useful will it be if I dont want to change my squat form. I hear alot about Westside people training athletes and would also be interested in hearing how they deal with this.


I rely heavily (but not exclusively) on Westside principles in my work with athletes. The beauty is that their principles are universal and can apply to nearly all lifts. As a matter of fact, I used chains with my front squats this morning. Fundamentally, Westside is about lifting heavy and lifting fast regardless of execise.

I have been following Louie's and Dave's work for a while now and am faster and much more explosive now (at 32) than I was at 18. Just for kicks I ran a 40 several months ago and clocked a 4.65 (compared to a 4.8 @ 18) without training for it.

Those that think Westside is just for powerlifters are missing the boat IMHO. Of all the "gurus" out there (minus the late Mel Siff) I respect Louie the most for his willingness to share all of his information with the rest of us. Can you imagine the training community if he kept all of his secrets to himself and those he trains. I admire that.


I am an athlete and do not use a wide stance.
I think I've heard that they recommend this for athletes but that they still recommend basically same auxillaries since they feel bringing up the posterior chain is very important for athletes as well. I would guess that some of the adjustments that would be made in auxillaries would probably include less auxillary work on the lower back and hip flexors.


I attended The Tour De Force Seminar given by the Westside guys and this topic came up. Jim said that athletes don't have to take a stance as wide as a powerlifter while doing the box squat, but that it should still be a wider stance. When he set me up to learn the squat I told him i was an athlete and he had me go wider than shoulder width with the feet turned out, but not the super wide stance of a powerlifter. I recall him saying that athletes are in this type of ready position stance often so you should squat that way. Narrow stance squating he said has less carryover to sports.


Alright then, I am thinking I am gonna try the beginner Westside 9 week program. If my goal is to bring up my full squat, rather than Powerlifting squat, what size box would you guys recomend for Box Squats, and how wide should I take. Also, could some explain to me the angle of you shins on box squats. I understand they should be at least 90 degrees, but if possible should the lean more forward away from the box, or towards the box.

Thanks for all the help guys.