50% Bodyweight Goblet Squat As A Standard?

50% Bodyweight Goblet Squat As A Standard?

Recently at a @bodybyboyle staff meeting we discussed when it was appropriate to switch from a goblet loaded split squat to a double bell suitcase loaded split squat. We unanimously agreed that at about 50% of bodyweight clients struggle to hold the dumbbell in position and stabilize the trunk.

It’s important to realize here that it will almost always be the trunk stability not the leg strength that is the limiting factor for the client. Upon switching them to suitcase loading they often can easily increase the load by 25%.

I’ve also found that with many of my adult clients 50% bodyweight is also were they will struggle with a BILATERAL goblet squat, again because core strength, not the legs is the limiting factor. This highlights pretty clearly why we don’t favor back squats at MBSC. Top-down spinal loaded exercises will almost always be limited by the trainees ability to brace the load (torso) not move it (legs).

However, with this in mind though I do think 50% bodyweight for goblet loaded movements for both bilateral and unilateral squatting movements serves as a good “end of the line” strength standard for trainees. “End of the line” meaning that once I achieve that standard I will progress to a new exercise. If I see that they can perform 10 good reps at 50% then I feel good about their ability to buttress torso loads from the top down. From here rather than progressing to a variation where they can load more through the spine I would favor maintaining that goblet strength while moving towards single leg variations (double bell suitcase split squat/RFE/single leg squat) and bilateral pulling exercises (trapbar deadlift) to continue developing lower body strength and reducing spinal stress.

Check out two if my stud adult clients I train 3 days/week. Matt in the first clip is 160lbs squatting an 85lb dumbbell for 10 reps. Kevin in the second clip is 205lbs squatting a 105 for 10 reps.

Can you Goblet load 1/2 your bodyweight?