T Nation

Squat Suits

I m 21, 5’10’, 181lbs. and I just hit a 520lbs. raw squat. I’ve only been traning Westside since the beg. of Summer. My question is, How do you measure for a squat suit? What is the normal expected carry over? The Texas Collegiate state record is 560 with a suit. Could I hit that weight with some gear on with a 520 raw? Thanks for responses

by the way, that is a nice squat, especially raw. was that just a belt, or with knee wraps too? with good wraps and a suit, you can get up to quite a bit over your raw numbers. the record shouldn’t ba a problem.

nothing, just some chuck taylors, metallica, and some coppenhagen

joe, goodluck on your meet.
How much do you weight and what experience do you have? I dont have powerlifting partners either, but what you could do is just have people spot you. I just have some friends tell me when I hit 90 degrees on free squat, and i have them yell “lift” on my bench and squat out of the bottom. It also helps to talk a little trash back and forth to get yourself going.

Yes, with equipment you should easily be able to squat enough to break the record. This is assuming your squat technique would pass in a meet. (And it should as you mentioned you have someone calling your depth.)

it is parallel, i had someone call “lift”. I’ll take photos next time, its good motivation. I just dont know how the hell to put on a squat suit, do u just slip it on? I want that record! Thanks for the post.
P.S. I have a real wide stance because my legs are very lon compared to my torso.

It is very simple really. You put it on like you would a pair of overall. Slide up over your knees and this is where it gets tricky and painful if you don’t shave you legs from the knee up. I wore a squat suit when I did powerlifting as a senior in high school. You should have no problem with the record when you get a suit on. I set the regional record in the 165lb class at 485. I weighed in at 158. Almost got 500 but I think I might should have started my lifts with 485 rather than 450. By the way Chris Shugart was my coach, ahh the Man of many trades. Hope this helps…


i kinda figured it would come on like over-alls. Thanks for the input, ireally appreciate it. I saw your pics, you have the freakiest forearms man. I’ll post some pics later

i am a 198er. so far my best lifts are 541/402/573/1510.

i’ve been competing since 99, and have dome quite a few meets. now i only do 1 or 2 a year, my body can’t take too much of it anymore. i get burned out too quick.

i agree, trash talk does help. i go through training partners pretty quick, they either get burned out or move to another state, like my last two. the guy i train with now only shows up about half the time. it’s nice when he’s there, but i can’t count on him…

when you get your squat suit, get a pair of suit slippers. they are $20, and well worth the money. makes all the difference. they are like stockings that let the suit slide up your leg, then you pull them out from under the suit.

i had send some links to different places to look at suits because they all size differently, but it didn’t come through. i’ll PM it to you.


There is more to a squat suit than just putting it on and getting a 75lb+ increase. You need to get a custom tailored suit and then learn how to use it, ie, practice, practice and more practice. You will also learn how to use adjunct movements to overcome weak points in your technique. There are several great companies that custom make suits for lifters.

Ensure you have a good technique for knee wraps. When wrapping the knees, you need to sit on a chair, as close to the platform as possible and place your legs straight out in front of you with the toes pointed towards your legs, so that your feet are at roughly a 90 degree angle to your lower legs. Keep the legs locked and wrap. Then have someone pull you up-this maintains the integrity and tension of the wrap. If you wrap with your feet flat on the floor, when you stand it will cause you to lose wrap tension around the knee joint.

With regards to depth. I believe it is an error to train and compete with the objective of “just barely breaking parallel”, and the majority of lifters do this. The problem is that you get so focused on “just breaking parallel”, that you waste a lot of mental and physical energy in the process. You worry if you went deep enough and your descent does not set you up to rebound with max effort. You see lifters squat down and then the last few inches they slow down and begin “searching” for the right depth. This wastes energy. Ever watch world class hurdler? they run right at the hurdle, knowing exactly how many steps to take, exactly when to leap and then never even slow down-the amateur hurdler is always looking at the hurde, watching and concentrating on it, slowing down to make sure he gets over it. You get the point. Get your depth technique down to where it second nature and then its not an issue. I advise learning to squat an inch or two below legal depth. This sounds like a dis-advantage, but you get used to it quick. It also looks more impressive and your depth will never be in dispute. I have judged a lot of meets and when you see a lifter who is barely hitting legal depth on his opener, trust me-they watch your next attempts with greater scrutiny. You can also perform a legal depth squat and can receive a red light from a judge who decides you did not get the right depth ( it happens a lot) go 1-2 inches below and that will never be an issue.

