Hail to the Dinosaurs!
We were talking about Joe Hise last week,
and that reminded me of a very useful
tip that he came up with about 80 years
This was back when the 20-rep breathing
squat was just getting off the ground.
Hise, William Boone and other young men
had made spectacular gains with the 20-rep
breathing squat and an abbreviated exercise
program to go with it -- and Mark Berry
was writing about it constantly -- and
guys around the world were giving it a
But some of the guys who tried it had a
The 20-rep squat was too hard on their
Their legs could take it -- but their
backs weren't up to the challenge.
They wrote in to Berry and asked what to
And Joe Hise had a suggestion.
"Tell them to try a specialization program
for the low back BEFORE they try the 20-rep
squat program," he said. (Or words to that
"Once their lower back is strong and fit,
they can start on the squat program."
That was good thinking, and it was a good
It also teaches us a broader principle --
that you always need to lay the proper
foundation for any type of advanced
or specialized training that you plan
Sounds simple, but you'd be astonished
to see how many trainees forget about
this basic rule -- and jump into an
advanced program or a specialization
workout that's far too much for them.
It's one of the greatest causes of
failure in the Iron Game -- and it's
sad, because it's the result of being
gung-ho and enthusiastic.
That's one reason why I always urge you
to start light and easy on a new program
or a new exercise. Learn the new workout
(or the new exercise) and get comfortable
with it before you start to pack on the
weight and go balls to the wall.
I KNOW it's tempting to jump right in and
go as hard and heavy as you can from day
Trust me, I've been there -- and done
that. We all have.
But there's a better way to do it --
and the better way is to start easy,
play it smart, and build up to the
big weights and the high intensity.
In the meantime, if you're thinking
about doing the 20-rep breathing squat
program, be sure your lower back is up
to the task. If not, you might want to
spend the next couple of months on a
low back specialization program BEFORE
you try the breathing squat program.
And that's the tip of the day -- a tip
that's over 80 years old, and that comes
from one of the pioneers of the Iron
As always, thanks for reading and have a
great day. If you train today, make it a
Yours in strength,
P.S. I cover leg and back specialization
programs for maximum strength and muscle
mass in CHALK AND SWEAT -- along with
programs for beginners, intermediates
and advanced trainees. Go here to grab
P.S. 2. My other books and courses are
P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "Never stop
learning, never stop seeking and never
stop growing." -- Brooks Kubik