I have been lifting for 3 years managed a 170kg/375lbs squat with belt and low bar. Now I wish to start over with my squat and perform it high bar. My question is what is the best depth for the squat (parallel/ATG) and what is the best tempo (3-0-1/1-1-1) for best performance, power and muscle engagement.


Update: Thank you E.Aigle for your input on the original inquiry. As an update my specific goal for training now is for boxing and doing so in my own way. I would appreciate all inputs from anyone with something to say.

** Please read the comments **

  • 1
    Is this for the purpose of a specific sport, health or aesthetics? Olympic lifting for example requires pretty deep squats and a fast concentric phase most of the time. Depth and tempo are gonna depend on the end goal.
    – E.Aigle
    May 18, 2021 at 10:25
  • 1
    Agreed with E.Aigle here, there is no perfect squat tempo. They'll be goal-specific and even then you can use multiple. Are you powerlifting, general lifting, Olympic lifting?
    – C. Lange
    May 18, 2021 at 15:44
  • My goal would be to not focus on the 1RM as much now, instead focus on building muscle and explosiveness (e.g. coming out of the bottom phase) while maintaining correct form and hitting optimal depth. I plan to use barbell squat as my primary leg compound for leg days to increase my overall performance and allow it to carry over to sports. May 21, 2021 at 7:40
  • If you don't have a specific goal (like a competition of some sort) coming up, I'd recommend mixing it up to keep from getting bored and reduced risk of over use injury. The "best" tempo and depth depends entirely on what you're going to do, and if you're not doing anything specific, the answer can't really be anything specific either. Try paused squats to work on getting out of the bottom, or full ROM squats with a bounce in the bottom.
    – E.Aigle
    May 25, 2021 at 12:09
  • E.Aigle I appreciate your comment. I will for sure utilize paused squats as you've recommended. I am already doing the full ROM squats atm and it's been awesome lowering the weight tons to a achieve clean controlled form. I like your idea of mixing it up! Thank you. May 28, 2021 at 9:32