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  1. #1
    Registered User gabster21's Avatar
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    How do squats make your whole body grow?

    I keep seeing posts saying that squats and deadlifts will make your whole body "grow". I know it has something to do with releasing hormones into the body and accelerating muscle metablolism because your quads/hams are the larges muscles in the body, but I'm wondering to what degree this actually benefits your upper body and how much of it is overblown. I can't see the connection between squats and chest/bis/tris for example.

    I recently started GST and am squatting again after a long time of barely working out my legs (except for the odd leg press/extensions here and there) and it feels great! Does anyone have a link to a post or study (not broscience) that shows exactly how squatting benefits the entire body?
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  2. #2
    Registered User GetFit10's Avatar
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    Damn man, they're wrecking my legs. I feel like my legs are made of Jello every time I get up from sitting for more than like 15 minutes. Also, your body only allows for a certain amount of asymmetry so no one body part can be significantly bigger than the other. If you're squatting and increasing the mass in your legs and lower body, it will allow your upper body to grow as well.

    Or something like that.
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  3. #3
    superuser jammyo40's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by gabster21 View Post
    I can't see the connection between squats and chest/bis/tris for example.
    I can't either.
    The more that you read, the more things you'll know.
    The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.

    Log: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=149723023
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  4. #4
    Registered User gabster21's Avatar
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    Found an interesting article that claims to debunk the myth: http://anthonycolpo.com/?p=162

    "Another ‘Bro-Science’ Myth Busted

    While certain training strategies can spike post workout release of GH (and testosterone and IGF-1), there is no evidence to show that these spikes in any way enhance muscle growth or strength gains.

    Many weight trainers, having become especially enamored with the hormone-spiking theory, will have a hard time accepting this finding. However, when one considers the broader research findings, it makes perfect sense."
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  5. #5
    Registered User gabster21's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by GetFit10 View Post
    Also, your body only allows for a certain amount of asymmetry so no one body part can be significantly bigger than the other.
    This actually makes a lot of sense, don't know why I never thought of it before! Repped.
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  6. #6
    Lack of iron &or sleeping SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Squats do not make unrelated muscles grow. There is no known mechanism to cause this. Certainly not hormones - which are only elevated for a brief time (minutes) when they would need to be elevated for many hours to make a difference to protein synthesis.

    The myth arises because big guys often have big squats and probably spend more time squatting than doing preacher curls. Slack jawed teens observe this, put 2 and 2 together and get 5. They get cause and effect around the wrong way - it's commitment and hard work that make someone big all over - and makes them do hard exercises like the squat.

    Insulin spikes: A relatively small amount of carbohydrate bearing food of any kind taken at any time within a large window of opportunity (several hours) after a workout is sufficient to support protein synthesis.
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  7. #7
    Registered User DerekStauffer's Avatar
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    I always thought the weight taxes your whole body holding over 300 pounds or more just puts stress on your body at least a little bit. I mean you still got hold the weight and balance it a bit. But I do agree squats and deadlifts are great and should always be in your routine.
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  8. #8
    EricTheConqueror batman37's Avatar
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    There are many reasons, some fake, to why people who squat are usually bigger.

    Facts, things that are definitely true:
    Legs are the probably most neglected muscle group, usually if sometime hits their legs, you know they are hitting everything else(not always but generally true.)
    Squats are one of the more taxing movements, because of how many muscles(whole lower body, core, upper back, stabilizers) are actually hit when you perform the exercises, the cardiovascular system has to work that much harder when so many different muscles need massive amounts of oxygen, especially when your whole body is in a non-relaxed state. Squatting heavy increases bone density, not really relevant, but need to know this).

    Broscience:
    Since squatting is so hard on the body as well as your mind, it makes you a stronger, more resilient person. Bone density increases and your body is able to support more mass with less effort due to stabilizers becoming extremely stronger. Your body is used to repairing massive amounts of damage inflicted to it, so you are able to better recover when hitting smaller muscle groups. As squatting takes a lot out of you, so when you do other lifting your smaller muscle groups you're able to push harder and give it more. On to hgh debate. Hitting so many muscles and taxing your body, when you recover from it that night, your body actually increases hgh release to cope with the amount of repair that has to take place, continually being under stress makes your body used to producing more hgh anticipating the increased demand. Further more after a hard day of squatting most people sleep like babies, during deep sleep is when your body produces hgh.

    Edit: squats don't add mass to whole body in a direct fashion
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  9. #9
    Registered User gabster21's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by batman37 View Post
    Squats are one of the more taxing movements, because of how many muscles(whole lower body, core, upper back, stabilizers) are actually hit when you perform the exercises, the cardiovascular system has to work that much harder when so many different muscles need massive amounts of oxygen, especially when your whole body is in a non-relaxed state.
    I agree with that, on my squat day I sweat like crazy and feel much more exhausted than on other days. It's not just my muscles that are tired, I'm literally out of breath specially after a long set of split squats!
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  10. #10
    Crazy Kraut ktj4l's Avatar
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    I know squats work for me. I haven't been able to find any studies on how it all works, but maybe someone else will have better luck. I will continue to do them regardless.

