I'm going through one of Eric's oldest newsletters. I am not going to copy-paste anything from there, but I think y'all should give it a read.
March 1, 2010: Variety for Beginners, Creatine, and More Gripper Guide
I have had two new strength trainees needing work on their Squats: Suraj and Ativ (both are members here at GUS).
For both of them, we began working on Hip Mobility and then proceeded to Overhead Squats, etc.
Now, I know some of this may sound like Louie Simmons discussing how he got his awesome athlete to an even more awesome(r) total but that is not what this post is about. The reason I am making this post is because I got asked at the time, I still do, why exactly we are prescribing so many different variations of the Squat if the end goal is to Squat. I mean, if "Back Squats" are a basic beginner exercise, why do they have to do Overhead Squats, Front Squats, Hip Mobility work, blah blah. What is the academic reason for all these variations to be thrown in there to get good at a "basic" exercise?
Eric's newsletter…from wayyyy back in March 2010 has this answer right there.
I don't want to copy paste it because I think everyone should have signed up for the newsletter but I'll provide a wee bit of what Eric has written.
Take 3 groups. Take UNTRAINED trainees and teach them a variety of exercises which mimic the squat. They can be both unilateral and bilateral. I'm talking about Overhead Squats, Lunges, Front Squats, Goblet Squats, Box Squats, etc. A whole bunch of exercises. As Eric has said: "This group basically practices at getting really "skilled" with a lot of different varieties."
Next, the second group has to be your regular gym rats who have some basic knowledge of lifting - but they're not supposed to be advanced athletes or anything of the sort. This is your regular gym goer who focuses on Bench Presses, Curls, Leg Presses, etc.
Last, as a control group, take some untrained and unprepared individuals.
At this point, as Eric has written, perform a Squat test. Give them 5 minutes instruction on how to do a Back Squat and one demonstration. Guess which group will perform the best.
Yes, its that simple.
Infact, I know a lot of people will say that this isn't a fair experiment: compare someone who has only been back squatting and someone who has been doing every squatting variation except for back squats. Who will have a stronger back squat? I bet on the second guy.
Well, in any case, Eric has a very non-academic but incredibly logical explanation for this. Here is what he has written and this I will quote:
Movements are built. And our group (meaning the one doing many Squat variations) will not only have plenty of building blocks to build a good back squat, they will have MORE bricks to put in their wall than all our other hypothetical groups!
Y'all should give this newsletter a read because there is a lot more detail to this. I'm just going over the broad strokes because otherwise I'll end up paraphrasing the whole message with none of Eric's oomph factor
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
"If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything."
"Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow."