lever squats vs barbell squates

Discussion in 'General Training' started by Maximuscrates, May 6, 2006.

  1. Maximuscrates

    Maximuscrates New Member


    So at the gym I use a lever machine to do my squats. It has great padding for my shoulders and it eliminates the z and x axis. So the only work my legs do is in the y axis(straight up and down).

    I can load up a lot of weight on this without fear of hurting myself and if I fail on my last day of my 10's then the machine catches the weight without me being crushed. And I did fail on my second set of those 10's so it was good.

    My 10 rep max on the squates is 250 lbs and I dont think I can do this with the barbell because of balancing issues and it seems a little dangerous. My 5 rep max is going to be 300lbs [​IMG]

    But I want to know what you guys think? Should I reduce my load and use the free weight or stick with the higher load on the machine.
  2. quadancer

    quadancer New Member

    I can only speak for myself. I have a bodysolid freeweight lever machine that works like yours. I have a semicrushed #4 lumbar disc, and it got worse at around 410lbs in the squat. On my machine, I've gone to 530 (which I'd not be able to do with freeweight) with no problems using a belt and knee wraps. I intend to see 600 someday, just for kicks, even tho my quads are genetically dispositioned not to grow much.
    I think some kind of squats are just necessary for overall body growth. And the "pump" is the same on the machine as with the bar, so why not?
  3. Enigma66

    Enigma66 New Member

    Do both and alternate between them each workout. On a Powertec Leverage squat machine I can do sets of 5 with 460 lbs, but I can't do anywhere near that amount with freeweight squats.
  4. Lol

    Lol Super Moderator Staff Member

    A few of my thoughts:

    If you can do them (ie. you don't have an injury that would prevent you from doing so), I feel that bb squats provide superior all round benefits over machine squats because of the number of extra muscles working hard just to enable you to balance during the movement. Ordinarily, you should not be going to failure which greatly reduces any danger, esp. if your form is good.

    If you have access to a power rack at your gym, you could do barbell squats in relative safety knowing that you have a way out of danger should you get stuck.

    If a weight is really heavy and you don't have a spotter for squats you should stop the set when your rep speed slows and/or you feel you might not make the next rep.

    I have a training partner to help on squats but I only really need someone at the ready when I'm pushing for heavier weights during the post-5s. As the weight gets past my previous 5RM I find my form can start to suffer towards the end of the set - I start to lean forward slightly more which puts extra strain on my lower back. Having someone there just gives me the confidence I need to try a weight I might not otherwise push for.

    I have a pal at the gym who regularly squats with over 500lbs and never uses a spotter. He doesn't like the distraction and finds having a spotter can interfere with his concentration. He never gets into trouble as he always finishes with a rep or two in the tank.

    So, don't give up on bb squats just because the weights are getting a little heavy. Work on your form so that you feel stable during the movement. Heavy deadlifts will really help strengthen your lower back which, in turn, will make you feel stronger and more in control when you squat.
  5. quadancer

    quadancer New Member

    Bump to LOL. I feel that if you do machine squats or lever squats, you actually need to go heavier since you've taken some of the effort out of the movement used for balance with a bar. But you've gotten me to thinking: if I wanted to, I could still do squats with HST, because in not going to failure, I'd be working in a range that might not re-injure my back - but I'll stay on the safe side and do what doesn't hurt regardless.
  6. h.hulk73

    h.hulk73 New Member

    Wow, good results) done ;)

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