T Nation

Safety Squat Bar

I used the Safety Squat Bar doing squats this morning for the first time. On my final set, the bar kept trying to make me fall forward.

From what I’ve read, the bar is designed for this, any tips to keep me from doing 1/2 a good morning mid-squat?

Yeah that’s the point of the bar. You have found yourself a weak link. Work on your upper and lower back.If you are doing any Westside type routine, you probably already are but remember that its never good enough. Also make sure that your technique is straight. If those quads are firing out of the bottom then you will go forward.

I am not doing a Westside program… yet. But lets just say I have spent the last week reading stuff over at Elitefts and over at Louie’s site. You can’t argue with the results.

Apparently, Dave Tate and the guys rarely use a straight bar for squats or good mornings. Fortunately, I lift at a World Gym that has a Safety Squat Bar (remarkable, actually). I think they have a Cambered bar as well. I will try that out on Monday.

A couple things come to mind. It really depends on what kind of SSB you are using. Some have handles in the front to hold on to, some do not.

For the ones with the handles, assuming you are planning on using them, what we have found helps you to stay upright is approach the bar and place you hands on the handles. The handles should be pointing down. Now squeeze your shoulders together and down HARD while standing in front of the bar with your hands on the handles. Now, do your best to maintain your shoulder position as you get under the bar. The next step is really important. Make sure when you set up under the bar, before unracking it, that you squeeze your elbows against your sides hard and try to pull the handles apart and towards you at the same time, if that makes sense. Get as tight as possible. Arch it out of the rack. If you are walking out, you really have to try to walk it out in two steps without looking down. Most people really screw themselves on the walkout if they are not careful. Arch hard, big air, and really drive your head into the bar on the way up. Envision yourself thrusting your hips forward.

With a SSB without the handles, the setup is similar just make sure you find a hand position that allows you to hold position throughout the rep. In other words, find a position of strength. You just need to really focus on keeping your elbows close to your body and pulling the bar around your back.

I hondestly think that getting good at the SSB is as much an issue of conditioning as bringing up total strength.

What I mean by this is that as you start to get fatigued your form starts to break down and the bar works you like a pimp.

The more you work with it the better you get at staying tight in your upper back and holding your arch. Then you will get rounded over alot less frequently and usually when you do it is because you just got crushed, were too fatigued to hold your form, or jsut made a mistake in your set up.

Have fun, dude.

I was using a full power rack, and the SSB I was using had handles.

Really, form was only an issue on the last set of the day. I racked it after 3 reps on the last set, I thought I just didn’t have number 4 in me. Sure, I had the safetys set, I don’t like to count on them.

The more I read by Dave Tate, form is everything.

All the back issues talk about his workshops, but no info is available on his site. I wonder if he quit doing them.

Next time, just go for the last rep…it’s called a saftey squat bar because if you miss you can just grab onto the rack and pull yourself back up. It’s even easier to spot yourself with the ssb if you’re box squatting.

Are you talking about the seminars? If you are they still do them but probably dont have any planned right now. Usually somebody needs to contact them to set one up so that they will have a place to do the seminar and have enough people in attendance.

I talked to Dave last week and he said, “We do not have any seminars scheduled at this time. We may have one local seminar before the end of the year. We will begin on next years schedule sometime in late October.”

Hopefully they will have some posted soon…

I dropped a question over at the Q & A on the elite site.

I would love to see that local seminar by the end of the year.