Everyone Should Be Doing Squats

Last year, we saw a very interesting article explaining why you should quit your gym. It focused on how gyms are there to make money, not to make you fit, and therefore they deal in neophilia (new machines and workouts) and in getting you to spend as little time in the gym, crowding their machines, as possible. And it also said that gyms are pretty unnecessary, because you only really need to do four types of exercises:

These exercises work every major muscle group, but unlike the machines in the gym which isolate them, they also work the secondary, stabilizer muscles which prevent injury. In the same vein, the New York Times is now saying that everyone should be lifting weights — not just doing cardio like running and cycling — because besides being a good way to burn calories and prevent injury, weight training is also necessary to avoid the feebleness of old age. And if you only do one weight training exercise, it should be the squat.


The squat works almost every major muscle group and is the motion that people have trouble with when they get older: getting up. It can be done with a barbell, as shown above, or with regular dumbells, or with no weight at all (your arms crossed, or held straight out in front). In the video in the article, an expert explains how with weight training, heavy weights aren’t necessary as long as the muscle gets fatigued. It’s faster to get the muscle sore with heavy weights, but if you can do it by lifting lighter weights for longer, then you’ll get stronger either way.

In general, the expert — he’s Canadian, yet appears smart — says that cardio is a good exercise, but weights will help not only with strength, but also with the efficiency of the exercise. So even distance runners and cyclists will also benefit from weight training.

See also:


From The New York Times, via Lifehacker


  1. Proper Running Form | Apt46 - pingback on October 24, 2012 at 4:40 pm

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