The Exercise: Back Squat
Amped Up Variations:
Box squats separate the lowering and lifting phases of the lift disrupting the body’s ability to utilize stored elastic energy to help drive lifters out of the hole. This increases the difficulty of the exercise and builds explosive power. Set up a box that allows you to squat down just below parallel. Perform the back squat as normal, but pause for 1-2 seconds on the box. Avoid losing tension in your midsection as this will increase your chance of injury. Explode up from the box back to the standing position.
Volume and shortened rest periods are two main factors that can increase the difficulty of an exercise without more plates on each side. Rest-pause squats utilize both of these methods in one killer exercise. By limiting rest periods to 30 seconds, your muscles don’t have time to fully recover. This increases the volume of your program and adds a big stimulus for growth. To start, load the bar with a weight that you could complete 10-12 times for a single set. Perform 5-8 repetitions. Rack the bar for 30 seconds, then un-rack for another set. Aim for 3-4 sets resting only 30 seconds between each set.