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Barbell Hack Squats (Hard and Heavy)




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New Generation

In today’s generation of natural or enhanced bodybuilding, almost nobody uses or talks about barbell hack squats.  Except me.

It’s really a shame.  I’ve been doing barbell hack squats for over a decade, and they have allowed me to build strong, thick quads.  The great George Hackenschmidt gave the iron game a gem of a quad builder, but the barbell hack squat has been essentially extinct in the gym for decades.

Natural bodybuilders could absolutely add some great size and strength to their quads by implementing barbell hack squats into their training program.

But I’m willing to give a lot of you all some grace.  It’s entirely possible you have never heard of a barbell hack squat until you clicked on this article.

You might have seen the hack slide machine, but that’s not in the same weight class as the barbell hack squat.  To my brothers and sisters in the iron game, you are leaving meat on the bone in terms of results by not doing this wonderful exercise.

What Is Old Still Works

natural bodybuilding front lat spread

Barbell hack squats are archaic.

But just because they are old does not mean that they don’t work.  They are super effective.

I filmed a video many years ago that outlines the proper way to do barbell hack squats.  And I strongly suggest you check that video out and learn how to perform them.

In the iron game, you have plenty of time to get stronger.  But if you rush into a barbell hack squat with too much weight, too early, and with questionable form, you will get hurt.  I’ve seen the inflated ego of many bodybuilders lead them down a dark, painful, and injury-riddled pathway.

Effort And Intensity Matter

barbell hack squat

Old school bodybuilding was all about high effort and high intensity.  You would get clowned out of the gym if you gave the fake hustle effort that many influencers and bodybuilders do today.

I see many “training sessions” disguised as hard work.  I look at some of these so-called leg workouts online and I can only shake my head.  What qualifies as hard work today and what true hard work actually is are two totally different things.

To make your muscles grow and build a superior physique, you need to train with the correct intensity and focus.  Some of your workouts, especially the leg days, should create a bit of fear in your heart.

The right combination of the proper diet, mindset, recovery practices, and intensity in the gym is what is required to maximize your physique.  Because you are not going to build a championship level physique by doing easy workouts and avoiding the hard exercises.

Tree Trunk Quads

In our most recent training cycle, Monday and Friday are reserved for our limbs and then on Wednesday and Saturday we train the torso.

The featured workout of this article took place on 10/28/22.  Barbell hack squats were the first leg exercise on the menu following us doing our 4 sets of arm work.

It was a brutal session.  We were using my 2 sets method program, which I will reveal to you the details at a later time.  My first set of the barbell hack squat was 415lbs and the second set was 405lbs.


Natural bodybuilding is not easy.

But if you want to truly build your physique to its highest level, you have to embrace the fact that success requires struggle.

The iron does not owe you or me anything.  Anything we want in this game and in life we must earn.

I’ll holla at you next time.
The People’s Trainer,

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The Barbell Squat (1 and 1/4 reps)


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