Tag: Squat

525 Squat = All I Ever Wanted

525 lb Squat

All I Ever Wanted

Hi, my name is Ryan Mathias and all I ever wanted was to Squat 525 pounds RAW. Now, to many people that may seem mediocre since many people can squat 500+ pounds. But to me, it wasn’t easy, and there’s a reason 525 means so much to me. This is why…

My 525 Story

I officially started weight training as a 16-year-old Junior in high school for one of my P.E. classes. And my favorite exercise was the squat. I loved it so much that it was basically all I did during our short 50-minute classes 4 days per week. 

As you can imagine, I progressed rapidly as a beginner that only squatted. So, after about 2 months I attempted my first max squat, and I got a pretty easy 355 lbs! Pretty great for a 180 lb kid with no guidance or help (the “coach” in there didn’t care what you did. As long as you didn’t run off or get hurt, he didn’t pay any attention to you.)!

Well, a short while later I was repping 315 for 4×10 and able to do 405 lbs. And that is when I had an idea…

The Record Board

Like every high school, we had a football team (coached by the weight training “teacher”). And in the weight room, they had a record board that recorded all the best lifts of the football players for that year. 

At the top of the record board, there were all-time school records for Squat, Bench Press, and Power Clean (should have been deadlift, I know). The records at the time (2009) were 505 Squat, 355 Bench Press, and 330 Power Clean (set by my older brother Tanner, that year!)

Well, the best squat for the current football players was only 315 lbs. Something that I could easily do! So, in the hopes of getting some recognition by my peers, I asked the coach if he would put my name on the board, as he just watched my squat 405 in front of him. 

Of course, he said, “No! That board is for players only!” 

Obviously, I was bothered by this. But it also truly infuriated me, because of the way he said it. His tone was like I didn’t deserve any recognition for my work. I was so upset that I went right to the squat rack and did 405×2. 

He didn’t say anything, of course.

My Goal

Well, I knew he was not going to put me on the board by choice. So I decided that I was going to break the school squat record so that he would be forced into putting my name on the record board! But I didn’t just want to break it by a few pounds. I wanted to annihilate it!

So I decided that 525 lbs was the goal!

I trained harder than before and was pushing for as much progress as I could! But, unfortunately, that lead to injury.

Again, I had no help with proper technique or rest and recovery. All I knew was that I needed to squat low and squat often. So I did, and my hips were not happy about it.

In fact, I did so many things wrong that I still have to fight the bad habits I grew over my first few years of lifting. 

Well, long story short, the most I ever squatted in high school was 435×2 with a belt and spotter assistance. 

Slow Progress

The next few years were waves of progress and regression. I would build a lot of strength, then get injured. Learn from it, and progress again. Over and over again. Always learning and growing.

All I can say is that I wish I found a website like this one back in those days to help me along!

I even broke my back in 2012 (unrelated to weight training) in which I was told to lay in bed for 5 weeks and never lift heavy again. That didn’t happen, but I did learn a lot from it!

My 525 lb Squat Redemption

Well, after all these years of learning through both education and experience, I have healed my body, corrected my mistakes and become ready for my redemption!

And here it is! My first, but not last, ever 525 lb squat!

What I am most proud of is my journey getting here. It was a long hard road, but I accomplished it on my own terms. I don’t take supplements or drugs and only use minimal support (my knee sleeves are there for looks, not so much support. They are too big and torn out on both sides so they slide down my legs as I walk.). I learned from my mistakes and only grew stronger from them. 

Thank you to everyone that has supported me along the way. Thank you to my dad for recording this life-changing event. And to me…

“Yo, Ryan…we did it!”


If you want to learn how to do it too, get my 12-Week Squat Program which I used to accomplish this feat of strength!

Ryan’s 500 lb 12-Week Squat Program >>


What’s Next

Now, of course, I am not stopping all lifting and moving onto other things. I will always be a powerlifter because I love the sport. I will continue to get stronger in all my lifts, but I am proud to have accomplished my main goal after only a mere 10 years!

