Squatting is overated

I’ve been reading a few threads online…and laughing to myself…but also thinking about how big a gap their is between what I take for granted and what people out there on the interweb actually know.

Let me tell you something for free…squatting…and while we’re at it…deadlifting are massively overrated when it comes to sports performance.

I won’t go into detail here…because god knows I really need my beauty sleep…but squatting and deadlifting are far more important for intermediate athletes than beginners or advanced athletes.

Most beginners whether they be athletes or general trainees are not ‘ready’ to squat or deadlift when they first walk into the gym and there is a lot of work that can be done to ensure when they are ready they can perform these exercises properly and safely.

Most advanced athletes can similarly maintain their squat and deadlift number utilising squat and deadlift variations as well as supplementary exercises that massively decrease the risk of injury.

The reason that I think these exercises…particularly squatting is overrated is because I don’t see the correlation between squat numbers and on field performance…sure I have great squatters who perform excellently in their chosen sports but equally have poor squatters…in number terms…who perform excellently in their chosen sport despite these numbers.

What I see FAR more often is athletes that have ‘balanced’ numbers in the gym who stay injury free and perform consistently at a high level in their chosen sport.

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14 thoughts on “Squatting is overated

  1. Would you agree though that someone who can’t do a deep squat is deficient in one of the most important areas. I’m not talking about big numbers, just having that ability to go low with moderate weight.

  2. Barry Oglesby said…
    Would you agree though that someone who can’t do a deep squat is deficient in one of the most important areas. I’m not talking about big numbers, just having that ability to go low with moderate weight.
    Absolutely. If you can't squat to depth why exactly are you squatting for? I have athletes Box Squat & Trap Bar Deadlift primarily but they always cycle through arse to grass back and front squats and snatch grip straight bar deadlifts as part of their programs.

  3. Why snatch grip on the deads? You like causing people like me who’ve fucked up scaphoids pain or is there another reason?

    I saw a guy in a gym two weeks ago do the worst bodyweight squats I’ve EVER seen and then load up the smith machine. And he’s a sprinter.

  4. Will
    When you say not ready to squat do you mean they should have their technique down first and sufficient ankle ,knee,lower back flexibility before upping the numbers or are you talking about people having their single leg and proprioceptive stuff down first.

    Also as someone who finds deadlifting hard to recover from do you think cleans progressing to clean pulls are a good alternative if you have somewhere that lets you drop the bar ?

    Does pulling something reasonably heavy fast off the floor translate to helping pull something very heavy slow off the floor ?

    Hopefully some of that makes sense

  5. lylemcd said…
    As I’m sure anonymous will tell you, anybody who doesn’t back squat is a fag.
    True…I encourage all athletes to embrace their innerghey.

    lylemcd said…
    Hey Will
    Can glute bridges replace back squatting?
    What is your 1RM glute bridge?

    Barry Oglesby said…
    Why snatch grip on the deads?
    Because it increases the ROM…is that to straight forward an answer?

    You like causing people like me who’ve fucked up scaphoids pain or is there another reason?
    Because if you can’t do them then I don’t think you have any business doing normal deadlifts…either…from the sounds of it you have bigger problems than not being able to snatch grip deadlift.

    I saw a guy in a gym two weeks ago do the worst bodyweight squats I’ve EVER seen and then load up the smith machine. And he’s a sprinter.
    Most athletes are idiots…and I’m including all the ones reading this who think they actually know what they are doing.

    garrett said…
    Will
    When you say not ready to squat do you mean they should have their technique down first and sufficient ankle ,knee,lower back flexibility before upping the numbers
    Yes.

    or are you talking about people having their single leg and proprioceptive stuff down first.
    Yes.

