COACH columnist

Dave Tate has seen quads come and go in terms of popularity — and he is grateful for that. Still, he attributes the quads’ popularity to their visibility. You’ll see the quads, but you won’t see the erectors.

But when people realize they’re not genetically inclined to have big quads, they soon realize it’s hard and painful to work to get big quads... so they’ll shy away from working their quads and come back to it later.

And that’s why Dave hates (and loves) the trap bar (aka hex bar).

Keep in mind Dave was very quad dominant going into Westside.

“Louie [Simmons] would... throw the trap bar away. But it came in and went right back out. And I was fucking really good at it, and it was just, it sucks.”

Dave sees the trap bar as a tool that can be used to stop people’s hips from “floating too far” when deadlifting, which makes it safer to deadlift... at the potential cost of compromising your lower back.

Another risk of the trap bar is how people position their shoulders when picking it up. Nick Showman says the kids he trains have no problem picking up a barbell properly, but for some reason, the trap bar really throws their shoulders off.

“I’ve gone back and forth, and about six months ago, I said, ‘We have hex bars. They’re not evil. We’re going to use them as a tool, like everything else.’ So we bring them in, we take them out.’”

Nick’s high school athletes have a love-hate relationship with the trap bar... and also with the high squat and box squat. Nick says he starts the kids on a high mat and slowly brings them down lower and lower until they’re ready to just go down on the floor — and that’s nothing for them to be ashamed of. These kids aren’t powerlifters; they’re high school athletes. They’re not going to be doing high squats or box squats on the field or court.

“[Remember] LeBron James’ viral squat videos that everyone bashed? He’s making more money this year than I will ever make training people.”

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