Ask 100 bodybuilders which exercise they’d do if they could only do one, and 99 would tell you the squat—and the other one probably has chronic knee issues. There’s little doubt that the squat is the king of all exercises, because it adds mass to your thighs and glutes, as well as all over your body via a systemic response to this most difficult of exercises.
When I was competing, I would squat twice per week and go to more than 400 pounds for reps. I would often do my squats bare- foot to grip the floor better with my toes, and my training partners Franco Columbu, Ken Waller, and Dave Draper wouldn’t count a rep until my butt touched the back of my ankles. It was grueling and in the end, quite frankly, I hated the exercise, but I knew that it was essential if I wanted to be the best bodybuilder on the planet.
If you want to be the best bodybuilder you can be, and you don’t suffer from chronic knee or hip issues, then you should make the squat your best friend— whether you like it or not. Below, I’ve compiled some tips to keep in mind the next time you climb under a bar.
Click "NEXT PAGE" for Arnold's tips >>