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Dianna Bol 11-29-2009 12:50 PM

Dr. Squat on Full Body Workouts
This is a quote from Dr. Dquat Fred Hatfield:


As for "full-body" workouts, I think they're OK for newbies or fitness buffs with limited time on their hands. But for athletes and aficianados, it's stone-age thinking! PERIODIZATION is a concept that seems to be so hard for people to grasp. It is so somple! Build a house! Start with the foundation! Progressively and with care, choose the next successive steps toward finishing the house!

Grim83 11-29-2009 01:06 PM


Originally Posted by Dianna Bol (Post 12534)
This is a quote from Dr. Dquat Fred Hatfield:

either you chopped that quote,or he is a dumbass, no where is it written that you cant periodize a full body workout

BendtheBar 11-29-2009 01:14 PM

He didn't chop that quote. It's from Dr. Squat. I've read it before as well. And Dr. Squat is no dumbass. He was the first man to squat 1000 pounds, and is every much bit an intellectual as he is a lifter.

With that said, I'm not backing his opinion.

I sent Dr. Squat an invitation to be interviewed on this topic. We will see if he responds...

Grim83 11-29-2009 01:15 PM


Originally Posted by MuscleandBrawn (Post 12542)
He didn't chop that quote. It's from Dr. Squat. I've read it before as well. And Dr. Squat is no dumbass. He was the first man to squat 1000 pounds, and is every much bit an intellectual as he is a lifter.

With that said, I'm not backing his opinion.

I sent Dr. Squat an invitation to be interviewed on this topic. We will see if he responds...

maybe i should clarify that is a dumbass quote, i know he is very smart, and i've read a few of his articles, but he is very close minded from what i can tell

BendtheBar 11-29-2009 02:46 PM


Originally Posted by Grim83 (Post 12543)
maybe i should clarify that is a dumbass quote, i know he is very smart, and i've read a few of his articles, but he is very close minded from what i can tell

I hope you didn't take my response the wrong way. I agree with you...there are many close-minded individuals in every aspect of life.

One thing I've learned as I get older is that the longer someone studies and believes in something, the harder it is for them to give it up. Even in the face of an evolving truth or reality.

This goes for Mike Mentzer, Dr. Squat, Casey Butt, and me and you.

Please understand, I am not debating who is right. That's not my point. My point is that each of us should remain open-minded as we progress on our journey. We should not dig our trenches so deep that we can't get out.

There are many days that I'm tempted...tempted to dig a deep trench, find the science to back it up, and package it for sale. I DO have a favorite way of training. But I try to remain open.

I've lifted on splits for 23 years. This month I've decided to try a full body workout. I could have easily shouted from the mountain tops..."splits work!" But I want to learn.

I hope each of us remains willing to learn. There will ALWAYS be a better way. The human body is too complex.

I know Casey Butt would agree with this. He is not an either or type of guy. I know Mike Mentzer would agree with this, but only within his "lens" of training reality.

As for Dr. Squat..well, I'm sure his opinion is based on something. And I think when a man is the first to squat 1000 pounds, we should listen. We should listen with a willingness to learn.

I'm not trying to lecture anyone. Everyone has a right to their pursuit of truth in their own way. But on the other hand, I've seen people with all kinds of beliefs...religious, political, etc., hate each other because of deep trenches.

Some of the biggest and strongest people on the planet (naturals or "un" natural) don't use full body routines. I think a good question is..."what can we learn from them to improve out full body approach?"

glwanabe 11-29-2009 03:05 PM

Something that I've learned is that the pendulum swings to extremes, but can't stay there. Eventually it settles in the middle.

This holds true for most things in life. The fringes offer information, and are useful, but usually only apply to a small minority. Take and learn from all of the info that you can, but use what suits you the best out of all of it.

Without availing yourself of all the info you can, you may miss something that is not helpful to the next person, but may be just what you need.

I'll be interested in what he may say, and I need to go read more of his process. Right now though I've got enough to digest with my current plans.

BendtheBar 11-29-2009 04:42 PM

I am hoping for an interview, but wouldn't bet my luck. He is primarily a strength trainer, but has written a book on bodybuilding. His bodybuilding approach is very much an HLM.

I am very curious as to why he feels full bodies are inferior. My gut is that he believes this way because he can't envision someone doing squats, bench and deads all on the same day.

And to add to GLwanabe's statement...when we as individuals cling to only one strand, we tend to become fringe. Mike Mentzer is the best example of this.

