The conservative approach

10.28 I am more conservative in my exercise prescriptions and proscriptions than most trainers and writers. ^e exercise world, generally speaking, is not conservative. Consider all the exercise distortions that have been promoted over the years.

10.29 I am not the first person to criticize specific exercises. Dr. Ken Leistner has been criticizing the power clean for decades, and like me is no fan of the good morning, press behind neck, hack squat, or barbell and T-bar rows.

Dr. Keith Hartman, Dick Conner, Dave Maurice and Rich Rydin have noted the dangers of squatting with your heels on a board. All this advice, and much more related to safety, has been published in hardgainer.

If there were only risky exercises, and it was either those or nothing, then there would be a case for using them. But the fact is that the risky exercises offer nothing positive that the intrinsically safer alternative exercises cannot provide. So why take a chance on the risky exercises?

I have been promoting the merits of the big basic exercises, in print, since 1981. I have been one of the staunchest champions of the squat and dead-lift. But where I differ with most patrons of those exercises is that I do not give a blanket promotion. Done improperly, or done by people who are not structurally suited for training intensively on them, the squat and deadlift are among the most dangerous exercises around.

Such is my commitment to these exercises that I devoted 24 pages to dead-lift variations in the insider's tell-all handbook on weight-training technique. And I devoted 16 pages to the squat. My support of these exercises is not just rhetoric.

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