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Maximal Strength Exercise: Barbell Squats (instructional video included)

If you are concerned with fighting off a bigger, or stronger person successfully, you are going to need to get stronger physically. Occasionally, you might hear some uninformed person tell you that you don't need to workout to defend yourself. Don't believe them, this can't be farther from the truth. All the techniques in the world can't help you if your are not strong enough to perform it on a bigger, stronger assailant.

Let me share a story to prove this point:

When I competed in no holds barred competition in the mid 80's to early 90's.

they had no weight classes, or time limits. Even though I only weighed around 135 pounds at the time, it was not unusual for me to face guys who were 250 pounds or more. After losing matches to these big guys, I sought the coaching of a power lifter. He said I needed to lift heavy weights in order to have a chance fighting them. That's when I started adding maximal strength exercises to my training. And you know what? It worked!

A great maximal strength exercise that we will be covering this week is the barbell squat (pictured above is Matt Castanon performing a max strength barbell back squat).

How to perform a barbell back squat:
  1. Stand with a barbell resting on your shoulders and traps with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Maintain the natural arch in your lower back and keep your head directed forward.

  2. Bend at the knees and hips, letting your glutes track backward to lower yourself.

  3. When your thighs are parallel to the floor, reverse direction, driving up forcefully through your heels to a standing position.

  4. Repeat for the required amount of repetitions.

Below is a short demo of how to perform the barbell squat. Let me know if you have any questions.

Can you help me? Would you leave a review for my book on Amazon? This will help me to continue providing free training for you. Here is the link: The Short Fight, 

Thanks so much!   

Want to get in the best shape of your life? Check out our fitness training programs here   

For more workouts to improve your performance for fitness and self-defense, get my book, The Short Fight, on Amazon at  

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Until next time, Stay Fit!


Lawrence Castanon,

Author, The Short Fight

How to perform a barbell back squat

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