A: As stated above, my athletes squat past parallel. We always tried to ensure hamstring involvement. There are many theories about how high an athlete’s 1RM squat should be relative to his weight, but the answer is, there really is no answer! How long are the athlete’s legs compared to his torso? If he’s a sprinter, what’s the strong part of his race? Should you emphasize the start or the finish? (Charlie Francis)
The question for the above answer; was how deep a sprinter should be squating.
What I would like to know is, how would the strength of a sprinter’s race influence how deep he/she squats
The important issue is not modelling squat depth to match sprint strengths and weaknesses, but to achieve optimal results in strength without injuring the athlete. Through consistent practice, most athletes will be able to achieve a depth that will permit optimal developement—for all strengths and weaknesses. In the event that an athlete cannot achieve proper depth because of various issues, take the athlete to a point where he is sound technically. Good results can still be achieved.
If you read the quote by Charlie that I posted above, you can’t think the entire thing is about safety.
I think that he meant that the strong part of the athlete’s race would effect his 1 RM not his squat depth (ie Athlete A, who has a good start may have a higher 1RM than Athlete B, but athlete B whose strenght is the finish has a higher 6RM than Athlete A’s).
You’re correct in saying it is not all about safety. Below paralell squatting is optimal for achieving the results that is sought in squatting, regardless of the sprinters particular strengths. However, I have seen some athletes who really struggled to do deep squats because of various issues. I think it is approptiate to alter their squatting depth by 1’’ or 2’'to still be able to train the squat. Just as Charlie dropped cleans from Ben’s program to allow for individual differences, so can other exercises be changed to fit the individual.