Box Squats FAO Kelly Baggett


I wrote a while ago saying I was having trouble performing BB squats and you recommended I try box squats. Having read the excellent articles by Dave Tate I have this morning had my first full leg workout using box squats. All I can say is WOW!!! I was able to squat weights that hit my legs hard, they’re already aching like a mo-fo!

Anyway, I have a couple of questions and would appreciate your input. Can you recommend a total leg workout incorporating box squats. I currently squat followed by leg-press, stiff-legged deads and finish with calves. Should I drop the deads bearing in mind the amount of glute and ham work involved in box squatting? I include leg-press so I get some direct quad work.

My goal is to add serious mass to my legs, can you recommend the best rep/set range to achieve this? I train first thing in the morning before work so only have an hour or so to workout.

Thanks in advance for you help. For anyone else reading this, TRY BOX SQUATS, THEY F’ING ROCK!

I’m glad you got into the box squats…they really work well. Really the only reason I started doing them was by default. I developed a very bad case of quadriceps tendonitis from playing basketball in my right knee about a year ago. I didn’t want to give squats up completely while I healed and I found the only way I could squat without putting too much stress on my knees was to box squat. Since that time every time I have a new trainee learning how to squat I always start them off on box squats. I’ve found it’s much easier to teach someone correct squatting technique by starting them on a box. I usually go either 4 sets of 8 or 5 sets of 5 on the box squat with each set stopped about 2 reps short of failure.(I also use chains) One word of caution…don’t try to go too heavy on box squats, focus on form and explosiveness with some fatigue in the muscles but don’t try to max out on the exercise. If you do go too heavy you’ll probably have a tendency to lean too far forward on the way up or bounce on the box. After this I lighten the load and do a few sets of front squats for about 10 reps. If I don’t do the front squats then I instead do one high rep set of high bar breathing squats for 15-20 reps. I also have access to a reverse hyper and glute ham bench but you probably don’t so I’d continue to do the stiff legged deadlifts…so here’s a sample routine for you
weeks 1-4
box squats- 4x8 (increase weight on 1st 2 sets…keep it constant for last 2)
front squats- 3x10 (constant weight)
stiff legged deadlifts- 1 light warm up set then 3X8-10
calves…try the Luke Sauder routine by Charles Poliquin

weeks 5-8
box squats- 5X5 (warm up first and keep the weight constant for all sets)
high bar, close stance breathing squats-1X20 (the weight should be a weight that you would normally only do 10-12 reps with…you’re only doing 1 set so no holding back)
Russian deadlifts-(flat back good morning) 4X8-10…do one lighter warm up sets then keep the weight constant for the last 3.
leg curl-4X6-8
best of luck!

A couple of things I forgot to mention. I didn’t drop the Stiff legged deadlifts because the box squats shouldn’t fatigue your back as much as regular squats do and most people can use the extra hamstring work. You could leg press if you wanted to but I didnt include it because I don’t think it offers a whole lot of bang for the buck.

Kelly, thanks for the input mate, I’ll let you know how I get on.