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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Thread: I hate squats

  1. #1
    Wannabebig Member
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    I hate squats

    I've been doing them for 2 months now but my gains are incredibly slow. I read that you should keep your knees behind your feet while you squat. Well whenever i do a heavier weight my knees are way past my feet. I've been pretty much stuck at 145lb squat with perfect form. If i add a plate i can't keep my knees from shooting past my feet.

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  3. #2
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    Keeping your knees behin/over you feet is for a powerlifting squat. It puts the emphasis on your back and hamstrings. It also reduces the distance the bar has to travel. If you are not powerlifting, you should do ass to grass squats.

  4. #3
    Senior Member hardgainer169's Avatar
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    I have never heard of that rule before, looks like redspikey's got u cleared up. Now you can start squatting some real weight!
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  5. #4
    Senior Member Howard 9's Avatar
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    Squatting is awesome, I love it...Just keep working at it cause you must do them if you ever wanna get your legs big, good luck!

  6. #5
    Occupational Hypnomania
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    You can still go ass to floor with your knees not traveling past your toes, that is what the posters talking about right?

  7. #6
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    This sounds like a recent post of mine, I've been doing squats also for a little over a month and my gains were slow, I was stuck around 135LBS foreever. But I just started to gain weight recently.. I think this could be the problem.

    This is assuming you are going at least to parallel, to maybe below..
    SInce your new to squats, you bascially have to build up your ass muscles and other muscles that are used to do that low squat and keep good form. As you are getting stronger.. you will try to perfect your form, which will also be adding stress to these ass and back of leg muscles (I have no idea what they are called, and to lazy to look them up). So bascially soon you should be noticing gains as these mucles get devloped.. they bascially have to catch up. SO your strength gains are being used in perfecting your squat form, like going lower etc.

    And since your squatting only 145LBS, your probably skinny and have a small ass, which needs time to get devloped.


    As for your knees going past your toes.. I'll tell you that mine go past my toes also.. I try to minimize it, but I really see no way I could squat and be stable and not have my knees go at least a little past my toes.

  8. #7
    Eat Chicken Chris686's Avatar
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    Seems physically impossible for the knees to NOT go past the toes when you keep your legs relatively close together.

    But if you widen your stance and perhaps point your toes outwards slightly it can be done.
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    Weightlifting sucks. I just like to lift heavy things.

  9. #8
    Senior Member deeder's Avatar
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    Just make sure that you break at the hips and not the knees when you first start going down. Just keep sticking your ass out as you go down. Your knees will naturally move a bit over your toes but it shouldn't be too too much.
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  10. #9

  11. #10
    Wannabebig New Member
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    In a similar but different boat from the OP here.

    I LOVE squats. LOVE em. It's a rush having that much weight on you.

    However, I do have a problem with my form that I can't seem to get rid of. There's a certain weight range, probably 3/4 my 5RM, where my form falls apart. I unconsciously hitch my hips forward, before pushing up with my legs. I don't really know how better to describe it. Even if I concentrate on pushing with the legs, and trying to not jut my hips forward, it happens. The end result is I use my lower back way too much, and it feels slightly strained at the end of the day. Not quite a good strain either.

    Problem is I don't really have anyone to help me out in person. I've never seen anyone besides myself use the squat rack, so no squatting partners. All the trainers and the regulars there tell me to just not squat, to use the smith machine or just leg press exclusively, so they're no help.

    I'm not putting up much weight at all, my 5RM is around 165-175# right now. I'm assuming that the hitch comes from a weak lower back (my deadlift 5RM is around 175-185). Should I keep the weight down on the squats until my lower back catches up, or are there any other suggestions?

    Sorry for the length and vagueness, and thanks for the help.
    Last edited by Saltimboca; 10-18-2006 at 10:53 PM.

  12. #11
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    Try doing weightless ATF squats at home or whatever, if it tires you easily and maybe even hurts then you might want to try just doing them regularily till it becomes as easy as running. I dunno just a thought I had.

