This exercise is the result of an experiment in squat-related insanity...
One day I decided to see how many different forms of resistance I could use on a single exercise...the squat.
And the answer is 4 (not counting bodyweight). You can apply the principles at work here to exercises with whatever equipment you have available to you - even two forms of resistance is powerful stuff.
Normally, you would think that one form of resistance would be good enough and all you'd need to do is load more weight on to make it harder. That IS true to a certain point...most exercises (even the squat) don't fully overload the body through the whole range of motion.
I've found by combining different forms of resistance, you can properly overload the entire strength curve of an exercise. In the case of the squat, it's tougher at the bottom and gets easier as you come to the top. Nothing surprising there - anybody who's done a squat knows that.
I set up the squat machine with a moderate amount of weight then set two moderate-weight dumbbells underneath. That's two.
Then I took two training bands and attached those around the weight posts and the foot plate of the machine. That's three.
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Finally, I put on my 85 lb weight vest and wore it during the squat. That's four.
The result? AMAZING overload to the entire body on this exercise.
Here's the bottom of the squat. At this point, it's just dumbbells and weight vest providing resistance. The squat machine only kicks in halfway up and because the bands are attached to the squat machine, they don't kick in until the machine is used.
The halfway point - I'm now lifting against the machine as well. The bands are just starting to stretch.
Full lockout. At the point, you've got all 4 types of resistance pushing down on you. And as the bands stretch, the harder it gets as you come to the top, which is exactly what you want for the squat.
The best part? Not only do your legs get worked, but because you're also holding onto 2 dumbbells and wearing a weight vest, your upper body and core gets a tremendous workout as well (much more so than with conventional squats).
Now I know you most likely don't have ALL the equipment to do all 4 types of resistance but if you've got 2 or even 3, give this exercise a shot. And if you've got all 4...say hi to the floor for me because that's where you'll be at the end of the set.
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