by: Zachary Thiel
It’s a question I often get asked, “What do I need to do to get strong?”. “How do I get my squat numbers up?” Well, the answer is simple, squat. And I don’t mean just once a week, I mean three times a week. Squat as heavy as you can while getting your ass as close to you calves as you can.
Because you are now going to be squatting to proper depth, you are probably going to have to pull back on the normal weight you were using to squat. Most people put a ton of weight on the bar, squat maybe to parallel and call it a day. No, no, no…….. you would be better served by pulling the weight off and squatting to full depth. What is full depth you may ask? Put 50% of your one rep max and squat. Keep a tight back, tight stomach and let the hips give till you can squat no deeper. Hold that position for a two count and drive the weight up. There is your full depth squat.
As a matter of fact what I just described to you above to find your full depth is an actual exercise. My coach calls them stop squats, so naturally that’s what I call them. I already described how they work above so I won’t do it again. But this is how it would look in a workout:
70% of your 1RM w/ two second pause at the bottom 4×4
You can do this with your front squat and back squat. You can do this with a lower percentage and build to how ever high you want. Not only will you find that depth, but you will build strength and flexibility. This exercise will also help you get comfortable with the weight on your back at depth. You have got to get comfortable with a sh*t ton of weight on your back and getting low!
Squatting heavy to depth will help you get strong, it will also help with your Olympic lifting. Anyone you watch that catches a heavy clean sees them catch it at the bottom of the squat, same goes for the snatch. You have to be willing to get to the bottom. And getting to the bottom every time you squat, will make it that much easier.
Regardless of what your sport is, squatting heavy and to depth will build your over all strength and enhance your performance. It will lead to a heavier clean, heavier dead lift and heavier snatch. It will help build a stronger back, core and legs. Just do it! Often, to depth and heavy!