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This page links to all squat
videos available on Fitness for One and All. These videos chronicle the problems
I had with hitting legal depth and using proper form. But I finally got both
Note that legal depth in
powerlifting means, "The
lifter must bend the knees and lower the body until the top of the thigh at the
hip, NOT the hip joint, is lower than the top of the kneecap." (IPA Rulebook).
This depth is seen in the later videos.
Squats are the best exercise
there is for lower body development and is one of the three powerlifts. But
proper performance is critical. The videos were taken during various workouts by
The shorthand is date
(month/day/year), followed by weight/ reps, then supportive gear used in parentheses. Raw means without gear.
- First Video: Too High
- 5/7/07, 315/4 (raw).
- Second Video: Too
High - 5/7/07, 305/4 (raw). These were the first two videos I took. The quality is poor as I
took them with a $15 WebCam. But the important point is, these videos showed
I was squatting too high. I also could see I was leaning forward too
much. This led to a long struggle with getting my squats down and my form
correct. But these videos showed how important some type of feedback is. If
you don't have a trusted workout partner to watch your form, take videos!
- Free Squats to Wood
Box - 5/10/07. I switched to using my Kodak digital camera for taking videos, and
the quality is much better. To be sure I was hitting true legal depth, I
planned on squatting touch 'n go off of a wooden box. This video is free
squats to the box to check depth. Here they looked good.
- To Wood Box
- 5/16/07, 235/8 (raw). Strangely, when I tried started squatting to the wooden box in a workout,
it looked like I built the box a little too high. I also didn't like how the
box made me slow my descent so as not to hit the box too hard.
- Without Box -
5/25/07, 235/6 (raw). Since the box didn't work out, I tried squatting again
without the box. I tried placing the bar a little higher on my back. But I
still wasn't hitting depth on most reps and leaning too far forward
Stances - 5/30/07, with only 145 as this was actually before my deadlift
workout. I tried the box again, but I lowered it by 3/4" by taking the
bottom board off. I also moved my hands in closer on the bar. This grip has
my upper arms perpendicular to the ground. The closer grip forced me to hold
the bar higher on my back. In fact, the bar just automatically fell into the
“sweet spot” on my back that I problems finding in my previous workout. The
closer grip and resultant higher bar placement forces me to keep my back
more erect. I knew I was doing something “fundamentally” wrong, but I didn’t
think it would be something as simple as hand placement. I also tried three
different feet placements, 16”, 17” and 19” between my heels. The middle
stance felt best.
- Form, Finally!
- 5/30/07, 145/6 (still before the deadlift workout). With this set, I
finally got my form down.
- Form much better -
6/4/07, 255/6 (raw). Form looking better, and hitting depth on most reps.
- Briefs and Wraps -
7/13/07 (Friday the Thirteenth). 315/5 (Titan briefs and
2.5 meter APT
Black Mamba wraps). For this workout, I was experimenting with different
briefs and wraps. With the gear, I was once again having problems hitting
- Briefs and Wraps 2
- 7/13/07, 355/2 (Titan briefs and
2.5 meter APT
Black Mamba wraps).
- New Canvas Suit
- 7/23/07. I just got my
Ginny Canvas suit.
So after my squat assistance workout, I just had to try it on and for a
light set with 235. I didn’t even come close to getting down low enough. But
that was good. I’d be using at least a hundred pounds more next week when I
put in my first workout with the suit.
- First Canvas Suit
Workout - 8/1/07, 365/2 (Titan single-ply briefs, Ginny canvas suit,
2.5 meter APT
Black Mamba wraps,
APT wrist bands).
The first rep of this set I tried using a slightly closer stance, but that
did not feel good, and I didn’t quite break parallel. So I managed to move
my feet out just a little bit on the next two reps, and that felt better and
my depth was better as well.
- Raw Squat Video
- 8/31/07, 255/6 (raw). Even with using gear at my upcoming contest, I still
felt like I needed to do some lower end work. And the best way to do that is
by doing the powerlifts raw. Depth looked fine.
- Final Workout
Pre-contest - 9/10/07, 375/3 (full gear). This was my last workout before
IPA PA States, September 22, 2007.
With my new gear, I had problems hitting depth, but the last rep looked
- Final Set
Pre-contest - 9/10/07, 415/1 (full gear). This was my last set before my contest. After all the
problems I had, I felt like it all come together with this set. I squatted
415 rather easily. I changed the camera angle as I wanted to show off that I
had four 45s on each side of on the bar. At the contest, my attempts were 380, 400,
415. I came up with all three, but I got called for depth on the last
attempt. Everyone at the contest said it actually looked good, but the
judges thought otherwise. So I still had some work to do on depth.
- Squat with Foam
Box - 10/29/07, 255/5 (raw). With missing my last attempt on depth at my contest, I decided to
use a box to squat to. But I didn't like using the wood box. So I made a
foam squat box to use instead. The box ensures proper depth but doesn't
force a change in form like the wood box did. BTW, the song playing in the background is one of my all-time
favorite songs, “King of Kings” by Barren Cross, a Christian metal group.
Gear, Depth Problem
- 11/11/07, 385/1 (full gear). This was the first time since the contest seven
weeks before that I used gear on squats. Definitely, too long to go without
using gear as I could really feel it! The weight felt like a ton on my back, and
the gear just didn’t feel right. But most of all, I had trouble hitting my foam
box and thus proper depth. I came closest on this (my last) set.
Gear, Good Depth -
12/2/07, 355/2. For this workout, I used my
new Ginny briefs made with her new stretch
denim material. (Ginny Canvas suit
meter APT Black Mamba wraps,
wrist bands). I still didn’t quite hit my box. But the video looks like the
depth’s okay, especially the second rep. So I know if I hit the box, my depth is
more than good enough. And I'd rather be too low than not low enough, so I will
continue to work on trying to go just a little bit lower.
Squats with Knee Sleeves
- 12/23/07, 345/2. For this workout, I tried something different. Along with my
briefs and suit, I used my APT
knee sleeves instead of knee wraps. I did so as I figured I wouldn’t be as
exhausted after my full gear squat workouts if I didn’t have to wrap my knees.
And it did work in that respect. But the problem was, I couldn’t use enough
weight to below parallel, or maybe, I just didn’t have the confidence to go any
lower. Either way, I don’t think the knee sleeves will work.
Unequipped Squats -
5/26/08, 335/1 - This was my final heavy squat workout before my contest June 7, 2008.
Unlike the above videos, here I am wearing just a singlet, belt, and
APT's new heavy knee
sleeves. And that combination of gear is working great. For the squat with
415 above, I was wearing a belt, briefs, canvas suit, and 2.5 meter wraps. At
that time, I was estimating that all of that gear added about 80 pounds. If that
estimate was correct, allotting for the gear difference, my squat is actually
back to where it was at that time and just in time for my upcoming contest.
Unequipped Squats - 6/3/09, 315/3. This was my final heavy squat workout before
my contest June 14, 2009. I am wearing
APT's wrist bands
and Convict knee
sleeves. This first rep might have been a tad high, but the next two were
Unequipped Squats2 - 6/30/09, 330/2. Again, the first rep might have been a tad
high, but the next rep was fine. I tried 345 on my third set, but got buried.
But at least the first two sets went as planned.
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