In part 5 of the squat series by Juggernaut, Michael Israetel covers how bodybuilders should train the squat.
As the Juggernaut Squatapalooza rolls on, check out the first four parts of this series if you’re just tuning in:
Part 1: Setting up for a Huge Squat
Part 2: Dont Get Stapled – How to Make it Through Your Sticking Point
Part 3: 10 Steps to Great Squatting Technique
Part 4: Squatting Specifics – What Technique is Best for Your Sport?
If any bodybuilding recommendation was ever to be considered universal, surely “squat to get big legs” would be a top candidate. Bodybuilders of every generation have considered squats the golden fleece of leg training, and for good reason… they just plain WORK. It is, in fact, true that before putting in the work in any other leg exercise, you’ve gotta squat, and squat more. That being said, some bodybuilders (especially when few are listening) occasionally express skepticism about squats. “They work great, but my knees can’t take it anymore” is a common one. Another faithful complaint is “I feel my hips more than my quads when I squat… I think leg presses and hacks work the quads better.”
Is this just the usual bitching in the face of necessary hard and painful work? To be sure, some of it certainly is. There is no replacement for heavy squatting and some people just don’t want to face the facts. But there is some validity to these complaints. Doing squats improperly CAN hurt the knees and it CAN make the squat much less a quad movement than it can be. The following are some tips to keep in mind when squatting for bodybuilding. Employing these changes (if you aren’t already) can make squatting more effective AND less damaging in the long run. This of course means only one thing: you get bigger legs!