Forum Home | Store | Articles | Videos | Events

Go Back   Pendlay Forum > Pendlay Forum > Strength Training

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-01-2011, 01:40 AM
Xi Xia Xi Xia is offline
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 38
Default T or F: Strong powerlifting squat = strong olympic squat but not vice versa

Just saw Louie Simmons make a comment on a CF journal video about squat strength. He was in the middle of spotting some of his lifters in a dynamic day box squat session and was pretty jazzed up, dropped this claim. Considering I've never seen an O-Lifter power squat wide for strength development, it raised some bells.

"Squatting wide will build a close stance squat. Close stance will not build a wide stance squat."

I realize the ROM for the powerlift squat is not even close to an Olympic squat but his claim leads me to infer that the shortened depth of the powerlift squat doesn't shortchange an athlete from a strong deep Olympic squat.

What are people's thoughts/experiences with this?
Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2011, 02:26 AM
Johan Johan is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 105

All I know is that when I could make a wide stance low bar parallel box squat with 170kg I still would struggle with a 120kg deep olympic squat. For me personally the olympic squat builds the PL squat, but not vice versa.
Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2011, 08:20 AM
Brian DeGennaro Brian DeGennaro is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 304

No because there is a lack of glute and quadricep strength and kinesthetic awareness not developed in the bottom ranges of motion of a deep squat. Almost every single lifter whom I have seen with high (>400lbs) low-bar or powerlifting type squats struggles coming out of the hole of a front squat or Olympic squat. The quad and glute strength in those last few inches just is not there, not to mention the movement patterns are completely different.
Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2011, 09:34 AM
HunterHenzler HunterHenzler is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Lubbock
Posts: 1,070

No on BOTH parts.
I've squatted mid 400's PL stance and have trouble doing mid 300's with a close stance. (Mind you, I have lost weight and don't squat as heavy.. but I can still tell there's a HUGE gap in strength there)

With all due respect to Louie, I would agree with Johan. I can see the carryover being the opposite way.
Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2011, 03:18 PM
Arden Cogar Jr. Arden Cogar Jr. is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 430

Agreed with all three above. And, again, with all due respect to Louie.

In my opinion, they are Totallllllly different movements.

I come from a powerlifting background and I never considered squatting as wide as he advocates for his lifters. To be frank, I have a difficult time squatting the height his athletes squat. It feels un-natural to me. But that said, he has trained, and he himself, has squatted a butt-ton of weight - no matter the range of motion.

I have not tried this, but I would guestimate that I could WPO widestance squat close to 325kg raw. I've had more than that on my back before but I'm many years removed from it. If I went down with that on an oly high bar squat, or even a low bar squat that I do with a medium stance - I could not stand back up. No way in hades. I had 230kg on my back for a mucho deep low bar on Sunday - and the top half of the movement felt a lot lighter than the bottom half.

I'm sorry, but I must respectfully disagree with that characterization. At least as it would apply to me. Others may be different. And to be frank, I agree with Johan, Brian and Hunter, the converse is likely more true for most people.

All the best,
Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2011, 06:29 PM
NickHorton NickHorton is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 344

oly squat builds powerlifting squat. Not the other way around.

As was said above, the requirements of the quads and glutes in the Oly squat are just not present in the PL squat. I think there is the misconception that the difference in these movements is analogous to the difference in a full range bench press and board presses. ie, One is simply a shorter range of motion than the other ... since for the bench, there is some reason to believe that doing partial movements that allow for heavier weights will, indeed, result in bigger full range lifts.

But, the analogy is false.

PL squats aren't anything like Oly squats at all other than the fact that there is weight on your back ... and even the position of that is different.

It's more like comparing pull-downs with pull-ups ... They only LOOK similar. But, physiologically, there's a TON of difference that just don't carry over.
"Those who can't do, teach. Those that can't teach, teach gym." -- Woody Allen

Something awesome:
Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2011, 11:52 PM
Terry Gibbs Terry Gibbs is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 6

Not sure what context Louie was talking in, but from what I have seen the transfer either way is not guaranteed.

Back in the 70's we set up a state Pl association. At our first state titles we had a former national OL champ (67.50bwt, 107.5 snatch 127.50 C & J) . He thought it would be a walk in, got third, cannot remember the dead but think he squatted 160 @ 75 (no suit or wraps it was 1977). He eventually squatted 250 @ 82.50 but took him close to 7 years to do it.

Also a former medalist at world masters who had a 127.50 C& J, who had a max power squat with one ply suit and wraps of 190, he used to joke about it.

At the pointy end very hard to be good at stuff you don't train for.
Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2011, 11:01 AM
Eric Gagnon Eric Gagnon is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 6

Just like the wide grip bench press is a mechanically easier version of the close grip bench press, the wide stance powerlifting squat is a mechanically easier version of the olympic squat. Barring injuries or idiosyncracies you can squat more in the powerlifting squat. It make take a few sessions, particularly if you've been olympic squatting for many years, but without increasing functional strength you will squat more in the powerlifting style. It may be argued that low-bar wider stance squats (maybe not Westside-wide) yields a greater transfer to most sports performance from the greater involvement of glutes and hamstrings, it certainly doesn't yield greater strength in olympic squats. I've seen this in hundreds of people starting with myself. However, a unique case could be made of an individual who squatted, let's say 300lb olympic-style, and for some reason turned to powerlifting squats, after many years gets his powerlifting squat to 600lbs, switches to olympic squats, for a reason or another, and rapidly gets 400lbs. It must be noted that it took "many years" for his olympic squat to increase by 100lbs. Had he stuck to olympic squats he may have hit 500 in the same time frame. Louie has contributed very much to strength training but his assertions are not always correct. If he can post a video of one of his lifter put up a "no-no-no" squat of may change my beliefs.
Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2011, 03:38 PM
ThePman220 ThePman220 is offline
Join Date: May 2010
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 66

OL/high-bar style has always been the core squat style for me. It translates to deadlifts, front squats, and overall mobility. The PL wide-stance style hasn't done much but tweak my hips and cause a few torn muscles.
Matt Perryman
Site Twitter
Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2011, 02:22 AM
80sMediumSized 80sMediumSized is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 703

I think stance/depth is far more important than bar placement. If your low bar squat is with the same stance width as you would high bar squat with and to similar depth (think Kirk Karwowski, Ed Coan, some 70s powerlifters) you'll be good at both movements. I'm willing to bet most of the top IPF lifters have very good high bar squats, and I'm willing to bet most people training at west-side have relatively poor high bar squats... like probably even under their bench.

I trained solely low bar close stance atg depth squats with oly shoes while on starting strength, and when switching to oly lifting I was immediately able to 3x5rm hb squat a little over 90% of my 3x5rm low bar squat. I was front squatting once a week toward the middle of the linear progression so that probably helped too.
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:46 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.