We're only going to talk about one exercise this month. Just one exercise. But if you haven't got the size and strength you'd like, or if you aren't gaining like you think you should then read this carefully because it might be the most important thing you'll do in your weight career.
The exercise we're going to talk about is the squat.
And you've got to know one thing - the squats are THE exercise for gaining. They're so far out in front that second place doesn't even matter. If you want the absolute, utter maximum in power and shapely bulk, then you've got to specialize in squats and there's no sense stalling it off.
About two years ago I had a kid training in my place. I gave him a squat program but he wouldn't go on it. Said he didn't like squats. I let him do what he wanted but he didn't gain much and then about three months ago something happened and I got racky with him.
He was in the gym when I got there. He was lying back on an incline bench and waving two little dumbells around like he was leading the Boston Pops. I walked over and spoke to him.
"Not really," he said. "She's pretty rough."
"That's too bad," I said. "Because I heard something else today that's pretty rough."
"I heard a bunch of kids were going to start working out here, but they changed their minds because you haven't gained an ounce in the last six months."
He didn't look too concerned.
"Tell me," I said. "Why don't you do that squat program I gave you?"
"I'm gonna," he said. "I'm gonna."
"You know you won't gain without it."
"That's O.K.," he said. "Don't worry."
"Worry?" I snarled. "I don't care personally if you drop a weight on your Beatle haircut. But you're giving me a bad name."
He looked up and blinked.
"Now," I said. "I'll tell you what you're going to do. You're going to drag your fat tail off that bench and start squatting or you can go train someplace else."
"There isn't any other place to train."
"I know," I said. "It's a convincing argument, isn't it?"
He was squatting ten minutes later and has gained more in the last three months than he did in the past year and a half.
- from The Complete Keys To Progress by John McCallum