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Thread: Does Squating really build overall mass?

  1. #26
    Senior Member RichMcGuire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Off Road View Post
    Does the bench and press allow you to use massive weights through a long range of motion? Do they work almost every muscle in the body? Do they make you as hungry as a brutal squat session? I don't think there is any comparison between them.
    Well, you can use heavy weights.. especially to the amount muscle relative to the weights.. and they can induce hunger. Whether or not thats a good thing for some people is a big question.

    I would love to see the physique of someone who ONLY squatted. And thats my point. Squatting is only one part of the equation. Arguing that squats is THE ONLY MOVE THAT MATTERZ!!!11 sounds more like an emotional argument than a scientific one imho.
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  2. #27
    IRL my name is Trent Hazerboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichMcGuire View Post
    I think I tend to agree with Lyle on this one. The squat is not the be all, end all movement for working out. It's a basic compound that can be effective just like the over head press or bench press.
    We over emphasize so the knowledge will stick. I don't think there are many trainees out there who do nothing but squat. Articles like the one you mentioned add perspective to the issue, but IMO that perspective is pretty common sense.

    I guess what I'm saying is that its sort of a straw man argument... I don't think anyone really thinks that way. "Squats cure cancer" and similar statements are just hyperbole.
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  3. #28
    IRL my name is Trent Hazerboy's Avatar
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    May have to correct my previous post...

    Quote Originally Posted by Off Road View Post
    Does the bench and press allow you to use massive weights through a long range of motion? Do they work almost every muscle in the body? Do they make you as hungry as a brutal squat session? I don't think there is any comparison between them.
    If your audience is just the OP, then of course you're right.

    But I alsoI have to LAWL long and hard at this. Look at any massive bench only lifter and I'm sure that you'll find an answer to all of those questions.
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  4. #29
    Senior Member RichMcGuire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hazerboy View Post
    May have to correct my previous post...



    If your audience is just the OP, then of course you're right.

    But I alsoI have to LAWL long and hard at this. Look at any massive bench only lifter and I'm sure that you'll find an answer to all of those questions.
    Pshhh, 1000 pound bench presses aren't heavy!

    And I should note, I bench press more than I squat and I've been doing both for an equal amount of time.
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  5. #30
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    Too funny...

    I never once said that a person should ONLY squat. I simply said that the squat was a more complete exercise than the bench or press.

    And comparing a professional, massive, bench-only lifter to an average, everyday, lifter would be like me comparing Fred Hatfield to the same average person to prove my point. It really has no bearing on the subject at hand.
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  6. #31
    Senior Member RichMcGuire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Off Road View Post
    Too funny...

    I never once said that a person should ONLY squat. I simply said that the squat was a more complete exercise than the bench or press.

    And comparing a professional, massive, bench-only lifter to an average, everyday, lifter would be like me comparing Fred Hatfield to the same average person to prove my point. It really has no bearing on the subject at hand.
    Obviously it's a more complete movement. It uses more muscles. But that doesn't mean you have to do it or there's no comparison with other compound movements. It just goes back to my point that its simply a compound movement that can be effective like over head presses or bench presses. The SAID principle comes to mind.

    My reference to the squatting only physique was to point out how over rated it was and that its only ONE part of an equation. So to put it on a pedestal is a bit silly.
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  7. #32
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hazerboy View Post
    We over emphasize so the knowledge will stick. I don't think there are many trainees out there who do nothing but squat. Articles like the one you mentioned add perspective to the issue.
    I think that this is the "take away" message. It's a great exercise that has been proven time and time again to build strength and size. Those that can do it, SHOULD DO IT. It's just using the right tool for the job. But, it's not the only way to do it, just the easiest.
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  8. #33
    Senior Member K-R-M's Avatar
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    In no way, shape or form is squatting overrated. It's overrated in the same way Einstein, Michael Jordan, Alexander Karelin and God are overrated.