  13. #12
    no matter what SaVvY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Howard 9
    Squatting is awesome, I love it...Just keep working at it cause you must do them if you ever wanna get your legs big, good luck!
    squats are a great exercise, dont get me wrong, but you dont 'have' to do them to get big legs

    leg press, stiff leg deadlift, leg extension, leg curl, and standing calf raise - aslong as everythings done with correct form i wouldnt say this was a bad legs workout for a bodybuilder

  14. #13
    Risk10k Clifford Gillmore's Avatar
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    I would much rather do some ATF squats SS with Good Mornings and go home.

  15. #14
    Grammar Nazi BG5150's Avatar
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    I read a tip (I believe it was on the Wannabebig main site) that helped me out: It's been common wisdom to push through your heels to push the weight up. Instead, concentrate on pushing you back up through the bar. I found the movement seems more comfortable that way.
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  16. #15
    Senior Member Anthony's Avatar
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    Knees over the toes is fine, provided they are IN LINE with your toes. If they go outward (rare) or inward (common), that's when you'll promote injury.
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  17. #16
    Senior Member Anthony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaVvY
    leg press, stiff leg deadlift, leg extension, leg curl, and standing calf raise - aslong as everythings done with correct form i wouldnt say this was a bad legs workout for a bodybuilder
    Leg press, leg extension, and leg curl might help you grow, but they'll also develop faulty movement patterns, imbalances, and increase risk of injury (either acute or chronic). I'd steer clear of anything that locks you into a specific path unless you're being supervised by a professional for rehab or whatever.

    Squats are important, not just for growing, but for long term health and functional movement. If you're not doing them in one form or another, your routine is ****. Period.

    (this isn't an attack on you, savvy, just a general observation)
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  18. #17
    no matter what SaVvY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony
    Leg press, leg extension, and leg curl might help you grow, but they'll also develop faulty movement patterns, imbalances, and increase risk of injury (either acute or chronic). I'd steer clear of anything that locks you into a specific path unless you're being supervised by a professional for rehab or whatever.

    Squats are important, not just for growing, but for long term health and functional movement. If you're not doing them in one form or another, your routine is ****. Period.

    (this isn't an attack on you, savvy, just a general observation)
    i dont know what your talking about with faulty movement patterns (faulty for what?), and imbalances (of what?)

    but your saying people that do these exercises are at a higher risk of injury than people who squat? find that a bit strange cuss i know / have heard of many people whom have back problems that were caused from squatting, an have heard of pretty much no injuries from these other exercises

  19. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaVvY
    i dont know what your talking about with faulty movement patterns (faulty for what?), and imbalances (of what?)

    but your saying people that do these exercises are at a higher risk of injury than people who squat? find that a bit strange cuss i know / have heard of many people whom have back problems that were caused from squatting, an have heard of pretty much no injuries from these other exercises
    He's talking about real world movements. Isolating the hamstrings and quads produces a strength imbalance between the two and also promotes a weak lower back.

    The faulty movements patterns refers to going from isolation exercises to real world/compound movements. Think of this situation: A heavy piece of junk needs to be moved and the guy who does isolations says "I can lift that, after all I can do xxx on leg extensions". He squats down, picks it up and throws it his back. Sure he could move that weight with his legs, but his back can't support it. Now think of the guy who can squat that much. Not only does he have the strength, but his form should (theoretically) be better.

  20. #19
    Senior Member Anthony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaVvY
    i dont know what your talking about with faulty movement patterns (faulty for what?), and imbalances (of what?)

    but your saying people that do these exercises are at a higher risk of injury than people who squat? find that a bit strange cuss i know / have heard of many people whom have back problems that were caused from squatting, an have heard of pretty much no injuries from these other exercises
    Faulty for functionality. The body was designed to: squat, deadlift, lunge, push horizontally and vertically, and pull horizontally and vertically. The majority (read: all) of your training should be centered around those principles (especially while standing) if you want to maximize strength, health, and functionality.

    Machines lock you into a predefined movement pattern and range of motion, which may or may not be ideal for your body size and leverage. This increases your risk of injury.

    The muscle imbalances are a result of detraining your body to work as a unit. Muscle imbalances will eventually lead to injury.

