Squat stand-ups are one of the simplest, yet most effective things you can do to gain confidence in your squat and add more pounds on the bar. They're very simple to do.
- Let's say your 1RM squat is 400 pounds. Work up to your 1RM squat, but don't do a full squat. Simply load the weight on the bar in the rack, get under the bar just as if you were going to unleash a hellish squat, and just stand up with it. Don't squat. In fact, don't move. Just stand there holding the weight on your back for 8-10 seconds.
- Rack it and add 10% to the bar so you're now at 440 pounds, more than your 1RM. Again, set up and get tight as if you're going to squat it. Brace hard, keep your upper back and core tight, and simply stand up with the weight. Hold it for about for 8-10 seconds while keeping everything tight and lower it back to the pins.
- Add another 5-10%, if you're strong enough to handle it. Try working to 15 to 20% above your current 1RM squat.
Once you get comfortable with heavy weight on your back, your normal squat poundage will feel much lighter. Standing with a heavy load on your back will also make your upper back, traps, and core work like nothing else. Just holding heavy weight in position like this will cause your body to adapt and work hard with a very low chance of injury.