Other Strength Goals:

Squat = ???

Bench Press = 405×3

Deadlift = 650

How To Front Squat

Front Squat

Purpose:

  • Build Leg Extension Strength
  • Build Core Strength
  • Build Thoracic Extension Strength

Prime Movers:

  1. Quadriceps (Legs)
  2. Hamstring Complex (Legs)
  3. Glutes (Hips)

How To Front Squat

  • Set-up the same as if you are going to do a Military Press, with the bar set in your fingers and elbows in front of you 30-45 degrees.
  • Your stance should be shoulder width or closer to allow for a full depth squat. You may point your toes out up to 30 degrees if needed to compensate for decreased mobility.
  • In your squat stance, with the bar resting on your collarbones, ensure your entire body is tight as you take in a deep breath of air and press it down into your tightened abdomen, to create intra-abdominal pressure.
  • Grasp the floor with your toes and create an external rotation torque throughout.
  • Initiate the squat by breaking at the knees, pressing them out laterally past your ankles and descending into a full depth squat.
  • To ascend, keep your knees out, flex your glutes and extend your legs while maintaining a neutral spine.
  • Your torso should maintain a relatively vertical position throughout the lift.

how to squat 500 lbs book Get even stronger with our “How To Squat” Guide!

Everything you need to know about the King of All Exercises!

Includes a 12 Week Squat Program, Workouts, common Squat mistakes and how to fix them, and so much more in this nearly 100-page master guide!

Learn more!


More Accessory Exercises…

View All Exercise Descriptions


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How To Do Walking Lunges

Walking Lunges

Purpose:

  • Build Hip-Knee-Ankle Stability
  • Increase Leg Hypertrophy
  • Teach Single Leg Squatting Mechanics

Prime Movers:

  1. Quadriceps (Legs)
  2. Hamstring Complex (Legs)
  3. Glutes (Hips)

How To Do Walking Lunges Properly

  • Standing erect, take one large step forward and plant your foot with toes straight ahead.
  • Grasp the floor with your lead foot and press the ball of your posterior foot back into the ground behind you.
  • While maintaining these two points of contact with the ground, brace your core, keep your hips square and torso vertical as you descend straight down into a lunge.
  • Stop just before your posterior knee touches the floor and pause briefly before ascending.
  • As you ascend, pull your lead heel into the ground to pull yourself up and forward while extending both knees and taking another large step forward, to repeat the movement.
  • If your knee goes past your toes then your step was too short or you leaned too far forward.
  • To increase the intensity, hold two dumbbells to your sides.

how to squat 500 lbs book Get even stronger with our “How To Squat” Guide!

Everything you need to know about the King of All Exercises!

Includes a 12 Week Squat Program, Workouts, common Squat mistakes and how to fix them, and so much more in this nearly 100-page master guide!

Learn more!


More Accessory Exercises…

View All Exercise Descriptions


Join the Mathias Method Army for updates and more great content like this!

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How To Leg Press

Leg Press

Purpose:

  • Increase Leg Hypertrophy
  • Build Leg Strength
  • Improve Squatting Mechanics

Prime Movers:

  1. Quadriceps (Legs)
  2. Hamstrings (Legs)
  3. Glutes (Hips)

How to Leg Press Properly

  • Sit in a Leg Press Machine with your back flat against the back pad and place your feet shoulder width apart on the pressing platform.
  • Have your feet straight or slightly turned out as if you were to do a close stance squat, such as a front squat.
  • Claw your feet into the pressing platform while creating an external rotation force (as is done for squatting) as you unrack the weight by straightening your legs.
  • Initiate the lift by bending your knees and opening your hips, just like a front squat, allowing your knees to travel outward so that they do not move in front of your toes.
  • Descent the weight under control until just before you feel a stretch in your back, or your hips begin to move forward off the pad.
  • Forcefully press into the platform while maintaining the same external rotation torque in your feet and knees until your legs are nearly locked out.
  • Control the weight in both directions and keep your feet and back in contact with the machine throughout the entire lift.

