Squat Rack Rank

When I first thought about writing this article, it was more just to rant about crazy fitness crap (there’s a lot of it out there) and gym behavior that drives me nuts. Since then I’ve decided to make it the spot to put new articles and ideas as they come to me, and then elaborate on them later for future use (book chapters, etc).

What’s with curls in the squat rack!!! I would think that by now it would be so cliche no one would be caught dead doing it, but apparently it’s still the thing to do. Yeah, I know, you can’t imagine why anyone would ever want to SQUAT, and the thought of picking a 65lb barbell up off the floor to do your curls is just too much effort to comprehend!

It’s also too much to expect for a gym to actually dedicate more than a fraction of the square footage to actual USEFUL equipment. So I guess I just need to get used to the fact that every time I head to the gym for leg day, I’ll have to sit and stare at the two idiots using the only two squat racks for arm curls, until one of them moves off to do trice kickbacks on one of the

What is a Dynamic exercise?

I would define it as any exercise done at maximum speed. That’s a broad definition but usually true. A squat, done in a normal fashion is not dynamic.

Form can easily be monitored and as long as common sense is followed, injury can be avoided.
An Olympic Snatch is a dynamic move, and even after proper instruction, form can easily break down when fatigued, causing serious injury (and these programs promote a continuous state of fatigue – something Olympic lifts were never designed for).

Having personally worked with many hundreds of “average Americans,” I can easily say there are a LOT of people out there that simply do not have the coordination to be competitive athletes.
I’ve had clients that need to have their form critiqued on almost every exercise for year after year.
Trying asking one of these individuals to do box jumps or Olympic lifts is just begging for an injury. This isn’t the rare person either. You can find further information on https://www.healthgrades.com/.

While most non-athletes have the coordination to go through everyday life just fine, subject them to dynamic exercises and it’s only a matter of time before they experience an injury.

The real shocker here is that the successes of these programs have absolutely ZERO to do with the dynamic exercises incorporated into the routines.
Take out all the dynamic aspects of the training and the individual would experience exactly the same body composition and health benefits that they would by including them.

Why do we see these dynamic exercises in such programs?
Very simply, because these programs are designed to duplicate the type of training competitive athletes use.
However, more thought needs to be put into which parts of an athlete’s training is necessary.
Dynamic training is VERY useful for increasing an athlete’s performance on the field, but has almost no benefit for body composition or health.

I’m not telling you to give up on these cross-training programs.
Not at all. Just use some logic, and don’t be afraid to tell your instructor that you don’t feel comfortable with a particular movement and ask why a safer alternative can’t be substituted.
If you’re VERY lucky, your instructor will have some understanding of exercise science help you find a safe alternative that will build your body, not your ego.

It’s one thing to break a leg skiing the beautiful slopes of Vail, it’s another to do it doing box jumps in the gym.
Sometimes I simply hate having to lower myself to these banal subjects, but YET AGAIN I recently had a discussion with an otherwise very intelligent young lady about lifting weights and looking sexy. No, working out with weights WILL NOT make you look like the shemales on the left! Not unless you’re a genetic mutant AND want to take steroids.

Lifting weights WILL firm you up, raise your metabolism, keep you from getting soft as you age, improve posture (if done correctly), and make sure you can dance at your great grandkids weddings!

I also had the ever annoying conversation with her about how the things you do that make you hot when you’re in your twenties (starve yourself, buy boobs, and have good parents) won’t keep you hot when you’re 40, but that’s a topic for another post.

Injuries SUCK!!

That’s no understatement, and I’m living proof.

I’ve got a completely butchered ankle from basketball and volleyball, herniated disk from recreational football, and a hopelessly messed up rotator cuff from motorcycle racing and mountain biking accidents.
I always say I’m not getting old, I’m just damaged from years of abuse.

I don’t regret playing sports (although maybe if I could do it over I’d play a bit more to my personal level), but what EVERYONE should regret is injuries in the GYM!

The gym should make you a better person, not cause you to deal with injuries that could last a lifetime.
I’m a big fan of many of the current trends in exercise.

It’s FINALLY fashionable to squat, and there’s now a line in most big gyms for the free weights while the nearly useless machines sit empty.
To some extent, this includes many of the “cross-training” type workouts. If you want a general level of overall fitness, there’s no denying most of these workouts will get you there. I just found a great list of injuries here https://www.chemistdirect.co.uk/.

The problem is many of these workouts contain dynamic elements that are more useful for professional athletes than to your average middle-aged accountant.