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.
Why is this? Well, there are a few things to keep
in mind when reading Louie's squat articles.
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.
His lifters all lift in the APF.
Most of the guys I talk to about Louie's methods don't
lift in the APF.
They (Louies guys)use/train with the Monolift.
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.
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. Um....one 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.
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 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.