I think it makes sense for equipped lifting, and especially multi-ply, but yes it is far from necessary for a raw powerlifter and there are equipped lifters who don’t do box squats either. He went as far as to recommend that Olympic weightlifters use box squats to increase the snatch and clean & jerk, I think he’s straying too far from his area of expertise. I’m not into weightlifting, but I have heard many times that once a weightlifter reaches a certain level of strength in the squat there is no use in further increasing their squat, the focus has to be on improving technique in the competition lifts. Louie wants to train weightlifters like they were equipped powerlifters, it might work for less qualified athletes but beyond that I just can’t take it seriously.
This thread makes me wish I was more intelligent, ha.
It’s really true. For them there are studies that have come to the conclusion that over 350 kg on the squat is inefficient for them… A high number of reps and sets are recommended for them.
In terms of weightlifting and squat strength you’re right, improving the squat won’t improve the weightlifting movements after a certain point as the strength required for the lifts are different. Squats are a test of maximal concentric strength which can only be achieved at very slow velocity whereas weightlifting is all about strength speed at much higher velocities than what can be achieved in maximal squatting.
If you follow Louie, he’ll talk about Cal Strength (olympic weightlifting gym) sending him some young lifter. Louie claims that he’ll teach this guys some stuff, put him under some bands to get full extension on cleans. Then, take off the bands and dude will instantly hit a 10-25 pound PR on the clean. Simmons claims that no weight lifter he has worked with can recover and front squat up with the weights he just got them to clean.
He says weightlifters in the US bounce their regular squats out of the hole. For this reason, they don’t have the strength to front squat out from the dead position, under their cleans, before their jerks.
Now, this may be 1 case. Or an exaggeration, or whatever. But I’ve experienced and seen plenty of “erratic” squatters, bouncing out of the hole, “skipping” the bottom.
No skipping the bottom on the box.
Once your squat is 770 pounds, it’s more efficient to improve snatch technique than squat more?
I’ll go ahead and agree. I’ll be sure to tell all the dudes I see squatting 9 plates per side.
I can see box squats helping weightlifting as both start from a dead stop requiring high levels of starting strength and acceleration strength.
I might have read this wrong but didn’t Louie claim in the article posted above that they can maintain a stretch reflex in the box squat with the way they do it at Westside? And wouldn’t that be contradictory to what your post is saying about Louie using box squats to stop weightlifter bouncing out of the hole?
Edit: and wouldn’t the second pull be the limiting factor of the successful clean?
OT: Don’t know what’s going on with Jeremy Hamilton (former coach Omar Isuf)?
The 2nd pull may very well be the limiting factor to the clean.
But the front squat or the jerk could be the limiting factor to the full clean and jerk. Simmons claims that the lifters he’s seen are limited by the front squat, which starts “dead” at the bottom, and very deep.
The Contradiction of the Box Squat is the Whole Point of the Discussion! On a real squat you “bounce.” On a box squat, you don’t “bounce.” How are these things connected??!!
In competition you don’t touch and go deads or benches, but touch and go can be useful in training.
In competition squats, you can bounce. But it can be useful to not bounce in training.
Like I mentioned before, Science Doesn’t Fully Understand What Happens When You Lift Weights. There are at least 3 mechanisms involved in the Stretch Shortening Cycle. They seem to work “counter” to eachother.
From: “Muscle Spindles and the Stretch Reflex” on the “PT Direct Website.”
"Stretching muscles to generate force
After reading the previous section on muscle spindles, you may think that stretching a muscle under load is very dangerous as they have their own protective reflex to increase force and decrease stretch. Well it is dangerous but stretching a muscle immediately before contracting it can also generate a lot of beneficial force, if done correctly.
Think about what you would do if I told you to jump as high as you could? Your first movement wouldn’t actually be to jump ‘up’ would it? Your first movement would actually be a brief flex of the knees and hips to lower yourself before jumping ‘up’. This brief lowering enables the muscles to generate more force for the jump. The following three points summarise how this occurs.
Loading the muscle spindle: When activated the muscle spindle causes the muscle being stretched to generate tension to resist the stretch, so by stretching a muscle immediately prior to a contraction you effectively prime the muscle to create more force for that contraction.
The stretch-shortening cycle: One of the properties of skeletal muscle is that it is elastic in nature. Just like a rubber band if you stretch it, it will want to return to its resting length. This is known as the stretch-shortening cycle. When you stretch a muscle you effectively store its ‘elastic energy’ which can then be released to create more force than would exist without the muscle being stretched.
Achieving optimal contraction length: The optimal length of a muscle to generate force is actually 1.2 x its resting length. This is the length that generates the most tension and primes the elastic properties of the muscle without causing damage to the muscle. Stretching a muscle beyond 1.2x its resting length increases the likelihood of damaging the muscle.
Below is a picture of a baseball pitcher. As he gears up to pitch the ball all three of the above principles are being applied to the muscles of his shoulder, allowing him to generate maximum force for the throw."
Somehow, training more than 1 way can help you master The action.
Lifters jump. Jumpers lift. Sprinters jump and lift. Why does everybody do all this stuff??
If I knew these answers, I’d get Super Paid! Y’all try this shit out, inform your opinions, and help me!
Yeah, there is an article on EliteFTS about Vasily Alexeyev, he talks about one of his main rivals who was squatting way more than him but couldn’t match his lifts. Absolute strength is only relevant to a certain point in weightlifting, you need to be strong but it’s not a competition of who is the strongest if you know what I mean.
I just looked him on Instagram since you asked, he posted a front squat video 3 weeks ago where he says he hasn’t squatted or deadlifted in over a year. I guess he got injured. His IG page is jeremyhamiltonswife
I looked at some older posts, he injured his back.
