I Sucked at Squats

In Mental Mastery by admin5 Comments

Take a look through my youtube channel. Until recently you wouldn’t find any videos of me squatting heavy weights.

Not like the deadlift, where there’s tons of videos up.

Take a look at my body and you may see why. I’m not built to squat.

Barbell Squat

There’s me sucking at the squats from a couple years ago.

Although this is true, in the sense that other people have builds much better suited to this exercise, by starting with this fact I built up a belief structure around it. Here’s some of the things I recently realized I believed:

  • I suck at squats because I’m not built to do them.
  • I’m not built to squats so why bother doing them.
  • I hate squats because I suck at them.
  • Squats are really hard for me so I’ll stick to things I’m good at.

And these beliefs have influenced my training in a huge way over many years.

I haven’t done any serious squatting (I’m talking about a focused, goal driven period of time where I’m serious about the squat) for as long as I can remember. The last time I regularly squatted was back when I trained at a commercial gym. And that was about 10 years ago!

I’ve done it every once in awhile. I’ve done all kinds of bodyweight squats. But I have not focused on back squats at all.

I think my best ever was a single at 315. That is nothing to write home about and I imagine many of you reading this have done far better.

There is something to be said for focusing on your strengths and what you enjoy doing.

But there is also something to be said for focusing on your weaknesses and doing them even if you hate it.

However, that is hard work unless you change your mindset about it. I’ll get to that in a second.

A thought occurred to me that my deadlift would probably become much stronger if I spent some time on squats. This was later confirmed by studying Bob Peoples, one of the greatest deadlifters ever, when he said he would cycle his focus between the two exercises.

So I thought about focusing on the squats for a period of time. But I looked at it with dread. After all, I sucked at them, I wasn’t built for them, and I hated the exercise.

And I realized there were some limiting beliefs here.

Sure, I could just DO the squats and eventually I might become half way decent at them. But it would be hard to do. And likely I’d get discouraged and stop doing them after awhile (its happened several times before).

OR I could change my beliefs around the exercise…

And that’s exactly what I did. I did something called the Belief Change Cycle, which I show you how to do  in full detail in the newest issue of Strength Health Mind Power Inner Circle, and the results were amazing. I’ll be sharing a little more about what this looks like in another email soon.

Afterwards I was looking forward to squatting. When I went into the drill I had no idea that this would be a possibility. But when I was done I was EXCITED about squatting.

Since that time I’ve squatted, in a few different forms, in almost every workout I’ve done. I’m enjoying it immensely and I’m gaining fast.

Right now I’m enjoying squatting more than deadlifting. I never thought that would have happened.

Because of this process I did a few weeks ago I’ve been squatting like crazy. You might have seen the couple times I posted about it two weeks ago and last week.

I know a lot of people reading this don’t have the same mental block I did about squatting. That’s not the important thing.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t care to squat at all. It could be about handstands, swinging kettlebells, running, or anything you might want to do. The important thing is that EVERYONE has limits in certain places.

The other important thing is that these can be identified and transformed if you know what to look at and how to do it.

It is on that note that this new issue of the Inner Circle may be the most important thing you can get your hands on.

Used properly this will transform your training in a far longer reaching way than getting a new routine or exercise.

It’s not simple stuff. It will take some work, but the results can amaze you.

Join here.


  1. Good work getting stronger on an exercise you previously did not like!! That can be tough by itself.

    It may help to imagine yourself after you have added 100 lbs to your squats, or even 200 lbs, and imagine how that would effect your deadlift (or overall strength) more so than just training an exercise you are used to for just a measly “10 lbs” of strength. (Im sure you knew this, but if not, I hope it is useful in motivation!! 😀 )

    I do this all the time to try and motivate people, imagine if you can do one pull up? Five? Maybe even Twenty? Now imagine what that might do for your curls? Lol Or vice versa.

  2. Author

    After I did this belief process I have no problem with motivation on squats now. I am looking at what I’ll be able to do in the future and what that’s going to do for my deadlift as well.

    1. I see debates about snatches helping deadlifts or not. One side being they are too fast and not the same mechanics, the other being if you can get it overhead its easy to bring it to the waist.

      I bring this up because Olympic lifters tend to front squat, back squat, snatch, clean and jerk, repeat. Immediately I see squats help deadlift, squats also help snatches…. Can snatches help with the deadlift too? With all of your dead lift experience are snatches effective? Disregarding the learning curve of the barbell snatch.

      1. Author

        I don’t have much experiences with the barbell snatch, just plenty with kettlebells. I could see it helping because of the explosiveness. Even with kettlebells I think doing the snatches, light weight and very explosive, has some carry over to deadlifts, heavy weight much slower.

  3. What an awesome article! I love your personal stories and how you overcame mental limitations. Great man, looking forward to seeing you smash some huge PR’s in the squat !

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