    Also as someone who finds deadlifting hard to recover from do you think cleans progressing to clean pulls are a good alternative if you have somewhere that lets you drop the bar?
    Yes..ish. I love Olympic Lifting…I really enjoy it and I really enjoy coaching the lifts BUT I think Olympic Lifting for sport performance (other than Olympic Lifting) is even more overrated than squatting…in my whole career as a coach I have just never seen the carry over to sport…you give me two identical athletes and let someone take one of them down the Olympic Lifting pathway and let me take mine down my pathway and my athlete will kick your athletes arse…not because my way results in necessarily superior performance (shhh…it would) but because my athlete will be playing every game and won’t be getting injured TRAINING to perform.

    Does pulling something reasonably heavy fast off the floor translate to helping pull something very heavy slow off the floor?
    It absolutely does.

    Hopefully some of that makes sense
    Not really…but I know you are doing your best.

  6. Thanks for the encouragement.
    I dont know if Olympic weightlifting has any more carryover or not but if you know what your doing you shouldnt get injured doing the lifts .
    People should learn how to dump a bad lift early, this necessitates a bit of space though.

    But I,ve seen silly stuff with squats , I think benching heavy is way more dangerous and push presses in a power cage !!!!

  7. garrett said…
    Thanks for the encouragement.
    You know me…Mr Positive.

    I dont know if Olympic weightlifting has any more carryover or not
    Not.

    but if you know what your doing you shouldnt get injured doing the lifts.
    Are you trying to be funny? Of course you shouldn’t get injured…it’s just that I don’t know a single person involved in the sport that hasn’t been.

    People should learn how to dump a bad lift early, this necessitates a bit of space though.
    Never let go.

    But I,ve seen silly stuff with squats , I think benching heavy is way more dangerous and push presses in a power cage !!!!
    Because people can’t squat…they can’t bench…they don’t actually understand what they are doing…just like 95% of the people I see Oly Lifting.

  8. I was just trying to make the point that if you are using olympic lifting to help with your rugby or Gaa or whatever there is already a high enough chance of injury without your lifting contributing on top . So wouldnt it make sense then to go and learn how to do the lifts properly so you can get the most benefit out of it and not injure yourself in the process.Same for benching squatting whatever.
    I think someone that competes in Olympic lifting is probably going to be pushing a bit harder on the lifts than someone who is using them as part of a training program for their main sport but I think the incidence of injury would be a lot lower than soceer , rugby or GAA ?

  9. Because if you can’t do them then I don’t think you have any business doing normal deadlifts…either…from the sounds of it you have bigger problems than not being able to snatch grip deadlift.

    I’ve misinterpreted here. I took snatch grip to mean hook grip rather than just snatch width grip. Your answer makes a lot more sense knowing that! I’ve broken my scaphoids in both hands over the years so find the hook grip impossible to carry any weight on.

    I see what you’re trying to say regarding injury rates in conditioning. But surely something badly performed is going to cause injury no matter what it is? For my money I’ve never seen many people injured by cleans but I have seen plenty of people done by deadlifting for example. I can’t vouch for all of their techniques of course, I didn’t train them but that would be my anecdotal experience for what it’s worth. (Given that far more people dead than clean)

    Can you expand a bit on what you see are the greater dangers in O-lifting?

  10. 1. Most people/coaches don’t know how to perform or teach a correst squat.
    2. Intermediate and advanced athletes are already close to their genetic potential so you cannot expect a big increase in strenght. A beginner/novice who uses a simple strenght program based on linear progress with full body movements like the Squat, Power Clean, Press etc can benefit the most, I think, because he/she is so far away from his genetic limit.
    3.Once a novice has gained a whole lot of strenght in the weight room he should try to maintain that strenght during inseason and spent the other 99.9 % on his sport specific training aka rugby, hockey, football, volleybal whatever etc
    4.Balanced numbers in the gym for injury prevention is important. The Bench press for example is notorious for causing shoulder injuries . That is because there are a lot of stupid people out there who don’t know what they are doing. As long as you alternate between the Bench Press and the Press there should be no problem.

    Just my 2 cents on it
    From an amateur with an interest in strenght and conditioning training

    Jeroen

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