Chris, I see some “dead” stuff in your log. Dead squat and bench, tricep extensions from the floor.
How/why do you use these lifts?
Does anybody else use pauses or fast execution of lifts, or anything else related to breaking eccentric/concentric or changing speeds?
I have used paused squats and deadlifts in the past in my own training but don’t currently do any paused work. I’m working on the weightlifting movements for explosive strength training from a dead stop and also as they are part of the UK Strength and Conditioning association accreditation. For anything outside of powerlifting I would use weightlifting movements but think paused work can be beneficial to creating explosive strength in a highly specific movement pattern for powerlifters. It also adds variety to help combat accommodation and stagnation if you rotate it into your programme.
The dead bench is to build power off the chest, the dead squat is from above parallel (below my sticking point) to build strength where the stretch reflex and boost from the wraps wears off. The point of tricep extensions paused on the floor is to reduce the stretch, I have had issues with elbow tendinitis from tricep extensions. I use JM presses sometimes but if I start to go real heavy and low reps with those (like sets of 3-4) my elbows start to bother me a bit too. I might try skull crushers at some point after this meet but they will definitely be for high reps, like 12-15, right now I don’t want to take chances. I got the idea for floor paused extensions from Josh Bryant (he puts out tons of good info), apparently Pat Casey was into them.
Other than working up to one heavy single on bench I’m not doing any other paused work there. I’m doing paused deadlifts to work on my start position and initial pull from the floor. I was doing paused high bar squats for a while until I started logging my training here, the main idea with those if to build up the quads and also increase quad drive out of the hole but since I’m competing in wraps I don’t think that it’s worth continuing with those at the moment. Low bar pause squats are good too but pausing with wraps makes no sense and I’m sticking well above parallel so I don’t think they are useful at the moment.
As for fast execution of lifts, I try to execute the concentric portion as fast as possible on all work sets. It’s what Fred Hatfield referred to as compensatory acceleration training. It seems like it also makes the submaximal work more effective.
Worst special exercise I ever did: 303 tempo squats. These are in the RTS “generalized intermediate program”, you are supposed to make a 3 sec. descent and come back up at the same speed. It seems like it activates all the antagonist muscles, the next time I squatted I was slow as hell. I think Mike stopped programming those but I know he had people doing 600 tempo squats, which don’t sound half as bad but I’m still not convinced they are a good idea unless your descent it shit and you have no control. Personally, I’m trying to descend a bit faster. I hear the Norwegians use tempo squats too, not sure if they slow down the concentric or not, but I’m not fucking around with that again.
About the dead squat and bench, part of the idea is to remove the assistance of the stretch reflex. Some people (Mike Tuchscherer in particular) like to do this as a top-down movement for reps, I never liked that and it makes you slow down the last part of the descent or the bar will bounce around on the pins. To each their own.
Slow tempo squats could be useful for hypertrophy with the increased time under tension but I wouldn’t use them anywhere near a competition. Maybe use them at the start of an accumulation phase. Closer to competition it’s all about specificity.
Do you use your pause work as assistance after the specific lift or use phases of just using the paused variation?
I don’t see how it’s going to benefit hypertrophy when you have half the amount of weight on the bar. You need mechanical tension to stimulate hypertrophy, increase time under tension is one thing but the actual tension is lower so there is no additional benefit and probably less in fact. Eric Helms has written about this, slow tempo work is basically a waste of time. Maybe on some isolation lifts it makes sense, and you wouldn’t want to do those explosively if you value your joints.
I would never do all paused squats or deadlifts, that doesn’t sound like a good idea. I have tried pausing all reps on bench and after a while it seemed like I lost power off my chest.
Great info guys.
Now we’ve decided some Fancy Lifting can be useful. But it’s great when you don’t have to think shout it, or when the “special execution” takes care of itself.
CAT is light, so you push fast and it’s cool without thinking about it. The bar is light, so when you push it goes away from you fast. You can’t develop max force against a fast bar(because it flies away). So you do regular benches too. They automatically go slower. You don’t have to think about it. But you cant do all CAT, all the time.
Olympic lifters lift fast. Automatically, the bar moves quick. But Oly dudes also do “regular lifts” like rows/squats/presses/ snatch deadlifts/etc. You can’t develop full force against a fast bar, so Oly dudes do some “slow” lifts. But their style is fast, so you can’t do all slow lifting. In fact, it may be a waste of time to develop a squat bigger than 775, as your get too good at being slow.
So if fast Oly lifters get benefit from lifting slow, how much benefit can slow Power Lifters get from fast lifting? How much CAT should we do? What tools can make it better? Can we get better at “slow” powerlifts by lifting slower? How the hell do you lift slower? If I put a sling shot on, the lowering of a bench press takes longer. Is this extra slow lifting? Will Mike T get a stronger RAW bench from shirted benching because of “overload” or “neural factors”?
If you want to improve your front squat, common advice is to unrack and hold a big weight.
This “hits” your “stabilizer” muscles.
Does it Overload you, and make your front squat more solid? Or does it neurologically train your weakest muscles, “teaching” them they can do the job, and “allowing” them to work better on your next front squat?
Are you training yourself to overcome your Golgi Tendon Reflex(your muscles “shut down” when your tendons feel too much strain, so you don’t get hurt) and allowing your muscles to be less inhibited?
Really, who gives a shit! It works! So dudes will keep doing it. But holding a bench press at the top doesn’t work the same way, it’s stupid and nobody does it. Is there something we Can do, that Does work?
Not true, in Fred Hatfield’s 80 day program there are heavy bench holds. We now have power racks, boards, and slingshots so there are other overload methods that are more popular, but Jennifer Thompson still uses heavy bench holds.