  9. #34
    Senior Member brihead301's Avatar
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    I used to be an "upper body only guy" myself....that was over 5 years ago though. When I first started squatting, I also didn't really care too much about them. I had the attitude that I'd put most of my effort into my upperbody training, and I'll still do squats....just so I can say that I did them.

    However, I have since grown to love squats very much. I put much more effort into them than I do anything else. Once you start FEELING the difference they make in your body, you understand. It's not just your legs that you feel them in, it's that whole big part of your body right in the middle there - your entire torso: your back, chest, shoulders, abs, lats, traps, etc.....the ENTIRE mid-section of your body minus your arms. That's the s*** that grows, and makes the difference between a squatter and a non-squatter.

    I am now much thicker and stronger then I was 5 years ago. Had I not been doing squats for the last 5 years, I do not think that I would be at the point I am at today.

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  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichMcGuire View Post
    I was somewhat joking at first. I do squat. But for sake of backing something up, here's something from Lyle McDonald:

    "It depends. While there are certainly advantages to the big compounds a lot of skinny guys arenít built well for them. Either they have mechanics (e.g. long arms which make benching problematic or dangerous) that make the movements difficult or their joints are too small that they get beat up by them.

    Put differently, guys who are built to squat heavy tend to be built a certain way: good levers (usually shorter relatively speaking) and robust joints. They can pound away at low rep heavy squats and get away with it. A tall skinny guy may just get wrecked by that kind of training.

    Hereís a case in point: tall skinny guys often have very long arms. If you have them bench to the chest, their elbows end up being so far below their torso that their shoulders take enormous stress. They also wonít ever move any decent amount of weight because triceps will always be so severely limiting due to the poor lever arm. In that case, a properly done flye or crossover might actually be the better movement for training the pecs. Yes, blasphemy I know.

    The same goes for squatting. Tall skinny guys either have long torsos (making low back stabilization difficult) or long femurs (giving them a massive weak poin in the middle) that can make squatting of any sort difficult. Their low backs may give out long before their legs get trained or they may simply never move much weight due to the long lever arm of the leg. In that case, a good leg press may be a better choice. Yes, again, I know, blasphemy. But itís reality.

    But there are no generalities I can give here. So far as growth is concerned, the best exercises are the ones that let you train safely, work the target muscle, and apply progressive overload. Sometimes that is the heavy compounds but as often as not a properly selected isolation movement, or something kind of in-between, may be better.

    But what ends up happening is that people who are built to weight train and grow well on low rep heavy compounds think that what works for them should or can work for everyone. And itís simply not true."

    You can find the entire article here: http://www.36pounds.com/2009/08/26/l...o-gain-muscle/


    But, as he says, it's pretty general. I mean, I think someone training for a bodybuilding contest would have different priorities than someone training for function or a power lifting contest.

    To summarize my point, when I say squatting is over rated, it's not because I don't find it do be an extremely useful movement. It comes from how people talk / joke about it. You know what I mean, things like it cures cancer, you're not lifting unless you're squatting, those things. THAT makes it over rated in my eyes. It's a useful compound movement just like the overhead press or bench press or deadlift.

    *Edit* I bolded the most important part I think he was referring to. Muscle growth vs. functionality or whatever else you want to include.
    I disagree with this, although I will admit I think the movements that you quoted from him work very well for accessory movements. I feel people sometimes use their builds as an excuse not to train a movement.

    I was able to tweak my bench form to make up for my arm length by following Dave Tate's advice. My squats are still a struggle but are getting better with minor form adjustments. My point is that, while not everyone is built optimally for a movement, it does not mean you shouldn't train it. The big 4 compounds are the only reason why I went from a super hard gainer to someone of decent size now. No way I would have made this progress doing isolation exercises.

    One thing I do agree with you is that the squat shouldn't be considered "King". Its just another VERY useful compound, just like the OHP, Bench, and DL.
    Last edited by mchicia1; 11-05-2010 at 09:12 AM.

