Want to build your body?
The squat exercise is your secret shortcut to big arms, powerful shoulders, and a muscular chest.
Imagine building your body. Chances are you will visualize bigger arms and shoulders, and a muscular chest - but not big legs. For many, building leg muscles are an afterthought and something only to be considered after the more glamorous body parts have been taken care of.
For those who DO build their leg muscles, there is a similarly good chance you will get your strength training workout on the leg extension machine, or perhaps the leg press. Equally, there is an excellent chance you do not squat.
And right HERE is the typical trainee's number 1 mistake.
So why is the barbell squat exercise so important and why must you endeavor to make squat training the core of your workouts? To be blunt, heavy squat work - and its many variations such as the lunges exercise - is the fastest route to big arms, powerful shoulders, and a muscular chest.
This paradox was unravelled over half a century ago:
"Experience has proven beyond any doubt that the most certain means of expanding the chest is through the medium of strenuous leg exercise, and it has likewise been the experience of those who have tried out this theory that improvements of the shoulders and arms will in time follow when the standard of the legs and torso have been raised." ~ Berry
This champion of the barbell squat exercise was Mark Berry whose contributions to strength training included serving as the coach of the American weightlifting team in both the 1932 and 1936 Olympics - a man whose most widespread and enduring gift to strength training involved the promotion of heavy squats.
Consider how Mark Berry added over 50 lbs muscular body weight to his own frame, and how his students made comparable gains, and it is no surprise Berry was said to have ushered in a "new era" as a direct result of his emphasis upon intensive training of the body's largest muscle group, i.e., the legs.
Enjoying the benefits of squats, others would soon follow in his wake, including possibly the strongest man in history, and certainly the strongest man in his day, Paul Anderson.
Paul Anderson Squatting With Train Wheels
Toccoa teenager Paul Anderson began strength training as a 5' 9" 190 lbs football player looking to improve his athletic performance. Training almost exclusively on the barbell squat, Paul soon weighed 275 lbs and was squatting close to 600 lbs.
Check out some of Paul's numbers:
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