Are You NOT Ready for Barbell Lifts? When to NOT Squat, Bench & Deadlift?


I was chatting with a friend over the weekend over dinner and I train his son for the past 2 years. 

He told me how another Dad was worried about training at The Underground Strength Gym because his son was 14 and he was afraid he would squat, deadlift, bench, etc.

First off - These 3 exercises are NOT bad.

Context matters here. Let me explain why......

- At what training age are these exercises done? 

- How are they performed? Is the technique correct? 

- At what intensity? Are we lifting heavy weights that can not be controlled safely or properly? 

- What is the physical AND emotional readiness level of the athlete?

I can ask 50 more questions here......

When my friend asked about his own son, I told him that his son (age 14) has MAYBE had a bar on his back 5 times with me in these past 2 years.  His son is starting to get closer to the point of some light trap bar deads, light squats and maybe a year from now, light benching.

Front Squats are the first barbell lift when it comes to squat variations for our athletes. They have been built up to this stage, with plenty of dumbbells, kettlebells, med balls, bands, calisthenics and sleds.

They EARN their way to the barbell. 

We use progressions and regressions.

And most of all, we organize training in such a way that it FEEDS the sport, it does not interfere with the sport. It's not about training hard, it's about blending the science & art of coaching together. THAT is what builds BEASTS.

We reverse engineer the big lifts and do what the athlete needs according to their training age and emotional readiness. I also look at what the athlete needs with regards to building athleticism.

I don't worry if we don't have a bar on your back as an athlete. I've met enough athletes who dominated the weight room but struggled in sport. They needed more speed, more power, more agility, more athleticism! They also needed to dedicate time to their sports skills more so than they needed the weight room.

That means, a LOT of the athletes I get to work with do NOT squat, bench, deadlift, clean, etc. These 3 big lifts are NOT always what is best for the athlete. By no means am I encouraging weakness. I never have, never will. 

Athletes MUST get strong.

To build the Squat and prepare the athlete, we have a HUGE list of prep exercises, here is a short list of prep exercises:

- Sleds (All Types and various speeds as well)

- Back Extensions (45 degree and glute ham bench / horizontal)

- Lunges of ALL types / ALL directions

- Bulgarian Split Squats 

- Carries of ALL types (use various loading patterns & different tools)

- Med Ball Shouldering / Sandbag Shouldering

- Various Ab exercises from planks of all types, med ball throws, leg raises, etc.

- LOTS of Kettlebell training 

- Band Work

We BUILD you up before you touch the barbell.

You must earn the right to perform the big barbell lifts.

It's more complicated than people understand yet I LOVE to simplify the process. 

Reverse Engineer everything.

And, Everything is an assessment.

Each exercise tells you what is weak on the athlete and what needs work.

From there, you must know the exercises which target weak areas and build them UP!

This is a HUGE part of The USC Certification.

If you're a Serious Strength Coach, you don't wanna miss this.

Learn how you can build BEASTS and in turn, change the lives of athletes.

If you're in the private sector, your results will attract new students. I don't adhere to these 30 day quick fix marketing schemes. If you're a high school or college strength coach, plug this training system into your current routine and push your program and knowledge to greater heights.

We build BEASTS and that requires commitment!

ALL Details are Here:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Posts

"Zach Even - Esh is the Charles Atlas of Powerlifting / Weightlifting / Athletic Training. He is a walking inspiration. A kick in the ass for all of us."
- Steven Pressfield, World Renown Author
War of Art & Turning Pro

Get Zach’s Best Bodyweight & Strength Training Programs for FREE!

Become an Underground Strength Insider

I HATE spam as much as you