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by brihead301 View Post
    I used to be an "upper body only guy" myself....that was over 5 years ago though. When I first started squatting, I also didn't really care too much about them. I had the attitude that I'd put most of my effort into my upperbody training, and I'll still do squats....just so I can say that I did them.

    However, I have since grown to love squats very much. I put much more effort into them than I do anything else. Once you start FEELING the difference they make in your body, you understand. It's not just your legs that you feel them in, it's that whole big part of your body right in the middle there - your entire torso: your back, chest, shoulders, abs, lats, traps, etc.....the ENTIRE mid-section of your body minus your arms. That's the s*** that grows, and makes the difference between a squatter and a non-squatter.

    I am now much thicker and stronger then I was 5 years ago. Had I not been doing squats for the last 5 years, I do not think that I would be at the point I am at today.

    SQUCKWAT!!!!
    A physique built using all of the compound movements looks entirely different than your average big armed/big chest guy you find in the gym who only uses isolation movements. Looks A LOT better too, IMO. Squatting is an important piece of the puzzle...but so are the other compound movements.

  12. #37
    Senior Member RichMcGuire's Avatar
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    It sounds like we are all pretty much in agreement. I guess it's just how things get worded or interpreted.
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  13. #38
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    2 questions. 1. why do you feel like puking after your done squatting. practically saying why do you feel like **** after. 2. do you get the same results when you do sumo squats compared to normal squats, and I mean weighted barbell squats for both.
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  14. #39
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    I had read a article years ago on that squats are a overall body workout, and I started doing a routine from that....it was awesome and I grew a lot from it and the thing was, I felt like I was pumped almost all over my body. But one thing I didnt agree with was the milk consumption, it said if not mistaken, try to drink close to a gallon a day of whole milk....now with that said, besides all the fat you would be taking in...I think, especially in my case, if I drank a gallon a day of whole milk...if I went to the gym and squat after a gallon of milk....there would be a lot of cleaning up to do as well if you catch my drift.

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    I think size and shape should be taken considerably into account with squats.
    I'm six two and very lanky below my waist and honestly when I go to squat my 80% max routine (which inst a lot at all, 135lbs) my joints ache for about two days along with my muscles.

    I once read an article that put it this way. You can compare tendons to a line of rope. Is a 2 foot piece of rope going to snap before a 5 foot piece of rope when pulled on? Every inch you account for in a tendon makes it that more stressful. So say a man with a 28 inch tendon is lifting 150lbs via squat...if a man with a 4 inch longer tendon came to the gym he'd have to push 4% more than the smaller man to equate to the same weight. Thus a man with a 28 inch tendon pushing 150 lbs would feel like 8% more to the man with a 32 inch tendon in both legs and probably should be doing leg presses. It is a lot easier to move weight through space than to move your body, period! Open chain vs. closed chain.

    Is squat a good exercise for building overall mass...YES!!
    Will taller men/ woman have to work harder to make the same gains as a shorter person...YES!!

    And that is scientifically based in fact.

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by PushUP View Post
    IYou can compare tendons to a line of rope. Is a 2 foot piece of rope going to snap before a 5 foot piece of rope when pulled on? Every inch you account for in a tendon makes it that more stressful!

    And that is scientifically based in fact.
    There is a significant difference between rope and tendons. The rope is brittle and tendons are made to stretch and bend. You'd be better off comparing tendons to elastic bands. Whats more stretchy; a short elastic band or a long elastic band?

    Of course, tendons are not as stretchy as elastic bands, so both theories suck
    Last edited by Off Road; 11-07-2010 at 12:41 PM.
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  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by PushUP View Post
    I think size and shape should be taken considerably into account with squats.
    I'm six two and very lanky below my waist and honestly when I go to squat my 80% max routine (which inst a lot at all, 135lbs) my joints ache for about two days along with my muscles.

