T Nation

Squat Critique II: New Video Page 2


I have now taken the step and applied for a membership in a local powerlifting club. However, I will still train the way I do, mostly alone - but will from time to time train with some other powerlifters to get some input on technique.

The following clip shows me doing a raw triple with 2.26x bodyweight(95kg - 209lbs).

3 reps at 215kg(473lbs)


i am now nearing the end of my 13 week smolow squat program, and i have 6 more sessions to go training my legs, 28 sessions already completed.

it is becoming very taxing now, esp. to squat in those high percent ranges (85%-95%)

I've added both strength, size and fat on this program :smiley:

obvious errors in my form are:

  1. i am leaned too much forward
  2. because of 1. i do not reach
    legal depth

How to fix it:

after cycle, lower the weights, and work on box-squatting, putting the hips and but far back, and not moving the knees much forward, keeping a more upright back. then gradually build up
to all weights using the new style.

i will use videocamera when i work on this as i find it a valuable tool!

I found a document describing the wide stance in detail as performed by the top squatters. If anyone is interested in that, they could pm me.


You already know what you need to work on form-wise so T'm not going to repeat it.

Looking really strong dude!

Sorry for the mini-hijack, but do you know the name of the song playing in the background by any chance. It got my pumped up watching you kill that weight and hearing the bass come in at the perfect time.


the music is from german rock group ramstein. thanks for the compliment.

ramstein is very good when squatting.

i do not know what the song is called.


I cannot give a full critique because a) I am by no means an expert and b) it is only viewed from the side. However, I am getting the sense that you are not opening your legs enough during mid descenet and that you need more work on your hamstrings and glutes. You are not sitting "back" enough. Sit back AND down and open your groin as you lower.

Also, start descending from the hips FIRST, but this also may be hard to do when you have weak hams. Get on the box and do some reverse hypers, good mornings, hyperextensions, GH raises, and/OR RDLs.

I am not well versed in Smolov's routine but I am pretty sure it is low or nill on assistance/accessory stuff. This can be a problem for people who are not "MADE" for powerlifting, as most people with subpar leverages need assistance work. This is my OPINION and also based on what I have experienced, been taught, and read. I hope this helps.


smolov has no assistance work. just squatting.

thanks for the input. i think my hams could get stronger.

altough i do 440lbs for 5 reps in the seated gm, with a low bar placement, lowering torso till it is horisontal with the floor. this was my 5rm max on my last boris sheiko routine.

all your suggestions are most welcome.


The bar doesn't look too far forward in the vid - looks like it's staying directly over the back/rear middle of your foot.

What it looks like is your glutes/hamstrings aren't engaging correctly. From the limited view, I'd recommend a wider stance (to be able to keep a more upright torso with your leverages) and a self-assessment using the "Get your butt in gear" article series on this site.

Also, tons of low back/hammie work.



Nothing to add, I just wanted to call Cressey or Robertson out to take a look. I have an opinion, but I'm not sure and would love to get some expert eye's on this.



The song is called "Du Hast".


if you're going to start squatting with a wide stance I highly recommend getting yourself at least a cheap pair of poly groove briefs...

good luck with your training!


Stance is matter personal taste and individual leverges. If you are narrow, you will probably have to lean foward a lot to get good depth- I say probably because there are some, esp. O-lifters, that can stay very upright in aclose stance and still produce plenty of power. This is ok, but most find it difficult to come out of this lean with max weights without coming out their groove. Other than that, the same mantras apply- head up, chest up, knees out. Good squatting by the way.


Just an observation, take it with a grain of salt because im pretty much a rookie.

But a good conjugate schedule (westside) looks like it would help you a lot. Mostly because if you're leaning forward a lot, that tends to mean that you need to work your abs more and your hamstrings.

So in my opinion: box squats, ab work (remember some isometric ab work too), and stiff leg deadlifts from a deficit as well (hamstring strength and flexibility).

Question, how did the smolov program work out for you? Do you reccomend it? Was it worth doing? How are your other lifts? Thanks!




Looks pretty good to me. Depth was pretty darn close to parallel but it is hard to tell with the lighting and dark sweat pants. Might not be sitting back enough into the descent. Torso may be a bit too forward but not by much.

Personally I would wait until I hear from Cressey or Robertson. They have forgotten more about Powerlifting and mechanics than I will ever know.

Looking pretty damn solid. Keep it going.



The depth is very difficult to judge. You appear to be high, but I can't make out where your hip joint connects to your torso.

Make sure your knees are locked before the start and after you are done. The judges will be looking for this.



Here is the info i will implement to "fix" my squat.


Scroll down, and click on free to download it.


This is the second time doing smolov routine. I am in last week of intense mesocycle, but on my way to a 240 raw squat, from 210 raw, a planned 30kg increase in 13 weeks.

First time around i increased my squat by 27.5kg, but then i also performed the introductory microsycle, which i skipped this time. as i felt it was not needed, because i had no layoff.

I highly reccommend it, if you consider yourself insane. You have to be quite the lunatic to complete it.

My other lifts in training raw are

bench, 105kg, deadlift 200kg

my bodyweight today with clothes was 92.5kg.