    No one gets injured when they squat properly.
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  21. #20
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    Hey guys/gals, just checked back. Thanks for all the positive feedback. Well yesterday was my squat day(on BGB) and i widened out my stance a bit and that helped a lot with my form. Although at times i've been tempted to say to myself, "heck i can get the same benefits from a leg press machine!" i know that it would be a bad move to eliminate them from a workout.

    Well i managed to do 145lb ATF squats 5x5 yesterday. I find it incredibly sad that i can bench 185lbs but only squat 145.

  22. #21
    no matter what SaVvY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony
    Faulty for functionality. The body was designed to: squat, deadlift, lunge, push horizontally and vertically, and pull horizontally and vertically. The majority (read: all) of your training should be centered around those principles (especially while standing) if you want to maximize strength, health, and functionality.

    Machines lock you into a predefined movement pattern and range of motion, which may or may not be ideal for your body size and leverage. This increases your risk of injury.

    The muscle imbalances are a result of detraining your body to work as a unit. Muscle imbalances will eventually lead to injury.

    No one gets injured when they squat properly.
    to be fair anthony, im talking bodybuilding, which is not a strength sport

    machines are usually set to move in a way that we can move, an you can adjust a lot of them, so i dont really see that being a problem for most people, but obviously if it feels wrong then dont use it

    i wouldnt think muscle imbalances would be much of a problem for the legs, we tend to use both our legs for most things, i cant really think of too many one legged activities - cant see how this would be much a factor unless you were pushing one leg more than the other for some reason

    i think theres two problems with squats as far as injuries go - first is not warming up the lower back enough, an second is squatting with bad form, if these were taken care off there would be no injuries

    as far as strength goes, squat all the way! i train for strongman myself, the only machines i use period are leg press, and standing calf machine, an thats only because there is no free weight version

  23. #22
    Demons of Steel and Flesh HP666's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaVvY
    to be fair anthony, im talking bodybuilding, which is not a strength sport

  24. #23
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaVvY
    to be fair anthony, im talking bodybuilding, which is not a strength sport

    machines are usually set to move in a way that we can move, an you can adjust a lot of them, so i dont really see that being a problem for most people, but obviously if it feels wrong then dont use it

    i wouldnt think muscle imbalances would be much of a problem for the legs, we tend to use both our legs for most things, i cant really think of too many one legged activities - cant see how this would be much a factor unless you were pushing one leg more than the other for some reason

    i think theres two problems with squats as far as injuries go - first is not warming up the lower back enough, an second is squatting with bad form, if these were taken care off there would be no injuries

    as far as strength goes, squat all the way! i train for strongman myself, the only machines i use period are leg press, and standing calf machine, an thats only because there is no free weight version
    Imbalance does not just mean between the left and right leg... Machines are a problem because they lock the leg, glutes, hip flexors, and lower back into frozen positions. It can also take synergists (like the hip flexors, glutes, etc) out of play and make it pretty easy to overload the knee and/or lower back.

    I suppose it's possible to build up some great wheels without squats, but you'd probably have to be pretty genetically gifted...
    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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  25. #24
    no matter what SaVvY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sensei
    Imbalance does not just mean between the left and right leg... Machines are a problem because they lock the leg, glutes, hip flexors, and lower back into frozen positions. It can also take synergists (like the hip flexors, glutes, etc) out of play and make it pretty easy to overload the knee and/or lower back.

    I suppose it's possible to build up some great wheels without squats, but you'd probably have to be pretty genetically gifted...
    personally i dont see any difference for the knee's with those machine exercises, an i cant see how lower back is a part of any of them / deadlifts will hit the hips/glutes

    imo saying you would have to be genetically gifted to build up great legs with those exercises is just the same as saying you have to be genetically gifted to build great legs

  26. #25
    Senior Member Anthony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaVvY
    personally i dont see any difference for the knee's with those machine exercises, an i cant see how lower back is a part of any of them
    This could be why you are missing the point.

    Machines = bad (some are okay, none of which you listed).

    Free weights = good.

    Free weights while standing = best.
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