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King Squat: Rise to Power Paperback – August 25, 2010
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About the Author
Dave has been involved in the Iron game for close to 40 years and has been an award winning Powerlifter for a number of them. Dave is the author of "Forgotten Secrets of the Old Time Strongmen", "The Secrets to Age Defying Power, and how to obtain it", and several other books.
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The book was criticised to me by one leader in older fashioned training, which got me more interested in it.
The book has a great variety of sizes of printing. He proceeds through a good deal of the history of the squat, at least in America. It is difficult to know whether some of the giant printing size is always his comment upon the information that is included, or if it is important notes, or someone else's view. I think it would be better if the book were more in one size of print, with some enlarged print for various points.
Then too, it is like it is a collection of various articles that were elsewhere. There are references to explanatory photographs, which never appear on the page that is quoted to refer to. So that is one thing that needs editorial correction, besides doing something about the print size. There are spelling errors that need to be corrected, and errors in statements.
For example, in the comparison of the various squats, notably Olympic high bar and the 'starting strength' sort of hybrid squat, in which more of the work is done by the hips and back, he says(about the Olympic squat) that the feet must be just over or ahead of the toes. Then almost the same thing is said of the 'athletic power' squat, that the knees must be above the toes(the one taught in 'Starting Strength', which has great currency in the training world). I think the writer must have meant that the Olympic high bar squat would mean that the knees could move out a bit in front. He implies that the Olympic squat has a narrow stance so far as the foot width. That may be so compared to the powerlifting squat, but the pictures of Olympic lifters I see do not have a narrow stance, nor is this taught so far as I can see. The feet often do track out in front of the knees. Anyway, this needs clarification in this book.
While one can find this information in various books, there is a good deal collected here, included substantial interviews with Tom Platz and Fred Hatfield. These make for informative reading, these two interviews. He also interviews Vince Anello.
He goes back to Henry Steinborn, Mark Berry, Joe Hise, Peary Rader, Harry Paschall, and John Grimek, although he doesn't quote Grimek. It is good to have these references. I wished that he had more on Steinborn. Also, when he comes to the chapter about Harry Paschall, he alternates between referring to Harry and to Henry. It seemed like he may have meant Harry Paschall when he was writing Henry. But I am not sure just who he was referring to, I think this needs attention. The author Yarnell does have a nice little honest comment on Paschall's criticisms of the milk and squats programme extolled by Mark Berry and Joe Hise. Paschall had a good wit and sense of humour. This part of the book was interesting, as much of it is, having collected so much.
The author says that Doug Hepburn was a good squatter. He was the first of the modern heavyweights, a very strong man who had to work hard to achive what he did. He is one of the strongest men that have lived. No suits, no steroids, not even much coaching. I think he should have been recognised much better than he was, having been a natural training man who accomplished what he did by hard natural training.
Would Tom Platz have passed a drug test for being a natural training man? Platz had a tremendous leg development, a rare development. One time John Grimek said that he stopped training the squat so much, as he thought his legs were becoming too large. Grimek's legs, his thighs, did get very large and muscular. One wishes that Grimek had pushed it a bit more, he would have been built as heavily as Platz, I think. I think Grimek did squat as much weight as Platz ever did, but given what Platz reported about using 635 pounds for 15 reps, I think he exceeded the reps done by Grimek with a heavy weight. It was interesting to read how that Platz credited the Olympic lifters he learned from, for teaching him to do the Olympic squat, and that he thinks this is superior to the athletic 'power squat', a la 'Starting Strength', and also to the wide power squat. That was very interesting. Thank you for including that.
The interview with Fred Hatfield and Hatfield's reply to the alternative ideas from his helped this book.
I didn't like the dismissive comments upon those who want a Buffalo (cambered) bar or a safety squat bar for comfort in squatting, comments it seems were made by the author, or whoever made them. Knitting eh? You would have to include Joe Hise and Fred Hatfield in the category of knitters.
I think the book needs editing so that it can present its information more understandably, which is why I gave it 3 stars, I would have given it better than that for having collected much information.
The author seems to be a man of faith, and to belong to a christianiron site. Thanks for collecting the information, which hopefully will get the attention of many toward the squat.
"veteran" competitor like myself, with 49 years of steady training and scores of powerlifting competitions...useful information
and new ideas toward improving one's progress, plus some "iron game" history. Priced reasonably.
I lapped it up and I look forward to reading the authors other books.
It basically has a chapter for each of the major known and unknown personalities who were responsible for the development of the squat in weight training, with few enjoyable tangents here and there.
It is a really good price for what it is and I strongly recommend it.
Jesus loves ya!