CrossFit Discussion Board  

Go Back   CrossFit Discussion Board > CrossFit Forum > Fitness
CrossFit Home Forum Site Rules CrossFit FAQ Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Fitness Theory and Practice. CrossFit's rationale & foundations. Who is fit? What is fitness?

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 01-07-2009, 08:11 AM   #1
Ryan Whitley
Departed Ryan Whitley is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Jan 1970
 
Posts: 458
Are heavy squats really necessary?

I love to do squats. I also love to do them as heavy as possible. I don't know why, but something just feels good about knocking out some really, heavy squats. So before you respond, understand that I am not knocking squats or saying that they don't produce results.

But...

Are heavy squats really necessary?

I have been thinking a lot about this issue as of late. I am a soldier by trade, and therefore gear as much of my training as possible towards becoming
physically proficient in my chosen career. I know that the squat is always labeled as being the ultimate in functional exercises, but what is fuctional? Does a fuctional exercise develop a strength/skill that is used every day in one's life? Or is that skill training? I don't often load 400 + lbs on my back, squat down, and stand back up.

I understand that the squat grows muscle faster than just about any other exercise. But why is this good? What benefit do I have in being heavier? I would think that the deadlift would be much more beneficial for me. Or even odd object lifts. What do you think?

I appreciate all comments and opinions. Thanks.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2009, 08:20 AM   #2
Michael Houghton
Affiliate Michael Houghton is offline
 
Michael Houghton's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Sun City  California
Posts: 295
Re: Are heavy squats really necessary?

I was just thinking about this stuff last night. I have been doing CrossFit for about a year and a half, and I have never really felt like I needed to be doing any of the strength stuff, including squats. I was always strong enough do to all of the workouts pretty much as Rx'd. Just the last couple of months, however, I have begun adding in the strength days as well. I can tell you that if only from a performance standpoint, doing the heavy weight stuff will help your other fitness improve in general. All of a sudden for me deadlifting 250lbs is no big deal when I've done sets of 3 at 415. I hope this helps,

Mike
__________________
http://www.crossfit951.com
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2009, 08:27 AM   #3
Steven Holm
Member Steven Holm is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Buckley  WA
Posts: 211
Re: Are heavy squats really necessary?

I would say by all means, yes. I'm sure being faster from having more powerful legs benefits you as a soldier, or perhaps hoisting and carrying someone to safety on your shoulder. Also the great neuroendocrine response from your body. I sure never plan to stop squatting. And as you mentioned, deadlifts are a thing of beauty as well. I say keep squatting!
__________________
squat deep, smash kittens
My Log Not WFS cause I have potty mouth
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2009, 08:43 AM   #4
Jamie J. Skibicki
Member Jamie J. Skibicki is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Pittsburgh  PA
Posts: 8,841
Re: Are heavy squats really necessary?

For the last time (i doubt it, but I really hope it is) a functional movement is one that increases the the ability to perform in a wide range of situations outside that of training said movement. A movement that mimics another motion is specificity training.

If you want to practice specific movements, practice them. But physical conditioning and practice are two different things. Practicing things gets you very good at doing a small set of motions. Physical conditioning increases your ability to do a wide range of activities.

Now, not every activity needs the same level of each of the 10 aspects of fitness. A rugger needs more strength than a triathlete and less flexibility than an o-lifter. You can make the argument that a squat beyond a certain level has diminishing returns with respect to what you want to do, especially when it takes time away from training other aspects of fitness. But you would still need to train the squat to maintain your level of strength.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2009, 08:52 AM   #5
Adam Kurland
Member Adam Kurland is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Shrewsbury  NJ
Posts: 19
Re: Are heavy squats really necessary?

At the risk of sounding repetitive... being stronger makes your muscles more efficient at pretty much every kind of task; that includes actions requiring power (lifting a wounded buddy onto your back) and endurance (like a road march with 60 lbs on your back). I left the army about a year ago, and am convinced my doing heavy squats and deadlifts helped in everything from ruckmarches to the APFT. Regarding mass gain, remember that's more a function of diet than anything else.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2009, 08:54 AM   #6
Charlie Karnick
Member Charlie Karnick is offline
 
Charlie Karnick's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Chicago  IL
Posts: 478
Re: Are heavy squats really necessary?

"Few things are engraved in stone, except if you don't squat you're a pu***."-Rip.

On a more serious note though, Squats train more than your legs, they train your entire core. The first time I started squatting heavy my abs hurt for days. Not just my "upper" or "lower" abs, the whole thing. The heavier you squat the stronger your entire body is. I'll end it with one more awesome quote which actually pertains to you more than most.

"Strong people are harder to kill than weak people and more useful in general."-Rip

Last edited by Charlie Karnick : 01-07-2009 at 09:03 AM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2009, 08:55 AM   #7
Robert D Taylor Jr
Member Robert D Taylor Jr is offline
 
Robert D Taylor Jr's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Chesapeake  VA
Posts: 1,736
Re: Are heavy squats really necessary?

If you view CF as specific training for the unknown and unknowable, which seems like a reasonable outlook toward CF for soldiers/operators/LEO/FF, than it would be hard to know how much strength was enough. In that sense, it would be hard to justify neglecting one of the best overall strength development exercises. I'm not talking about increased muscle mass, but strength. I would refer you to Joey Powell's posts concerning Saroplasmic muscle growth etc. I'm not that internet literate to find and post them though.

Also in answer to your actual question, the CF definition of functional is moving a large load a long distance quickly.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2009, 08:57 AM   #8
Brian Bedell
Member Brian Bedell is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Lantana  FL
Posts: 2,870
Re: Are heavy squats really necessary?

First off, this is pure blasphemy!

The idea of squatting for functional fitness is that presumably you will be able to withstand outside forces, exertions, injuries, etc. and lift more weight faster in real life. I would think that as a soldier you would want to maximize your strength in the squat in order to perform better when it counts, I could not imagine why you would want to limit your squat strength. I don't know crap about soldiering, but I would imagine that a high max squat would assist you with all kinds of stuff like helping a wounded buddy, getting over a wall, carrying stuff, and in general avoiding getting shot. I'm a wussy desk jockey, a 400lb squat is not helping me as much as you, but I do it for fun and competitiveness. CF is my sport.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2009, 09:08 AM   #9
Bob Guere
Banned Bob Guere is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: California city  CA
Posts: 1,670
Re: Are heavy squats really necessary?

Squats and Milk B*tches!

Sorry, Skibicki, beat you too it.

Off topic, you've got the "Whitley" last name.... my wife, on her mother's side, are "Whitley's".... just thought I'd share.... now go do your heavy squats soldier.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2009, 09:13 AM   #10
Jamie J. Skibicki
Member Jamie J. Skibicki is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Pittsburgh  PA
Posts: 8,841
Re: Are heavy squats really necessary?

THats okay Bob, we all know who originated the phrase.

Who's the cute chick in the photo? Wife?
  Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Breathing during heavy squats Steven Quadros Fitness 5 04-18-2008 12:42 PM
replacement for heavy squats Keith Moore Injuries 3 04-07-2008 11:18 AM
Heavy squats every day? Jon Michael Varese Exercises 18 03-25-2006 02:09 PM
Heavy Overhead Squats - What's your starting position? Jon Pappas Workout of the Day 7 11-29-2004 03:53 PM
Be Careful with your Heavy Squats!!! mso4man Exercises 7 01-07-2004 06:55 PM


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:59 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
CrossFit is a registered trademark of CrossFit Inc.