T Nation

Relearning the Powerlifting Squat


#1

Alright, so I found out my gym is hosting a powerlifting competition and for the first time in the past 3 or 4 years I might actually be capable of doing a whole meet. Anyway I only found out about it 5 weeks out so I’m trying to relearn low bar squatting to not full depth quick. I haven’t done a non-rock bottom squat in years. My first reasonably heavy squat session was today (and first time wearing flat shoes) and I want to say I look pretty good on depth and form, but i wouldn’t mind someone else taking a look.


#2

It looks pretty good, you might be letting your chest collapse a bit at the bottom but it’s hard to tell with the plates in the way.


#3

So you are switching out heeled for flats? Why tho?

How much do you squat high bar arse to grass?

5 weeks out is often plenty of time to adjust but that’s usually considering that you’ve been rotating low bar comp style squat in leading up to every comp a few times per year minimum or more e.g. during training, not olympic high bar arse to grassing for years.

Maybe some tweaks to your high bar e.g. lower bar position and wider stance would let you make the most of / get the most carryover from your last 3-4 years of training the squat. Just a hypothetical tho, if the numbers for low bar far exceed your high bar ignore the above.

Maybe widen your stance out a bit. You know that nice rebound / stretch reflex you get out of the bottom? It tends to move up a bit i.e. to just below parallel vs arse to grass if you widen your stance up. If you aren’t using the stretch reflex you’re losing a lot of potential weight on the bar. The direction your toes point and knees track should be adjusted outwards a bit too if you go wider.

Also cue yourself according to your needs. e.g. if you are (kinda look like you are) one of those dudes who fail by getting bent over and snapped in half out of the hole you can cue driving up with your back into the bar during the ascent.

Some dudes squat more upright and won’t get bent over even with max weights so this cue does squat (ba dum tss) for them.

Besides that … probably the usual stuff.

Set up tighter because you can always be tighter. There’s seems to be a lot of shaking wiggling etc. going on between the unrack and initiation. Speaking of the unrack is probably worth it being a bit more patient i.e. letting the bar settle before walking out.

Maybe tweak your descent a bit e.g. descend as fast as you can while maintaining tightness in the right sequence/position. Start the descent controlled so you maintain good positioning for the next most important bit: Accelerate into the hole to maximise your bounce back out. Might be my eyes playing tricks on me but looks like you slow a bit into your bottom position.

At 5 weeks out it’s pretty much peaking/fun time. Enjoy and good luck mane.


#4

So a couple of things. I have been doing some light, low bar, narrow stance, deep squats. I’ve just widened my stance a bit and gone from heel to flat because it’s more comfortable with the wider stance. I should also note that I just plain haven’t been lifting heavy in any position, which is why figured I’d just go ahead and try to find my groove in a stance where believe I can move far more weight.

Yes, I have a lot of forward lean in the squat and I’ll fail by folding over. Long femurs and a shorter torso. Though I’ve brought up my leg strength and I’m actually much better now than I used to be. My hips used to always shoot back really bad out of the hole.

Thanks for the tips. I’ve always been a good bencher and deadlifter and a lousy squatter. My goal with squatting is to not embarrass or hurt myself.


#5

Fair enough lel. Goals/10

Actually sounds like you’d be better off shifting more load to your legs. Some dudes just have iron backs when it comes to squats and can recover the good morning squat in any situation. If this isn’t you may as well use those drum sticks you’re so proud of.

Gud luck and fingers crossed for no bomb out lel


#6

HAHA thanks. I am stronger in my back and have been able to good morning the crap out of weights. Unfortunately strong enough to do it and strong enough to not get hurt while doing it are 2 different things. I’m one of those guys that just wants to make sure I squat more than I bench. That shouldn’t be too much to ask, right?


#7

Do u even powerlift or chest/arms everyday curl brah?

At least your not Layne “The Injury” Norton…


#8

The important part of prep for a meet is shaving and tanning, but I’m good on that already. Got a nice taper and peak planned.

Yeah, I’ve really grown to loath Layne in recent months. He was back competing at raw nationals though (where he apparently was having back, knee and pec problems) . I really think he has some sort of bi-polar mental issues going on. He’s lost his supplement line, wife, and company in a very short time.


#9

If you only have 5 weeks before the meet you could just use your regular technique, making major adjustments in the few weeks before a meet could potentially cause problems for you. The exception is if the changes to your technique result in an immediate increase of weight on the bar. Is that the case here?

If you are one of those “ATG” guys then just try widening your stance, it will make you catch the stretch reflex higher. There is no need to switch shoes right now. Make minor adjustments at most, after the meet you can try more stuff.


#10

Do we have a couple of Blaha fans here?


#11

Actually I am Jason Blaha in disguise mwuahahaha

Don’t make me get out my +5 hat of weapon smithing…


#12

Maybe it’s just the particular view from which you’re recording, but it looks like you might be an inch or two shy of legal depth, i.e., hip crease below knee.


#13

Quick write-up:
Not a good day. Went 3 for 7, but did get a total. 400/360/500 1260 @178 (181) raw without wraps.

First I only learned about the meet 5 weeks out, then I strained my lower back 2 weeks out so there was only 3 real weeks of prep and I didn’t squat or pull anything remotely heavy for 2 weeks.

Squat: Took 400 on my opener, got it pretty easy, but my back was knotting up afterward so I scratched both my other attempts.

Bench: opened at 360 and pressed it but got red lighted for a double bounce. Second, took 360 again and got it easy. Third, took 375 and it was just too much.

Deads: opened at 500 and got it easy. Second attempt the bar got way forward, and I tore the crap out of my hand and missed it. Third, re-took 525 and pulled it but got red lighted for a downward movement just before lockout. Totally had it and just for an instant didn’t keep pulling.

I’ll upload some videos later.