To go deep or not to go

Discussion of peer refereed articles and clinical applications

Moderators: Ironman, Jungledoc, darshana, stuward

How do you prefer to squat

Box squats
No votes
Deep Squats
Normal Squats
No votes
I don't squat
No votes
Total votes: 8

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Re: To go deep or not to go

Post by CorlessJohnJ » Fri Nov 04, 2011 4:59 pm

Yea so i did the front squats after my deep squats. I felt it in my quads more definitely. I did the cross grip and my last set I think was 175 for ten reps... not too little especially cause I went deep as hell on them too...sweat like crazy fun times.
"Opportunity does not knock, it presents itself when you beat down the door"

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Kenny Croxdale
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Re: To go deep or not to go

Post by Kenny Croxdale » Sat Nov 05, 2011 8:33 am


Stu's Post

Stu provides you with some great advice.

Like Stu, I agree that "10 deep squats of 250 lbs is more impressive than 6x315 at 90 degrees..."

And I am a powerlifter who does the lame 90 degree squats. :)

If I stop half way down aka 90 degrees I am isometrically stopping my descent and then going back upwards.
Eccentric-Concentric Movement

Every eccenctric-concentric contains an isometric element, even you full squats do. More on that in a minute.

Stopping at 90 degrees is harder then going down and then back up at least it feels that way to me.
Stopping At 90 Degrees

Stopping at 90 degrees is a completely different exercise. ANYTIME you change anything in an exercise, you going to see a drop in strength for a variety of reasons.

Full Squat Momentum

Another factor is that in performing a full squat, you generate momentum in the concentric part of the movement.

The greater amount of momentum you can generate, the greater you changes of completing the lift. Momentum allows you to slide through your sticking point.

The Down Side Of Momentum

One of the problems with momentum is that it does not allow you to develop strength at certain angles within the lift.

That means in performing your full squat, some strength is developed at the 90 degree angle but not as much as if you were specifically training it.

Stu's Point

"...throw in some heavy partial reps..."
It feels like I have to "put on the brakes" during the descent and then go back upward.
Putting On The Brakes

As I stated above, you have to put on the brakes with any eccentic-concentric movemet.

Force = Mass X Acceleration

In every eccentric movement, the weight on the bar is going to be magnified.

Even in a full squat!

Riding The Brakes

What riding the bakes does is minimize the eccentric force.

Dr Tom McLaughlin's Biomechanics Eccentric Research

McLaughlin measured the eccentric force in lowering the weight in a bench press decades ago.

Fast Descent

McLaughlin found that lifter lowering the bar too fast increased the weight (force) of the bar 149%.

300 lb Bench Press = 447 lb Bench Press

That means lifter who allowed the bar to drop too fast, found the weight (force) of the bar on their chest was 447 lbs. (300 lbs X 149% = 447 lbs).

Slow Descent

Lifter's who RODE THE BRAKES increased the weight (force) of the bar 112%.

300 lb Bench Press = 336 lbs Bench Press

Thus, lifter who rode the brake on the way down, minimized the weight (forc) of the bar on their chest to 336 lbs (300 lbs X 112%).


The same is true with squats and other movements.

If you allow the eccentric speed to increase too much in a squat, you will end up with your ass tatooed to the floor.

Ride The Brakes!

The take home message is when lifting heavy load, RIDE the brakes when lowering the weight!!!

The Exception To Riding The Brakes

In squatting (other movements as well), the exception to riding the brakes occurs appoximately 2" from when the eccentric motion stops and the concentric contraction begins.

Stretch Reflex

Appoximately two inches from the transition from eccentric movement to concentric contraction, allow the eccentric speed of the bar to increase.

Doing so elicits the stretch reflex a...

Recoil Effect

The stretch reflex is akin loading a spring. Once you release the spring, you recoil upward with more force/momentum.

Research shows that up to 18% more force is generated when the stretch reflex is evoked.

90 Degree Squats

Two things that will increase your strength at this angle are:

1) Performing Paused Squats from the 90 Degree postion.

2) Training the Stretch Reflex "Recoil". In other word, practice "Recoiling" out of the 90 degree hole position.

I am just really frustrated that the 315 felt so heavy and that i only got to six reps. It motivates the hell out of me and pisses me off.
Pissed Off Works

One of the greatest forms of motivation is, "Pissed Off." Harness that and it will make you better.

Kenny Croxdale
Thanks TimD.

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Re: To go deep or not to go

Post by CorlessJohnJ » Sat Nov 05, 2011 11:10 am

Kenny I appreciate it.

I also recently did front squats after deep squats.

I'm going to whoop some ass next week on leg day.

Can't wait. Once again thanks.

John Corless
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Re: To go deep or not to go

Post by _Wolf_ » Sun Nov 06, 2011 5:37 pm

This conversation about Front Squats reminds me of Eric's blog post: ... -its-myths" onclick=";return false;

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Re: To go deep or not to go

Post by KenDowns » Sun Nov 06, 2011 7:30 pm

@Kenny, my partner tried your "ride the brakes down and then drop" method on bench today and said it felt totally different and he like it much better.

My turn to try is on bench on Tuesday, then Squat on Thursday.