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Squats Beneficial For Fighting?

I am asking on behalf of a friend of mine. He wanted to get stronger and look better, while also training for Jeet Kune Do and BJJ twice a week. I put him on starting strength. He went from weighing 135 to 155 after about 4 months and got his squat up to about 225x3x5. He now says he wants to train for aesthetic purposes because he is satisfied with his strength. He also doesnt want his legs to get much bigger.(I dont agree with either of these things but its his decision.) H

e’s not looking to gain a ton of weight because he wants to compete in the future and stay in a somewhat light weight class. I would like to instruct him in continuing to to compound movements, but I was thinking of getting rid of the squats. I dont really think they make your leg kicks more powerful(although I could be wrong, someone could correct me on this) and they could be putting on muscle and weight where it isnt neccessary. Thoughts?

Edit: Hes 17

Squats don’t make your kicks more powerful. They do, however give you a solid base to work off of and make you much, much stronger overall.

I would not drop them, especially if he’s going to compete in BJJ or MMA or whatever… lower the reps, go for strength, cut back his eating so he doesn’t bounce out of his weight class.

hell yeah squats are good. especially (my opinion) for wrestling/grappling. gives you a solid base. I’ve significantly cut my repitoire in terms of lifts I do - sticking mostly with the more compound lifts - squats, deads, pullups (or rope climbing,) bench, dips. Add in the GPP with tire flips, sledgehammer work, rope stuff, wheel barrow walks…but squats and deads are the foundation of my workouts at this point and I’ve seen good translation on the mat after spending the last 6 months focusing primarily on legs.

Training to fight and training to look pretty are conflicting goals, at least if you want to excel at fighting. Fighters do tend to have good physiques though, and if he doesn’t want to get bigger, would he not be happy with a fighter’s physique?

That said, I am definitely no expert, but for grappling sports, I would do as much of my strength training as possible with a sandbag. I train primarily with one, and cleaning, pressing, shouldering, bearhugging and squatting it are all great things for developing serious grappling strength.

My view on the effectiveness of training, for most people, with weights for purely striking sports has already bored people on this forum enough times.

But where do i buy 225 lbs sandbag??

I have to respectfully disagree with Irish.

Squats have an even more direct transfer to kicks then probably any upper body exercise has to punching.

Of course, we’re talking about a modest increase, but it’s noticable, especially with a turning sidekick (regular only if your technique is good, but practically nobody can do a decent regular sidekick).

I reckon it is because of two reasons:
2) legs are bigger and have a greater potential for strenghening, especially with civilized people.

  1. speaking with Lombard’s paradox, the quadriceps and the hamstrings are better synergists then, for instance lats+pectorials or delts+triceps.

Squats are good for fighters because of the cns activity learned in being able to fire off more than one muscle group at once to make the whole body rigid enough to work as one unit.

When you strike, only a nincumpoop novice strikes only with his arms or upper body. Effective and serious striking is a function of correct firing and muscle tightening of agonists and relaxation of antagonists during the movement.The whole body has to work in order and as one unit, not as segregated parts.

Squats, deadlifts, cleans, pulls, snatches are all effective for training this aspect and the muscular work that can be done with these exercises if done through a lactic acid threshold cycle can help for other types of fitness needed in a fight aside from the absolute strength aspect.
It does have some transfer over to fighting. Squats done right in the right range of motions and right speed/rest/pause timing can definitely help.
Split squats, side squats, Bulgarian squats, lunging squats and straight up and down squats all can help.

[quote]Wzwut wrote:
But where do i buy 225 lbs sandbag??[/quote]

Army or Navy surplus store. My heaviest weighs nearly 245lbs.

Just because this thread is already getting some response, I cut my leg work down to a 5 X 5 of deadlifts. Might I be better off alternating weeks between that and squats? I post in over 35 lifter and have to be conscious of my recovery ability so my lifting isn’t intended to go overboard.

Has this any connection to kicking?
Or is it more of a bodybuilding question?

