There is nothing more manly than squats. Regarded as the king of all barbell lifts, it is without a doubt one of the most effective exercises in building strength and muscle mass. Squats works all the muscles in your legs as well as strengthen your hips and lower back. It also works the abdominal and arms in supporting the bar, making it a total body exercise. Any individual who aspires to get strong should squat.
The start of my barbell journey comes from the most unexpected of places – running. I started my barbell training to supplement my marathon aspirations until – I fell in love with it. I have learned what it truly means to be strong and ditch the marathon and focus my attention on lifting. I got more progress in lifting so, I began to immerse myself to the science of moving heavy weights. I retire my running shoes and never look back.
While we’re on the topic of squats, there are countless resources on how to squat; feel free to research on your own. Truth be told, I’m no expert and it will be irresponsible for me to teach you how to squat, risking injury and all. What worked for me may not be applicable to you, so find out what methods work for you and your needs. But I will write about why you should squat and its benefits, so if you’re ready then let’s get down to it.
Nothing builds overall body strength than the barbell squat. Being able to generate enough force to control the bar on the way down and to squat it back up. Squats work not just the legs, but the whole body. The legs and hips control the movement of the barbell while the upper body supports the bar. Thus, the heavier the squat, the stronger and bigger the muscles become. This strength can be carried over to everyday life.
Squatting releases Testosterone (as well as other hormones) that is essential for health. Testosterone increases muscle mass while decrease body fat. It regulates insulin, glucose and fat metabolism that helps keep body fat in check. It also boosts muscle protein synthesis, the process of building muscles. Aside from the physical benefits, it also has mental and emotional benefits. An optimal testosterone levels also helps in fighting off depression and may help improve cognitive ability.
Squatting improves endurance. Squatting builds the leg muscles and strength making it easier to run. Strong legs allow each step to need less effort thus giving you the endurance to run. While squatting builds muscle, it won’t make you slow and bulky as it also burns off fat.
Squatting strengthens the joints. You are only as old as your joints are, and proper squats help in strengthening the joints. It strengthens the muscles around the knee, ankle, hip joints, and spine. It also strengthens tendons and connective tissues. Thus, creating support for the joints protecting them from injuries.
Squatting increases flexibility. It is a popular misconception that muscle-bound men lack flexibility. Flexibility is required to squat below parallel thus breaking that myth. Squats move the legs through a full range of motion thus, improve the flexibility of the heels and knees. Squatting also helps prevent lower back pain by maintaining a flexible hip movement.
Lastly, Squatting builds discipline. Squats are hard, the first time I squatted heavy – it scared the bejeezus out of me. Doing things that are hard but necessary is a humbling experience. It develops the discipline that is critical for the results inside and outside the gym. Squatting changed my outlook in life for the better. Doing difficult things, even when I don’t feel like it made me the man I am today.
My pursuit of strength has changed me to a better man, among other things. I have developed a “tough as nails” mentality through squatting. I began to see the world for what it was, an unfair and unforgiving place. It pays to be strong in life, to be able to face what is in front of you with confidence. I have renewed my faith in the process and hard work. I have learned humility and diligence for life.
As of now, I’m planning to set up a small garage gym for myself. Money is a bit tight, but I still wanted to pursue strength. I’m saving up a little bit of money to buy a bar and some plates and start squatting again by the year ends. I want to make the most of my prime years and I still have a lot to prove to myself. I want to test myself and see how much I’ve got.
Squats is one of the manliest exercises there is and for good reason. It is the best exercise for building strength and muscle mass. It has been a vital component of the countless well-designed strength training program. It gets your heart thumping, your calories burning, and your testosterone going. Squat is the king of all barbell lifts yet; many guys skip the squat because they’re hard. They make excuses like “squats are bad for the knee” to skip squatting. But it is quite contrary, you fucked up your knees because of you squatting in bad form. To put it bluntly, weak men make excuses while strong men squat – strength is never a weakness.
To Strength and Freedom!
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