T Nation

Squat Questions, and Looking for Tips


#1

Hi CT,

I appreciate your advice in here a lot and would be interested to hear your thoughts on an issue I have.

I'm a 17 y/o competitive powerlifter, 6'0" and currently 102kg bodyweight, best lifts SQ 240kg / BE 160kg / DL 240kg, all raw (and without wraps). I have squatted low-bar with a wide stance for quite some time, and have found it to work well for me. However, recently, after a couple of rugby injuries etc., I have noticed that I tend to squat with a slightly staggered stance, which is reinforced by the mirror at my current gym which is not set straight-on. It's not generally too bad, but on some sets it is quite noticeable.

I have tried out some high bar, weightlifting-style squats in the last week or two, and found I can hit 200kg+ (85% or so) without any trouble, all straight and with good form. Because of this, I am now using the high-bar squat alongside low-bar, working on my base of strength and muscular balance. I've also been utilizing double OH deadlifts, as mixed grip could have added to any imbalance.

I know that you generally prefer high-bar squats for muscle building and strength purposes, and I'm wondering how you would proceed here: would you advise focusing on high-bar exclusively for a short period to correct imbalance; do you have any tips for correcting the misalignment on my low-bar technique-wise; do you perhaps have another recommendation? I train with a high-frequency, high specificity style mostly, in a similar way to many Olympic lifters but with the power lifts. I also play rugby, but I adapt training for that in-season on the fly to avoid excessive fatigue, so I'm not concerned about that, I'm referring to powerlifting training outside of rugby demands. What would you advise?

My goal is of course to break Junior world records in powerlifting, and secondarily to develop a great base of general strength for rugby (and just for the sake of being a good all-round strength athlete!). Thank you for any help you can offer!

Video: (total embarrassment, this is probably my worst technique lapse for a long time, I picked the worst to show what I mean more clearly).


#2

[quote]halcj wrote:
Hi CT,

I appreciate your advice in here a lot and would be interested to hear your thoughts on an issue I have.

I’m a 17 y/o competitive powerlifter, 6’0" and currently 102kg bodyweight, best lifts SQ 240kg / BE 160kg / DL 240kg, all raw (and without wraps). I have squatted low-bar with a wide stance for quite some time, and have found it to work well for me. However, recently, after a couple of rugby injuries etc., I have noticed that I tend to squat with a slightly staggered stance, which is reinforced by the mirror at my current gym which is not set straight-on. It’s not generally too bad, but on some sets it is quite noticeable.

I have tried out some high bar, weightlifting-style squats in the last week or two, and found I can hit 200kg+ (85% or so) without any trouble, all straight and with good form. Because of this, I am now using the high-bar squat alongside low-bar, working on my base of strength and muscular balance. I’ve also been utilizing double OH deadlifts, as mixed grip could have added to any imbalance.

I know that you generally prefer high-bar squats for muscle building and strength purposes, and I’m wondering how you would proceed here: would you advise focusing on high-bar exclusively for a short period to correct imbalance; do you have any tips for correcting the misalignment on my low-bar technique-wise; do you perhaps have another recommendation? I train with a high-frequency, high specificity style mostly, in a similar way to many Olympic lifters but with the power lifts. I also play rugby, but I adapt training for that in-season on the fly to avoid excessive fatigue, so I’m not concerned about that, I’m referring to powerlifting training outside of rugby demands. What would you advise?

My goal is of course to break Junior world records in powerlifting, and secondarily to develop a great base of general strength for rugby (and just for the sake of being a good all-round strength athlete!). Thank you for any help you can offer!

Video: (total embarrassment, this is probably my worst technique lapse for a long time, I picked the worst to show what I mean more clearly).

https://youtu.be/oROvzWvvMIc[/quote]

If you are not close to a meet, there is nothing wrong in using both styles at the same time, you should also use the front squat.

If you are squatting 4-5 times a week I would do the front squat once and the high bar squat once. Keep 2-3 low bar squat sessions, one in which you stay light to focus on technique the other where you push it a bit more.


#3

Thanks, that sounds like a good approach. Any advice on the technique issue / problem with mirrors in the video? I find I have to adjust even if I face away from it because I’m used to looking slightly side-on. I think my left shoulder tends to drop back, shifting the weight. Have you found any particular warm up or stretching drills to help with this type of thing?

Edit: new video of 230kg, looks better but again if you do have any advice it would be brilliant