[quote]DeadKong wrote:
Just because this thread is already getting some response, I cut my leg work down to a 5 X 5 of deadlifts. Might I be better off alternating weeks between that and squats? I post in over 35 lifter and have to be conscious of my recovery ability so my lifting isn’t intended to go overboard.[/quote]

Depends on your goals and what else you are doing.

[quote]DeadKong wrote:
Just because this thread is already getting some response, I cut my leg work down to a 5 X 5 of deadlifts. Might I be better off alternating weeks between that and squats? I post in over 35 lifter and have to be conscious of my recovery ability so my lifting isn’t intended to go overboard.[/quote]

It depends, hard to tell from a distance. If you feel fine the way you train atm, you’re in the clear. Overtraining is something you feel approaching like a freight train if you pay attention, no need to panic.

Sorry to hijack the thread, it is just a good time to ask.

Thanks for responses so far, I have in the past overtained. I aim for fitness and general skills development learning striking. The deadlifts I hypothesize help with hip rotation, and a good posterior chain is part of grappling and defence of it.

Oh, and I have videos of my bag work progress on my thread here if anyone wants a look:

http://tnation.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding_senior/deadkongs_latest_journal?id=4659878&pageNo=11

I think the consensus is pretty clear: don’t drop the squats.

Use them for pure strength work instead, increase GPP and watch food intake. They’re just too damn useful.

Squats give you more powerful kicks in the same way that having a strong back will allow you to punch harder. The actual power is developed from around the hip joint, but if you don’t have the nessecary endurance to keep your leg from flying off you will not be able to realize the true potential of your hip joint.

I have found a lot of success recently with training the posterior chain for strength and the front of the thigh for endurance. My kicking power is higher, and my movement is more fluid.

Squats are beneficial for just damn near everything, IMO

I agree with Irish that squats create a good base for fighters. But I just never see them being utilised with much success in any training regime to improve technique or power. I’m talking about 150 pound Thai boxers who can shatter your shin with a low kick, but who never squatted anything more than his body weight, EVER! And that’s a relatively heavy Thai fighter, FYI.

I stand ready to be corrected, but if anyone can post a training regime used by a contemporary fighter, who is actually winning fights, and who swears by his squat training then I might even use that programme myself.

All just tools in the tool box, technique is the best doing something over and over. But you can’t say that increasing your 1RM won’t make your kick stronger eventually, especially your pushkick. Just make sure you train heavy with low reps.

[quote]Pigeonkak wrote:
I agree with Irish that squats create a good base for fighters. But I just never see them being utilised with much success in any training regime to improve technique or power. I’m talking about 150 pound Thai boxers who can shatter your shin with a low kick, but who never squatted anything more than his body weight, EVER! And that’s a relatively heavy Thai fighter, FYI.

I stand ready to be corrected, but if anyone can post a training regime used by a contemporary fighter, who is actually winning fights, and who swears by his squat training then I might even use that programme myself.[/quote]

That’s what I’m saying though - they’re beneficial for MMA guys, and if you’re going to lift, you might as well do them, but it’s not like they’re in any way a make-or-break thing for boxers or Muay Thai guys or whatever.

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:

[quote]Pigeonkak wrote:
I agree with Irish that squats create a good base for fighters. But I just never see them being utilised with much success in any training regime to improve technique or power. I’m talking about 150 pound Thai boxers who can shatter your shin with a low kick, but who never squatted anything more than his body weight, EVER! And that’s a relatively heavy Thai fighter, FYI.

I stand ready to be corrected, but if anyone can post a training regime used by a contemporary fighter, who is actually winning fights, and who swears by his squat training then I might even use that programme myself.[/quote]

That’s what I’m saying though - they’re beneficial for MMA guys, and if you’re going to lift, you might as well do them, but it’s not like they’re in any way a make-or-break thing for boxers or Muay Thai guys or whatever.[/quote]

Agreed. I’m not saying you shouldn’t do squats, because I do them and my trainers always asked me why I bothered. I think Olympic lifts are a far better lift to perform if you want your weight lifting to translate into more powerful, faster strikes. But that’s my observation and not my experience, since I really am quite new to O lifts myself.