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Optimum Template To Drive Up Squat?

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  • Optimum Template To Drive Up Squat?


    I am 54 yrs old, 5'11", and 160 lb. I have been at this hobby for six or seven years. I have been a paying customer of the three (3) main coaching flavors I know of in our section of the powerlifting world. BBM is my favorite and only coaching source these days. I have three (3) templates in hand and am an enthusiast for this programming. Thank you.

    I struggle to drive up my squat. Always have. There are the normal variables applicable to everyone then add a dose of LLD, scoliosis, and vegetarian to mine. None of the last three (3) variables are particularly serious. I would rather not mention them, but that feels a bit unfair to the reader.

    With the above in mind, so I can at least address the programming variable, what template is best suited to driving up my squat? As modest as it is, my aim since the first day I stepped into a barbell gym was to perform 3x5 @ 120kg while not gaining significant body fat. That is still my aim.

    Note: It would be great to see you back in the Seattle area.

  • #2
    What are the three BBM templates you have "in hand?" Have you used them? If so, how did your squat respond to each?


    • #3

      Thanks for responding:

      Strength 1, Pivot, and Bridge

      Three weeks into Strength 1, I tore my left lat with resulting hematoma deadlifting. That was Sept 2021. My normal response to injury is feel sorry of myself, LP within the new limitations, then HML. I am week eight (8) of HML which is my usual jump off point back to normal training. Feel good. Squat is 95% of pre-injury. Deadlift is 75% but being injury shy I am forcing it up, but smaller jumps than maybe I could.

      OPTION 1:

      I felt good about Strength 1 even with limited exposure. If that template is as likely to drive up squat as any other, I am keen to run at it once again.

      OPTION 2:

      Hold my squat at 100% normal and HML my way to 100% deadlift. That is another eight (8) weeks HML. Once there go to Option 1 above.

      OPTION 3:

      Try another template with your recommendation.

      Side note: Moved out of public gym to home gym during this period for the usual reasons. Either my old public gym had Pendlay weights that had worn down with time or moving to a brand new setup with brand new weights knocked me back for no good reason. I should be approaching some 1,000 squat sessions total by now in my training career. Summary is my body thinks there is 10 lbs + more on the bar than the new setup indicates. This affects where I think I am at with percentages.


      • #4
        I'm not familiar with Strength 1 - I did the original strength template (when it was called "12 Week Strength") about 3 years ago, and I would assume it's fairly similar. If driving up your squat is your goal, I would choose Strength 1 over the other templates you have, provided you're able to tolerate it.

        I don't know if I can make a good recommendation on which option to choose between 1 and 2 without knowing your current HML setup, how your lifts are progressing with that programming, and your current tolerance for deadlift volume, intensity, frequency, and all that jazz. I will say that if you feel you can't make progress with your squat (and presumably any other lifts besides deadlift) at this point with your HML setup, there's no reason you should hold your squat back just for the sake of letting your deadlift catch up, especially since your primary strength goal is squat related. If you feel you're able to handle the deadlift work in Strength 1 and you stick to the deadlift RPE prescriptions based on your current level of deadlift fitness, I don't see why you couldn't just run the template as is. However, if you don't feel comfortable with the amount of deadlift work that Strength 1 demands, you could always run your HML for deadlift while following Strength 1 for squat and everything else. Up to you.


        • Abrar
          Abrar commented
          Editing a comment
          Strength 1 is a 3 day template with less emphasis on the Press.

          Day 1 - Comp Squat, BP variation 1, DL variation 1
          Day 2 - Comp BP, Squat variation 1, Press
          Day 3 - Comp DL, BP variation 2, Squat variation 2

          Has overload variations in the initial few weeks, before switching to pause/pin versions. Also, the Press gets swapped for a 4th BP movement midway through the program.

      • #5
        Thanks Nate and Abrar:

        I will tie up HML today and start Strength 1 for the next cycle. Thanks for the pointers.