Also, what equipment do you plan on squatting in? Single poly, double poly. with briefs, or canvas. I think you keep excellent spine position as well as your elbows remaining under the bar. This position helps with your groove on the way down as you approach parallel. The only thing I noticed (especially on rep 2 and 3, I'm being picky) is that your hips led out of the hole which caused you to "good morning" the weight at your sticking point. This is also caused by you stance it is not nearly wide enough to keep a more upright torso. Your current stance is more like a power/ bodybuilding squat. When you do go to wider stance it is possible still resemble your current position which would make depth questionable. It is in my experience that you would need to: 1. stand wider with "flaring" the toes out. 2. instead of breaking the hips first; break the knees while pushing them hard to the sides while breaking the hips at the begining. Almost like a slight pirouette. 3. Drive the head back out of the hole.
4. Possibly go to higher bar position. Case in point: Have you ever seen Jose Garcia or Jason Patrick squat? High bar, wide stance, knees and hips at same time, and canvas suits= 2- 1000 plus pound squats. I have trained with both individuals and I can say that perfect practice makes for perfect meet squats.

Pete Arroyo


You could just link to Rick's article on the Diesel Crew site, too...

Anyway, Rick has a lot of good info in his article - you'll do well if you follow his advice.



Your hand grip is too close. Widen out to end of bar or close to it. This will help you to keep the bar lower on your back and reduce forward lean.


Here's a link to that site, i hope it is the right one.


I just found the article somewhere, I don't remember, and did not have the official link to it on his site, so i decided to put it on rapid share. I take no credit for it, as i am not the author. all credit to the creator, rick!

I've never seen Jose Garcia or Jason Patrick squat. If you have any videos of these squatting i'd like to see it.

First of all i want the strongest possible raw squat, but i will compete under ipf rules, so i guess i will get the best available gear for that federation. never used any gear at all yet.

as for the stance, i actually made a closer stance when i did that set, just to try to get deeper into the hole. usually i squat a bit wider with toes pointing straight ahead, but then i have a problem reaching legal depth. i tried rick's tips on how to squat with upright back and toes flaring out, and it worked great. however i will finish the cycle with my current technique, I won't change the technique when i just have a week or so left of smolov.

but after that i will certainly fix it. also thanks for the tip on westside methods, there are obviously something to it.

altough i find it odd that it is suggested i do more good mornings, my good mornings are very strong, on my last boris sheiko routine, i did good mornings as last exercise, and the reportes 5rm maxes were 180kg(396lbs) in the standing gm, low bar position, torso parallel to floor, and 200kg(440lbs) in the seated good morning.

I guess these were done too heavy, but i'm nutts anyway. :wink:

I also deadlift sumostyle, so my lower back has taken a lot of beating, and therefore I think it is actually stronger than my legs. the way i squat, i have no problems with, except when the total volume gets very high, but then again, even superman would tire from it.

but the form needs to be fixed anyway as I need perfect legal depth when competing. :wink:

what hinders me when i do high volume squat programs are not my legs or my back, but my arms and shoulders, it is hard on them to support all this weight. but one has to survive some pain to become better.

perhaps i will get some alternative equpiment for squatting, I've seen a bar where you rest it on your back, and then you just hold the handles by the sides, don't remember what that kind of bar is called. but it relives the stress off the shoulders.

obviously wide stance it what works for me, and i also like a low bar position. although i had it even lower before, so i've taken it a bit higher these days.

i've now ordered a box for my squats, and a board to stand on for my deads, and it is promised to arrive the next week, so i am looking forward to it. when i fix up my form, i will post more videos on this site.

regarding that of assitance work... I find thast gm's have made my back stronger and more solid, i tended to bend over a lot more squatting, before i built a stronger back. I also like lunges.

I feel that assitance work for the squat, except these two are not neccessary on a frequent basis. I also do jacknife pushups from time to time. and straight leg raises.. i consider my abs very strong.

I am educated as a personal trainer, and altough i know a lot i am always interested to learn new things, as i will never know it all, but i feel i have a strong knowledge foundation, and have a good feel as to what works for me. i read a lot on the net, and is a member of many forums, and have many paper books. and try to learn new things all the time.

i have no coach and no trainer except myself. i am the kind of guy that goes to the gym a late saturday afternoon just because he read some papers about squat form, and he's eager to try it right away. maybe, i am a lunatic and nerd for doing it, i'd rather say dedicated, at least i park all the other dudes in the gym when it comes to the squat. it is fun to beat people that have been juicing for 10+ years.

i have never used any steroids, and are certain i never will. however, dedication and hard work goes a long way when it comes to achiving your goals.

i believe i will reach a 300kg raw squat drugfree, and when i believe i can, i will.

actually what bothers me the most is the eating regime, training is easy, because you give it all just in a short moment of time, however taking care of the food is almost a 24 hour job.

therefore i have implemented a strategy that works pretty well. I eat clean and healthy mon-fri, and then friday afternoon i have some fastfood, and then i have some free meals during the weekend as well.

i cook all my food myself, and now i can't think of any other lifestyle. luckily i work at a gym, where the manager is a bodybuilder and understand that i need to eat a lot, and eat my frequent meals, even at work.

well - enough of the ranting for today.

thanks to everyone that contributes, i highly appreciate it!


As far as I know there is not any tape on Jose or Jay. But there are a few photos on chicagopowerlifting.com of each guy in their respective interviews.

Not to scare you or anything but if you are going to do an "IPF" rules meet than you better bury you attempts. It would be wise to lower your opener maybe 50 lbs. From those that I have known (former IPF/ USAPL lifters turned APF lifters) that have done these meets you can certainly expect the refs to be sticklers.

Breaking parrallel is breaking parallel whether it is by cunt hairs or three feet!
Pete Arroyo