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Barbell Squats Are Not Primal?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Neckhammer View Post
    Hey the guy gotta point. There is a very legit argument against the way we load a bar on our backs and squat. I think you could argue that if you cant lift that amount of weight from the ground to your shoulder then it is likely too much for you to be squatting with. Why? Cause it makes sense. The vertebral column is build much like a pyramid with the smallest bones on top and the largest at the bottom. Why would you top load a structure like that with more weight than you could legitimately expect to lift from the ground? Whatever... I love deadlifts. Just not a fan of the position we put ourselves in with squats. Call me a sissy.... but I'm just adding a deadlift day and hitting the leg press instead. BTW yes there are tensegrity models of mechanics you can use to refute the pyramid analogy and I can acknowledge that exists... I also am speaking as someone who herniated a disc at the age of 15. I'm a prude when it comes to spine safety these days.
    Yeah, he has a point. I'm not convinced it is valid, especially for men. I don't have a ton of experience rucking, but more than zero, and I like to wear the weight up high on my shoulders, about the same place a barbell goes. It makes me a little tippy if I bend over, which is why squatting is such a useful technique to have.

    For me, the issue is not getting the weight up high enough, but the manipulation of the weight, using your arms, at that height. Seriously, load a ruck or a pack, and then see if it is easier to put it on your back first, then stand, or deadlift it and put it on your back. I would posit that loading the weight on your back and standing up is far safer for your spine than trying to manipulate the pack from your front to your back while standing.

    Regarding the size of vertebrae: Why is it that so many traditional cultures have the concept of carrying weight directly on top of the head, or across a yoke, where a barbell typically goes?

    He has a point, but I think he's missing/ignoring too much for it to be valid.

    *Edit: I may have to review Starting Strength, but I'm pretty sure that shear forces on the spine are higher during deadlifts than with squats. I may be wrong, but I don't think what you said is a valid reason for a healthy person to avoid squats in favor of deadlifts.
    Last edited by jfreaksho; 02-18-2013, 06:33 PM.

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    • #17
      I do BB squats and I love them. So there.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by RichMahogany View Post
        Nope. I'm convinced. I'm done with squats and going to take up wooly mammoth hunting instead.
        just checked the regs. mammoth season opens february 23rd. don't forget to sharpen your spear

        on a slightly more serious note, these threads really have to stop. squats aren't "paleo" but typing on a computer is. what about the car you drove to work today, or the fridge keeping your grassfed beef cold? i should start a "did cavemen really eat beef" thread. that ought to really throw the softheads into a tizzy
        Last edited by not on the rug; 02-19-2013, 05:59 AM.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by not on the rug View Post
          on a slightly more sersios note, these threads really have to stop. Squats aren't "paleo" but typing on a computer is. What about the car you drove to work today, or the fridge keeping your grassfed beef cold? I'll should start a "did cavemen really eat beef" thread. That ought to really throw the softheads into a tizzy
          This
          You know all those pictures of Adam and Eve where they have belly button? Think about it..................... take as long as you need........................

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          • #20
            When my pack is heavy, I will lift it to my knee and then put it on. When my pack is really heavy I'll set it on something, a rock or a picnic table and then sit in front of it and put it on. It is never easy to put a heavy pack on sitting on the ground and then trying to stand up.

            In other cultures they carry heavy loads suspended by a tumpline strapped over the forehead. Super heavy loads, too, things like rocks for buildings or inch thick sheets of plywood. They have really strong necks.

            I do have to agree that maybe 300lb squats aren't very natural. In fact, I've been wondering if there's a point where I'm simply "strong enough." Rippetoe would say you're never strong enough, but I think I disagree. Once everything I do is easy enough, how can being even stronger matter much?
            Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by not on the rug View Post
              just checked the regs. mammoth season opens february 23rd. don't forget to sharpen your spear

              on a slightly more serious note, these threads really have to stop. squats aren't "paleo" but typing on a computer is. what about the car you drove to work today, or the fridge keeping your grassfed beef cold? i should start a "did cavemen really eat beef" thread. that ought to really throw the softheads into a tizzy
              Far as exercise is concerned I think an evolutionary lens of biomechanics is a useful tool. Don't get too put off by the "is it paleo" question. I really could care less if anything is Paleo tm.... but I do recognize that many people studying things from an evolutionary and ancestral perspective are in the Paleo community. Really the squats issue is an age old battle and not likely to be resolved here.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
                When my pack is heavy, I will lift it to my knee and then put it on. When my pack is really heavy I'll set it on something, a rock or a picnic table and then sit in front of it and put it on. It is never easy to put a heavy pack on sitting on the ground and then trying to stand up.
                Yes. This is what I was describing. You need to get under the weight somehow.


                Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
                In other cultures they carry heavy loads suspended by a tumpline strapped over the forehead. Super heavy loads, too, things like rocks for buildings or inch thick sheets of plywood. They have really strong necks.

                I do have to agree that maybe 300lb squats aren't very natural. In fact, I've been wondering if there's a point where I'm simply "strong enough." Rippetoe would say you're never strong enough, but I think I disagree. Once everything I do is easy enough, how can being even stronger matter much?
                I'm not really disagreeing with you- I'm squatting a bit over 200 right now, and I'm not sure how motivated I am to bring it too much higher- but when you are stronger, the list of things that you can do just gets longer. Maybe I have a different list than others, but here's what I've got:

                Proficient at basic gymnastic skills (rings and tumbling, specifically)
                Proficient at basic parkour (It just looks awesome)
                Ability to hit and kick really hard in my martial arts classes (It's technique to a point, then it's muscle.)
                Capability to out-muscle my grappling opponent, when I can't out-skill them (This is muscle to make up for a lack of technique. Yes, I'll be that guy.)

                I'd like to learn to rock climb, but my grip strength is currently terrible. My upper body strength isn't all that great for the gymnastics and parkour stuff I'd like to learn. When I get the strength to do those movements, I'll probably need more to do them a little cleaner, or a little farther. I don't really see a limit to the effectiveness of more strength, for my list of things to do. I see the climbers doing one-finger pullups, or the parkour guys flying through the air from their leg speed and strength. I watch little kid gymnasts doing inverted work that I can only dream of at the moment... I'm not focusing on squats at the moment, but they help with both leg and core strength, which is necessary for all the things I want to do.

                I feel like squatting bodyweight (or a little more) is about equivalent to doing a pistol squat in terms of strength, but the pistol requires more skill and finesse, and doesn't force the stabilization of your abdominals and back muscles. Yes, I could get a lot of benefits from just doing deadlifts, but since my grip is holding me back, I can do much higher volume with squats right now than deadlifts.

                I'm going to stop rambling now.
                J.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Neckhammer View Post
                  Hey the guy gotta point. There is a very legit argument against the way we load a bar on our backs and squat. I think you could argue that if you cant lift that amount of weight from the ground to your shoulder then it is likely too much for you to be squatting with. Why? Cause it makes sense. The vertebral column is build much like a pyramid with the smallest bones on top and the largest at the bottom. Why would you top load a structure like that with more weight than you could legitimately expect to lift from the ground? Whatever... I love deadlifts. Just not a fan of the position we put ourselves in with squats. Call me a sissy.... but I'm just adding a deadlift day and hitting the leg press instead. BTW yes there are tensegrity models of mechanics you can use to refute the pyramid analogy and I can acknowledge that exists... I also am speaking as someone who herniated a disc at the age of 15. I'm a prude when it comes to spine safety these days.
                  Ok, I'll bite

                  How much can we expect to lift from the ground? Steinborn Lift by Scott Campbell - YouTube
                  "It's a great life, if you don't weaken.". John Buchan

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Neckhammer View Post
                    Far as exercise is concerned I think an evolutionary lens of biomechanics is a useful tool. Don't get too put off by the "is it paleo" question. I really could care less if anything is Paleo tm.... but I do recognize that many people studying things from an evolutionary and ancestral perspective are in the Paleo community. Really the squats issue is an age old battle and not likely to be resolved here.
                    i actually agree with you 100%. i stopped squatting heavy about 8 years ago. then i herniated some discs in a car accident, and decided to never do it again. i do deadlift still, but not heavy, and not usually in the less than 6-8 rep range. and i never squat heavy anymore. i do tons of bodyweight squats, some mildly heavy back squats, and mildly heavy front squats. when i was 24, i was out to prove something, in my olrde, wiser age (33), i've decided that the health of my spine is far more important than the amount of plates i can stack on a bar.

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                    • #25
                      I think if I could do parkour and gymnastics I wouldn't bother with barbell squats at all. But I'm a clydesdale so it's about all I can do. That and slow aerobic stuff. Heck, I couldn't even do tumbling and gymnastics when I was a little girl.
                      Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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