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Top 10 Reasons NOT to Barbell Squat

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I want to get the troops fired up like Jean Claude Van Damme did in Street Fighter. I want to believe that the internet is merely populated with very persistent trolls with a lot of patience, and that nobody could possibly live through life, making it to adulthood, while maintaining a certain level of unbelievable ignorance. But humans have always surprised me. I am continually awed by the way that humans push past every conceivable limitation that we set upon ourselves. Here is an article written by one "Anthony Dream Johnson". The first reaction most of you would probably have is "Seriously, do you even lift?"


Top 10 Reasons NOT to Barbell Squat


Barbell Squat : the Worst Exercise in Existence?



Disclaimer: Do not comment. Do not try to reason with him. It is impossible. I am merely illustrating how people like this exist. Yes, he may be writing a very controversial article just to get more hits on his blog. But honestly, some of the people arguing on the side of Squats aren't really helping. They just make us look bad. Still, pretty funny, once you get past being extremely frustrated and infuriated.

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I have been squatting for 8 months, and I can tell you that I am stronger from the chest down than I have ever been.  My legs feel bionic.  My back, core, and knees fell indestructible compared to when i started.  So no, I won't stop squatting anytime soon.  The guy in the article referred to squats as the most popular lift.  Idiot.  Anyone that has sent any time in the gym knows that would be the bench press.  Squats are work, and most people avoid them.  (Or do a half-assed power curtsy)  My two cents.

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Yes because immediately when you squat you should start out with a ton of weight. When most people cant even do a proper body weight squat without difficulty.


Thanks for sharing, made me laugh.

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Honestly, these articles bother my rationalist side more than my lifting side.


OK, so "the world's dumbest men" like squats. Even if we just accept that statement, why would that be a point against squatting? Reversed stupidity is not intelligence; inverting the opinions of stupid people will not reliably yield truth.

"In a long enough time span, I would bet the risk of injury on a free standing barbell squat is 100%." You'd bet on it, but not bother to look up or cite any statistics on it? Where I come from, you shouldn't offer to bet on things you aren't willing to back up, and a 100% injury rate should be glaringly obvious in the data, which makes the omission very conspicuous.


The guy flunks out of Remedial Empiricism 101, and his most important reason (so important it's first AND last) is straight-up ad hominem.


But maybe I'm getting too cynical, because I feel less "fired up" and more "rolling my eyes and sighing, before getting on with my life".

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You can't push your limits without touching them.


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He's right though.  People fall over sideways doing squats all the time.  Please, be sensible people.  Stop squatting.  THINK OF THE CHILDREN!

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Aw, it's like my mom wrote an article :)


"You might get HURT! It's not NATURAL!"

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Is he just saying random words?

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Is he just saying random words?


I think it's one of those "this is what English sounds like to non-speakers" videos. Halfsrs. 


The thing that gives it away is the channel. 21 Convention is just a mess of misinformation.

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I'm new to squats, and being I had double knee surgery last year, I've gotten quite a few "nooo!" comments from people.


This was impressive though.  Quite the video.  With all it's ridiculousness, I've got two things I just have to say:


One, he could have said the same amount of content in 2 minutes flat.  It's like when people are thinking but keep talking while their brain tries to figure out what it was going to say.



Two, he keeps talking about falling forward, or backwards, or sideways...I have terrible balance.  It got significantly better with kung fu, but by better I mean I went from do-you-have-some-kind-of-medical-issue balance issues to balance-is-really-not-your-forte balance issues.  I almost fell over at the gym yesterday getting out of the leg press machine, for example (which I'm alternating with squats to help increase my range of motion).  


Yet I've never had a scary, about to pitch over sideways moment squatting, nor felt like I was going to fall.  I kind of figure if that's an issue, I should be the poster child for experiencing it.  Then again, I just started adding weight to the bar; perhaps I should just go with 300 pounds like he mentions to do it right.  :numbness:


I also second the bench being the most popular.  I usually have to steal a bar from the bench area for the squat rack. 

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I had a big rant going but decided it wasn't worth it and deleted it. I feel bad giving him traffic and views.

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"No citizen has a right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. What a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable. " ~ Socrates
"Friends don't let friends squat high." ~ Chad Wesley Smith
"It's a dangerous business, Brodo, squatting to the floor. You step into the rack, and if you don't keep your form, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to." ~ Gainsdalf

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I had a big rant going but decided it wasn't worth it and deleted it. I feel bad giving him traffic and views.


