Bearded Beast of Duloc
Pendlay - Squatting and Athletics
An interesting post I found from Pendlay on strength and athletic performance:
I recently answered a question that was similar to this on my forum, so, I think I will give this whole squat thing the ol' college try.
The first assumption I will make is that we all have goals, and are looking to work upwards in terms of physical capacity to reach these goals
Next, I would like to bring up a situation regarding shot putters that I have read, I can't quite find the source but will try to be as accurate as I can. And YES, I will eventually tie all this together!!! Seems that shot putters improvement shows some correlation to his bench press strength as the bench goes from 300 to 400lbs, but little or no correlation is shown as the bench press goes from 400 to 500lbs.
This is very interesting! Seems that for a dynamic and fast athletic event like throwing a 16lb ball, a certain amount of basic strength is needed to do your best, but past that, further increases dont seem to matter as much.
Now let me postulate the following. For any physical activity, there is a certain amount of pure brute strength that is needed to perform one's best. In general, the level of strength needed goes down as the speed of the movement increases and also goes down the longer the event drags on. Yes, anyone could find a few holes in this, i am speaking in generalities here.
Let us also consider, and this might be the most important concept in this post, that there is such a thing as opportunity cost. For those who have never taken economics, this means that the cost of investing your money in one instrument is the subsequent inability to invest it in other instruments. Same thing applies to your time, and... wait for it... your RECOVERY ability. Yes, you have a finite amount of recovery ability, and every single thing you do in training means that there are other things that you cant do.
Now, to tie it together. The squat is probably the best single builder of brute strength in the lower body that exists in the planet earth. But does that mean it is the best exercise for everyone, or, that increasing the squat should be the prime goal of everyone? After all, squatting probably makes demands on the body that exceed almost every other exercise out there in terms of recovery.
At this point, I am betting that if there are 100 people who read this post, then 99.5 of them get where I am going and I shouldnt have to type another word. But in the interest of the other 1/2 of a person who still doesnt get it, I will tie it togethere.
Whatever your goal in life or sports, there is a minimum amount of basic leg strength that you should have in order to be your best. For an Elite level shot putter, this might be a 500lb squat. For an elite level 94kg weight class Olympic weightlifter, this might be a 600lb squat. For a 160lb dude who likes to hike up and down mountains, this might be a 300lb squat. I am just making these numbers up, keep that in mind, but rest assured, such numbers do exist even if we cant actually account for them.
If you don't have whatever basic amnount of strength is required to be your best at your sport, then more squatting is rarely a bad idea. If you already have this adequate amount of strength? Well, remember what opportunity cost is, and how it applies to training?
Above all, remember the concept of opportunity cost. People have gotten really, really strong squatting once a week. Yes, squatting 3 times a week puts muscular weight on you like nothing else, but is that your main goal? Is that important enough to you that you are willing to sacrifice all the other training that you now cant do because you are squatting 3 times a week?
I hope this is well enough presented to make sense to everyone. If not, maybe Dan John can simplify and improve on it, and re-post it. He obviously writes MUCH better than I do, and I am reminded of that every time I try to communicate anything that requires more than one or two sentences, lol.
Destroy That Which Destroys You
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