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

It’s 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
    Wannabebig Member
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    Will I ever need another exercise for legs besides squats?

    For a functional strength standpoint is the barbell squat the be all end all? Not taking aesthetics in mind. Why would I ever need to bother with calf raises or anything else? My calfs seem big enough anyways...

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  3. #2
    Senior Member soclydeza's Avatar
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    for functionality i wouldnt say squats are end-all, but i do think they are king, in terms of strength and functionality. other exercises to consider are lunges, split squats or another one-legged type exercises, work it along with squats and you're all set, IMO
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  4. #3
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    Squats plus a posterior movement like stiff-legged deadlifts.
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  5. #4
    Professional hobbit Focused70's Avatar
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    I can think of other reasons why you'd want to vary your movements. Variety for one. Helps to keep things fresh and interesting.
    me: so this is the "pump" you speak of
    me: I could never figure out what people were talking about
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  6. #5
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    'functionality' for what?

  7. #6
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fanelli View Post
    'functionality' for what?
    We're talking squats...they are functional for EVERYTHING
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  8. #7
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    Interesting that you bring up calf raises. Personally I need to do them as an accessory exercise in addition to squads and DLs. Without some kind of calf workout I was routinely twisting my ankle hiking or playing sports. After a couple calf-raise workouts that stopped. It makes sense to me, your hams/quads get stronger and so the rest of the leg needs to get stronger to support. But my calves are naturally pretty small, and you might not have the same problem.

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Off Road View Post
    We're talking squats...they are functional for EVERYTHING
    Deadlifts are more functional

  10. #9
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fanelli View Post
    Deadlifts are more functional

    Blasphemy...
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  11. #10
    Skinny Feet Kiff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Off Road View Post
    Blasphemy...
    Seconded
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  12. #11
    Senior Member ELmx479's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soclydeza View Post
    for functionality i wouldnt say squats are end-all, but i do think they are king, in terms of strength and functionality. other exercises to consider are lunges, split squats or another one-legged type exercises, work it along with squats and you're all set, IMO
    I agree with this, single leg movements are very good to incorporate into your training.

  13. #12
    Wannabebig Member MyWeightLifting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ELmx479 View Post
    I agree with this, single leg movements are very good to incorporate into your training.
    x3... If you don't add in unilateral (single leg) leg exercise at some point, then your progress on the typical bilateral leg exercises will eventually stop, or at least slow down.

    Step ups, lunges, single leg squats/pistols, split squats, etc. are all great choices. I find these to be most effective as assistance or secondary leg exercises -- Mostly because you can't lift maximal weight with them (as you can with squats or deadlifts), but also because it's usually a lot less practical to do unilateral leg exercises with heavy weight/lower reps.
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  14. #13
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    I think with the proper technique other exercises aren't absolutely necessary for someone training recreationally (non-competitive). With a slightly wider than shoulder-width stance, a big sit-back, and depth below parallel you can hit not only the quads but also the hamstrings, glutes, adductors, and lower back pretty hard. It may not be optimal to only SQ, but for someone with limited time or equipment it could work. I think the best "minimalist" approach would be to SQ and DL, which would basically cover the entire lower body and lower back pretty well.

  15. #14
    Senior Member BoAnderson71's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fanelli View Post
    Deadlifts are more functional
    agree. I believe deadlifts are king and squats are queen. Its good to run a country with both.

  16. #15
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    Deadlifts are the king of strength exercises...
    Squats are the king of mass exercises...
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  17. #16
    House Lannister
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    Quote Originally Posted by MyWeightLifting View Post
    x3... If you don't add in unilateral (single leg) leg exercise at some point, then your progress on the typical bilateral leg exercises will eventually stop, or at least slow down.
    What makes you think that?

  18. #17
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    Lunges are a great functional movement.

  19. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fanelli View Post
    Deadlifts are more functional
    I agree with this. When it comes down to it it's just picking something up off the floor which is a regular everyday movement/job for many people.

    And whereas squats work primarily the legs and glutes the deadlift works those too plus your back, forearms, grip...pretty much everything except the chest.

  20. #19
    Wannabebig Member MyWeightLifting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chevelle2291 View Post
    What makes you think that?
    Assuming that everyone has one side of their body that's weaker than the other, lifters are more likely to, knowingly or unknowingly, rely more on the stronger side to help perform, say squats. And the more this is done, the more significant the strength imbalance will become between the left and right sides of lower body.

    So eventually, two things can happen the way I look at it:
    1. The stronger side can no longer continue to compensate for the weaker side when weight is added, and/or...
    2. It contributes to some type of muscular imbalance/ issue that hinders mobility and leads to poorer squat technique, and therefore no/slower progress on the squat.

    All this, of course would take place over several months or even years. And it doesn't necessarily lead to a complete plateau... it would more likely lead to only a decrease in the rate of (what would otherwise be optimal) progress.

    So... the best case scenario of not doing any unilateral exercises would be essentially no noticeable negative effects on progress of the bilateral exercises. But the worst case scenario could eventually mean a total plateau and muscular imbalance/mobility/etc. issues.
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  21. #20
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    The very short answer is yes. For one reason, whatever your relative weakness in the squat is it will always remain so and thus limit progress unless you perform different exercises which target said weakness.


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  22. #21
    Senior Member Phenom's Avatar
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    I do deadlifts on tuesday and squats on friday. That's all the action my legs get for the week and they are probably the most musclar part of my body. Not necessarily the strongest but certainly the most developed size/appearance wise. I've learned to embrace the quad/inner thigh stretch marks.
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  23. #22
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    deadlifts, db lunges, gms, leg exts, leg curls

    they all have their place.

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