Finally, train all of your squats like like competition squats, meaning you unrack the bar, take the same number of steps back, step up, have your partner stand in front of you and give the squat command, when your last rep is complete, have them give the rack command., if you are doing 1x5 reps, think of it as 5 sets of single reps, all done is perfect form. Once again, the set up and racking become second nature and you can work on hitting some big numbers.

I think the record is a slam dunk, and 600 should be very close behind. let us know when you hit 600, so we can plan your assault on 700…how does 700 before 07 grab you?

Hope that helps

Keith W

Thank you. Im not accustomed to having someone go in depth in explaining these technicalities. For the most part, I have learned what I know through trial-and-error, broken ankles, and every damn book I can get my hands on. I am incredibly driven. But unfortunatly, I attend a University which teaches outdated material. Not to mention that most of the proffs. have no elite level training experience. Its difficult to learn the experience practical methods of training and then have to turn around and placate the teacher who instructs by reading out of an Erroneous text. I digress, you are a wealth of knowledge. I’ll keep you posted when I KILL the record.

I have a frantz double poly suit, when I ordered it they asked for these measurements
mid thigh

until you get in one it’s hard to tell how much you’ll get out of it. I really hated mine the first time I wore it but train in it with the straps up and down to get it broken in and you’ll have your record. Now go lift something heavy…

Hi Keith.

I would disagree with you on a few points. Ultimately it depends on what fed he intends to lift in, but for a newbie ordering a single ply poly, I would recommend he just get a stock size to start with. I rarely see a first pass custom suit that needs no additional alterations.

Additionally, based on the circumstances he has described, unless it is painfully obvious, in all likelihood, he will not know if it is fitting correctly or not. He is going to have to find somebody in his area to check it out. In all likelihood he can find a source for alterations locally.

For this guy, the difference in a stock vs. custom will probably be minimal. He needs to learn the groove and be comfortable in it first . Between wraps and a suit, he is adding alot of new variables.

In terms of how much weight he will get, ultimately it comes down to confidence in the gear. Your analogy of a hurdler becomes even more relevant when it comes to getting the most out of your gear. A persons ability to sit back into the suit and wraps with confidence is going to weigh heavily on the result obtained.

Last but not least, squatting to “parallel” as defined by your gym buddies is more or less not even in the same galaxy as getting a lift passed at a meet. I would state with relative confidence he could probably squat 520 in a meet, but that may even be a stretch. I don’t say this to be a jerk. I am just trying to be realistic. If I had a $100 for every time I heard a story like this and watched the lifter get smashed on the platform, I could treat us all to steak and drinks. Take it to a meet, the rest is all happy talk.

Nice to see you on the forum.

I understand what you are saying, but I have found that there is not much cost difference between a custom suit and a stock suit, so might as well go with the custom fit, but you are right for a beginner, it will be minimal.

Totally concur on the depth issue and that is why I made a point of being detailed about depth.

BTW, In over 61 meets, I never, ever received a single red light on the squats,

61 meets and no reds?

That is a remarkable track record. I have stayed in the meet by one light in all three lifts at one time or another. Nothing like it…heh.

What do you attribute this to?

Thanks for the input guys, I posted the same question on Elite Fitness, I’ll see what they said. I assure you that I did hit the 90 degree mark, maybe even a little lower. I normally train 2 inches below parallel and work off boxes. Im thinking of getting a single ply metal brand suit (IPF model). The APF record for 20-23 yr. is 545, the APA is 565 and the USAPL is 565.

should i learn how to squat in wraps first, or a suit. Does it matter?

do you guys think that i could wear a tight pair of jean overalls, put rubber bands arounds my legs, coat them in a nice gloss finish and say its a custom made denim squat suit?

maybe you could just wear chaps