Monday, February 13, 2012

Squats and Chin-ups

I understand generalizations can be risky, but I've wondered if there was one... would tremendous squat strength and the ability to perform a high number of chin-ups (let's just say for squat 2 x bodyweight for males, and 1.5 x bodyweight for females; for chin-ups 15+ for males and 10+ for females) be one generalization that is a fairly honest assessment of athletic potential in a high number of other demanding endeavours?

This is not a question about garbage squats of half depth and bowed spines, or flailing chin-ups where a person grows their neck to the length of a giraffe and barely clears their chin. I am talking about true deep squats and chin-ups of which the person's chest touches the bar and the bottom position is indicated by full extension of the elbow. It's also not really about just two exercises - it's more about using those two exercises to display the two qualities: tremendous leg strength, and upper body strength and control. It also just so happens that using those two exercises help leg strength, and upper body strength and control.

Do you see athletes that have a high level of physical ability in squatting strength and chin-up ability that really lack ability in other qualities? Or do those two measures indicate some serious ability as far as athletic potential?

Another way to think about it is take an athlete who can squat a tremendous amount of weight, which indicates great lower body strength. Ok, nice. That same athlete can also bench press or even overhead press damn near as much. Cool. However, this particular athlete can not do 1 chin-up without going into convulsions. Not cool.

Again, take that same athlete and only change one thing from above; replace the bench (or overhead) press strength and replace it with the ability to crank out chin-up after chin-up, chest touching the bar every rep... now, at least in my mind, this is a freakishly different athlete.

In my experience, the ability to do those two things well says a lot about what an athlete's other abilities might be... I know, I know... this is sounding like I am trying to narrow things down to 2 movements and to say just use the "corrective strategies" to fix the squat, or fix the chin-up and you're going to be great. No, I am not saying it's just squats and chin-ups, but I think in the world of performance training, too much is made of having a bunch of "tools in the toolbox". The weight room was first a place to enhance athletic ability, but now it has become a second sport for many athletes (at least we as coaches have made it that).

Squats and chin-ups... just a thought. Someone could maybe market a new manual "Squats and Chin-ups; all you'll ever need".

Of course it's not quite that simple; just squats and chin-ups. But those two say a lot.

AS

3 comments:

Kator Hol said...

actually squats and chins are what I've been doing after a 4 month layoff and even my triceps are bigger. there is nothing wrong with ONLY doing those movements as a full workout. when people say " that's not enough " then they need to start thinking.... rationally! the way i do my lifts is giving me gains when i figured i just can't gain a pound of muscle. If someone says they can't build their entire body pretty well for a busy individual then they should try it. i always wanted bigger triceps but could not build them whether i did h.i.t. or any other protocol. those 2 exercises are changing my body and for a family man with responsibilites it is a great size and strength increaser and my triceps are GROWING from just those 2 exercises! For me ... ME... it is magic. Soon i may throw in overhead presses cause i like them, but at the moment i just don't need them. The internet is like the greatest... AND the worst invention... cause peoples " routine for surefire mass " puts a lot of hardgainers and those not quite knowledgeable about exercise stimulus for growth... into a tailspin of wasted years that would be fine if we lived forever... and we don't. people can badmouth what i just wrote b can't badmouth my gains. If they think 2 lifts can't change the body then that's ok. i just want to help people who think they can't make gains no matter what they do. I'm 39 ( god. 40 in may ) and want to help people realize getting bigger and stronger isn't so hard after all. And im ... Was... that skinny fat type. if anyone wants to know exactly how i do my lifts please write me at mnemeth75@gmail.com and at least just try what i do. I don't want people spending years trying to make some gains and saying " if i new then what i know now id be where i wanted to be " like me. if people want to poo poo what I'm saying then ok I'm sorry if i offended your thoughts on getting big and strong fast cause believe me i wouldnt do it purposefully. i just want people who are desperate for gains to just try what i say. email me.

Kator Hol said...

actually squats and chins are what I've been doing after a 4 month layoff and even my triceps are bigger. there is nothing wrong with ONLY doing those movements as a full workout. when people say " that's not enough " then they need to start thinking.... rationally! the way i do my lifts is giving me gains when i figured i just can't gain a pound of muscle. If someone says they can't build their entire body pretty well for a busy individual then they should try it. i always wanted bigger triceps but could not build them whether i did h.i.t. or any other protocol. those 2 exercises are changing my body and for a family man with responsibilites it is a great size and strength increaser and my triceps are GROWING from just those 2 exercises! For me ... ME... it is magic. Soon i may throw in overhead presses cause i like them, but at the moment i just don't need them. The internet is like the greatest... AND the worst invention... cause peoples " routine for surefire mass " puts a lot of hardgainers and those not quite knowledgeable about exercise stimulus for growth... into a tailspin of wasted years that would be fine if we lived forever... and we don't. people can badmouth what i just wrote b can't badmouth my gains. If they think 2 lifts can't change the body then that's ok. i just want to help people who think they can't make gains no matter what they do. I'm 39 ( god. 40 in may ) and want to help people realize getting bigger and stronger isn't so hard after all. And im ... Was... that skinny fat type. if anyone wants to know exactly how i do my lifts please write me at mnemeth75@gmail.com and at least just try what i do. I don't want people spending years trying to make some gains and saying " if i new then what i know now id be where i wanted to be " like me. if people want to poo poo what I'm saying then ok I'm sorry if i offended your thoughts on getting big and strong fast cause believe me i wouldnt do it purposefully. i just want people who are desperate for gains to just try what i say. email me.

Kator Hol said...

i(Sorry i posted it 2 times was an accident) And lastly, thank you for this article! most of what i read on forums is just not productive for most people and when some challenge them on the productivity of their recommended routine ( by challenge i mean offering an opinion against it ... POLITELY ) most get so ignorant and insult anyone who slightly challenges their belief system. I'm not ignorant to anybody. I just don't want to see people waste years and years and become depressed by not reaching their goals. My 39 years went by fast and i cant get them back. I'm not gonna say my routine is the best there is and everybody will gain 50 pounds in a month and its the holy grail for you. It is for me. For those who made no gains on their programs and are about to give up... maybe you just need to know that 2 exercises really can do wonders. again thank you i loved this article! To me, this one article is better than the hundreds I've read on certain forums. my friend gained an incredible amount of muscle that most people wouldn't believe in 1 month with 3 exercises. that's after his 10 sets of 10, 3 and 4 and then 5 days a week workouts didn't help him. i can't gain like that no matter what! but for the first time in my life I'm actually getting noticeable gains. i do hate my genetics so much and I've seen drug free guys look different from workout to workout and made me
believe i just don't have what it takes to grow a damn pound of muscle unless i find steroids. And so many times i wish i knew someone who could get me some but i don't. The actual routine i came up with might have been my last attempt. you can put size on your arms without a specific arm routine if you just structure your workout right for the individual. for some... probably a lot, you may be surprised that a few exercises performed a certain way maybe what you need. that for some, working your arms specifically, is holding you back. for me, about to give up after tons of routines ( some that say they are the greatest routine there is ) I'm finally growing. not as fast as a friend of mine, but something finally noticeable in my physique and am motivated by my strength increases from workout to workout. i like honest and productive articles about down to earth routines that people think are way to short or just useless, but are actually productive when every other routine they try, aren't.