When asking someone about how much they lift, you don’t ask about how much they curl or leg press, you ask them about the big three lifts: squats, bench press, and deadlifts. So, why are they so important? For starters, the big three lifts promote testosterone, ego, muscle mass, core strength, and enhanced balance and stability. They are the three most effective exercises for putting on muscle mass and gaining overall strength. In addition, the bigger the numbers you put up, the bigger your ego gets. A healthy ego can promote confidence, happiness, and overall satisfaction in your daily life. Instead of constantly thinking how others are better than you in certain aspects, you’ll be busy thinking about your gains and setting goals to hit higher numbers week after week. Word of advice: get a workout partner who will push you and vice versa! The big three challenges you and makes you compete. If you love to compete, a workout partner is ideal. You’ll constantly be challenged and pushed to your limits when the guy next to you is putting up big numbers. So, lets get into it! First off, the squat.
The squat is a very, very technical movement. After working with a personal trainer for several months, I finally was able to learn how to squat properly and beat my horrible habits (ie. knees going over my toes, bending at the hips too much, spreading my knees out/in too much on the descent). However, after learning how to squat properly, my gains were unbelievable. Believe it or not, squatting and working the lower body actually HELPS build the upper body as well. Squatting will increase your bodies ability to produce testosterone, which, in turn, increases your overall strength, aggressiveness, and muscle growth. Pictured above is some of the technical aspects involved in squatting such as the bar and foot alignment. Here is a GREAT visual and technical analysis video of the back squat and front squat (REALLY pay attention to the form and practice several times using your own bodyweight before attempting these exercises with weights):
Check out the workout page for a great beginner squat workout featuring Instagram’s star, Jen Selter (and yes gentleman, she is in fact known as the “20-Year-Old Butt-Selfie Goddess”). Enjoy!