Low Bar and High Bar Back Squats this cycle

We generally specify which version of back squats we want people performing in each cycle. For this cycle we will be using a low bar Back Squat. As athletes seeking to improve our GPP want to be well rounded and should have some capacity in each version.  If you feel good with either then go ahead and follow along with the programming. If however one version is particularly challenging for you and you’ve been unable to make progress with your positions in the lift then you can choose the version which seems to be working better for you.

Low bar back squats can be better for people with knee issues, people who want to lift more weight relative to a high bar squat and folks with tight ankles and good shoulder mobility. The low bar squat biases the muscles of your posterior chain (hamstrings, glutes, spinal erectors etc) more effectively and is my general go-to squat when starting people out.

The high bar back squat can be better for people with good ankle mobility but perhaps not great shoulder mobility. It’s also a bit easier to learn since it is essentially a weighted version of air squats which we all are used to doing. This version biases the quadraceps relative to the low bar version and uses a more upright posture.

Both versions are effective, both versions will contribute to overall strength development and I don’t recommend avoiding one completely out of personal bias.  For your average athlete, gaining some competency in each version can make you more well rounded and allow you to include two different types of stimuli in your squat training. I don’t care what the internet says, they will both provide positive strength transference to all your non-squatting activities, especially for other movements we frequent in the gym.


Strength: Back Squat(low bar)

3×8(Start at week 3 of last cycle, which was our first 3×5)

Conditioning:4 Rounds of:

In 2 Minutes:
Row 200 Meters


Max Thrusters

Rest 2 Minutes between rounds.

The rows are meant to be fast and the thruster weight should be on the light to medium side.