… And surprisingly, in my experience, it’s not the swing.
I’ll get to it in a moment, but first –
Once upon a time…
No, wait, sorry – kids on my mind…
Let’s start over…
When I was doing post-grad work I was riding my bike to class
when a lady literally kicked open her car door.
Having eaten someone’s car door before, I always kept a wary
I swerved and got out of the way thanks to my lightening fast
reflexes, or so I thought.
The edge of my pedal caught the edge of her door and flipped
me butt over head over handlebars.
Well thank God for my wrestling background cause I knew how
to tuck and roll.
I landed on my left shoulder and rolled up.
Extremely pissed off, I got up, picked my bike up off the ground,
cast an evil glance at the lady who literally could’ve seemed
to care less, and rode away.
Arriving late to class, I sat down with a throbbing headache
and a stiff neck.
And a sore arm.
After class and the adrenaline wore off, I could barely move
might left arm.
And for good reason:
I went to the athletic training room for an evaluation. It turned
out I had separated my shoulder.
Fortunately that’s “all” it was.
So, I took a week off from all lifting.
And then, for the next 3 weeks I did zero upper body exercises,
letting my shoulder heal.
I did however do 2 other exercises, just 3 days a week.
The Squat and the Good Morning.
And you know what?
After a month of not lifting upper body and having separated
my shoulder and doing no formal rehab work on it, I tested
my Bench Press and Military Press max, which of course
is always a smart thing to do after an injury with no rehab.
(Yes, that’s sarcasm.)
My bench was the exactly the same and I had lost 1 rep on
my 5RM on the Military Press.
I know of no other exercise other than the squat that has
this type of “foundational strength” carry over.
Yes, swings, snatches, and even double clean and presses
are great – all phenomenal exercises in their own right.
But for fundamental, foundational strength, the squat wins
hands down in my book every time.
Think about it:
I busted my shoulder, did no upper body work for one whole
month, and lost virtually zero upper body strength.
What other exercise can produce those kinds of gains?
Maybe, maybe the Deadlift. Maybe.
So imagine what kind of gains you could make if you weren’t
injured just by “playing around” with your squat 3 times a week
until we get through the Holidays and into the New Year.
I’ll tell you this:
Bill Been did a squat-focused KB complex program of mine called
“The Wolf” and get this – I think he used a pair of 20s – and then
for the first time in his life, after completing the program easily
pressed a pair of 32kg KBs for the first time in his life.
… On a metabolic conditioning program…
That’s how powerful squats can be –
Especially the double KB Front Squat (which made up the
bulk of “The Wolf” program).
And especially, when you, like Bill, get the technique down pat.
The Truth is, the double KB Front Squat uses every single
muscle in your body and strengthens you from the inside
out in a way almost no other exercise can.
And that’s why it’s my #1 go to exercise for making “easy gains”
in all other exercises, especially this time of year.
We cover the double KB Front Squat in great detail so you not
only know exactly how to do it to reap those “easy gains” –
also how to do it so you build a foundation for all your other
double KB exercises.