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Saturday August 18, 2018

The Physics of Bodybuilding

Written by Kerry Dulin
The Physics of Bodybuilding

Scientist have theorized about the possibility of a parallel universe that exist beside our own where the laws of physics as we know them do not apply. While this may not be true of the universe, it is certainly true at the gym. I’m not delving into theory here but a well established fact that unfortunately, most lifters are pathetically ignorant of.

You will find this parallel world in any gym that you enter.

They all have it, an area were the laws of nature as we understand them are strangely different. This area has a repulsive influence on average people. They tend to gravitate away from it. Its not that they can’t see it. Its there, in plain sight. But something about it strikes fear into the very core of their being. Few want to enter this area and so they turn their heads slightly to the side as they pass by. It isn’t hard to understand why. I have entered this area on several occasions and I have to admit, it hurt, it hurt like hell. Those who enter however, who overcome the fight or flight response and march boldly into the zone of terror are forever changed.

These people are not hard to recognize. They look different. They have an unmistakable attitude that sets them apart from others and unlike the glamour children who spend their entire workout huddled around the mirror, these people actually have legs! In case you haven’t surmised it yet, the parallel world that few dare to enter, the loneliest place in the gym, is the squat rack. The strange forces hidden inside of the squat rack also seem to affect people’s memory. As they pass by, they seem to recall old football injuries as if it happened yesterday. You know this because you will here them telling someone, “I’d squat but I hurt my back playing football.” These are the same people whose inflated chest floats from one weight machine to another without any visible means of support. They’re like hovercraft, a large mass suspended above the ground with nothing underneath it.

It’s a miracle folks!

The real miracle however, is what happens inside of the squat rack. Actually, “miracle“ isn’t the proper word. If someone jumps form a building and hits the ground would you shout “praise the lord, it’s a miracle”? No, you expect him to hit the ground. Basic and fundamental laws of nature are at play and so when our jumping friend hits the pavement no one is surprised. The same is true of the squat rack. Sir Isaac Newton knew this when he exclaimed that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Obviously Sir Isaac had just completed a twenty rep set at the squat rack and had a burn hot enough to singe the hair off of his ass cheeks. But the burn was not the opposite reaction, it was the growth that occurred in his legs afterward.

Action – Squat

Reaction – Growth

In my own study of the physics behind bodybuilding, I have discovered that there are only three natural forces.

There is a fourth force in the gym but it is very weak and only seems to affect the glamour children. It is the force of appearance and it is used to create the illusion of size, strength or definition.

Now, why am I writing this? Because you need to hear it! Every David in this world wants to slay Goliath. This is true at work, at home and in the gym. So listen to me now, hear me latter but do it soon! Stop doing synchronized tricep kickbacks with your girlfriend and step up to the plates. There are forces deep within the squat rack that only the initiated fully comprehend. Notice that I said “deep”. If all that you want to do is sissy little half squats then you might as well go back to working out with your girlfriend because you will never be squatter.

Seriously folks, I’m only saying these things because I want you to be successful. I’ve seen far too many people leave the gym with their hopes dashed simply they did not understand the physics behind our sport. Are there substitutes to the squat? Yes, and there are substitutes to Viagra but they probably wont get you as hard.

So if you’re serious about bodybuilding, if you really want to be a lifter, then start at the bottom. Face your fear and enter the forbidden zone. It’s not likely that you will have to wait in line.

10 Rules to Squat by:

1. Define your goals. Are you a Powerlifter, a Bodybuilder, a Distance athlete or Fitness fanatic? Your training should reflect your goals.

2. Educate yourself. There are several variations of the squat each of which produce different results. Simply copying what another lifter is doing may not get you where you want to go.

3. Form – Form – Form! Did I stutter? NO! Its that important. Many people load more plates on the bar than they can safely handle and then use poor form to try to move it. This is a great way to injure your back. Show off at the beach, not at the gym.

4. Don’t lie about how deep you squat. Its common to see people barely break 45 degrees and then swear that they went below parallel.

5. Vary your routine. Regardless of how hard you work or consistently you train, your body will adapt and you will reach a plateau.  Spare yourself the downtime by adding variety to your workout.

6. Don’t just squat. While squats are considered a total body exercise, they do not work all body parts equally. Great squatters are often great dead lifters as well.

7. Ask for a spotter and also make sure that they know how to spot correctly. Before asking someone to dig you out from under a heavy load, be sure that they know how to do it properly.

8. Use safety bars. If you are below parallel with a heavy weight, even an experienced spotter cannot pull you out of the hole. Uncontrolled weights cause injuries, don’t be the cause of it.

9. Eat for the goal. After a heavy squat day, or any hard workout for that matter, you must consume protein to rebuild the damaged muscle tissue. Fail to do this and you might as well stop training.

10. Be consistent! One week and your a beginner, one month and you’re in training. One year and your a bodybuilder.

Train hard and don't take fitness lightly!

Kerry Dulin

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