The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

Itís no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
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    Does Squating really build overall mass?

    Hello everyone, i was wondering if squats really build overall mass(i.e.) biceps, chest, back, and etc. I was never really a fan of working out on my legs, even though i recently just started working out. But I've been hearing that doing squats is a necessity for working out and getting big! Can anyone confirm this and tell me the logic behind why squatting shall increase make me bigger and stronger? Thank you in advance!

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  3. #2
    Senior Member K-R-M's Avatar
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    I have no doubt about it.

    When I started deadlifting, my whole back starting getting bigger and when I started squatting, I gained 40lbs and got thick.

  4. #3
    Soon to be lean... Joe Black's Avatar
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    The nutshell is that the squat (and deadlift for that matter) are about the best full body movements you can do.

    Think about it - putting some heavy ass weight on your shoulders and then squatting down and up requires virtually every muscle in your body to work to make that happen, no to mention a whole bunch of effort and determination for good measure. The same goes for the deadlift, bending down and then picking up some big weight and putting it back down again - you just can't not work every muscle in your body.

    Listen, lets be real - directly working your biceps is obviously going to give them specifically a better workout than say the squat or the deadlift. But, unless your big and lean and have several years of lifting and eating right under your belt, you'd be much better served to focus on several of the big compound movements (like squat and deadlift), particularly if your goal is overall size.

    Right now, I'm not even directly working my arms at all. I will at some point, but for now I am focusing on putting more weight on the bar for squat, deadlift, press, chins, bench, rows etc. Most people would do better with a similar strategy.
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  5. #4
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    It's true...
    Squats work almost every muscle at once
    Squats work the largest muscles in the body
    Squats release hormones
    Squats induce a grow or die response
    Squats increase your appetite
    Squats show you what hard work is
    Squats allow you to use really heavy weights
    Squats put pressure on your spine (nervous system)
    Squats make you hurt and scream and puke...that's got to be good for you

    Your body wants to grow in balance; if you're not working your lower half [hard], you will hold back progress on your upper half.
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  6. #5
    Senior Member Coqui's Avatar
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    Squats cure cancer.

  7. #6
    Professional hobbit Focused70's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coqui View Post
    Squats cure cancer.

    They also do wonders for your sex life.

    (I'm not kidding.)

    (ok, well just a little bit. )
    me: so this is the "pump" you speak of
    me: I could never figure out what people were talking about
    Relentless: like an all over body hardon, yeah


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  8. #7
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    Haha awesome responses guys;]

  9. #8
    Quest for IFBB Pro Card The Spartan's Avatar
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    i wear a shirt on most days when i squat heavy that says "shut up and squat"
    Squating is an AWESOME exercise for overall development of lower body, core and your back (not as much as the deadlift)
    keep in mind, free weight squats are the best!!!!!!
    are they hard - yes
    are they painful - yes
    not many do them - yes
    those that do, most dont do them correct - yes
    they give the best results - yes

    "Shut up and Squat" lol
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  10. #9
    Skinny Feet Kiff's Avatar
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    This is taken from another part of the Forum, you will have to excuse me i had it saved rather than linked i cannot remember where i found it, it could be someone elses sig actually, if so then let the Copy Right people get me

    Down this road, in a gym far away,
    a young man was heard to say,
    "no matter what i do, my legs won't grow"
    he tried leg extensions, leg curls, and leg presses , too
    trying to cheat, these sissy workouts he'd do.

    from the corner of the gym where the big men train,
    through a cloud of chalk and the midst of pain
    where the noise is made with big forty fives,
    a deep voice bellowed as he wrapped his knees.
    a very big man with legs like trees.

    laughing as he snatched another plate from the stack
    chalking his hands and monstrous back,
    said, "boy, stop lying and don't say you've forgotten,
    the trouble with you is you ain't been SQUATTIN'

    Nuf said
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  11. #10
    Senior Member DMedley's Avatar
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    I may be wrong, but:

    I believe everyone is trying to say "Yes

  12. #11
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    I recommend weighted push ups, dips, pull ups, chin ups, dead lifts and squats...

    That is all your work out should ever consist of and you will reach any size goal.

  13. #12
    The Flyfisher rbtrout's Avatar
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    Squats and deads are the bomb for putting on size.
    Give chalk a chance.


    49 years old

    665 squat
    700 deadlift
    325 bench

  14. #13
    SchModerator ZenMonkey's Avatar
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    The bomb-diggity.
    Sarvamangalam!

