Q: I’ve heard that you recommend performing 1 1/4 squats, in which you do a quarter movement at the bottom of the squat. What do you think about performing the quarter movement at the top to increase the overload at that part of the range of motion?
A: For what purpose? One reason I prescribe 1 1/4 squats is for strengthening the vastus medialis oblique, the teardrop-shaped thigh muscle that is often underdeveloped in athletes and nonathletes alike.
Tom Platz had outrageous vastus medialis oblique development on thighs that are considered the best of all time, and he was known for squatting through a full range of motion. In fact, in an exhibition in Germany in 1993 in front of 10,000 cheering fans, Platz did 23 rock-bottom squats with 539 pounds.
To answer your question more specifically, if my goal is to overload the top portion of the squat, I would prefer adding chains to the bar.
Editor’s note: Charles Poliquin is recognized as one of the world’s most suc-cessful strength coaches, having coached Olympic med-alists in 12 different sports, including the U.S. women’s track-and-field team for the 2000 Olympics. He’s spent years researching European journals (he’s fluent in English, French and German) and speaking with other coaches and scientists in his quest to optimize training methods. For more on his books, seminars and methods, visit www.CharlesPoliquin.com. Also, see his ad on the opposite page. IM