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Squats, Heavy Squats And Squatters (Part 2)

May 16, 2008
BREATHING SQUATS...The 'breathing squat' and pullover combo to gain weight proven and in favor since the days of Mark Berry, Roger Eells (who usually gets the credit for it's invention), Joseph Hise, who added the rest pause, and pushed for decades by Peary Rader of Iron Man, does NOT require the trainee to strain or place the spinal column in a poor position, as in heavy squats.

Nearly always in any of the pre-mentioned breathing squat, weight gain routines, "approx bodyweight poundages" are always suggested, and for most that is all that is needed. Japanese Sumo, and equally bulky Indian wrestlers, gained better results than some of the colorful adverts now abounding in modern mags after using Joe Blog's latest chemical drink.

This simplistic workout resulted in huge bodyweight gains, but few desire such ponderous physiques, it is just proof of the value of light squats. Roger Eells by the way, who conducted the premier experiments with his breathing squats for weight gains, often forgot to mention he also spent most of his non training time in bed.... resting.

SINGLE LEG SQUATS...A progression of 'free squats', especially for those without weights, is to do single leg bends, preferably on a bench, seldom seen today in schedules, yet old timers could work up to some scary poundages in this difficult style, because you also have to maintain some balance.

One time Britain's best wrestler Bert Assirati, who could make 10 reps with 55Olbs/249.4kg in basic squats back in the I93O's, could do the single leg style with an added 2OOlbs/9O.7kg on his shoulders, and Grimek could do likewise.

Squatting without extra weight, George Eiferman, who was training in the same period as the late Steve Reeves, was able to perform I5O consecutive reps on one leg. Reeves disliked basic squats and always preferred to do front squats, or 'hack' squats, as he thought that this would help to avoid developing to large a posterior, and even Vince Gironda agreed with him on that one.

SQUAT AND YOUR OUT! Gironda, self styled 'Iron Guru', totally discouraged basic squats, and squat racks were simply not allowed in his gym and anyone seen practicing barbell squats, weight held behind neck, was literally thrown out on his ear. Gironda, like Reeves considered squats built up big buttocks and for thigh development recommended instead the unhappily named 'Sissy Squat' a sort of highly controlled lean back free squat, or light weights could be added (to a belt) if you wished.

One of the best was Roy Callender and he used to just workout by instinct, and did squat 100 reps or more on sissy squats and after that would do high reps lunges, and would finish off with work on the leg extension machine. I am sure he did his fair share of basic squats to get those massive legs. Boyer Coe also did sissy squats, as he had already got plenty of power built up by basic squats, and he could squat with 5OOlbs/226.7kg at the early age of I8yrs old.

Once racks became common, so poundages rocketed, experienced bodybuilders soon used at first bodyweight, then double bodyweight, with eventually powerlifters reaching the magic IOOOlbs/453.5kg mark. It is said Anderson squatted with II6Olbs/526k of silver dollars twice a night when he was performing in Las Vegas. Equally famous as a pioneer of heavy squats is Frederick C Hatfield PhD. or Dr Squat. (Coming Soon Part 3)
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