So myself and a buddy of mine that's going to be my workout partner just started lifting again about two weeks ago, been about 2 years since I last lifted, 1 year since he's last lifted, and neither of us have done any lifts for our legs in the past.
So squat question first, how can you tell while lifting if you're going down enough? I know people say go to parallel but I'm not exactly sure what that means. Being that we've never done squats we did light sets of 10 reps at 185 lbs. The entire time it felt like I wasn't going down far enough, didn't feel anything in my glutes at all, only the the quads. So after we're done I did another set really light, 95 lbs, to see if I could get to parallel. Only time I could was when my knees drifted past my toes, and far as I know that's a bad thing.
Second question, my buddy has never lifted legs, shoulders, or back before, was one of those chest and arms guys. Give me some good reasons to work the entire body including legs so I can get him to stop complaining when I say we're going to lift legs today.
Thanks for any help you guys feel like giving out.
hey mate, im not being rude here but why have you never lifted legs b4?? also is your mate serious into lifting?? because why would he neglect his back, legs and shoulders?? these are all big muscle groups!!!
Back onto your question i think you get the best from a squat if you go atf(ass to floor) basically when you are in the correct squat stance go down until your ass goes lower than the back of your knees, this should help work your glutes!! be careful though and work your way up the weights.
Last edited by pottsy07; 09-17-2008 at 09:26 AM.
You need to go down as low as you possibly can - typically a2a (ass to ankles). Practice without any weight and just squatting down until you cannot go lower.
Feet about shoulder width (slightly wider is OK, too)
Feet pointed out a bit - whatever is comfortable.
Back arched (belly out) and not rounded, chest up and squat down.
Heels need to be on the floor the entire time.
You should be able to get down far enough that your ass is nearly on your ankles.
You will lean forward, it's natural, as much as 45 degrees for some, so don't try to remain upright with your torso.
Coming up, try to drive your heels into the floor.
Your knees need to come up over your toes (out), not in, at all, or you could injure yourself.
Keep your back arched and chest up.
If you lack the flexibility to go that low, have your friend watch you from the side and let you know when your butt is lower than your knees......and then work on strecthing to get the flexibility.
Chest and arms are the 'beach muscles' or 'show muslces'. That's why he only wants to do bench press and curls.
Working your back with deads will make you stronger than you could imagine (squats, as well) and could make you a bit thicker in the lower back and give you a set of traps. Working your back with pullups, bent rows, etc. will make your lats flare out and give you the V shape.
Working your back and legs (squats/dead) will cause the rest of your body to grow, as well; and you'll get big legs and quite strong.
Working your shoulders will make your bench better (tell him that), as well as adding the top to the V from working your back.
Also, from a looks standpoint, do you want big arms and a big chest, but skinny, pussy little legs?
From the practicality standpoint, when a buddy asks you to help him move and you can pick up one end of a couch by yourself and your chest/arms buddy can't, there you go.
Try an experiment. For 6 months, you workout on Starting Strength, which focuses on the big, compound movement exercises. Have your buddy keep doing only bench and curls. At the end of the 6 month period, you'll be able to throw his sorry ass around the gym because you'll be bigger and stronger that he will.
Working your entire body will make you bigger, stronger and look better than your chest/arms buddy.
Last edited by rbtrout; 09-17-2008 at 10:23 AM.
Give chalk a chance.
49 years old
Sorry, that was the book form. The condensed version is available upon request.
Give chalk a chance.
49 years old
You hit parallel when the crease of your hip is below your knee. Get your buddy to watch when you are squatting and watch him when he is squatting. If you're in doubt about your depth, you're probably high.
rbtrout pretty much hit the nail right on the head with his response, but I figured that I would add something. I know that chest and arms are the "beach muscles", but seriously if you're doing it for the sole purpose of looking good, and you're not really worried about getting strong, do you really think that just chest and arms alone will give you the body you want?
You're body is 3-D. What you see in the mirror is 2-D, and usually only the front/top of yourself. When other people see you, they see everything that you don't see. Look at people that are in great shape. Do they just have big arms, and a defined chest? Hell no. They have the lats, shoulders, traps, lower back, legs, etc... They got it all.
