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1/19/2015 4:05:18 PM - Ben
Clint, Sir Duke of the House of Biceps, I had a question about programming box squats.

I’ve been using the Simplest Strength Template along with 5/3/1 and loving it and making some major PRs. If you don’t know specifics, following the main lift is the “big” assistance lift using the following reps/percentages for the respective weeks:
3x10 @ 50%, 60%, 70%
8,8,6 @ 60%, 70%, 80%
3x5 @ 65%, 75%, 85%.
Deload week, then add 5 or 10 lb to lift.
My deadlift day is currently as such: 5/3/1 conventional deadlifts, SST front squats, SSB seated good mornings (3x10-20), front squat holds for abs (15-20 sec).
During the last month my wrist have been hurting and I could hardly hold the bar during front squats and my training max may be getting to be too much. I need a different squat-type exercise for the accessory work. In Jim’s book, he says that a SSB or box squat can also be used. Lo and behold, I recently bought a SSB for my gym and would like to use it, but wouldn’t mind getting some box squats in since you speak so highly of them. My major question is do box squats work with “higher” reps as the ones listed above? I’ve only seen them done for 1s, 3s, and death squats (if that is surprising, keep in mind I get most of my box squat experience from your videos). Follow up questions would be what kind of stance, if it matters, if it’s a good idea to use SSB for the box squats, and should I use chains/bands?
Also, while I’m asking, thoughts on using sumo deadlifts for my next accessory work on squat day? Never done them, not sure if they’d carry over to my squats/deadlifts, but I’d like to work them in to my training somehow.
Thanks for the help, keep on keepin’ on!


I can't say that I've heard of that program or that I'm a fan of high rep assistance work. I encourage you to make sure that you don't do a single rep of a single set of a single exercise unless you know it's purpose! If that rep doesn't have a particular purpose...don't do it.

Do I feel that box squats have carry over to my deadlift or squat? Yes. I can say that I had some great leg growth and squat building growth when I did my 5's week and pushed through sets of 8-10 reps on my last set. It fried my entire body with the use of a straight bar. Adding the SS Yoke Bar into the mix is even more interesting and possibly beneficial because it kills the upper back (builds the deadlift) and is easy on your shoulders, wrists, elbows, etc... (your pressing will go up).

So..IF you are one of those guys that needs that (any, all, or a combination of) then it should benefit you. I would not set it in stone to do high reps though, if it were me or most of my clients.

Box Squat 702 10 from Clint Darden on Vimeo.

What kind of stance should you use? I would use the one that works the muscles that you need the most. If you want to build your conventional deadlift...use a super wide stance. Should you use bands/chains? Do you need them for your purpose? Are you lacking speed? Are you missing lifts because of sticking points?

Chains will normally load your spine/erectors more and the bands can "ground" you to the floor and fry your hamstrings more. It depends on what you need...explosive strength or an improved strength curve that is safer on the hips?

SS Yoke Box Squat 332 x 30 from Clint Darden on Vimeo.

Should you use sumo deadlifts? After squats?

Do you suck at them? If you suck at them then YES! Should you be training them hard? NO! If you are not a good sumo deadlifter than pushing them hard is a recipe for disaster and injury (say goodbye to your hamstring unless you like black, blue, and purple). Done after squats...MAYBE. I will normally have my clients finish their deadlift THEN put the plates on any kind of mats (to start with) and pull 3 sets of 3 with 70% of the guesstimate 1RM Sumo. All that they need is technique work and then we can slowly build this up over time. Their sumo will rise, they will fix a weakness, and they will improve their technique with me standing over them yelling at them through the computer screen.

Keep pumping questions my way!

Seems Really Complicated For Strength Training,
Clint Darden

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