A fellow called today and asked me what I thought was the best exercise.
Before I answered his question, I needed more information.
Best exercise for what results?
After several questions from me, he narrowed his question down to:
"If you chose one exercise and one exercise only and that is all you did, what would it be?"
"That's easy", I said, "The squat".
He was surprised at my answer.
He felt that the bench press or military press would be my answer.
I told him that while pressing movements develop the shoulders and triceps, they did little or nothing for the lower body.
His next question was why I felt the squat was so special.
I told him that for all around total body exercise the squat satisfies all the requirements...
1. It works the thighs, the largest muscles of the body.
2. If performed with additional weight on the shoulders, it works the upper body...back, chest and shoulders.
3. It is convenient. It can be done with or without additional weight.
4. It is the best exercise for building cardiovascular strength.
Especially if high reps are performed.
5. It increases lung capacity.
6. It is the exercise that every good routine is built around.
7. It is the exercise that every strong man throughout history incorporated into his workout.
Because it is so good and so result producing, it is the one most dreaded exercise that everybody loves to hate!
Human nature dictates that in all cases of extreme difficulty, the mind automatically begins to think, "There's got to be an easier way!"
Nope, sorry, in progressive physical training for functional strength, the harder it is, the better it is.
As soon as you start to cave in to "the easy way", your results will almost assuredly plummet.
Furthermore, all the big names in strength used the squat to build tremendous functional power....John Grimek, John Davis, Bob Peoples, Paul Anderson, George Jowett, Reg Park, The Saxon Brothers, Brooks Kubik, Anthony Ditillo, Pat Casey, Doug Hepburn, and on, and on.
Peary Rader, founder of Iron Man Magazine, wasted years trying to gain muscular body weight.
He got little or no results until he perfected his own weight training routines built around the squat.
Fortunately, his special training methods and routines are still available.
Check them out at:
Iron Man - Peary Rader - Rader Master Bodybuilding and Weight Gaining System