HQ Trainer Box-Squat Session

By Louie Simmons

In Powerlifting, Videos

April 13, 2010

Video Article

HQ trainers Adrian (Boz) Bozman and Jesse Ward were at the first CrossFit Powerlifting Cert at Westside Barbell late in 2009, while HQ trainer and 2008 CrossFit Games Champion Jason Khalipa was at the second. In this video shot at the recent Trainer Summit, the three reunite with legendary lifter and coach Louie Simmons for some explosive box squats.

Simmons explains that once you hit the box, you want to relax your hips but keep everything else tight. At the bottom, your shins will actually go past perpendicular to the floor, and the knees might even be behind the heels. This odd but correct position forces you to dig your heels in and “leg-curl” your way out of the squat.

Power is key to overcoming the band tension at the top of the movement, so lifters are trying to generate a great deal of force so they can accelerate the bar and “outrun” the resistance. As it turns out, Boz has been practicing since he got back from Louie’s gym in Columbus, Ohio.

6min 02sec

Additional reading: CrossFit Westside? by Tom Seryak, published March 4, 2010.

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17 Comments on “HQ Trainer Box-Squat Session”


wrote …

Loved the analogy of the wiffle ball, the shot put, and the baseball. Makes perfect sense. Great video.


wrote …

This stuff is great! More Louie in the future please.


wrote …

That was interesting.
I was much too strict on myself on the box squats, I didn't allow myself to sit back at all, just stayed in exactly (as much as possible) position as I was in when I arrived on the box. That slight rock, which I see in the videos of Louie's lifters now, would make the world of difference.

Now how can I rig up some attachments for bands when I'm ready for them.


wrote …

Please help....How do you determine what type of band...I have the again faster bands (all 3 sizes)....also when you start the squat is the band attached parallel to your heel? I've been working on hamstring strength for the last month but this looks like it takes it to a whole new level....


wrote …

#4 Alex--I'm no expert but what I've read from various Westside method sites, is not too overthink the bands. Just have them setup close to the barbell path, it doesn't have to be perfect. Typcially the band you choose is based on your max squat or max box squat. If you squat under 400, you should be using a light band. If you use bands on dynamic day you should use less weight on the bar as well. Hope this helps.


Frank DiMeo wrote …

Our thanks to Louie Simmons for m ore great training info!
We've been putting his ideas into practice at our gym for several months.
"The Westside Barbell Book of Methods" has been a valuable resource as well as his DVDs.
Thanks also to CF HQ for having the insight to bring Westside training to us!


wrote …

I agree with Frank. "The Westside Barbell Book of Methods," and the Westside dvds are awesome. I've been training for 18 plus years and have been stuck at certain weights on the bench, dl, squat and press for years. Since implementing the Westside methods into my CrossFit training 10 months ago, I have been making new PRs again and it's blowing my mind.

Thank you Louie Simmons and CF HQ! Keep the great video's and articles coming.


wrote …

So if you are supposed to use 60% of you max squat on dynamic day, how do you determine what you should be using in conjunction with a band. I have been using the unscientific method of choosing a weight that "feels" like I can accelerate and explode out of the bottom.


wrote …

Great stuff. I want to know how they rigged the bands. At times the camera shows a couple of blocks but the focus is soft. Anybody have clues as to how to implement bands on a squat stand (Rogue SPX) not anchored. I am sure it is non-standard usage for Rogue so I won't ask them (understandable liability).


wrote …

We've rigged up bands on clusters of heavy kettlebells in the past. It works well. They can also be doubled around the spotting pins of a standard power rack.

I'd be cautious about attaching them to any squat stand; no telling if the stand will stay in place under elastic tension, but I suppose if the stands are heavy enough...




wrote …

What was Louie saying about the shin angle? I've watched that bit over and over again but I can't make out what he is saying. Can anyone translate please?




wrote …

Oops sorry I just read all about it at the top of the page.. dig your heels in and leg curl your way out of the bottom position. Makes sense




wrote …

Thanks Robert...yes it does help!


wrote …

Boz, what's up w/ the shirt? What are you, some kind of Japanese pop star or something?


wrote …

To throw my two cents in, these box squats with bands or chains are awesome. I have been doing them for the past 9 weeks (within a conjugate method including WODs thing I wrote up) and will do a CFT soon to see how much a difference my max lifts are, but already my Grace time has dropped, and my vertical jump is up at least an inch, maybe two. (Wish I would have measured it before...)


wrote …

Im wondering about the sitting back part of the box squat. i dug up an old video of dave tate talking about the box squat and he says it shouldn't happen. Different views on the subject? I tried the boxsquat in my workout today, including sitting back, it felt great. really feels like it will develop quad-strength!


wrote …

Anyone know how they set up the bands? We have a similar rack set up and I've been looking for a solid way to set up the bands.

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