Feeling the same.  Only made it 6 minutes in, then stopped caring.  "For you first exercise ever we are going to put a barbell on your back that is 2x your Bodyweight."  Do that with any exercise, and surprisingly, every single one of them is dangerous. 



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OOoooh I want to argue with him so badly.


The struggle is real! This is how I feel about like 75% of the internet though.

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I didn't watch this video, but Scooby is really bad at this too.  He's pretty ripped and all, but the video that Scooby did about how 5x5 programs are bad for chest development makes me think that maybe Couch 2 5k won't get me a sub-11s 100m dash.  The one about how squats are easily replaced with _____, and _____, and _____, which combined will cover everything a squat does for you (no, not at all) made me realize I'm never watching another one of his videos again.

Searching the world for a cure for my wanderlust.

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Jesus christ that was difficult.

I didn't even make it 4.5 minutes in- and I was skipping. All I heard was bla bla bla bla get to the point.


I can't stand videos where people ramble and never get to the effing point.  


I hope he is one of those people who walks up to people mid set and is like- you know that's bad for you right?  Because that shit... makes me really happy. Really.  Happy.    I have a little internal mental video of seeing how that would go in my world. LULZ. I was amused. 

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I would like to see this book he's talking about....


I managed to watch the whole video.  Apprently, he's talking about your neck breaking and your ribcage collapsing because all that muscle building really goes into the legs than the neck?


Says something about how people argue placing the barbell on your neck will encourage the neck to get stronger and have your spine be able to handle the weight....


He says that eventually that you'll be lifting so much weight that your neck hasn't gotten as strong as your legs and your neck will give out, causing your spine and ribcage to collapse.  (Lol, managed to make sense of what he's saying now, I guess).


I'm still all for squating, but what does everyone have to say about that?  I'm still a beginner in squats and using dumbbells for now.  I don't know much on how every different muscle in the body entirely works, so what do you guys have to say about his argument that the neck will eventually not be strong enough to hold up the weight?

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The neck does not hold up the weight in the first place. The barbell rests on the shoulders, below the base of the neck.


But ignoring that mistake and focusing on the spine, it's still nonsense. It imagines the limiting factor is always the legs, and that the spine has a sharp threshold between "can handle it" and "completely collapse, possibly by breaking". Both things are false. If your legs can move more than your back can support, your form will progressively deteriorate as you add weight. You will notice this. Upon noticing it, you stop adding weight and work on it, just like you would any other weak point.

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You can't push your limits without touching them.


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^ And if the squat was just a leg exercise, my leg press wouldn't be double my squat. Your core benefits substantially from the squat--that's one of the reasons why it's such a great exercise. (For some people, all their core work consists of is heavy squatting.) What's the point of making your legs strong if your core can't handle it?

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I watched the video. For the most part, he just tries to reinforce his point by repeating it. The way he does it is a very arrogant way of doing it and it's almost as if he's assuming that the viewer is someone who practices barbell squats and is stupid about it. 


Yes, it is true that people can get hurt when performing certain exercises but honestly any exercise can potentially hurt us if we do not do it correctly. You can stuff up your back if you're dumb about doing a dead lift, you can hurt your chest or your arms if you're not careful when bench pressing, hell I once didn't re-rack a barbell properly when doing warm ups for bench press and guess what? The bar fell and nearly hit me in the face, because I was careless. When doing heavy exercises, you need to careful and you need to be correct. It's common sense, or it should be. This guy is talking like no one has any common sense. Again, it's so arrogant. 


Honestly, I doubt people are as dumb as he's trying to make us think they are. I highly doubt when someone begins barbell squatting that they would throw as much weight on as they could before attempting to squat. If someone did that, e.g. tried to throw heaps of weight on before proceeding to squat and never having done it before than they deserve to get hurt! A normal person would start off smaller and would slowly increase their way forward through time and practice. The biggest, strongest squatters all hard to start somewhere. None of them would have immediately began to squat what they squat today. 


Speaking of which, the exercise becomes more dangerous as the user gets stronger... I think this is true to a degree, but when people lift seriously heavy, why is it they get spotters behind them, and to the sides? Because they acknowledge that it is risky and they are being as safe as they can be. Again this applies to benching too, as well as dead lifting... okay, so you don't really have spotters when dead lifting... but people do end up using things like wrist straps, weight lifting belts etc. 


My point is, any exercise can be potentially dangerous if done incorrectly. To me, this guy is just an arrogant wanker looking to try and make a controversial video to get himself some more views. Good publicity, bad publicity, at the end of the day it's all publicity and it works in his favour. 

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