Near Miss

8x3 back squat. Select a weight around 85% 1RM and stick with it throughout. For time: 400m Run 40 KB swings (53/40) 40 sit ups 40 push ups 400m Run



Because heavy-load squats and dead lifts incorporate more muscle groups compared to any other weight bearing exercise, they are the most effective overall exercises for stimulating changes in one's body composition.  The entire body participates in the stabilization required for the movement.  We don't perform these exercises sitting down, laying down or leaning up against something that helps to provide support.  This translates to the "real world" and drives the intensity up geometrically, therefore, creating the greatest hormonal response (Neuroendocrine and Hemostatic Response).

The Front Squat is a quad-dominant movement and also incorporates the hip extension.  Additionally, It works the abs and front deltoids hard, since it requires to keep the torso upright and in the correct posture.   We use the clean grip when doing the Front Squats since it translates well to our other favorite exercises (i.e., Power Clean, Squat Clean and the Overhead Press).  If holding the bar with your hands while it rests on your shoulders is a challenge, don't give up, it will come.  The more you practice front squats, the more flexible you become.  Areas you should work to to increase your flexibility are the ankles, knees, back, shoulders, arms and wrists.

The Back Squat is a hip-dominant movement, wherein you also work the abs hard as you extend the back and torso to achieve correct posture.  A lot of "glute" work is also involved with the Back Squat.  Both high-bar and low-bar methods will work, but the low-bar method requires more flexibility on the part of the upper body than the high-bar method.  Also, the low-bar method requires a lot stronger core due to the range of motion required on the torso extension during the movement.

The Overhead Squat is the most difficult of all of the squat variations.  Like Coach Jim says, "if your regular squat sucks, your overhead squat will suck even more!"  I also like an excerpt that I found from Dan John's article, "If you teach a young athlete to overhead squat, the back squat and the front squat are a breeze.  You don't even coach it, they pick it up by simply watching the kid before them."  The overhead squat is the ultimate abs/core exercise.

The Dead Lift is the most feared lift of all.  But executed with proper form, this lift strengthens the back, legs and grip.  If you feel like you need straps because you grip is weak, just dead lift more to strengthen your grip.  Also, the use of alternating grip and/or chalk will help.  The dead lift is also a transferable skill; it is the basis of most of our olympic weight lifting movements.

So, which lift is the best of all?  All of the above.  They are all incorporated in our program (both Strength and MetCons  or Metabolic Conditioning WODs).