3×8 Bench Press​ (15 min)

WOD: Running Clock (31 min)
20 Wall ball
10 Deadlifts ​​(185/125)
rest 5 min
20/15 cal Bike/Row
10 Push Jerks​(155/105)
rest 5 min
20 Lateral Burpee over Bar
10 Power Snatch ​(115/80)

Good read from

Heads up: this isn’t an article about your typical “low bar versus high bar” debate. I’ll touch on the different aspects of each movement, just so we’re all on the same page. But mainly, I’m going to focus on nuances in programming the two lifts that (A) often go overlooked and (B) can make a huge impact on your overall strength and development.

This is something that, I believe, is applicable regardless of your goals and regardless of your individual structure – although how, exactly, you will apply it obviously depends very much on those things.

Low Bar vs. High Bar: The Wrong Question

I started training back in the early 2000s, and even then, I can remember reading about contentious discussions about the merits of low bar squats compared to high bar ones. If you only remember one thing from this article, I hope it’s this: There are differences between low bar and high bar squats, but one isn’t better than the other.

If you’re not using both in your training, then you’re selling yourself short. The right question to ask isn’t “which is better?” The right question is “how can I effectively use both in my training?”

  • Bar position. This, of course, is the obvious one. In a high bar squat, the bar is placed on the traps, below the bony knot at the base of your neck (C7). In a low bar squat, the bar is placed on top of the rear delts.
  • Change in leverages. Carrying the bar higher on your back shifts your center of gravity forward, and requires that you keep your torso more upright to stay balanced. Conversely, carrying the bar lower on your back requires that you lean forward more to stay balanced.
  • Change in muscles emphasized. Staying upright, in turn, requires you to use more quad and less lower back to move the bar. Leaning forward requires using more posterior chain (lower back, hamstrings, and glutes).
  • Change in amount of weight used. For most people, the posterior chain will be somewhat stronger than the quads, and allow more weight to be used in the low-bar squat. That’s a huge oversimplification, as the actual differences between each movement will depend on a wide variety of individual structural considerations, but in general, it’s still true.

To answer that question, however, it’s important to understand the fundamental differences between the two movements. If you’re unfamiliar with those differences, here’s a crash course…