Squats vs Leg Press
Even though the leg press machine can be used with good effect, some people just take it too far.
This is the most hated guy in the gym right now. Of course we aren’t going to take the time to body shame him because that’s not nice even though we do notice that it wouldn’t be impossible for him to take in many simple carbs and alcohol.
It happened at my gym.
I rolled in around 8AM to the local squat rack, ya see. First, I hit the cables for a little bit to get the joints and movements warmed up and I noticed that the usually strong squatters are not squatting much weight at all today. Some of them definitely squat more than I do.
I was working upper body anyway that day.
So I went to one of the open racks and began some warm up sets for the barbell press. My goal was to hit some rounds with the 135lbs so I needed two 45s. I only had one available. Then, I looked at the other guys trying to squat near me and said something to which we all agreed was unfortunate that one guy had stolen all of the 45 pound plates nearby for his Leg Press machine partial range of motion circuit training.
To make it worse, he was circuit training on other machines for the upper body and also using more 45 lb plates. Next time I see something like that, I’m going to engage that person because I am seriously curious as to what the mindset or thought process was.
Here is your answer: Squats are far more efficient for the amount of weight used.
Let’s put it this way: 45 lb plates are a limited resource in this busy city neighborhood gym. One guy took almost all of the plates in the weightlifting area for his 45 degree sled.
Think back to junior high for a second and realize that the math is simple. You need far less force to move an object on a machine fixed path forward and upward compared to the stability demands of a loaded barbell completely on top of you.
The squat utilizes those 45 plates more economically for the lifters that less 45 plates actually need to be used. This means more 45 plates will be available for everybody else.
If you can’t squat, Learn to Squat.
It’s that simple. Yes, squatting is completely necessary. Even if you have bad knees, you should practice some healthy range of motion in pretty much any squat variation of your choosing. Of course barbell squats are more advanced, so starting with a dumbbell in the goblet position as a novice lifter could help you get mad gains.