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The Box Squat for Bodybuilders
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T NATION
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The Box Squat for Bodybuilders
by Nate Green
08/24/09

It helps the powerlifter squat big weights and the athlete perform better, but what can the box squat do for the bodybuilder? A lot more than you'd think.

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Johny23
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Looks like one of I, BODYBUILDER programs. I guess I'll wait for complete protocol, rather than try to construct my own "frankenshtein" around this piece.

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mephistopheles
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Join date: Oct 2008
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I have a couple of issues with this article.

1. Why doesn't CT talk in French?
2. CT was a olympic lifter. I thought he would know better. I can't beleive he recommend box squat for quad hypertropy. And talk about this "nervous system gets lazy" stuff. I am shocked. That's like telemarketing people.

OLifters always bounce out of the hole, even during squat training. They got huge quads. They surely do not have lazy nervous system. What is the secret? There is no secret. High frequncy + High Intensity + High volume. You just have to front squat very frenquently, it's as simple as that. Toms Platz had nothing to do with this article. He build his leg using very conventional means. Why is everyone trying to reinvent the wheel here?

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eaboadar
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Great article. I have a question though...

It says you sould "work up to two sets of 2-4 reps", so: What should the number of sets/reps be the first time you try this program?

Thanks

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BoSoxFever
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How much of a difference would there be between the pin squats and the high box? I recall (although I may be mistaken) Thib saying in his forum that box squats would be like an intermediate step between traditional squatting and squatting from pins, with the pin squats stressing the CNS most heavily of the 3. So even if a high box is available, would using pin squats from time to time be beneficial, as well? Perhaps alternating which is used for a few weeks at a time?

I'm also guessing that this type of approach to priming the CNS but not obliterating it and then following up with several sets where you ramp up to one ball-busting set followed by a "capacity" set would work for any muscle group if exercise selection is appropriate/

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GreenMountains
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How about doing bottom position squats instead of pin squats?

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LiveFromThe781
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i actually like this article.

the exercises are box squats and front squats, none of that new-age dragon kick-squat b.s.

short and sweet and to the point.

you guys might have to credit Cephalic_Carnage for the 'work up' part though ;)

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TC
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eaboadar wrote:
Great article. I have a question though...

It says you sould "work up to two sets of 2-4 reps", so: What should the number of sets/reps be the first time you try this program?

Thanks


Good question.

The article, as written, is misleading.

He means to warm up and work up to two sets of 2-4 reps.

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waylanderxx
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Good stuff, I'll more than likely give this a try today.

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Christian Thibaudeau
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GreenMountains wrote:
How about doing bottom position squats instead of pin squats?


That's actually what I mean by pin squats.

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Christian Thibaudeau
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Join date: Feb 2003
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mephistopheles wrote:
I have a couple of issues with this article.

1. Why doesn't CT talk in French?
2. CT was a olympic lifter. I thought he would know better. I can't beleive he recommend box squat for quad hypertropy. And talk about this "nervous system gets lazy" stuff. I am shocked. That's like telemarketing people.

OLifters always bounce out of the hole, even during squat training. They got huge quads. They surely do not have lazy nervous system. What is the secret? There is no secret. High frequncy + High Intensity + High volume. You just have to front squat very frenquently, it's as simple as that. Toms Platz had nothing to do with this article. He build his leg using very conventional means. Why is everyone trying to reinvent the wheel here?


1. Surprisingly I do speak english albeit with an accent; and Nate doesn't speak french, so we had to talk in engish

2. The high box squat is not the exercise that directly stimulating growth... it wakes up the nervous system (called neural activation or potentiation). The goal of this execise is to activate the nervous system. A more efficient nervous system allows to more easily recruit the fast-twitch fibers, which are the most growth prone.

By "the nervous system becomes lazy" I mean that when you only perform exercise utilizing a fast turnaround between the eccentric and concentric phase you rely heavily on the stretch reflex and the muscle's elastic component to produce force. This reduces the amount of force that the actual muscle contraction produces.

So during the first portion of the movement, by relying on the stretch reflex you 'learn' not to activate as much muscle fibers from the start. They 'kick in' when the contribution of the stretch reflex diminish (around mid-point).