No matter what your reasoning for lifting weights is - whether it's to get a good physique, get strong, compete, whatever... you gotta train the whole body. It is just ridiculously stupid to on work some of your body and not the rest.
And that's not to mention the fact that exercises like squats, deadlifts, bench press, overhead presses, power cleans, pull-ups, rows, etc..work many muscle groups simultaneously, which is the way your body is designed to work. Therefore it grows in unison and in proportion. That's where the concept of "work legs to make your whole body get bigger" came from. In reality, the exercises that really pack the muscle on your legs also pack the muscle on everywhere else, because they are full-body movements. Squats and deads hit just about everything.
Then you have the whole testosterone, natural HGH production thing. I'm not sure if it's true or not. I don't know what the hell goes on inside my body, but I do know that ever since I started doing all the "big lifts", which was like 2 years ago. My whole body just blew up.
Not only that, but my girl keeps saying that my d*** got so much bigger. I didn't notice it, but she sure as hell did.
Then I have people that get to feel my strength. For instance, my one buddy came up from behind me one day, while I'm sitting at the bar, and he grabbed my hands and tried to pull them behind my head. He was just messin around. Well, I basically just totally gained control of him, and got him into some sort of hold where he was forced to submit. He was like, "damn dude, I didn't realize how strong you were." I was sitting next to this hot chick while it happened too, so it felt pretty good to have him say that after he tried to get me in some kind of hold.
I could go on forever on why you would want to work everything, but I'll just stop here. Just ask yourself, "What reasons do you have NOT to?"
A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
Lifting Clips: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=johnnymnemonic2
a) gets ya big legs
b) gets ya big arms
c) deadlifts and squats train the core (l. back and abs) so they can get ya a six pack...if your into that sort of thing
d) strong core = healthy back = healthy lifestyle
This probably won't convince him. My thoughts: you should ditch him and get a new training partner.
Last edited by AJ_H; 09-17-2008 at 03:33 PM.
Stats: Bodyweight : Current= 150 lbs, Height = 5ft11.5
Bench Press:160 lbs/Squat:225 lbs,/Deadlift:305/Total:675lbs/
Not strong yet, but getting there.
Sounds like a crap training partner..
Far as if my buddy is serious into lifting, only time will tell. He's never done lifts for the muscle groups before because him and the guy he was training with were only training "fighting muscles". Now I'm kinda "training" him and trying to make sure we hit all the muscle groups. Which is kinda wacky since there's still a lot I have to learn.
Back to squats, was trying to keep a good form with my head up and chest out, feet were little more than shoulder width apart and pointed outwards. When I was doing the 95 lbs to see how low I could get is when I looked down to check my knee position in relation to my toes, thought this was a light enough weight not to get injured but still not a great idea. Far as the shins go, are they supposed to bend forward like the back or stay perpendicular to the ground the entire lift?
"Then you have the whole testosterone, natural HGH production thing. I'm not sure if it's true or not. I don't know what the hell goes on inside my body, but I do know that ever since I started doing all the "big lifts", which was like 2 years ago. My whole body just blew up.
Not only that, but my girl keeps saying that my d*** got so much bigger. I didn't notice it, but she sure as hell did."
Ghetto quoting since I don't know how to quote multiple people in the same post. Anyway is there any science behind the increase in natural production of testosterone and HGH, or is this one of those I heard it from a guy that knows another guy type of thing?
Also, LMAO at the d*** size! First thing that came to mind was tenacious D and cock pushups.
Thanks for all your help so far guys, I'm off to watch those squat RX vids now.
Last edited by Durendal; 09-17-2008 at 05:22 PM.
The GH/test increase is completely negligible... The reason compounds are effective is because every muscle being worked is forced to adapt.
I found the best thing for me to do with squats was to get on a machine, and watch myself in a mirror, forcing myself to keep my head it, it made a difference. I used to hate squats because I was doing them wrong and they felt wierd while doing them. Now, I feel confident in doing them and actually enjoy them more than a few other things. I used to never lift legs until here recently because I was an ignorant fool. After lifting legs, I've lost more weight, gained more stength, and my judo and cardio improved quite a bit.