Note: It is imperative that your lower back and hips do not come off of the base pads. They must maintain firm contact with the seat and feel no pull in the bottom position. Your mobility will determine the depth of the lift.


how to squat 500 lbs book Get even stronger with our “How To Squat” Guide!

Everything you need to know about the King of All Exercises!

Includes a 12 Week Squat Program, Workouts, common Squat mistakes and how to fix them, and so much more in this nearly 100-page master guide!

Learn more!


More Accessory Exercises…

View All Exercise Descriptions

 


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How To Do Glute-Ham Raises

Glute-Ham Raise

Learn how to do glute-ham raises properly to build strong hamstrings and glutes for running faster, jumping higher and lifting more weight!

Purpose:

  • Build Leg (Hamstring) Strength
  • Build Hip Hinge Strength
  • Increase Hamstring Hypertrophy

Prime Movers:

  1. Hamstring Complex (Legs)
  2. Glutes (Hips)

The glute-ham raise is one of the most effective exercises for building brutally strong hamstrings that can support a HUGE squat and deadlift.

They are also an absolute must for athletes of all ages, regardless of size, that wants to be able to run faster, jump higher and overpower the competition. Athletes should be able to do at least 10 bodyweight reps on their own and then start to add weight by holding a weight plate to their chest in order to compete at a high level.

If you cannot perform these properly I recommend you start with negatives until you build the strength to do reps on your own.

You can start by kneeling on a pad and having a friend sit on your ankles and descend slowly under control before doing a push-up to press yourself back up.

When you get strong enough to do these without assistance, all of your main lifts will likely have shot up significantly by now and you can start holding a weight plate across your chest.

If you do not have a Gute-Ham Raise at your gym, or a friend to help out, you can just do some heavy leg curls instead, but it just won’t give you the same results.


How To Do The Glute-Ham Raise (Hamstring Focus)

  • Get positioned in a Horizontal Back Raise Machine so that your knees rest at the back base of the main pad and your heels are hooked in place.
  • Starting with a vertical torso, arms to your sides and hips extended. Flex your glutes hard to prevent excessive hip flexion and brace your core.
  • Begin the movement by slowly controlling your bodyweight down as you allow your knees to extend to a lockout.
  • At the bottom position, quickly flex your knees and press them down to curl your entire body back to the starting position, while attempting to keep your hips extended.
  • Be sure to control your body weight and do not bounce out of the bottom position.

How To Do The Glute-Ham Raise (Glute Focus)

  • Get positioned in a Horizontal Back Raise Machine so that your knees rest at the back base of the main pad and your heels are hooked in place.
  • Starting with a vertical torso, arms to your sides and hips extended. Flex your glutes hard to prevent excessive hip flexion and brace your core.
  • Begin the movement by slowly controlling your bodyweight down as you allow your knees to extend to a lockout.
  • Continue the motion downward by relaxing your glutes and flexing at the hip so that your body hangs down towards the ground.
  • From the bottom position, quickly flex your glutes and press down into the pad as you extend your hips to raise your torso the same as a back raise.
  • To continue the movement upward, flex your knees and press them down to curl your entire body back to the starting position while attempting to keep your hips extended.
  • This is a two-part movement that needs to have quick transitions to move most efficiently.

how to squat 500 lbs book Get even stronger with our “How To Squat” Guide!

Everything you need to know about the King of All Exercises!

Includes a 12 Week Squat Program, Workouts, common Squat mistakes and how to fix them, and so much more in this nearly 100-page master guide!

Learn more!


More Accessory Exercises…

View All Exercise Descriptions


Join the Mathias Method Army for updates and more great content like this!

Join Now!