The Zercher Squat. Peacekeeper Of The Cage

Spend enough time in the gym and it's inevitable that you begin to find your flavor. Certain volumes, intensities, and exercises that you are more than willing to invest your time and energy into because you enjoy what they do and what they do just so happens to work.

The Zercher Squat and I have had this type of relationship for a number of years now. What was introduced to me as squatting alternative while sidelined with a broken wrist has evolved into what I would call one of my top three weight room favorites for a number of reasons.

Personally, the biggest selling point was the amount of abdominal and thoracic spine control that was required of me. The front and back squat certainly have their place in these regards but until I had a chance to saw myself in half with a barbell in this fashion did I understand what bracing through the mid section should really feel like.

With this extra mid section discipline came a wildly comfortable range of motion that my hips fell in love with.

Then of course the aesthetics. I love strength training and the big lifts that are associated with it. I also have some physique skeletons in my closet that includes a fair share of arm training. But no arm training prepared me for the swell that you get out of wrapping your hooks around a weighted barbell. Strength gains and a gun blitz packed into one.

Which brings me to my key point on my use of the Zercher in this case. Not as a tool of strength conquest but a tool of weight room diplomacy.

I've never been one for conflict. I like peaceful conversation, I am wildly partial to tossing ideas rather than tossing knuckles and I can't say I have seen much conflict solved by creating conflict.

Which is why the Zercher squat has become my bargaining chip when it comes to productive squat rack use.

If curling in the squat rack is something that gets under your skin I can completely empathize with you. But rather than resorting to bottling up your displeasure and taking it out on your Facebook friends or snapping a shot of yourself ass to grass in the preacher bench I propose a more peaceful solution.

Show Them What Exactly?

Show them the Zercher.

I have gotten into the habit of this with a lot of the younger lifters coming into the studio and the response has been for the most part quite positive. I have to say that it has been a big lesson in humility for me.

A friendly reminder that there is no point to be wound up on certain things in the gym and an even more profound reminder that there are people who may genuinely need your help but just don't know how to ask for it.

So give the Zercher a shot when it comes to bringing peace to the cage. You may get a client, training partner, business partner, boyfriend/girlfriend, drinking buddy out of it. You may not but at least you can say that you did your part to make the weight room a better place.

Because at the end of the day, we're all still chasing the same gains.