BendtheBar 11-30-2009 09:37 AM

Dr. Squat responded to a thread I posted on his site:


Aw! Science marches on! I gotta tell ya, if I were able to coach Anderson, Hepburn or Park, they'd have done MUCH better than they did!

And, if my daughter Disa was able to coach me in my day, perhaps I'd have done much better too!!

Science marches on!
Unfortunately, he never provided science. That's what I truly was after. I wanted the science behind his beliefs. I also found the comment on Anderson, Park and Hepburn to be rather arrogant.

I should also mention that the replies from Dr. Squat's board disagreed that these lifters used full body approaches.

Anderson pummeled his body on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and did heavy squats on off days. This was primarily a fullbody AB split. Park, we know, used fullbody routines. And Hepburn used fullbody variations.

To me, a split is separating into muscle grounds for bodybuilding or lifts for powerlifting.

glwanabe 11-30-2009 09:49 AM

This is a post from Casey Butt over at Here he is talking about the adaptive conditioning that Wholebody training requires. When people say that they can't handle doing all three of the major lifts in a single day, they are correct. It takes time to develop the ability to do so. The People that Dr. Squat says he could do better with, I would actually love to see him try.
Since it's impossible for him to to actually do so, it rather a worthless statement to make. I believe it speaks volumes for who he is.

Casey Butt;

Someone made a comment on my discussion board and it brought up a few practical points that I think probably should be included here for completeness. Here's a quote from the thread...

...keep in mind that the body adapts very specifically. If you usually do 16-20 sets your muscles will have the energy systems developed for that volume (i.e. substrates to replenish ATP, glycogen, etc), whereas on a full-body routine the energy systems for each muscle only have to 'answer the call' for 4-10 total sets per body part - completely different demands and the body will react completely differently to it. I would expect more sarcoplasmic hypertrophy on a split.

The weekly workload is a different story. If you were to do 4-10 sets per body part per day on full-body, you'd rack up 12-30 total sets in a week, but at each session less localized muscular endurance would be needed. The muscles would lose their ability to sustain output over higher volumes, but sarcomeric hypertrophy would be stimulated three times per week.

In other words, train long enough on full-body routines and you'll get better at developing power for limited bursts, and train long-term on a high-volume split and the muscles will adapt to produce force for longer periods. Of course, this is a function of daily body part volume and training frequency, not the fact that you're training your full-body at one time.

You can see the same sorth of thing with whatever volume you use for each exercise now. For instance, take an exercise that you've done say 3 sets on for years and suddenly add a fourth set. You'll do the first 3 sets as always, but probably suddenly and unexpectedly 'die' a few reps into the fourth set (unless you take long rests between sets and/or use very low reps). It will take a few weeks, at least, for the body to increase the capacity of the energy systems required to get through that fourth set (increase enzymes and substrates involved primarily in the anaerobic glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation systems).

Full-body and 'strength' and 'power' training go hand and glove in an energy substrate sense, but frying the nervous system and overloading the joints have to be guarded against. There's a little different mentality involved. You have to start focusing on every rep rather than the overall workout for any particular body part. You can't think of saving yourself for the rest of the workout, you have to build up to having the full-body endurance to hit everything at once and not back-off on anything just so you can get through. That ability comes with time.

The liver also has to increase it's glycogen storage and glucose production capacities to get you through very demanding full-body workouts - which is a large part of the reason you must eat well after a hard full-body workout. Liver glycogen content is an indicator of the body's overall state --> depleted liver glycogen = body catabolic, full liver glycogen = body anabolic (in a broad sense). So, good nutrition is crucial to getting full-body to work - you must replenish that liver glycogen afterwards. Until your body begins upregulating the enzymes and substrates involved you probably won't feel 'right' doing full-body. After you've adapted to it you'll be surprised just how much you can do (take ) in one workout.

So, it's important not to jump into full-body training headlong, especially if you haven't trained that way in awhile. Like anything else it's an adaptation process and that has to run it's course before you can go all-out. Not giving themselves proper time to adapt is why a lot of people training on split routines feel like they couldn't possibly train their full bodies in one session. From the other perspective, once you get used to training your full body hard in one session, training just a few body parts on a split feels like the lightest of 'light' days.

BendtheBar 11-30-2009 09:57 AM

My personal experiences with body adapatability are in line with this comment.

When I first started playing with 5 to 7 sets using limited set between sets, my body "died" after several sets. A month into this workout scheme, I was much stronger through the entire workout. My body adapted in about a month to heavy weights with generally only 30 to 60 seconds between sets.

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