quick recap of squat progress

Quickly, I wanted to get an overview of where I’ve been lately with the Squat (aka “Back Squat”).

When I look at the data on this blog under the tag “back squat”, in order to compare what I’ve done since Christmas, 2010, I like what I see:

2/15: 8 x 3 x 185 @ 180s (volume: 4,440 @ 92.5% of 5 RM)
2/8: 12 x 2 x 180 @ 120s (volume: 4,320 @ 90% of 5 RM)
2/5: 8 x 3 x 175 @ 120s (volume: 4,200 @ 87.5% of 5 RM)
1/29: 5 x 115 / 3 x 175 / 5 x 190 / 5 x 200 (+10 lb PR) (volume: 3,050 / 1000 @ 100% of 5 RM)
1/22: 5 x 5 x 165 @ 120s (volume: 4,125 @ 86.8% of 5 RM)
1/18: 12 x 2 x 160 @ 60s (volume: 3,840 @ 84.2% of 5 RM)
12/24/10: 12 x 2 x 155 @ 60s (volume: 3,720 @ 81.5% of 5 RM)

I think is rock solid proof that I am on a beginner’s curve here. I am just beginning to learn this movement. Look at the way that I have progressively increased not only weight, and total volume (except on the max effort day) but also worked at a higher and higher percentage of my max. This is only possible because I am a total NOOBIE.

Concerning my squat technique…

Yes I use the “low bar” back squat technique, which I like, because it suits my frame and I can move more weight. I stand by Rip’s endorsement of it and you can kiss my grits if you disagree. Yet, yes, I will switch it up at some point to a “high bar” style to help me with my cleans and snatches. But for now I am first looking to hit 225 using low bar. And I’ll come back to low bar again later.

Yes, duh, all these squats are deep below parallel. Yes, I allow a bounce and I don’t care if you think that’s not right. I haven’t hurt myself yet.

No I don’t follow a particular tempo. I just try to stay in control. All concentric phases of the movement are executed at the maximum possible speed I can muster. Yes I breath deeply in and create core stability by pressing out my belly with the diaphragm (thanks, Corey Duvall, for that awesome tip).

I also don’t care if you think using a 5×5 or 3×5 would be more effective. Is this weird self-derived system working for me or not?

I’m not looking to be a power lifter or an Oly lifter, folks. (In any case, I do both power lifting lifts and oly lifts, so, WTF?)

I am looking for self-transcendence.


  1. Kudos on your progress Coach Baldwin. I am a true believer that in order to get stronger in all lifts one must spend more time under the bar doing lots of squats.

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