  15. #14
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    Squats are not a "necessity" for getting big, but you will get bigger if you squat heavy - there is no question about that.
    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
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  16. #15
    Senior Member Shemz's Avatar
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    You'll learn to love the feeling of the ground sinking away beneath your feet and your stomach turning upisde down after you finished a set of squats. Doesn't matter how *****ing dizzy/sick you get after a set, after a little rest time you'll just strap that belt back on. Squats are an addictive drug & rehab isn't going to help you.
    Last edited by Shemz; 11-03-2010 at 09:24 AM.
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  17. #16
    Senior Member RichMcGuire's Avatar
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    I think squats are over rated. There, I said it!
    First Bulk pics VS Starting pics, take a look!! http://www.wannabebigforums.com/show...=1#post1616109

    Progress pics of a cut using bodyweight only movements http://www.wannabebig.com/forums/sho...45#post2405745

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  18. #17
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichMcGuire View Post
    I think squats are over rated. There, I said it!
    I think it's fine to say so, but overrated for what?
    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
    Blog: http://squatrx.blogspot.com/

  19. #18
    Senior Member RichMcGuire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sensei View Post
    I think it's fine to say so, but overrated for what?
    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.
    Last edited by RichMcGuire; 11-04-2010 at 08:25 PM.
    First Bulk pics VS Starting pics, take a look!! http://www.wannabebigforums.com/show...=1#post1616109

    Progress pics of a cut using bodyweight only movements http://www.wannabebig.com/forums/sho...45#post2405745

    Generally, if you read a piece of advice on the internet, assume it's wrong until proven otherwise. This applies especially to "conventional wisdom". -Belial

  20. #19
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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.

  21. #20
    Senior Member brihead301's Avatar
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    Well to name a few:

    Squats counted to infinity, twice

    Squats dosen'tt need to read, squats can simply just stare at a book and get the information out of it that way

    Squats once ate an entire bottle of sleeping pills, and it made squats blink

    Squats can smell underwater

    Squats gave poision ivy a rash

    Squats uses a night light. Not because squats is afraid of the dark, but because the dark is afraid of squats

    Squats can check mate in just one move
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  22. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dmagic View Post
    Hello everyone, i was wondering if squats really build overall mass(i.e.) biceps, chest, back, and etc. I was never really a fan of working out on my legs, even though i recently just started working out. But I've been hearing that doing squats is a necessity for working out and getting big! Can anyone confirm this and tell me the logic behind why squatting shall increase make me bigger and stronger? Thank you in advance!
    "Up until the time of Hiseís experiments with the squat, I spent about 12 years in fruitless effort trying to develop a physique or gain weight. I weighed 128 pounds at a height of 5í10Ē during those years, and training methods at that time didnít alter my physique even slightly. On publication of the gains of Hise, I decided that this might be what I needed, so I wrote him, and in his characteristically enthusiastic letter I felt I had at last found the secret of gains, so I immediately started working out with squats, chins and behind-the-neck presses. I worked out twice per week and used one set of 20 reps in the squat part of the time and two sets of 10 to 15 reps part of the time. I gained 10 pounds of good muscle the first month. Not much, perhaps, by todayís standards, but a lot for a fellow who hadnít been able to gain a pound for years and in fact was even too weak and run down to hold down a job for any length of time. In two years I gained 70 pounds of bodyweight. In addition to this I had become heavy weight lifting champion of the Midwestern AAU district, including South Dakota, Nebraska and western Iowa."

  23. #22
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    Structure is just an excuse...I say, find a way to squat. So, you may not be built to be a great squatter, but that's no excuse not to do it. There is NO better exercise...period.
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  24. #23
    Senior Member soclydeza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Off Road View Post
    There is NO better exercise...period.
    not even deads?
    Friends don't let friends slam weights on the ground after every set

  25. #24
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soclydeza View Post
    not even deads?
    Who wants to work that hard? I've done 20 rep deads before, but can't handle them for too long.
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  26. #25
    Senior Member RichMcGuire's Avatar
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    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.
    First Bulk pics VS Starting pics, take a look!! http://www.wannabebigforums.com/show...=1#post1616109

    Progress pics of a cut using bodyweight only movements http://www.wannabebig.com/forums/sho...45#post2405745

    Generally, if you read a piece of advice on the internet, assume it's wrong until proven otherwise. This applies especially to "conventional wisdom". -Belial

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