Jared Fleming and the Overly Strong Squat

The Vegas Outlaw Camp is complete and I had one of the more revealing and useful conversations about CrossFit that I’ve ever had with Jared Fleming. Ironically, two weightlifters talking actually created some really high-level insight into some of the necessities for Crossfitters. Jared asked me if I had ever experimented or tried CrossFit and I confessed to him that I gave it a three month shot after Nationals two years ago to ensure that I was joining a program (Outlaw) that was legitimate and actually produced results. What I found during that trial was that my conditioning, aerobic threshold, and lactate flushing increased dramatically. However, both my snatch and clean decreased a significant amount. I’m talking decreased 10 to 15 kg each. And showed no signs of increasing again. Talking to Jared, I realize that this was because of a lack of reserve strength in the squat. Had my squats been a significant amount greater than my lifts then I would imagine my lifts would not have changed much and maybe even increased. We can see this reality in someone like Caleb Williams who has continued to do CrossFit and yet still remains competitive on a National and International level for weightlifting.


This blog is to say that the utility of the squat is immense. Having a massive front squat and back squat ultimately will allow you, if you are Crossfitter, to train conditioning and non-lifting pieces and still show gains in the Olympic lifts. The reserve strength will always allow for strong powerful lifts regardless of the change in your body composition. Bottom line: regardless of your sport you should be squatting, a lot. The missing piece for many Crossfitters is the immense amount of leg strength you see in most Olympic lifters. The squat only makes you more powerful, makes you faster, and gives you the reserve strength to complete any task at hand. Squat more.


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