    I didn't do them for years when I first started training, hit a plateau in my upper body, then began training my body as a unit (including squats and deadlifts) a couple years ago. The difference is mindblowing. Squats are such a taxing exercise that challenge your entire body to hold up the weight while they directly hit a huge muscle group (your legs), you can't go wrong with that in my opinion. My legs are still lagging, but I hit them hard twice a week and they're catching up.
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  11. #11
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    If you can squat a ton, I doubt you would have problems bracing yourself for heavy rows. I think it comes down to the idea that the body needs balance to work at its best and people take it out of context.
    Last edited by xXxUNDEROATHxXx; 03-21-2012 at 06:53 AM.
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  12. #12
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    I've always looked at it this way about squats and gaining mass. If you're standing there holding 500lbs on your back while squatting, doesn't it just make sense that you're using more muscles than say doing BB Curls or bench press? That same philosophy kind of goes with deadlifts too. Just my .02.
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  13. #13
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    How do squats make your whole body grow?

    They drive your appetite into orbit!.

    The hormonal stuff is probably nonsense.

    You make more test and hgh when asleep.

    Work hard enough in the gym, have a clear conscience, and you'll sleep like a baby. So maybe that's how it works.
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  14. #14
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    Its not that complicated man. Squats are a compound movement. When you lift up on the bar and holding the load on your back your putting huge amount of stress on the lower back, arms, chest, and total body and thats just to HOLD IT ON YOUR BACK. Try relaxing your abdominal muscles or dont keep your chest poked out and tight or make your back loose- Your gonna get hurt. Applying force or holding a load against your muscles increases growth. Yes it does help your upper body. In terms of the GH relaease and increasing hormones I cant scientifically say or quote, but just look at someone with a big squat/deadlift/bench- your always going to find more overall size and mass-especially THICKNESS then someone who doesent. Im also not saying its imperative that your perform these lifts but they will help you reach goals a hell of alot faster then without them.
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  15. #15
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    Squats do not make your entire body grow. They do work a large number of muscles however your arms and chest for example are not going to grow from squatting.

    Ignore all the "hormone release" bro-science and continue squatting to work your legs and back.
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  16. #16
    I'll Rest When I'm Dead ironwill2008's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by gabster21 View Post

    How do squats make your whole body grow?
    They do it in an indirect fashion; the trainee who has learned how to grind out a difficult Squat or Deadlift workout on a consistent basis is the same guy who will work equally hard to develop all his other body parts. It has nothing to do with 'Teh Hyooge Test Release,' or any other such bullsh*t; it's simply a matter of learning how to endure hard physical work.
    No brain, no gain.

    You can't out-train bad nutrition.

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  17. #17
    pls responส็็็็็็็็็็็็ spacetrig's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by gabster21 View Post
    Found an interesting article that claims to debunk the myth: http://anthonycolpo.com/?p=162

    "Another ‘Bro-Science’ Myth Busted

    While certain training strategies can spike post workout release of GH (and testosterone and IGF-1), there is no evidence to show that these spikes in any way enhance muscle growth or strength gains.

    Many weight trainers, having become especially enamored with the hormone-spiking theory, will have a hard time accepting this finding. However, when one considers the broader research findings, it makes perfect sense."
    great info brah, thanks for the article!
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  18. #18
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    Originally Posted by gabster21 View Post
    I keep seeing posts saying that squats and deadlifts will make your whole body "grow". I know it has something to do with releasing hormones into the body and accelerating muscle metablolism because your quads/hams are the larges muscles in the body, but I'm wondering to what degree this actually benefits your upper body and how much of it is overblown. I can't see the connection between squats and chest/bis/tris for example.

    I recently started GST and am squatting again after a long time of barely working out my legs (except for the odd leg press/extensions here and there) and it feels great! Does anyone have a link to a post or study (not broscience) that shows exactly how squatting benefits the entire body?
    well in a way the legs gets your upper to grow by keeping you balance when doing bent over rows and others.
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  19. #19
    Registered User scullin's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by DerekStauffer View Post
    I always thought the weight taxes your whole body holding over 300 pounds or more just puts stress on your body at least a little bit. I mean you still got hold the weight and balance it a bit. But I do agree squats and deadlifts are great and should always be in your routine.
    This. When you support the weight on your back you're using more than just your legs to do it. You're back and entire core is involved. Same goes for deadlifts, you're using your hands / arms to hold the bar, your back, traps, etc does a lot of the lifting as does your legs and hips etc.
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