Have you ever seen Kirk Karwowski squat a heavy weight? He eyes the barbell knowing he’s going to own it. He then places his hands on the barbell, and pauses for a moment before he dips his head under the barbell to rack it across his back.
Driving his chest forward and his head up, he strongly nestles the barbell into place. He settles in his hips, with his feet directly below. With a few quick pants, he looks up, inhales, tightens the core and with a powerful drive, releases gravity’s hold on the 600-1,000 pounds loaded on the barbell.
From there, watching his footing with as little neck flexion as possible, he takes three short steps and his head comes back up. He takes a few pants, inhales and holds it with the hips and knees flexed as the weight descends into the hole, and then he rises. There’s little shaking. There is no bounce—a place for everything and everything is in its place.
Bruce Lee, one of the most famous martial arts of all time, said, “The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity. Before I studied the art, a punch to me was just like a punch, a kick just like a kick. After I learned the art, a punch was no longer a punch and a kick was no longer a kick. Now that I’ve understood the art, a punch is just like a punch and a kick is just like a kick. The height of cultivation is really nothing special. It is merely simplicity—the ability to express the utmost with the minimum.”
To express the utmost with the minimum—This is exactly what you see when you watch someone like Kirk Karwowski or Wade Hooper squat. There’s no wasted movement.
- From "Squat Talk" by Boris Bachmann (podcast available from movementlectures.com)