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  Click here to go to the first staff post in this thread.   Thread: You're not required to squat, so why are you?

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    Default You're not required to squat, so why are you?

    Yes the title is controversial, especially to the hardcore bodybuilder reading here. But this is not the powerlifting or Olympic weightlifting section of the forum, so surely, the people's interest lies first and foremost with muscle hypertrophy above all else correct?

    Squat.jpg

    So think about it for a bit, why exactly are you squatting if your main aim is to build huge muscular legs? Not only that, but your aim is to build those legs with the absolute minimum potential to injury, would you agree? If so, then placing a load upon your shoulders, where the force on your spine is great, may not be your best and safest option after all.

    I don't really know when the leg press machine as we know it today came into existence. So granted, with a bar and some weight plates, the squat would have most certainly been an exercise with a force to be reckoned with. But we've moved forward, and we have at our disposal a magnificent tool in the leg press machine. It's one hell of a versatile machine if you ask me. What with all the different foot placement onto that pressing plate, targeting and emphasising different section of your quadriceps muscles!

    Front-Squat-1.jpg

    As a former Olympic weightlifter, it was never required of me to do the barbell curl (or any curling movement for that matter), so I simply did not do it. On the contrary, I have not come across or known of a single bodybuilder who did not pay his dues performing different variations of the curling exercise. It's a 100% requirement in the sport of bodybuilding if your aim is to build some top guns, period!

    So when someone tells you that you must squat if your aim is to build some huge wheels, your natural response ought to simply be sure, but please tell me why I must do so, and is there not an alternative that is safer and perhaps even more effective in targeting such muscles as my quads? I'll be very much interested with the reply and the reasoning behind the "must" bit.

    You see Ausbb, a powerlifter has to/must squat, so does an Olympic weightlifter (and perhaps a strongman athlete). And even these lifters have their own squat variations to do. I do not see why an Olympic weightlifter must back squat, or a powerlifter must front squat, when these lifts do not simulate any part of their competitive lifts.

    leg-press.jpg

    Now someone might say that I'm simply bashing the squat exercise; I am not. What I am doing though, is questioning your reasoning behind your inclusion of such an exercise within your bodybuilding program. Hey Fadi, see those legs mate, they've been built by the good old mighty squat, so don't tell me squats aren't for bodybuilders! Again, I am not saying squats do not build muscles or make you strong or anything of the sort. What this is about, is building muscles whilst simultaneously taking the safety and injury issue into some serious consideration. Maximisation on muscle hypertrophy and minimisation on injury is (or ought to be) paramount here. Anyone disagrees?
    Last edited by Fadi; 12-10-2016 at 04:56 AM. Reason: Added the word across.





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    Agreed Fadi.

    I haven't done regular back squats for probably a year or more...that hasn't stopped my legs from growing. I do front squat maybe once or twice a month just to spice things up but even then I wouldn't say its a requirement and I certainly don't go as heavy or low rep as I used to.

    There's plenty of ways to skin a cat, if you're an average gym rat with hypertrophy as the main goal, this advice is pretty sound to me.
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    Fadi when you are talking 'Maximisation on muscle hypertrophy' would it not also be wise to take into account the impact the exercise has in inducing a hypertrophic state (not sure if that is even a word !!), My simple understanding is that when it comes to overall mass the Squat is hard to beat. So if one was also considering exercise efficiency and overall gains wouldn't you still keep the squat as one of the best full body exercises.


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    I squat because it's one of the hardest and taxing exercises in the gym. I feel that it also makes your body work as one, develops any weak links and helps with functional strength. Even though doing 100% leg presses for leg work might give a bit more growth, I think there's merit in doing things because they are difficult. I think most people do both however. Personally I back squat, front squat, leg press and hack squat in approx equal volume.

    I guess some people may not have access to squat racks or leg presses, or even dislike one or the other. In that case, do what you enjoy/have at your disposal.


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    The thing is; if you can squat? Do it.
    but what I've found is that you're heading for trouble if you cannot "full squat", that's hammies touching calves with minimal movement of the spine.
    i think that above everything else the squat stimulates the endocrine system, which gives one the optimal chance of building muscle and strength.


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    As a single leg exercise, squat is a great exercise. If you would choose one thigh exercise, I would rank squats right up there.

    But no, one does not need to do squats to work their legs. for powerlifting and Olympic lifting, however, squats are indeed the backbone of training.
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    Quote Originally Posted by simo74 View Post
    Fadi when you are talking 'Maximisation on muscle hypertrophy' would it not also be wise to take into account the impact the exercise has in inducing a hypertrophic state (not sure if that is even a word !!), My simple understanding is that when it comes to overall mass the Squat is hard to beat. So if one was also considering exercise efficiency and overall gains wouldn't you still keep the squat as one of the best full body exercises.
    Hey Simo,

    I do not believe in the term "overall mass", as there's no such thing. What there is however, an overall feeling of wellbeing due to a release of certain hormones and/or chemicals throughout our body. You get that from walking for example in the for of endorphin. Now what I think you're getting at is the much talked and written about hormonal release that just floods our bloodstream with some potential anabolic goodness, and it just so happens that compound movements such as the squat fits the bill perfectly as a stimulant of such an effect. Am I on the right track here with what you were thinking perhaps? If so, then again I must say no, well its a yes and a no, and my words are based on the latest scientific findings of Dr Layne Norton and Dr Stewart Phillips.

    So yes to the endocrine system releasing such anabolic hormones as HGH and testosterone etc., but no in the sense that the amount is so miniscule so as to have no effect on muscle building whatsoever. In fact, cortisol (yes you've read that correctly), cortisol, the very much known and dreaded catabolic hormone, is a much better indicator of anabolism, or potential muscle growth after your workout. Its measured levels indicates how hard you've worked out, and how high you've stimulated or potentiated your protein synthesis post workout.

    So please Simo, next time you hear someone tell you that squats are great for helping you build some mighty guns due to their "overall effect blah blah blah"...smile and say thank you for that info. I've yet to see an Olympic weightlifter with some sick arms due to their 100% training with compound movements...I speak from experience (backed up by modern science and observation).
    Last edited by Fadi; 12-10-2016 at 11:43 PM.
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    it is great that the latest research (2016?) has finally caught up with logic that should have been evident to most many decades ago, and probably was for the few that actually thought through bs comments. As if a squat is a whole body exercise.
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    Quote Originally Posted by steveP View Post
    I squat because it's one of the hardest and taxing exercises in the gym. I feel that it also makes your body work as one, develops any weak links and helps with functional strength. Even though doing 100% leg presses for leg work might give a bit more growth, I think there's merit in doing things because they are difficult. I think most people do both however. Personally I back squat, front squat, leg press and hack squat in approx equal volume.

    I guess some people may not have access to squat racks or leg presses, or even dislike one or the other. In that case, do what you enjoy/have at your disposal.
    I like this ^ (to borrow a phrase from Gooey)

    Think about most 'functional' movements - pushing a wheelbarrow, pushing anything, grappling, tackling etc etc. You're using Leg Drive and the resistance is coming into the Shoulders, through the Core then into the Legs - similar to a Front Squat.

    You hear Boxers say when they've thrown a good punch they feel it in their Legs, not their arms or shoulders, but in their Legs. The body acts as one.


    Then there's the hormonal response and the conditioning that Squats give. They make you a Man!


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