Low-Bar Squat Uses More Muscle?

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Bill Been

More than 500 posts
Mike, the reason deficit or snatch grip deads are not “better” is simply because the weight is significantly reduced in either.

And Rippetoe argues that the LBBS mimics not the position of the first pull in Oly lifts but that it mimics the bottom position of the full snatch catch. Then he reminds everyone that it’s not necessary or beneficial for strength to be developed in postures and positions which mimic their expression in the event or on the field, which is where “functional movement” goes off the rails.

One should train for strength using the movements that best develop strength. These movements use the most muscle mass over the longest effective range of motion, thereby allowing the use of the heaviest loads which will create the largest and most comprehensive strength adaptation. We have heard much about the athlete building power of the Front Squat, but who would you rather square off against - a guy who front squats 225 for reps, or a guy who low bar back squats 405 for reps? I’ll give you a hint: how much does the 405 back squatter front squat?

Plus 5 Internets if you guessed “more than the guy who front squats 225”.
 

the hansenator

More than 500 posts
who would you rather square off against - a guy who front squats 225 for reps, or a guy who low bar back squats 405 for reps? I’ll give you a hint: how much does the 405 back squatter front squat?

Plus 5 Internets if you guessed “more than the guy who front squats 225”.

Does that imply that back squats train front squat strength better than front squats? Couldn't you just as easily compare the guy who front squats 405 vs the guy who back squats 405?
 

jca17

More than 300 posts
Bill's posts: the genius mix of instigation and insight :) enough to have almost singlehandedly changed my goals over the last year. Soon I may be on board to predict that the first country have its athletes all read and apply starting strength will win ALL the golds in next olympics (and not even just the weightlifting).

To be fair to functional movement, the functional movement guy (Gray Cook) recommends deadlifts, presses, pullups etc. Powerlifting is functional strength, so the idea that functional movement is about strength training sports specific postures is a complete strawman argument. The point is to not have pain in unloaded positions in movements the body is fundamentally meant to do. Who is happier with their body, the 60 year old tai chi practitioner who never touched a barbell and walks around pain free, or the 60 year old who cant lift their grandchild to eyelevel because their shoulders are jacked up and walk around in constant back pain, wishing they could tie their own shoes. But hey, he once totaled 1700 in a powerlifting meet. Functional movement is about letting the latter guy be like the first while still getting strong.

Jim Wendler shows himself as an example of someone who was powerlifting strong but not functionally strong, so there is a limit to how functional barbell training can be when you hyper specialize, but I dont know of thats anyone on this forum.
 
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Glen

> 1k Posts
Bill's posts: the genius mix of instigation and insight :) enough to have almost singlehandedly changed my goals over the last year. Soon I may be on board to predict that the first country have its athletes all read and apply starting strength will win ALL the golds in next olympics (and not even just the weightlifting).

To be fair to functional movement, the functional movement guy (Gray Cook) recommends deadlifts, presses, pullups etc. Powerlifting is functional strength, so the idea that functional movement is about strength training sports specific postures is a complete strawman argument. The point is to not have pain in unloaded positions in movements the body is fundamentally meant to do. Who is happier with their body, the 60 year old tai chi practitioner who never touched a barbell and walks around pain free, or the 60 year old who cant lift their grandchild to eyelevel because their shoulders are jacked up and walk around in constant back pain, wishing they could tie their own shoes. But hey, he once totaled 1700 in a powerlifting meet. Functional movement is about letting the latter guy be like the first while still getting strong.

Jim Wendler shows himself as an example of someone who was powerlifting strong but not functionally strong, so there is a limit to how functional barbell training can be when you hyper specialize, but I dont know of thats anyone on this forum.
Don't know if you can use Wendler as a good example, he wasn't just a powerlifter but a multiply equipped lifter - he strength trained in a way to optimise lifting in a triple ply suit, briefs underneath and 2.5m knee wraps - very different from a raw lifter in my opinion (I have done raw and single ply and that felt very different, add a few more layers and longer wraps and I can see how it would leave gaps in strength if that's what you focused on optimising)
 

mikerobinson

Double-Digit Post Count
Jim Wendler shows himself as an example of someone who was powerlifting strong but not functionally strong, so there is a limit to how functional barbell training can be when you hyper specialize, but I dont know of thats anyone on this forum.
Any articles by Wendler on this?
 

jca17

More than 300 posts
Not sure about articles, but its at the start of his book 531 .
With the caveat that he was an equipped lifter as Glen points out.
 

Rif

More than 500 posts
Master Certified Instructor
Good point but most important is why one is doing the movement. Is it just to move the most weight possible or to affect a specific muscle group

Most long back short femur person will be well suited every kind of squat and will be more able to stay more vertical than the opposite structure

I have a short spine and long femur ( even at 5'5) and used to compete LBBS and did well with it as long as my stance was wide. I know now I would have had much better leverage using a medium/narrow stance and a high(er) bar rack position and a heeled shoe, letting my knees move forward more. This also would have let me target my quads more and keep my back in a good leverage position out of the hole as well

there are an infinite number of combinations of foot width, bar rack positions and hip angles for each individual. The key is finding the right one for you!

