BELT SQUAT

The MONSTER GARAGE GYM/MAROSCHER COACHING LOG is a weekly Coaching Log by MGG owner, 2-Time WPC World Powerlifting Champion, Eric Maroscher, and is one of the Featured Coaching Logs at EliteFTS.
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MONSTER GARAGE GYM is one of the premier powerlifting gyms in the US.

THIS WEEK’S Monster Garage Gym/Maroscher Coaching Log: BELT SQUAT

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You have heard the saying, don’t believe the hype right? Well, let me tell you it is pretty awesome when something exceeds all the hype. …..Here is what we mean.

At the MONSTER GARAGE GYM, we are pretty fortunate to have some of the very best equipment for our lifters to use. This was something we consciously and constantly have worked at since day one at the original M.G.G. 1.0 which is becoming a good chunk of years ago now.

Like most garage gyms, we started with an EliteFTS power rack, some weights and good bars and built up from there. To date, we have among other things, three EliteFTS monolifts, several EliteFTS deluxe competition bench presses, EliteFTS power racks, EliteFTS reverse hyper, a number of Hammer Strength pieces, a bunch of other machines, a couple glute-ham-raises, EliteFTS mondo monster leg press, a full complement of free weights and dumbbells, atlas stones, lifting logs, loading kegs, yoke, farmers' walk, sleds, prowlers, 600LB tires, 800LB tire, sandbags, barbells including: EliteFTS Sabertooth, EliteFTS Texas Deadlift, EliteFTS Texas Power, EliteFTS Safety Squat, EliteFTS Rackable Cambered, Pasanella, Short, Cambered, Arch, Football, Bamboo, Buffalo, EliteFTS 2” Trap and an assortment of other bars, three deadlift platforms, etc, etc, etc. What we never had was a belt squat machine.

 

equipment1

equipment21This seemed a little to me like a one-trick-pony type of machine. I mean, I heard all the hype, and everyone I spoke with that had used it, they all raved about it. But for the price I thought, this would be the very last or one of the last pieces of equipment we would get because for the cash, it seemed to me like you could stand on a couple of boxes and hang a kettle-bell and hit that angle without breaking the bank.

Anyway, this machine was always on my mind and it was just hanging out there in limbo like kilo plates and some other items that seemed more like bonus than essential, but that we still are focused on getting for our powerlifters. During this time, we were in the process of planning to be open during the morning, from 6am through the evening. Prior to this, the M.G.G. had been open literally from 5pm-8pm Monday - Thursday, and on the weekends till 1pm. In other words, we built this place up into something special, rare, unique, positive and well known only being open about 20 hrs a week.

Flash back about two years ago, we had been talking with Rich, (who is now our day guys and operations guy) who was about 18 months out from retiring from the special forces where he was serving his 8th deployment in the middle east with Operational Detachment Alpha in Afghanistan. We were planning all the things that we would need for us to now be open all day and we often discussed the belt squat machine. The long story short is we researched this thing to death and a decision was made and we picked up the EliteFTS belt squat.

I blew off legs for two weeks prior to the delivery date as I wanted to do a ton of work on this piece of equipment and I wanted to know exactly what it was working. So I did nothing with leg training for the two weeks, after the belt squat machine arrived, I did a ton of work on it so I would know, through where I was sore, what the machine hit.

The way I would describe it is, when you are standing on the machine with the belt and weight all hooked up and attached, is that it feels like right directly below you the gravity has been turned up to 10! Not like when you have weight on your back with the squat as that is absorbed throughout the entire body. This is a feeling that is very different. When the team squats, we have every specialty bar there is for them to hit different aspects of their squat, but the bottom line is, the weight is always on their shoulders. This is the exact opposite feeling. This is moving the weight in your squat or sumo stance but with the weight 110% off of your back and instead around your hips via this huge Spud Inc Belt. The pressure is not on the back, nor your knees, but you feel it in your quads and when you lock out, you have to really push to lockout and stand all the way up. The movement is deceptively challenging and if you are not concentrating, your balance will evade you and you tend to fall either backwards or forwards, so you literally have to be in proper form and control to do the movement with any substantial weight. With this machine, substancial is not 7 or 8 plates per side. It requires very little weight to achieve the goal and like with other things you can add bands and the like and make this as challenging as needed.

So in addition to the obvious uses, and in my opinion, (the obvious are pretty much all you need) you can do cable zercher squats, cable pull throughs, DD handle pulls (if you want to get your back into this as well), seated low rows, belt squat with a barbell, all with or without bands.

The carry over and positive impact on your squat and deadlift are blatantly obvious after your first training session with the belt squat, and the carry over is minus the compacted spine you get squatting with a barbell. In fact, it is almost like a traction type of feel as the weight pulls down on you vs compacts you from above. So traction like, but different than the reverse hyper as that is not a constant tension.

This machine without doubt is pricy, so it won’t be a first purchase if you are building your own gym, but Rich, Dawn and I have zero buyers remorse as this is pretty much one of the most used pieces of equipment at Monster Garage Gym, and with the caliber of powerlifters we have, that is quite the endorsement for sure.

If you have five or six serious and committed lifters in your crew at your gym, consider each one kicking in some cash and getting this powerlifting tool. If you are in the area, stop by the M.G.G. and give ours a try.

Most things don’t quite live up to their hype, so as I said at the onset, it is nice when they actually exceed that hype.

Wishing you the best in your training and competitions. Ever Onward, Eric Maroscher, Owner: MONSTER GARAGE GYM283806_544252243857_187601083_31164308_4754418_n321987

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