T Nation

A Story About The Hex Bar

I have been working out at my high school since I am home from college for semester break. I am pretty close with a few guys that still go there…one of my friends broke my deadlift record…not too big of a deal. We were joking around about it today and I made note that my 515 was with a barbell compared to his 575 with a hexbar. I don’t really mind that the strength coach (who I am pretty close with) promotes the hex bar compared to conventional style dl. We have had several arguments in the past over it and he is one of the most narrow minded guys I have ever met.

Now my friend Andy is a pretty strong kid and well advanced for being a senior in h.s getting ready for college ball. I joked around with him cuz he was joking with me about breaking my record so I was joking back and told him that maybe if he used a barbell maybe he could break my squat record. Now this was all in good mood until the coach was sitting there with us and just exploded on me about how I should be supporting his ideas and since I know the difference between the two dl variations I shouldn’t be saying anything because he wants to keep the kids lower backs safe.

I just found it so profoundly interesting A.) how he treated me like a little fucking kid and B.) how I know he knows better. I guess with this thinking we should all probably start wearing a belt with every lower body exercise and better switch to manta ray squats before I hurt my fuckin back…so please guys be careful!, I wouldn’t want you to get strong or anything…

I feel you on the fact that some people just have this massive tunnel vision about training. All the coaches at my high school, at my college, and not to mention the “trainers” at the LA Fitness I had membership to state their perspectives on training as if they were the holy grail of all methods. Before I’ve gotten the “well I’m a trainer/coach and I know more about it” type of response and attitude. But what can you do. I just end up watching them tell others “deadlifts are bad for your back, squatting too deep is bad for yours knees, don’t touch the bar to your chest on the bench, etc etc etc.”


You can’t contradict the coach in front of one of his trainees. For him to admit weakness would be fatal(in his mind).This also prohibits him from using your suggestion with the trainee later too.His “making you feel like a kid” is also an ego defense. I would just continue with my program, and leave coach back in the stone age. After all, it sounds like he has risen to his own level of incompetence, and can go no further.

Whether you agree with his reasoning or not, you can’t question his philosophy in public. Hex bar’s do have there place in the training world and variety is king. Some day he might get it, but for the young lifter (and if he is training the masses) this is the least important of the lifts. Hopefully he teaching the LOW box squats and not that high Box BFS crap,

hey hey! You think BFS is crap? In like only 6 months of training my squat with that system it went up from 275 to 605 in the Parallel squat. Maybe the hex bar had something to do with it too.

Hex bars are good, but they are only one way to DL. Variation is the key. The BFS system is a good program for those who who are putting the masses through a workout and don’t want to be bogged down with “thinking”. I do believe that the high box squat is inferior to low box squating, especially in young athletes. Sounds like you’ve made great strides on the program, but I would guess that you would have been successful w/ any program. The key to any program is the lifter’s belief that what they are doing is the best for them.
But again, the BFS high box squat is crap, not the entire program.

I used the BFS for my first three years of high school…but I did barbell dl’ing mostly. I just really feel that for myself and most lifters that if you don’t have a great lower back your squat will eventually plateau. See my h.s coach strictly uses the hex bar dl, and never does any variations, and never does any lower back exercises. The thing that upsets me is that I know he knows better, I mean I learned just about everything I know from him. I think he is just protecting the self esteem of his current athletes cuz they are for the most part “delicate”…they need lots of ass kissing for motivation…so I guess as long as they can move a lot of weight nice and slow with a hex bar, all is well with coach *&%#.

the good thing about the straight bar DL is at the top, gravity is pulling down big time making your low back work harder than in the top of the hex bar - but, the hex bar is a great tool to teach younger kids how to DL and gives some extra work to their glutes, quads and hams - perhaps not “extra”, but a bit different…i say use them both

Does the hex bar mean the Gerard Trap Bar?

what the hell is BFS?

Bigger Faster Stronger.Check em out on the web.Not the best program in the world but a great program if you have to train alot of kids at once.Really affordable,too.I wish I would have had it in high school…or T-Nation for that matter!

I think BFS can be an effective system. It’s used in my kids’ school programs…

I personally don’t think it is coached properly where I am at, but that was at the Jr Hi level. I am hoping that it improves in HS.

I also think it neglects lat work.

I have just started my 14 year old son on the Defranco WSSB (my son is a skinny one - he wrestles at 80 or 86) rather than have him in the BFS at the school with the football team.

I did this to hopefully get some meat on him for freshman football. He was pretty stout at the 8th grade level at such a small size, but I am concerned that his size will begin to force him away from the sport he truely loves.

Any comments about the WSSB for a 14 year old?


LA, Yeah, I have a comment or two about WSSB for a 14 year old.

NICE! That son of yours is in good hands it would seem. Great choice of programs. It is the best template I can think of for a football player of just about any age as it is so able to be manipulated for individual strengths/weaknesses. I do use some speed work on the repetition day for upper body and throw in some depth jumping there as well.

The Parisi Speed School DVDs are great as well. The Warm-up Method and Agility Training DVDs are great!

The kid is lucky to have his dad looking out for him, good work.

In reference to the initial post, I can easily pull 630-650 any day of the week with the Trap Bar AKA Hexbar. Not so with conventional DL or even sumo DL. The two are NOT interchangable in any way. That would be like a direct comparison between a close-grip bench and a 4 board press.

The Hex bar is actually closer to a squat than a straight bar dl, no?

[quote]kenmen wrote:
The Hex bar is actually closer to a squat than a straight bar dl, no?[/quote]

It can be, but one would hope the depth or ROM is greater with a squat along with the DL starting from the floor as opposed to a squat. You can do more of a Romanian DL with it if you choose.