Have You Heard About This Awesome New Exercise?
I am often amused by the infatuation that many lifters have toward all the “new” training exercises that continuously pop up in the strength training world. It seems many lifters are looking for that new magical exercise that will somehow propel them into elite lifter status. For example:
This is an excerpt from an article Charles Smith wrote back in 1949.
“The Barnholth method is strictly for lifters. The exerciser takes the weight in the usual manner, across the back of the shoulders, and SITS on a small BOX or chair so that the thighs are level or parallel with the floor. He stands up from the box and then either returns to a sitting position and repeats or else stands upright and returns to that position using the box only to ensure that he does not go below the parallel position. The great advantage of this form of the deep knee bend is that it is very effective in developing a powerful jerk. In jerking a weight, the lifter must make certain that he does not dip too low or too fast. Squatting from a box ensures that the lifter develops strength well within the range of muscular contraction encountered in jerking a weight from the shoulders”.
The Smith article was written more than 30 years before the BOX SQUAT craze surfaced around the late 1980’s and 1990’s. Obviously the box squat had been around for a long time before then. But all of the sudden the box squat had taken the powerlifting community by storm. Many lifters saw box squatting as this “new” magical exercise that would take their squat to the next level. (Unfortunately in my opinion for many lifters what took their squat to the next level had more to do with armor plated squat suits and monolifts but that is another subject altogether.) Although I think box squatting certainly has its benefits, in the past few years many powerlifters have stopped box squatting and moved on to the next “new” thing.
The box squat is just one example among many that shows essentially there is very little new under the sun when it comes to strength building exercises. Just because someone starts promoting a certain exercise and you haven’t heard of it doesn’t mean it’s new.
Point is lifters should be far more concerned about training philosophy and putting together tried and true exercises that work for them and less concerned with so-called new exercises. There is no one magical exercise. If you research exercises there are plenty of “old” ones out there that can help you build extraordinary strength. You don’t have to chase the next “new” exercise that comes around. If you do, you may find out the “new” exercise has been around for a thousand years.
Likewise, items like chains, bands, boxes, boards, specialty bars and dumbbells, etc. have been used by strongmen longer than you have been alive. They are just tools that can enhance the exercises that have been around for hundreds of years. There is nothing new or magical about them. As I said, there are very few new things under the sun. Just build a training philosophy with exercises that work for you. Coupled with hard work and consistency you will achieve your goals. Don’t be one who is constantly searching for some new fangled Johnny come lately exercise. It’s most likely already been invented.