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7 years of LBBS - just realized I'm actually stronger high bar

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  • 7 years of LBBS - just realized I'm actually stronger high bar

    Nice... so I've been so sure of the low bar squat being the stronger lift because of you know who, that I haven't even tried putting the bar up higher even once in my 7-8 years of training.

    Fast forward... look at me trying BBM programming and actually switching to HBBS just as a palate cleanser for a few weeks at higher reps for hypertrophy:
    OK, feels weird... the bar hurts like hell on the traps when unracking, gets a little better during the set. But the movement is surprisingly smooth... I have a faster descent than on the low bar and a fairly good rebound. I can't compare the weights though because of the simultaneous switch to higher reps.

    4 weeks of HBBS later:
    OK, this phase is over... so back to LBBS with what I assumed should be some 2.5 - 7.5 kg increase in weight for the same reps. "But hey since I haven't really been low bar squatting in 4 weeks and I'm not used to the higher rep range either... let's keep the weight roughly the same.", I was thinking. And I kind of struggle with the LBBS at the same weight.

    A few weeks of LBBS later:
    I haven't been able to increase the weights for the LBBS... but hey, I was in a low caloric deficit. In one workout during the last 1 or 2 weeks of the program I decide mid-workout during the back off sets to switch to HBBS. So I did 1 set of LBBS, 1 of HBBS and then back to LBBS for the last set. The first set felt like an RPE 8. I switched to HBBS and it felt like a 7... weird. Back to LBBS and it feels weird and awkward and I struggle with at least RPE 9. "OK... you have been training the HBBS for the same rep range for a month before... maybe it's still ingrained somehow."

    Next round of a powerlifting programming:
    Back to lower reps for the LBBS and yeah nothing special. One day I struggle quite a bit with my back off sets being really slow and hard, so just for fun I switch to HBBS for the last back off set (mind you I haven't done HBBS for sets of 5 ever before and not at all for weeks). It feels smooth and easy... at least 1 RPE lighter. This was where I decided there has to be more to it. Next workout I go exclusively for the HBBS (even for the 1 rep @ RPE 8) and it all works out quite well. Can I actually be stronger high bar? After so many years of training the low bar squat?

    A week later also trying my old weightlifting shoes again:
    I used to squat for several years in Adipowers, when I came to the realization that I prefer low bar squatting in flats. Once in a while I brought my Adipowers to try them out again but I always needed a couple of workouts to even get decent at squatting in those, so yeah back to flats every single time. One day when the Power Perfect IIs started getting discontinued I got a pair for a decent discount but never used them really, because once again I simply felt better in the flats. Now though as I switched to HBBS I thought the weightlifting shoes might actually be beneficial now. Tried them the next workout... and it felt right at home from the get go, even being able to increase weights that day.

    OK, so things are more nuanced as it turns out... thank you BBM, I guess. Apparently not everybody is stronger low bar as some want you to believe. Btw. I also tried sumo as a palate cleanser in the first 4 weeks of hypertrophy. I still suck at those lol.

  • #2
    How'd you get around the traps discomfort?

    I've had HBBS programmed in lately, and after the first uncomfortable set, I've been using the bar pad thingy (since it's a supplemental lift for me anyways), but I suspect for an actual competition that's not allowed.
    Forum topics and other links I've found useful


    • #3
      If you keep high bar squatting you will get use to it. ditch the pad if you're worried about it. its just like your thumbs when you start hook gripping if that's your thing.


      • #4
        Exactly... it's still not as comfortable as low bar squatting but it's way way better than in the beginning. It will take a few weeks to adapt for sure though. I recommend starting high bar squatting as the third exercise when the reps are higher and thus the weight on the bar is lower or when you're doing the hypertrophy template.