Suprised At Trainer

As most people know a lot of trainers and high school gym coaches are tools and full of shit a lot of the time.

However, in my school gym I was surprised today. It was leg day and I was doing ATG squats in the smith machine (I have to squat in there as there is no squat rack).

And the gym coach comes up and simply says “you should just get a towel to put under the bar.” and left.

After the stories i’ve heard of trainers bad mouthing squats and hating compound movements it was refreshing to experience one of them who knew what lifting is about.

Trainers and strength coaches are no different to any other profession. I know alot of under educated/under experienced phsio’s, chiro’s, and hear of many builders, mechanics, salesman, lawyers yada yada yada. Go on reputation and referral not blatant stereotyping…
As for the smith squats…Don’t know what your doing for legs but here’s some other options to add/replace assuming you have dumbells and aren’t doing them already.

Dumbell Squats/Deads
Dumbell lunges static/walking/multi directional
Dumbell RDL’s
Single leg hack squats off a cable or rack
Bulgarian split squats with dumbells
Weighted step ups
Single leg press/hack/
Swiss ball ham curl(one joint, two joint, single leg)


You could always power clean the weight up and do front squats.

[quote]Uncle Fester wrote:
You could always power clean the weight up and do front squats.[/quote]


Does this story make even a modicum of sense? Honestly.

[quote]LoneLobo wrote:
Does this story make even a modicum of sense? Honestly.[/quote]

Yes. Most “trainers/coaches” would have said: “Thta will screw up your knees, etc.” This one simply told him to put a towel under the bar - perhaps to save his neck from hurting. Not great advice, but 99% better than usual.

Do you say:“No thanks. I’m not a little girl.”?

Hi Vietnow,

I’m a personal trainer. I do ATG squats, and I have my clients do them as well (that is if they don’t have any limitations that would make them unsafe).

Not all of us trainers are bumbling idiots as we are often portrayed as.

As far as using a smith machine for squats… Honestly I’d agree with stocky, they are probably not your best option for building your leg strength/size.

Does your gym have olympic barbells? If so, then deadlifts, powercleans, and front squats would be your best bets. If not, then any of the suggestions that stocky made are good choices.

I personally never liked using the smith machine to do squats, as I feel like it forces the body into an unnatural movement pattern/plane.

You’d honestly be better off using a hack squat machine, or leg press machine than using a smith machine. None of these compare to deads, PC, or Front squats, but they’re better than smith machine squats (IMO).

Good training,


Grab a barbell, load it, clean it, press it, then ovhd squat. Those are fun and will help utilize your core, unlike the smith. Plus it doesn’t take much weight to be challenging