1/13/14

Plate Stackers & Butt Smackers... Not What You Think

Let’s be honest, nearly everyone does legs these days. Shoot, I just got a text from the captain of my college’s Ultimate Frisbee club saying that they were squatting. If I see one more guy post a picture quoting, “friends don’t let friends skip leg days” I just might explode into my own internet meme. Back in the glory days we would wait on walking biceps to finish their squat rack curls before we could start our workouts. Now every rack is full of people squatting.

I can’t say that I’m upset though. Sure, it used to be cool knowing that I was part of an elite group of squatters. But the onslaught of constant mockery has led many gym goers to re-adopt the great practice lost long ago in high school athletics. And now, my many attempts to get people under bars have resulted in, well, people getting under bars. Unfortunately, a new disaster has emerged that I couldn't have imagined.


Like a civil war in the gym, the squat racks have been divided between the “plate stackers” and “butt smackers.” Of course, like with anything, there are third party groups but this story doesn’t concern them.
When people start squatting they are either advised by a trainer or a coach, or they spent a couple of hours on youtube watching videos. Haphazardly, many of these baby squatters trust that what they’re doing is perfect. Admit it. We’ve all seen that guy in the gym that’s put on a couple more plates than he should, and now he’s going to try and squat it. He’s the Plate Stacker.

PLATE STACKER
Have you met this guy before? When he looks in the mirror he sees the kind of person that planet fitness has nightmares about. When he rolls into the gym the first place he visits is the belt bucket. With a fresh piece of leather draped on his shoulder he boldly marches to the squat rack, bragging about his status symbol to the world. To him, no matter the person, if they’re in the squat rack they don’t belong. Once it’s his turn he will load the bar with two to four more plates than he can handle, and then he will proceed to yell and do a quarter squat. To him, he just let Adonis out and is holding the world on his shoulders. To the rest of the gym, especially the old lady on the elliptical, he just made a big scene for nothing. Meanwhile, in the corner, stands a guy holding a kettle bell sneering at the Plate Stacker. He’s the Butt Smacker.

BUTT SMACKER
There is a 90 percent chance that this individual does paleo, and says the word FMS a lot. On the back of his car is a Crossfit [insert your city] sticker. His shoes are minimal, and his shorts are board. His entire crossfit career has revolved around the idea that only him and his select group of friends actually squat. He’s seen the Plate Stacker put on a show in the gym, and he’s vowed never to mimic those actions. So now, at his local box he squats so deep that he could use the floor as toilet paper. With every rep he takes his butt to the ground and then his knees act like rubber bands propelling him back up. A lot of people find nothing wrong with this; I’m not a lot of people.

There are flaws in both of these types of squatting. On the one hand, Plate Stacker is neglecting the physiological benefits to squatting to depth and is in no way impressing anyone. On the other hand Butt Smacker is wrecking his knees and neglecting strength as an extreme approach to squat reformation.

In the book, “Managing the Training of Weightlifters” the authors examine the profit of doing squats for power and strength. They cite a study that says a squat to the depth of 70 degrees, no more no less, is the most ideal depth for increasing power. And let’s face it; if we’re squatting we want to be powerful.


You don’t want to be a Plate Stacker, and you don’t want to be a Butt Smacker (no matter what they say). When you squat you want to squat to 70 degrees. That should be your category. Now that so many people are squatting we have the opportunity to start a new trend; a trend of GOOD squatters. Start the trend tribe Endu, I’m counting on you.

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About Me

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BS, MS - exercise Physiology
EPC - Board Certified Exercise Physiologist

Published Thesis
The impact of three different forms of warm up on performance


The Effects of Glucose Supplementation on Barbell Velocity and Fatiguability in Weightlifting - A pilot study"

Graduate from Midwestern State University, founder of Endunamoo Barbell Club, and Endunamoo Strength and Conditioning. Working to help athletes physically reach their goals and achieve scholarships while spiritually pouring into as many people as possible on all platforms.