I get it. Many bodybuilders, especially those under age 40, love going to the gym, piling on the iron, and squatting or bench pressing heavy.
There’s camaraderie as well as primal alpha-ness. Plus you get addicted to hearing the big 45s clank together as you drive up impressive weight. Your buddies are encouraging you, slapping you on the back, hopefully not during the set, and congratulating you after you ram up a new personal record. Exhilarating…
You don’t get that with sissy squats—but that’s not why they’re called “sissies.” You can Google Sisyphus from Greek mythology if you’re interested in the real reason…
I think that’s the underlying reason why many reject Doug Brignole’s logical biomechanical analysis of those exercises. He explains and demonstrates why the fundamental mass moves aren’t so great at optimally engaging the target muscles….
But those are the ones we’ve been told are the best—and we’ve spent a lot of time on them…
If you’re in that naysayer camp, maybe you don’t have to completely trash what he’s saying. Instead, why not try incorporating his ideas into your workouts.
I’ve done that to a degree. I still squat, albeit with dumbbells at my sides and for only one or two sets at the end of my quad training after the ideal exercise. How I do it and what exercises I use are in the new ebook, so I won’t go into it here…
Look, I’m old. My power-bodybuilding days are over. I’ve already experienced the fun gym “circus” in my youth, with both positives and negatives—like a damaged shoulder. But like I said, I get it….
While I’m not a fan of training for size and strength at the same time, I think some may benefit from it—just be careful. Here’s an example…
Your first quad workout of the week could be your power day, training barbell squats first. Pyramid down to lower reps, if that’s what you’re into. End with some other quad work, like leg extensions—or not. Up to you…
Then at your second quad workout of the week, start with one of the ideal quad moves instead—sissy squats, for example. Train them damn hard; then you can end with barbell squats….
Obviously, at that second quad workout your barbell squat weight will need to be lighter. That’s a good thing. You may want to try some higher reps and work on perfect form.
In a previous newsletter, I kind of crapped on the heavy/light idea, but in this case I think it’s a legit way to train if you’re after both strength and muscle gain.
New: Get the ideal exercise for each muscle, the best add-on moves for ultimate mass, complete 35-minute workouts, exercise start/finish photos, and details on building muscle fast and efficiently in Old Man, Young Muscle.
Former Editor in Chief, Iron Man Magazine
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