T Nation

Temporary Replacement for Squats?


So before you bash at me saying "There's no replacement for Squats", let me start off by saying the gym actually removed the FUCKING DIP BARS, the only place that allowed me to do squats since there's no power rack, and now the only way to do dips is off a platform, which allows for no squats.

I was outraged at first and swore to get my ass off of this gym, but I have still time left before my membership ends, so I need to find a temporary replacement for friggin SQUATS. So my main concern is not that I won't gain or lose hypertrophy in my legs, but it will stagnate my upper body gains. I've hear from many places that if you don't squat, your upper body gains halt due to subpar growth hormone production, which always seemed to me as crap but I'm anyhow restless.

I'm doing a Max-OT Style routine and I used to do 3 sets of squats followed by 2 sets of leg presses for my quads. I don't want to lose strength. With legs concerned, my primary goal is strength and not hypertrophy. So what I can do is:

a) Replace squats with Leg Presses and Leg presses with Hack Squats
b) Replace Squats with Cleans/Power Cleans
c) Do Smith Machine Squats (Yikes).

So I'm currently in favor of b. What do you think?


I think, therefore I am....

choosing option A.


Is single leg work an option? Lunges come to mind


That or clean the bar and do front squats.

EDIT: Referring to what ID said.


Someone has to say it :

d)Go to a real gym

No power rack OR Dip bars ?!
GTFO now !



best option


Single leg work is an option. However I utterly hate it. I probably will be able to clean and put about 135 lbs on my back and am doubtful if it will be enough a weight. The same thing applies with front squats. I will be able to do very high rep front squats, like 20 or so. Won't help with strength a lot but will probably result in good hypertrophy.


your first reaction was correct.
stop freaking out and do leg presses. Get to the point where you can rep out 1,000lb for 10-20 and your legs will be ok.




A while ago I injured my knee, stopped training legs for a month or two. Everything that I did train got bigger... go figure.

Choosing option A.


Yeah the whole if you dont train your legs you wont grow is bullshit to the max

if your doing max OT I would do

Leg presses 3 work sets
Hack squats 2 work sets
optional - leg press 1 work set
lunges 2 work sets
stiff leg deadlifts 2 working sets

im not saying exactly but you get the idea


Brutal squat free workouts:




Plenty of top bodybuilders do smith machine squats. If that was my only squat option thats what I would do. Ya they are soooo uncool but who gives a shit I would rather do smith squats than no squats at all.


Yeah i think Jay Cutler is a huge fan of these


I don't do barbell squats. I do a squat machine, leg presses, deadlifts, and extensions. That got my quads pretty decent.


yeah...they tell that to newbs so they don't avoid training legs. I doubt you will see too many guys walking around with truly huge upper bodies and no leg development though. It takes the mentality of a bodybuilder usually to even get that big....so they usually wouldn't just ignore the entire muscle group.

If that were true, there would be no sense in prioritizing muscle groups at all.


Dude, holy shit that avatar is awesome. On a side note, I literally just read an article on here about bulgarian split squats. Incorporated them today and really liked them, go heavy and I feel at least they are a decent maintenance exercise as you're waiting for your next gym subscription.


Goblet squats after leg pressing?


This is why you should do them!

Bulgarian split squats, Pistol squats to a bench, Lunges, reverse lunges, Goblet squats, DB squats, single DB Squats, weight bridges, step ups to a bench. Hell make it one huge circuit rest 2 minutes between circuits and do it 4 times....


pretty much everythings been said, trap bar deads are an option but guessing given the absolutely shocking choice of equiptment in your gym they wont have one.

I wouldnt stress over it though not squatting for a couple of months wont kill you!

hack squats, leg presses and split squats would be my preference.