It's also important to test the techniques with real weight. That's where my phrase "it's all easy 'til it's heavy" came from. I had perfect form with my sumo deadlift- til it got to real weight :)
 

Rif

More than 500 posts
Master Certified Instructor
I have heard this argument from Rippetoe as well. The idea is that in the LBBS the back angle is the same as in the first pull of the snatch so it mimics the first pull. You know what other exercise uses the same back angle as the first pull of the snatch? Snatch grip DL. And it's sport specific. What's better: a sport specific lift or one that "mimics" a lift?

For the record, taking advice on Olympic lifting from Simmons is like taking advice on meat from a vegetarian. I've read the reviews about Simmons' $70 book on Olympic lifting. No reputable OL coach took the book seriously and Simmons' stock plummeted.
Perhaps yes, but remember Simmons got most of his ideas from studying Soviet style weightlifting texts and the techniques the Dynamo club used with their Oly athletes.Specialized variety and special exercises ruled the day
Check out Klokov's training today as an example

Also American Oly coaches and lifters rank so poorly they should listen to something else than what they are/ they haven't had any real success in decades
 

Glen

> 1k Posts
Perhaps yes, but remember Simmons got most of his ideas from studying Soviet style weightlifting texts and the techniques the Dynamo club used with their Oly athletes.Specialized variety and special exercises ruled the day
Check out Klokov's training today as an example

Also American Oly coaches and lifters rank so poorly they should listen to something else than what they are/ they haven't had any real success in decades
The UK and The USA haven't had much success internationally (better at last world championships as half the world wasn't there) - listening to a lot of coaches it doesn't seem Russians, Chinese and other successful countries train that differently in exercise selection, technique etc compared to america - success is maybe more down to other factors which the IWF seem to be trying to tackle
 

Rif

More than 500 posts
Master Certified Instructor
Not a perfect example but the first picture is Pyrros Dimas an Olympic Gold Medalist in Oly lifting with probably a 700 lb squat and the other group contains some of the best powerlifters of the golden era and more than a few 1000 lb squatters The man on the left with the ginormous quads was Doug Furnas, a 900 + squatter who so happens did squat high bar and very upright

 

Rif

More than 500 posts
Master Certified Instructor
The UK and The USA haven't had much success internationally (better at last world championships as half the world wasn't there) - listening to a lot of coaches it doesn't seem Russians, Chinese and other successful countries train that differently in exercise selection, technique etc compared to america - success is maybe more down to other factors which the IWF seem to be trying to tackle
please don't attibute it all to PED's . it's not that simple. and again Simmons's work was based on Soviet style training
 

Glen

> 1k Posts
please don't attibute it all to PED's . it's not that simple. and again Simmons's work was based on Soviet style training
Maybe not all but the difference in testing between countries is huge - reason whole countries were banned from world competitions.

Think Simmons did a great job of taking info from old Soviet text and finding ways to apply them to powerlifter - dynamics are different and he found a way of using weightlifting training parameters for a slower grind movement - doesn't mean adaptation will work better when applied back to weightlifting. Just use the original parameters set out in the texts surely?

I have a huge amount of respect for Simmons as an equipped powerlifting coach. Just feel it's always best to understand what the program was designed for and the limitations when applied to different situations
 

Rif

More than 500 posts
Master Certified Instructor
I have used Simmons method with raw and drug free lifters and since they are principle based they worked fine.

If Simmons adapted the dynamic lift methods for powrrlifts why wouldn’t they still work for Oly lifters ?
 

305pelusa

> 1k Posts
No studies just 30+ years in the gym obsessed with squats powerlifting and Olympic lifting. Go to any Oly meet or power meet and the difference is very obvious
Rif, any conclusions you personally draw from your own personal experience are known as "opinions". Like literally that's almost the definition of an "opinion".

I appreciate opinions. That's what forums are about. But the way you've been saying some of these things, they felt like facts.

Typically these things are called "Bro-science". Things that people training feel is the case,
but the science doesn't show it at all. Bro-science isn't bad (we'd be nowhere if we had to wait for a study before making any training decision) but it might be good to at least add a disclaimer.

You seem like you're high in SF leadership so as a friendly advice, you might want to preface statements like "Are the quads involved in a hinge style power squat? absolutely. Are they as involved as in an Oly style hi bar squat? not even close." with a "IMO" at least.

Coincidentally, @Steve Freides does this very often (adding that it's simply his experience) and I really appreciate it btw. Just a random holler because I think that's very professional.

Not a perfect example but the first picture is Pyrros Dimas an Olympic Gold Medalist in Oly lifting with probably a 700 lb squat and the other group contains some of the best powerlifters of the golden era and more than a few 1000 lb squatters The man on the left with the ginormous quads was Doug Furnas, a 900 + squatter who so happens did squat high bar and very upright

"Not a perfect example"? Rif, it's not even an example of any kind.

-They're no the same weight classes.
-They're not equally pumped.
-The lightning is off.
-The PLers are wearing pants.
-We don't know anything about what substances any of these people were on.
-Genetics.

It's honestly concerning that you believe this proves any point at all.
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Rif, any conclusions you personally draw from your own personal experience are known as "opinions". Like literally that's almost the definition of an "opinion".
@305pelusa, @Rif 's isn't just an opinion, it's an expert opinion. You've been disrespectful to more than one person in a high position in StrongFirst's leadership - why do you bother to participate here?

This thread is closed. I will consider reopening it in the future.

-S-
 
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