Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Getting impatient and trying out high bar squats.

Session from 11/10; I wanted to lift and couldn't bear to spend more then 5 minutes warming up, so 5 minutes on the elliptical. After watching the world powerlifting meet all weekend and seeing every lifter use high bar squats, I decided to give it a shot. Low bar has been back problems for me consistently in spite of the claim I've read that it places less stress on the lower back. Maybe that is true in general, but where I am fractured (or whatever has happened back there) the low bar position doesn't work for me. So, I grabbed the trainer who knows what he is doing, and is familiar with both the low-bar via Rippetoe and high-bar via competing, to watch me.

1 x 8 x 45, felt awkward as hell. 2 x 5 x 65, better, easier to reach depth. 1 x 5 x 95, nice, getting used to looking straight ahead. 3 x 5 x 105, super comfortable. What the hell, add 10 pounds and do three sets of one rep each to see how it goes. I did one rep at 115, it was dreamy so instead of racking the bar I did two more.

Note to self: knee sleeves and a belt are good, helpful things. On to bench, 1 x 8 x 45, 1 x 5 x 65, 1 x 4 x 85, my plan was to do 4 x 4 x 95, no lift off, but instead did 2 x 3 x 95, 1 x 2 x 95 bummed and pissed now. Took ten pounds off and did 2 x 5 x 85, 1 x 6 (with spotter, good one, no hands) 85.

Time for some pulls, lat pulldowns, 1 x 8 x 60, 1 x 8 x 70, 1 x 5 x 85, 2 x 6 x 85, varied my grip for all of these. Seated rows, 2 x 6 x 70, 1 x 8 x 70. I'm kind of surprised that doing this bro upper back stuff made my back feel better, so plan to add that in on non-deadlift days.

Today, squats 3 x 3 x 115, bench, 100 if I can find a spotter, see what happens with 95 if not. Deadlift 3 x 3 x 135. Overhead presses dependent on lower back, 65-70 lbs.


  1. What? Low bar is less stress on the lower back? Nonsense, it's more stress - that's the reason most people should use it, the greater stress will strengthen the lower back. Those with ongoing lower back problems will be better off with a front squat, or secondarily a high bar back squat.

    I think the low bar back squat is optimal for most people. But squatting is always better than not squatting, squat whatever way helps you squat most often.

    Upper back stuff is good. Bat wings a la Dan John, excellent stuff.

  2. I must have mis-read the SS book. My experience so far parallels what you just said. I like the high bar better so far, and am so glad to be back under the bar. Badass bitch!