    I once read an article that put it this way. You can compare tendons to a line of rope. Is a 2 foot piece of rope going to snap before a 5 foot piece of rope when pulled on? Every inch you account for in a tendon makes it that more stressful. So say a man with a 28 inch tendon is lifting 150lbs via squat...if a man with a 4 inch longer tendon came to the gym he'd have to push 4% more than the smaller man to equate to the same weight. Thus a man with a 28 inch tendon pushing 150 lbs would feel like 8% more to the man with a 32 inch tendon in both legs and probably should be doing leg presses. It is a lot easier to move weight through space than to move your body, period! Open chain vs. closed chain.

    Is squat a good exercise for building overall mass...YES!!
    Will taller men/ woman have to work harder to make the same gains as a shorter person...YES!!

    And that is scientifically based in fact.
    This just sounds like someone making excuses. Maybe that wasn't your intent, but that's how it comes across. I'm 6'1" with legs that are long in proportion to my overall height, so I'm not built to squat. That doesn't make the exercise less effective for me. It simply means I have to work a little harder to find just the right technique and a good progression scheme. If you aren't naturally good at a lift it means you should probably make sure you do it because it will work your inherent weaknesses. Also, if your joints ache for two days after squatting 135 you're probably doing something wrong.
    I think the reason people here often seem to overemphasize squats (in the opinion of some in this thread) is that they are trying to counteract much of the prevaling "gym wisdom" out there that places the squats about 50th in order of importance after every conceivable permutation of bench press and curls. If everyone out there trained their squat hard and they were universally recognized as a cornerstone exercise I doubt they would be "emphasized" so much here.
    Last edited by Sean S; 11-07-2010 at 02:49 PM.

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    No excuse bud... I was just stating that for people of our build it will be harder. I was just adding my two cents to the debate. I do squats now on a leg press machine and have eliminated joint pain and some other problems. I'm not saying my form was perfect but I did work with trainers who use to spot me and said I did squats just fine. Even when I run my joints in my legs hurt. Squats are great and I condone them for the people that feel comfortable with them. If not hit the leg press machine. Something is better than a total cop out, especially for health reasons.

    Off road...Regardless of any analogies we both try to pull out of the horrible analogy bag haha, we both know that a longer tendon will have more strain than a shorter one. But if we use yours Id say it'd be a lot easier to pull a 6 t band until it breaks rather than a 3 foot band...;-)
    Last edited by PushUP; 11-08-2010 at 10:50 PM.

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    Whoops
    Last edited by PushUP; 11-08-2010 at 10:50 PM.

  20. #45
    Wannabebig New Member Silverback1's Avatar
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    Squat and Deadlift are the only lifts that truly matter. They alone gauge your real overall power and add overall body mass, skelital density and increase the strength of your CNS.
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  21. #46
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silverback1 View Post
    Squat and Deadlift are the only lifts that truly matter. They alone gauge your real overall power and add overall body mass, skelital density and increase the strength of your CNS.
    That's a pretty broad generalization.....


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  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silverback1 View Post
    Squat and Deadlift are the only lifts that truly matter. They alone gauge your real overall power and add overall body mass, skelital density and increase the strength of your CNS.
    What about the Clean and Press? If I was limited to doing only one lift, I'd surely consider the Clean and Press. It has the longest possible range of motion, uses some pretty heavy weights, and it works almost the entire body.

    It used to be the gold standard for judging a person's strength and power. Some still think it is...
    Last edited by Off Road; 11-09-2010 at 06:17 AM.
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  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silverback1 View Post
    Squat and Deadlift are the only lifts that truly matter. They alone gauge your real overall power and add overall body mass, skelital density and increase the strength of your CNS.
    I disagree. You still need an upper body movement. Thats why starting strength has what it has...perfect, well rounded routine for beginners. You will become very posterior chain biased if all you do is squatting and deadlifting. It will look silly IMO. Big legs and tiny upper body is the same as the light bulb people we make fun of constantly at commercial gyms. Being well rounded, having both good upper and lower strength, is what you should shoot for.

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