Of all the debates in powerlifting, there's one that Dave find's truly pointless: is it better to use a monolift or walk out a squat? When asked about it, he gives a trademark Dave Tate answer ("I don't really give a fuck") but explains that when you're getting for a meet you should care about it, because if you don't train how you'll compete, you're in for a bad meet.
For today's Table Talk, Dave breaks down the squat walkout in response to a question submitted by an elitefts reader:
"What do you think about people not using monolifts nowadays and leaning toward walked out squats?"
To begin, Dave clarifies that the question stating "nowadays" suggests that lifters 15 or 20 years ago were all using monolifts, which simply isn't true. In many federations you have always had to walk out weights, and there are even those that still exist today that require you to walk out. However, in meets that do use a monolift, lifters typically have the option to walk out the weight or not — it's up to you.
Regarding the debate between monolifts and walking out a squat, Dave says it's irrelevant, because the only thing that matters is what's happening at the competition you're going to. If you have to walk it out, learn to walk it out in training: take as few as steps as possible and don't screw around holding the weight. Just like you should model your squat after advanced lifters, you should look at how advanced lifters walk out their squats. Imitate them. They don't take six steps, shake their leg, and wiggle their heels. Neither should you.
Your setup will determine everything, and you can ruin the best setup in the world with a bad walkout. If you're chaotic with awkward steps and hold the weight on your back for a long time while trying to get tight and set, you've already lost the battle. Learn to keep everything tight with a short walkout and it will make a world of difference in your squat.
Dave also says that if you're training for a meet that uses a monolift, you have to actually learn to use the monolift. It isn't as easy as people think it is. You aren't going to just get under the bar and stand up with it. Because you aren't taking any steps back, everything has to be in the right position before you unrack. This will take some getting used to, which leads to Dave's final word of advice: if you can't train on a monolift, don't go to the meet and try to squat without a walkout. If you walk out in training, go to the meet and walk your squat out of the monolift. How you train should be as similar as possible to what you do on meet day.