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Squatters On Squats And Squatting (Part 3)

May 8, 2008
Now the Doc Squat is about power and the use of all possible aid like lifting suits,thick belt, knee wraps, much more sophisticated style, by spreading feet past shoulder width. After that the bar is carried as far down the back as your P.L. rules allow you to, (below the delts) with a lot of forward leaning so that the glutes and spinal erectors (low back) can share the weight with the thighs. In the sport of powerlifting this actual lift is given as completed once the top of the thighs hit parallel.

The P.L. technique allows up to 2O% more poundage to be lifted than in a bodybuilders more upright and deeper squat technique. Fred Hatfield advises use of a padded towel to save neck pain from the bar across the vetebral column and not to relax when in the low position, a habit which could damage the knees. Again it is best if you have the genetics of shorter legs to squat heavy.

Arnold Schwarzenegger really did not have a genetic advantage with his long legs, but after making the common mistake of training his upper body harder than his legs, made real progress once he did train legs hard, recalling at times he trained for 3 hours or more on squats alone, getting in about 5O sets and always making best progress with the standard squat. Arnold like all who have learnt the hard way, warns never to bounce when in the low squat position and to use controlled movements throughout.

I don't like to guess on who is the strongest or best recognised bodybuilder as far as leg development is concerned, but I would put my money on Tom Platz. He began to bodybuild at the age of just 14 and recalls that his first set of squats were 10 reps with a load of 9Olbs/4Okg and he then turned to powerlifting at the age of 19. His initial training routines were really tough and his main exercise was squats. Amazingly enough he could lift 25Olbs/II3.3k and was able to squat for IO minutes and working up to I5O reps, by resting and then repeating.

During Mr Olympia in 1982, he managed to achieve 2O reps with 5I5lbs/233.5k and 8 reps with 635lbs/288k at just 22Olbs/99.7k bodyweight, and all that without knee wraps. I have always admired Platz's strict controlled form and not a lot has changed since. It's goes without saying that all champs use squats and that Ronnie Coleman has got the most incredible legs.

When Flex Wheeler, Chris Cormier and Kevin Levrone do a front ab and thighs, every fibre shows just how hard they have worked for their development. Squats and squat varieties are a must in any champs program. All we ask is for you to take care, use common sense, don't overtrain, don't use bad form, or too heavy weights.

What we are really trying to achieve with this type of exercise is to make the muscles work really hard, so the amount of weight used is not the important factor. We need to get it into our heads that this is not a power lifting exercise, but a development exercise so make sure you do lighter, high reps squats. You probably just hate squats just like the majority of bodybuilders, but try a few sessions and you will soon see what it can do for your muscle development.
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