By starting the concentric movement from a static position you all but eliminate the stretch reflex (a 1 second pause inhibit the SR b up to 60%, a 2 sec pause by up to 90%) so all of the force production must come from an actual contraction. This wakes-up the nervous system and 'teaches it' to recruit more fast-twitch fiber right from the start.

This is the same reason why floor presses and floor flies work.

I'm not saying to avoid movements where the stretch reflex contributes, but that movements starting from a static start are also useful.

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GreenMountains
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Thanks for the clarification.

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Christian Thibaudeau
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eaboadar wrote:
Great article. I have a question though...

It says you sould "work up to two sets of 2-4 reps", so: What should the number of sets/reps be the first time you try this program?

Thanks


The number of work-up sets obviously depend on how much weight you can lift. If you squat 700 you will need more 'practice sets' than if you squat 200.

Here are some rules though...

1) don't see the 'non work sets' as warm-ups, but rather as 'practice sets'; their goal is to get you in the groove and ready to lift the big weights.

2) practice for what you are going to do ... if you shoot for 2-4 reps per set, do 2-4 reps during the practice sets too. The goal is to improve performance, not fatigue yourself.

3) if you will lift in the 200s, have 2-3 practice sets (gradually heavier), if you will lift in the 300s, have 3-4, if you will lift in the 400s, have 4-5, in the 500s 5-6, in the 600s, 6-7, in the 700s 7-8

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Christian Thibaudeau
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LiveFromThe781 wrote:
i actually like this article.

the exercises are box squats and front squats, none of that new-age dragon kick-squat b.s.

short and sweet and to the point.

you guys might have to credit Cephalic_Carnage for the 'work up' part though ;)


I always 'worked-up' to a max set. That's how we trained when I was an olympic lifter.

Most of my life I trained with olympic lifters, powerlifters and strongmen and they always worked up. To me this is the normal way to train. But it is so natural for me that I never mentioned it before. To me it's so self-evident that it didn't need to be explained.

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Christian Thibaudeau
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Johny23 wrote:
Looks like one of I, BODYBUILDER programs. I guess I'll wait for complete protocol, rather than try to construct my own "frankenshtein" around this piece.


Actually it's not a I, BB program.

Nate called me up to ask what I thought about box squats for bodybuilders and I told him a way to make it effective.

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Thy.
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Great stuff.
I assume that this work-out is aimed at 1 leg day per week? (or at least 1 quad-dominant)

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dankid
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CT, If someone is more concerned with strength in their front squat, do you recommend the methods in "The black book" over high box squats?

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oli1a
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Didn't Mike Boyle say that he banged up his lower back completely when he did Box Squats in his youth?

And how could I integrate this program in such full body programs such as Waterbury's?

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as
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CT,

After following all your articles and threads I have coincidentally tried neural potentiation type training every so often in the past, i.e. rack pulls before rows, etc and got good results from it.
I was thinking of doing it for every body part at each workout. Is this too much to base my whole training around this type of a routine?

How frequent can something like this be done?
And would it be a good idea to change excercises every so often in order to not get stale? Thanks

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Christian Thibaudeau
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Thy. wrote:
Great stuff.
I assume that this work-out is aimed at 1 leg day per week? (or at least 1 quad-dominant)


This would be the quads/squat workout, there would be a deadlift/hips workout late in the week.

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Thy.
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Should you still "sit back" while doing high pin squat? Also should the bar be on traps or on rear delts (pl style) ?

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LilDaDDyDreW
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DAMN THOSE ARE SOME VASCULAR LEGS, on the homepage icon that leads to the article, who is that?

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SirFlexAlot
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LilDaDDyDreW wrote:
DAMN THOSE ARE SOME VASCULAR LEGS, on the homepage icon that leads to the article, who is that?


i don`t know why but i`m guessing Brench Warren , he and Tom Platz get the most " air time" in leg related articles

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giterdone
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I think this article will be a wake up call to many that are early in their training experience that low volume / high intensity can build muscle. Go hard, go home.

I'm going to give it a try but I'll be substituting Zerchers for front squats as I have a collarbone issue that is currently making front squats a challenge .

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ThetfordMiner
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Thib,

On the sets of 5, around what percentage will you be when you hit that one all-out set? If a 5RM is around 85 percent of 1 RM, will this be around where the load will be?

If so, what would the sets after the initial set of 5 at about 60 percent look like, namely sets 2, 3, and 4?

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