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Thread: If I could do only one exercise it would be to squat ...Here's why

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Yeah, I've played around with those and similar. It's definitely a conditioning challenge not to be trifled with. I was just making the point that if we're truly playing "if you could only do 1 exercise," it's not simply a matter of hitting the most muscle groups, it's also a question of the ability to load. If you can do those with much more than 50 or 60 percent of your squat 1RM, I'll be impressed. Of course there's value to using a large number of muscle groups, but I'm just arguing that there's also a value to being able to handle really heavy loads.
    The Champagne of Beards

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Anthony View Post
    I don't do these often, but I use 135 and aim for sets of 8, and they obliterate me. I'm not saying they're optimal for strength and growth, especially in the squat department, but...

    I do kinda wonder how heavy I could get these if I focused on them for a while, but it's more in the "wonder" category with "I wonder how bad it really hurts to be bitten in half by a Great White?" category. Not really sure I'd like to find out.

    You do have to tinker with your grip width/hand placement a bit to make it all work. Start kinda light.
    Involving a lot of muscles will make you tired. The difficulty is also exacerbated due to the shoulders/traps being the weakest link in the chain - something not present with a back squat.

    As Rich said, it's not just the number of muscles involved and the "exhaustion factor", it's how much the muscles are actually taxed, which is what ultimately drives adaptation. It is impossible to consider yourself strong if your legs, the most powerful component of your body, are not strong. Overhead squats are too light for legs, due to the weakness of shoulders/traps in handling a true leg-heavy weight, and thus do not elicit the needed strength adaption in the legs.

    Personally, I think overhead squats are useless for the typical person unless you're training the snatch.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Agreed; that's why I stay out of the "if you could only have one" whatever discussions. We have options. Use them! If I could only have one girlfriend, I'd be bored as crap.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    British Columbia
    Here is me doing a multi-muscle type thing during a confused stage I went through buying into the functional crap !

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Alright, if the question is what is the best overall exercise for overall strength and not general fitness and if we define “lower body” as lower back/abs and everything below that, then squat is roughly 80 % a lower body lift while deadlift around 60-65 % and bent over rows around 45-55 %. So, bent over rows gives more possibilities for overall strength development than both squat and deadlifts. Clean and jerk could have been an option, but it has too few possibilities of variation. Amount of loading is not that important for overall strength, general muscular impact and possibilities of variation will be more relevant. Some old time strongman lifted thousands of pounds in certain strongman lifts, so if amount of loading is the most important, then you should pick one of those, but maximal load is less relevant when it comes to general strength development…

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