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Alternative HBBS

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  • Alternative HBBS


    I have bought your programs GPP hypertrophy, the bridge and HLM.

    All the programs include the High Bar Back Squat. Unfortunatelly this excercise always causes knee pain for me. That why I turned to low bar squatting.

    What is the best alternative excercise in these programs for this exercise? Which gives me the best progress in my regular squat. I do not have a SSB bar in my gym.

    Hope to hear from you.


    Michiel Thomas

  • #2
    Do front squats cause aggravation? That would be my first choice of substitution. If so, without any specialty bars I would probably sub in leg press. If neither of those options will work I would probably do low bar no belt.

    Also, what did your programming look like with HBBS in the past when it was causing issues? What was your volume, intensity, and frequency like? Were you training with RPE and not going to failure regularly? It's possible that the HBBS specific training in this template could be different enough to not aggravate the issue, especially considering the fact that you have taken a break from HBBS for quite awhile to heal up whatever issue you were having.
    Last edited by PWard; 12-04-2018, 05:02 PM.


    • #3
      Fronts squat do not aggrevate it that much because im terrible in them and the weights are really low haha. But I do not think because of the light weights they are going to transfer directly to a bigger low bar squat. But maybe im wrong?

      My program was a more bodybuilding style of training. So volume was extremely high compared to the programs of barbell medicine. I think a little to high for good progress. So that could be the reason. Also Im a tall guy like 6,6. So to keep the bar on the middle of my feet, my knees need to travel forward a lot over my toes. I also tried it with squat shoes same problem.

      I think I will try the beltless variation with small pauses. I think that a good option. Do you agree?


      • #4
        You have to remember that you're in a hypertrophy/GPP block. You're setting the table for your next development block. So, while front squats are not super specific to a low bar squat, adding in front squat volume, especially in a GPP phase, will still help improve your general squat skill and strength, which then can set you up to make even better gainzZz in the following strength development block. Don't judge your GPP hypertrophy block based on the gainzZz you get during the hypertrophy block, instead judge it by the gainzZz you get in the following strength block. Front squats are still a great movement, and if you suck in them it might be more reason to train them for a block or two. You should be able to progress them pretty quickly.

        I would definitely do all non-competition lifts without a belt. And a pause potentially could help. I would try both with and without and just see how it goes. If you can find a way to squat without any issue, then great. It's usually a small, minor change that makes all the difference in the world. Like when conventional deadlifts were bothering my back a few months ago and Leah cued me to bring my shoulders an inch or two forward in front of the bar. That tiny tweak completely cured the issue /shrugs.
        Last edited by PWard; 12-05-2018, 05:01 PM.


        • #5
          Thanks for the advice. I really appreciate it. I will give front squats a go and go from there. I have read great things about front squats and how to can build a base for your regular squat and even deadlift. Im really looking forward to start with the barbell medicine programs. And im sure the gainzzz wil come. Thanks.


          • #6
            It could also be the case that HBBS is a somewhat novel movement that you simply need to adapt to.
            I say this because the first time I trained in Olympic shoes I really felt it in my knees. Similar story with the SSB. Now its all good.


            • #7
              Was there ever a weight in which you were able to perform the HBBS reps, pain free? Maybe you could consider decreasing the load and slowly working your way back up.


              • #8
                If you have access to a SSB that will work .


                • #9
                  Box squat? Bulgarian split squat?


                  • #10
                    Do you have squatting shoes? I would say your pain is indicative of a form issue, ahve you asked for form checks here?