Saturday, 11 May 2013

Do you know Squat?

Hey Guys & Girls,

Hope you have been doing well and training like beasts.

Thought I would share this with you:

The other day I was in the gym, doing my thing, when I see some young guys 'squatting'.
One of these fellas was obviously new to it and was being coached by his friend who wasn't doing the best of jobs.  The new guy had been loaded up with a barbell that was way to heavy and was doing his best to not die under it.  Then his friend took over on the bar, loaded it up to over 100kg and busted out a shoddy set of, well they weren't squats, he was kind of curtsying.  He racked the bar and strutted around looking like the cock he obviously is.

'So...' I hear you say, 'This is another squat article telling us how important squats are and running through boring technique pointers'

Well no smart ass, actually it isn't, yes the Squat is an awesome exercise.  If you are training, whether its for Strength, Fitness, Fat loss, Performance, Re-hab or Aesthetics, Squats are important for you!

A well performed squat with decent weight works much more than just your legs, it is fantastic for your core (some studies have claimed that there is more abdominal muscle activation from heavy squats than from crunches), it puts a spotlight on your upper body posture & strength and it gives your hormonal system the kick it needs to start releasing all the good stuff.

The variation possibilities with squats are almost unlimited, you can use bodyweight, barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, sandbags, your neighbours kids, old tyres or pretty much anything you can hold.

I could write an entire post on Squat technique, but that isn't what this entry is for (Told ya!).
There are tons of strength coaches out there who know more about squatting than most people could imagine, look them up or drop me a comment below and I will provide some links.

What I really what to address in this post are the main 2 main problems I see with most peoples's squats.
Ego and Impatience!
Seriously, it isn't even funny the amount of times I see a situation like I described at the top.

Squatting takes time to master and because, as I mentioned, it engages so much of the body from head to toe, it is crucial that your technique is solid before you start cranking up with weights.

Now don't get me wrong, I don't want to discourage anyone from exercising.
There isn't a whole lot you have to learn before you can start banging out decent bodyweight squats and they are fantastic.  So go for it, get the basic technique down and start bodyweight squatting, its awesome and not enough people do it.

Then when you are bored with that, start trying to really get your posture on form.  This is easier said than done and its where most people skip ahead and start loading themselves up with ridiculous weights and then eventually injure themselves.
I am not getting on my high horse here, I have made this exact mistake, I wanted to be a beast overnight and I rushed into squatting too much, too soon with imperfect technique and yes, I paid the price.
Learn from my mistakes.

'But I want to beast my legs, I can't just be squatting with bodyweight and tiny barbells'

Being a beast doesn't happen overnight, it is the product of training hard and consistently, as I have said before:  Think of each workout as a strand in a rope, it might be the best workout in the world but it is only one strand, however with consistency you can build up enough strands to make that rope unbreakable.

I understand that people want to squat and they want to sometimes punish their legs to the point that it is hard to walk the next day.  Well you can do both.

Start the session with Squat technique  using a light, or no, weight.  Get yourself drilling perfect form and posture into your body and then when it comes time to get those legs shifting some serious weight then pick an exercise that isn't as complex, like split squats or step ups while holding heavy dumbbells.

Don't get impatient and let your ego take over.
The aim isn't to be able to push out 10 Squats at 2x bodyweight today only to herniate a disc next week.
You want to be able to train hard until the day you breathe your last.
Take the time and put in the work; learning technique, improve your mobility and flexibility, develop that squat steadily and it will be solid.

Fancy getting your squat solid? Drop me a line here, on facebook or Twitter.

Train hard, live happy

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