The 4 Horsemen will usher in a new age of fitness. The traditional versions of Conquest, War, Famine and Death are represented in our focus on Goals, Competition, Nutrition and Metabolic-conditioning. We firmly believe that strength, power and fitness are best achieved by utilizing CrossFit methods and the 4 Horsemen of Lifts: Squats, Presses, Deadlifts and O-lifts.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Four!!! Part A - Squats

Whether it's getting off the toilet seat or setting a PR with 500lbs on your back the mechanics of the squat don't change much. It is one of the basic movements our bodies were designed for and therefore it is one of the most important movements to learn to do correctly. There are many variations of the squat (Front, back, overhead) as well as variations involving stance (wide-narrow) and bar positioning (high to low), however, there is only one way to squat in the weightroom and that is to perform a full squat. Not a 1/4, 1/2 squat, 3/4 squat, squat to just above parallel, at parallel, just below parallel, but a full squat - right to the bottom ie. as far down as it is possible to go without altering proper form. For experienced lifters this will be the "ass to ankles" position as some call it but basically the point were the muscle touch so you can't go any lower. For novice lifters it will be the point at which they begin to loose the "S" curve of the spine. The important thing is that the movement is put through the largest range of motion possible so that the individual is strong throughout the entire movement. If you do not use full range of motion it is impossible to definitively compare results from one attempt to another. Anyone that can Full Squat a max of 400 lbs can always "1/4" squat 400 lbs but someone that can "1/4" squat a max of 400 lbs can not Full squat 400 lbs. As the great Mark Rippetoe says "A 500 lbs 1/4 squat is about as impressive as a 1000 lbs leg press." The only reason to perform a 1/4 squat is to stroke your ego in an attempt to feel like a big man! There are many reasons to do the full squat it's better for the knees, strengthens the hamstrings, etc. but the only reason that is neccessary is that it makes you stronger (not just in the quads but increases total body strength) and that's what it's all about.

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