Deepsquatter's Random Thoughts

    It seems that almost everyone I talk to that has tried the Louie Simmons method for the bench press is having  great results.  Most people are saying the same about the deadlift.....BUT about half are lifting the same OR LESS in the squat.  

The Problem
Why is this? Well, there are a few things to keep in mind when reading Louie's squat articles. 
    1. His lifters all lift in the APF. 
    2. Most of the guys I talk to about Louie's methods don't lift in the APF.
    3. They (Louies guys)use/train with the Monolift.
I know you are thinking,  so what does in matter where I lift. Is this some weird anti APF diatribe? Hardly. Here's the problem as I see it. Louie recommends doing the speed work with 50-60 percent of your max weight (PLUS THE CHAINS) on the box.  Considering that a suit gives the most aid to the lifter at the bottom of the lift 50-60 % might be about perfect for someone wearing groove briefs or a 2 ply suit or more than one suit BUT the majority of the guys I talk to can't or won't wear that much gear.  
    The chains, high box work, good mornings and other work on the special exercise day makes you stronger at the top and middle but the bottom is getting left behind.  
The solution
    To rectify this, you must.....train heavier on the speed day. The old system seemed to work well for me.  I used 65-82% - the numbers Louie originally recommended -  on the speed day with good results. You are shooting for speed but the weight must be heavy enough to make you work hard. 
    A good method for picking your box weight (box 1-2" below parallel) is the one that was mentioned in the article by Dave Castor about Dave Schleich.  You take your last contest max (recent) and multiply that by 0.9. Take the result of that and multiply by 0.6 and 0.825 to get the range that you should do your box work in. For example, in my case I had hit a 639 squat prior to  the hamstring adductor injury that prompted me to try the box work. That gives me a range of 373 - 474 (639 x .9 x  .6 and .825) for my box work.  373 seemed too light so I settled on 405 and used that for the duration of the cycle.  In the Dave Schleich article it was noted that he used  405-455 and hit a 700 in a meet. His previous best was in the 660-680 range which puts the  405-455 in the area of the heavier percentages. If you are stalling in the box squat, give this a try. 
     Keep in mind that you must also work hard on the second day. That means working the supplementary exercises for ONE REP MAXES.  Several guys have told me that they do the speed work but are doing sets of five or threes on the max effort day.  thing fellas....... IT DON'T WORK LIKE THAT. For all the exercises on the max effort day, except the good mornings and a few others, you must work up to a one rep max. That means, for example, doing zercher squats for heavy singles until you can't complete a rep.  Then you rest a couple of minutes and take that same weight again. If you get it the second time, you add 5 or 10 lbs and try again.  You've got to fight for every rep on this day. Remember, it is the combination of the two days, not either one that is the key to success with this program. 
Other factors
    Another issue is when to add your gear. It takes me 4-6 weeks to get used to squatting in a suit and wraps. Although it is recommended that you do most of your box work in shorts or a loose suit bottom, I'd recommend that you take some time to get used to the gear you plan to wear in a meet. The last 5 weeks or so , you could put on the suit bottoms just to get used to pushing against  the suit.  I've noticed that I can maintain bar speed for several weeks after stopping the box work.  Louie has stated that you tend to burn out after 6 weeks or so at or above the  90% range.  Considering this, perhaps a good idea is to take the last 4-5 weeks before the meet and perform your squats without the box and in full gear.  This will acclimate you to the equipment and get you used to.................... 
The Walkout
    The one unavoidable fact of box squatting is that walking back and setting up with 300-400 lbs does not prepare you for doing the same with 600-700 lbs.  You will rock and sway like a tree in a big wind. Unlike the tree, you might fall. Performing the last few weeks in the fashion described above will help. The high box work will help also but nothing will prepare you for walking backwards in knee wraps and a squat suit like walking backwards in knee wraps and a squat suit. 

Want to discuss this with othe lifters? 
Then click