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Powerhouse Training: Squats and Deadlifts

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A Case For Squats and Deadlifts

To rescue yourself from this fate, a paradigm shift is in order, jock or no jock. You need to buy into two of the most complete free weight barbell training and athletically infused strength and conditioning exercises that you can do: squats and deadlifts.

Whether your goals are the functional dominance of an athlete, or a senior who simply wishes to extend their disability zone and to be functionally competent, including squats and dead lifts into your regimen are the bona fide means to this end. They’re natural movements that can be scaled to an individual’s ability and just can’t be duplicated on any machine.

Resistance in the form of cables, cams, pulleys, or any other contrivance pales in comparison to the neurological and kinesthetic directive that free weight training and its resultant earth-bound gravity loading offers. In addition (addressing a modern-day fixation) squats and deadlifts provide all of the necessary core work you’ll ever need simply by the inherent nature of their required isometric contraction and trunk stabilisation.

Wolf, Lombard & Mr Hise

The whole notion of squats and deadlifts are well rooted in scientific cause and effect rationale. The action-specific observational phenomena of Lombard’s Paradox curiously explains the simplistic yet complex nature of the sit-to-stand squat movement and its unique co-contraction. A daily move we perform extracting ourselves form the toilet. And the dynamics of bone deformation and strengthening theory in Wolf’s law adds to the credence and usefulness of both exercises.

It may also shed controversial light on modern-day pharmacological (“Fosomax Female”) interventions and whether the sociological implications of free weight training avoidance by women may indeed be a contributing factor.

Squats are also rooted in iron game history. Joseph Curtis Hise began barbell training in the 30’s and was considered the father of American weight lifting. By experimenting with a 20 rep squat regimen, along with other barbell exercises, he gained 29 pounds of muscle in one month. Hise was credited with starting a squatting fad that served to help hundreds of striving lifters who were unable to gain weight or increase their power.

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Tom has been involved in the fitness industry for 25 years with experiences in both the corporate and commercial club settings. He started one of the first in-home personal training services in New Jersey in 1985. In 1997, Tom officially established tgfit inc., which provides in-home and private studio fitness training. He is certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association as both a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (NSCA/CSCS) and a Certified Personal Trainer (NSCA/CPT). Tom also holds a Masters Degree from New York University in Sport and Fitness Management. When he's not guest posting he's maintaining his own blog entitled What We Say, which covers a wide range of topics within the fitness lifestyle.


  1. jonathan

    June 30, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    great article. I recently started training for powerlifting and have been making good progress. I found a bunch of free routines on this website

    I’ve been doing the korte 3×3 routine. it’s a lot of work but it’s really working and i’m setting new record every week.

  2. Ryan

    May 2, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    Couldn’t agree more with this article. I started lifting with free weights and the classic squat and bench without machines and after recently trying a few machines can’t believe they even compare the two. Get such a better burn and workout without having a machine guide the weights for me.

  3. James Madison

    December 28, 2010 at 2:50 am

    Nice article. As a powerlifter and a fan of Louie Simmons, I follow the Westside Barbell method that gives more emphasis on squats. We follow strength training routine twice a week, on Monday and Friday to work on the muscular system as well as on neuromuscular system.

  4. Westide Barbell

    November 25, 2010 at 6:45 am

    The most impressive one in this post is the “cues” one. The points are good.

  5. p90 x review

    November 9, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    Ive been doing this for quite a week now and in the beginning im experiencing some stiffness in my thighs and legs. But now ive felt more power and much more stronger than ever before :)

  6. Pingback: Exercise Fitness Training- How does kettlebell compare to the regular weight training? - Sports Goals and Workout Info

    • tommyg

      November 7, 2010 at 4:32 am

      What type of strength? Strength-endurance – yes. Foundatioal, systemic strength – NO. KB’s are a good assistance or accessory exercise, but they are not nearly as effective as barbell training’s squats, dead lifts and presses for devloping strength potential. Building strength, especially for the novice, is about applying the proper linear increases in weight to provide the stimulus for adaptation. The “loading” for KB’s and therefore its’ adaptation, is limited to what size KB you can hold in your hand(s) – they’re not the “bread and butter” needed for strenght development. Compare KB’s to the axial loading potential, inherent systemic effect by central nervous system activity and joint and tissue strength barbell training offers and there’s no comparison. Body weight or loaded chin-ups/pull-ups are excellent choices as well because of the amount of muscles being used, work (f x d = w) being done… as well as they’re a natural and functional movement.

  7. Jarret

    November 5, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    I’ve noticed more people in the gym seem to be focused on squats and deadlifts than in the past. It’s harder to find guys walking around with 20 inch biceps and stick legs. ;)

    • tommyg

      November 6, 2010 at 4:50 am

      That’s encouraging news Jarret! You can’t overlook the imporatnce of these foundational exercises.

  8. p90 x

    November 4, 2010 at 3:13 am

    This will be for those who really wanted it hard. Its good to know that you give a lot of emphasis on the squats because much more often this is always neglected though it is very useful exercise.

    • tommyg

      November 6, 2010 at 4:38 am

      Yes, both squats and dead lifts are extremely useful exercises that can be systemically grueling – hard efforts needed to maximize your potential.

  9. Dawn @ Probiotics LoveThatBug

    November 4, 2010 at 12:01 am

    Okay – I’ve just been admitting my total inability to do squats on another post. I seem to be surrounded by a universe determined to get me into squats tonight.

    I’m a million miles away from a true squat but I find that just by going as far as I can – and still return to my starting position – I am gradually getting better.

    It’s going to take time but I am pleased to see that a fitness expert is recommending squats so thoroughly as being one of the best exercises.

    • tommyg

      November 4, 2010 at 2:14 am

      Keep it up Dawn! When done correctly and to proper depth, you’re using alot of muscle.

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