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Switching to High Bar (and running The Bridge 3.0 with HBBS)

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    PWard
    Senior Member

  • PWard
    replied
    I have not seen the bridge 3.0, but I have seen 1.0 and 2.0. But I do know that the bridge is a "development" block. Which is short for saying it's a strength development block, meaning that building strength in the comp lifts is the primary goal of the block.

    So BBM kind of has 3 different classifications of slots. It's either a comp slot, a supplemental 1 slot, or a supplemental 2 slot. Supplemental 1 slots are generally going to be variations that are more specific to the comp lift, and supplemental 2 slots are going to be less specific and more general. So a supplemental 2 slot (which is generally the 3rd slot of the day) is meant to be more to build general strength and hypertrophy. The Bridge is a strength development block, so it's very biased towards comp and supplemental type 1 lifts, but it does throw in supplemental 2's at the end of the day. The bias for which slots are chosen varies by block type. If you look at something like a pivot block you'll see the opposite, the whole thing is pretty much all supplemental 1 and 2 lifts, and the supplemental 2 variations chosen are even more general than in a development block like The Bridge, you get into things like dumbbell lifts and the like. So when your block is strength focused, you want to choose a supplemental 2 variation that is more general, but still holds some degree of specificity.

    Since you're doing high bar as your comp lift you could choose low bar for this slot. You could also leg press, belt squat, hack squat, etc. They are obviously trying to choose variations that put less load on the back and more on the legs. However, your comp squat is high bar, so you're already doing this, so there's no need to avoid loading your back in this slot. Low bar no belt would actually be the best variation here during a development block given your choice in comp lift being high bar, imo. I'm not personally a big fan of the hack squat, but I don't think it's a terrible choice either as opposed to a leg press. I do think that hack squats fit better into pivot or GPP blocks than development blocks though. I also don't think that the increased ROM and the way it feel in your quads are meaningful and I wouldn't consider those things as any better or worse than any other variation, they are just different.

    Benefits in choosing less specific exercises are when you're focusing on things like general strength and hypertrophy, GPP, etc. It also can help recovery, because just by changing variations you are changing the exact way your muscles and connective tissues are stressed. This allows things to heal a bit while still training with normal volumes and loads. There's also psychological benefits. As a personal example, I just went through a 3 month development block, and the last month the wheels were really falling off for me, and mentally I was really struggling to keep chugging along. I just completed week 1 of a 2 week pivot block and mentally I'm already starting to feel refreshed. Don't underestimate the mental side of lifting. This game is as much psychological as it is physical, and sometimes you have to change things up to keep the psychological side in check.
    PWard
    Senior Member
    Last edited by PWard; 02-03-2019, 03:57 PM.

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  • Abel J
    replied
    Ah I see. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the purpose of the first/developmental block of Bridge 3.0 is to expose the lifter to a wide variety of physical tasks as opposed to hyper-specializing in a handful of tasks. That, by nature, will require a broad range of exercises. For that reason, I think the supplemental squat slot on Day 3 is intentionally programmed to be far less specific to the comp. squat (which is the LBBS for most people). That's why the coaches wrote "prefer leg press or belt squat" since the HBBS is more specific to the LBBS compared to the leg press/belt squat.

    So, during this developmental block, should I choose the leg press over the hack squat a supplemental squat exercise, since it is less similar to the HBBS? If so, during the dev. block, how dissimilar should a supplemental squat exercise be relative to the comp. squat?

    And just curious, what are the benefits of choosing less specific variations during the dev. block?
    Last edited by Abel J; 02-02-2019, 09:24 PM.

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  • PWard
    Senior Member

  • PWard
    replied
    Since you are doing high bar ass to grass as your comp movement, you're not really optimizing for maximum squat strength as it is. So I mean since you're already consciously choosing a ROM that is counter productive for strength purposes, it probably doesn't matter what you choose for variations since absolute weight on the bar is obviously not your main priority.

    That being said, you didn't fully answer the questions either. I'm asking the questions to lead you to the answer as opposed to just giving you the answer, so that you understand the why, because the why is more important than the how. You answered why you think the hack squat might be more specific to an ass to grass high bar squat, but you didn't look at the purpose of the actual slot itself and it's place in the session, week, and block. Specificity to the comp lift is super important for some slots and blocks, and for other slots and blocks you intentionally want to choose less specific variations. So what do you think the purpose of that specific slot is, and how does it fit into the block as a whole?

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  • Abel J
    replied
    What you instead need to ask is what is the purpose of that variation in that specific program, slot, and week? What are your ultimate goals that you are chasing? And what variations are most specific to all of those considerations?
    Sorry for the lack of context. My Comp. Squat is currently the High Bar Squat, and I go as low as I can without losing tightness. I feel that my quads are the limiting factor in the HBBS since the more upright back angle greatly diminishes hip drive, so it's my goal is to strengthen and/or hypertrophy the quads.

    This is my reasoning for using the Hack Squat over the Leg Press:
    I think the Hack Squat, with its longer ROM, is more similar to the movement pattern found in the HBBS compared to the Leg Press. Also, since it is a machine-based exercise, and is thus less-fatiguing (probably subjective, but oh well), it allows me to accumulate higher volume on said movement pattern. Since the mechanics of the HBBS puts more emphasis on the quads, I think I may get more quad hypertrophy as well.

