“This is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object…”

This is part two of three of an article on the science behind lifitng (yes it was orginally a two parter but we are having too much fun). Our last article dealt with a look into muscle fibers after discussing the “Squat Off” between Tom Platz and Dr. Squat. Now we will take that the knowledge and apply it to real life atheletes in our gym. And since I am a superfan of the Star Wars movies I give you…

A tale of two guerrillas 

Name: Tim “BeastMode” Preston
Height: 6’1
Weight: 225
Squat: 500


Name: Zach Filer
Height: 6’0
Weight: 205
Squat: 415



The two atheletes, Z and Beastmode, are of somewhat similar size like Dr. Squat and Tom Platz and one squats more than the other. This is perfect. Tim squats much more than Z for 1 RM, but why? There is the “Oh well he’s just really strong” argument, but that is a cop out. We should want to understand the reason behind the answer, not just regurgitate the answer out.

Is it because Beastmode is slightly bigger? Does that twenty pounds and one inch really matter that much? In some sports it does, some sports it doesn’t. The slight size discrepancy is not enough of answer to satisfy true students of the iron game, we need more. So let’s look at our two “specimens” like how our friends in Canada look at lab rats and test their performance.

We already have the results for the 1RM in back squat, what other tests can we examine to judge their performances? Let’s go with a quick brutal test of metabolic capacity. The dreaded 500 Meter Erg time trail.

500 Meter TT Results

     Z: 1:24
     BeastMode: 1:22

Some would say that this test is an equally excellent measurement of raw power output, especially considering neither athlete was a rower (or has amazing rowing form). We see a slighter discrepancy in the results than the 1RM back squat but 2 seconds on the rower is more than it seems (a future article will go more in depth on that later).

Now we have two different work efforts measured: squat and sprint row. “Well what about the endurance aspect?” you may ask. Our program is primarily strength and conditioning oriented. As a coach I respect once said, “If you were to get locked up tomorrow, could you handle yourself?” Well that’s a very good question. Let’s humor that question… about 90% percent of fights don’t last longer then those row times. But let’s say it’s one nasty slobberknocker of a brawl, it might last longer and we need to know how our atheletes will handle this situation. Since our guerrillas aren’t interested in some kind of run, we again place them on the rower, this time for a 2K time trial.

2K TT Results

     BeastMode: 6:55
     Z: 6:52

Well now… Now the numbers have switched in favor of our lighter athlete. We now sit 2 to 1 on the score card (our larger athelete having the superior one rep squat and better time in the shorter of the two work capacity measurment). Let’s test one more 1RM  before we get to the real meat of this article. Again we’ll look at the squat, but this time we’ll look at the overhead version.

Overhead Squat 1RM Results

     BeastMode: 235
     Z: Well…

Impressive, most impressive. Now we’re tied, just what we were looking for. We have a good amount of date here to make our final conclusions on but it looks like we got one thing left to do, squat til your nose bleeds.

To be continued in Part 3: “The Squat Off…”

Posted by: Nickay

2 Responses to ““This is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object…””

  1. Is there any way at all we can turn this squat off into a fundraiser for Lab Rats Rights? Or possibly involve snowshoeing some how?

    • We can have a fundraiser for lab rats only if they are cool talking lab rats like in “The Secret of Nimh”. As a former resident of Minnesota I also vouch for a snow related event.

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