T Nation

Teaching the Squat to Novices in Limited Time


I work in a commercial gym and my boss finally gave me the okay to implement a workshop I've been wanting to do since I myself got into lifting. It will be about 45 minutes - 1 hour long and focuses on middle aged women and teaching them about the basics of weightlifting, why they should do it, dispelling myths, etc.

I really want to teach the squat as I think it's fundamental but when I got to thinking about teaching it I realized I could do an entire seminar just on that one lift nevermind the rest of the information and lifts I want to get across.

I figure I'll have at most 10-15 minutes to go over the lift and I have no idea how to consolidate all the information about correct technique in such a limited time, especially if I want to do some individual corrections.

What I have planned so far:
-Explanation of the squat, give a demonstration of bodyweight and demonstrate verbal cues such as hips back, neutral spine, etc.
-Demonstrate a box squat and have participants perform it, going around and correcting if necessary.
-Explanation of common mistakes such as lower back rounding, valgus knees, etc.
-Demonstrate goblet squat and have participants perform it.

Thought I would leave it at that due to limited time. I'll also have handouts and notes since it's a lot of information at once, but it leaves so much about flexibility and stability and individual corrections out...I'm not sure how to get everything across.

Any suggestions? Thanks in advance!


obviously im no professional trainer but if you think you are gunna be able to teach a complex lift like the squat to 40-50 year old women in 10-15 minutes, youre in for a world of frustration and probably a lot of injuries due to false confidence in what these women think they learned in 15 minutes.

id say your best approach is to do a general workshop and then in a few months run a squat specific workshop.


Yeah this is kind of how I've been feeling about it. My plan B was to just show them how the movements are done so they know it's not magic or something and then show them how to adjust a cage so it doesn't seem so intimidating and maybe they'll be more open to learning or trying it out.

Hopefully if I can just build some general interest in weightlifting with this workshop I could do a series for things like the squat after - as I said I feel like it'd take a whole seminar in itself to get just some basic form down.


It's cool that you are able to do this, and reading your post made this video come to mind


I'd say take as much from that video as you can, it is very favorable to teaching in bite sized chunks and has some fantastic coaching cues that cover pretty much everything. Good luck


i dont have much to add, but goodluck anyways. if the ladies sign up for the class, it means theyre already interested in weightlifting, unless youre a pretty boy and the class will be filled with cougars - so each way is a win-win!