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  • PWard
    Senior Member

  • PWard
    replied
    I think you're kind of missing the forest for the trees. A little extra ROM, or a feeling of tension in your quads are not necessarily better. You're focusing on all the wrong things. What you instead need to ask is what is the purpose of that variation in that specific program, slot, and week? What are your ultimate goals that you are chasing? And what variations are most specific to all of those considerations?
    PWard
    Senior Member
    Last edited by PWard; 02-02-2019, 03:14 AM.

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  • Abel J
    replied
    I have another question, if you don't mind.

    On Day 3 of Weeks 1-4, The Bridge recommends 10 reps of "Leg Press, Belt Squat, or HBBS (prefer leg press or belt squat)."

    Problem is, my university gym doesn't have a belt squat machine, and after trying it for the first time, I don't really like the Leg Press because of the limited ROM. Can I sub in Hack Squats instead? I like the fact that you can get all the way down and really feel the tension on your quads.

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  • llaffin
    Senior Member

  • llaffin
    commented on 's reply
    Sounds like a plan!
  • llaffin
    Senior Member

  • llaffin
    commented on 's reply
    Haha yeah, it really killed my wrists the first couple times but now I can endure the torture. Gotta love those quad gainzZz.

  • Abel J
    replied

    Alternatively, I think you'd be fine just doing the paused HBBS on the bridge 3.0, even if you high bar as your Comp Squat.
    Originally I was going to do 2ct paused FS since weeks 1-5 already prescribes 2ct paused squats for 5 reps, which I'll do high bar.
    Problem is I forgot to read that weeks 1-5 prescribes 2ct paused squat OR SSB squat. I think I'll put FS in there just because it's done for 5 reps, and being a slightly less-specific movement to the HBBS, it is more "appropriate" to put FS in a developmental block.

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  • PWard
    Senior Member

  • PWard
    commented on 's reply
    Eek, you actually do a front rack for that high of reps on front squats. With high rep front squats I'm all about that #straplife! LOL. But yeah, I totally agree. I actually think that front squats are great for hypertrophy, so as much as I dread doing them, high rep front squats = gainzZz.
    PWard
    Senior Member
    Last edited by PWard; 01-03-2019, 02:51 AM.
  • llaffin
    Senior Member

  • llaffin
    replied
    Originally posted by Abel J View Post

    Do you do Front Squats with higher reps too (like 6+)? For instance in Bridge 3.0 from week 6 onwards, BBM prescribes 2ct paused HBBS, which will be switched to 2ct paused FS, and they are done for 8 reps. Do you notice form breakdown or upper back fatigue?

    To quote SS BBT 3rd ed.: "Front squats are usually done in sets of three, due to the greater sensitivity of the exercise to form deterioration. Volume is accumulated with multiple sets across."

    Or I guess you eventually adapt to higher-rep FS's due to the RBE...
    I do not agree with what's written about front squats there. Like anything, you'll adapt to any rep range front squats with practice. I haven't had any issues doing sets of 10 2ct Pause Front Squats. Sure, it's pretty uncomfortable to hold the weight in the rack position that long, and I did have a little trunk and mid back DOMS when I first started, but form is just fine, fatigue is just fine. Just use RPE to put an appropriate weight on the bar and get some stress in.

    Alternatively, I think you'd be fine just doing the paused HBBS on the bridge 3.0, even if you high bar as your Comp Squat.

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  • Abel J
    replied
    For the variations, I do a HBBS pause/pin, SSB/front where they prescribe high bar, and front squat where they prescribe leg press/belt squat (since I have no access to them).
    Do you do Front Squats with higher reps too (like 6+)? For instance in Bridge 3.0 from week 6 onwards, BBM prescribes 2ct paused HBBS, which will be switched to 2ct paused FS, and they are done for 8 reps. Do you notice form breakdown or upper back fatigue?

    To quote SS BBT 3rd ed.: "Front squats are usually done in sets of three, due to the greater sensitivity of the exercise to form deterioration. Volume is accumulated with multiple sets across."

    Or I guess you eventually adapt to higher-rep FS's due to the RBE...

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  • PWard
    Senior Member

  • PWard
    replied
    No. In a paused squat you are pausing for 2 seconds. In a pin squat you are not actively pausing, as soon as the bar comes in contact with the pins you push.

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  • Abel J
    replied
    Alright, thanks guys!

    Just curious, how do Paused HBBS and Pin HBBS differ if you end up going as low as possible anyway? Wouldn’t both of them just be squats from a dead stop?

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  • bigbaltic
    Member

  • bigbaltic
    replied
    Originally posted by Abel J View Post
    Thanks PWard!

    Umm, just a question, is sacrificing load still a problem if I can rebuild my ATG squat weights back up? I mean, the whole point is to not worry about hitting a point somewhere below parallel (somewhere "in air"). By going ATG I know 100% that I hit depth, and it is easily repeatable.

    Also, my lower back is still extended when I go ATG, so aside from the slightly slackened hamstrings, I think I haven't compromised force production significantly.

    I have always refined my kinesthetic awareness throughout LBBSing. But still, the possibility of going either too low/high still bugs me...
    I think that's really up for you to decide. The thought is LBBS allows you to do a little more weight, if your goal is to move the most weight possible then yeah I guess LBBS makes more sense. But if you can do HBBS and progress consistently, clearly showing that you are getting stronger, does it matter? At least that's the way I approached it.

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