Coming from a CFish background I've been taught that a 15xBW overhead squat is one of the ultimate fitness goals. Then this gets thrown at me:
The Truth About the Overhead Squat
Q: The overhead squat: good exercise or fad movement of the moment? And is it good for hypertrophy?
A: The overhead squat sucks for size gains. But as an assessment tool, it's unbeatable.
You can actually predict a player's risk of lower body injury playing his sport just by assessing how close to perfect form he can get with the overhead squat. Perfect form equals extremely low risk of injury, and research groups in Sweden and Switzerland have clearly demonstrated this in various studies. At the PICP (Poliquin International Certification Program) at level 3, we use it extensively in the prehab/rehab module.
Why does it suck for size gains? Because hypertrophy comes from the product of time under tension times load. It's got to be heavy enough and last long enough. That doesn't happen with the overhead squat.
Even Olympic lifters don't do the overhead squat anymore. People in the know stopped doing them in 1975. It's a forgotten exercise for training purposes... for good reasons.
The only reason people find them challenging is if they're not flexible. It's one of those exercises that looks cool but it's a total waste of time unless you're a novice Olympic lifter learning the ropes. It's like taking a guy who can bench 400 pounds and making him do decline bench with the pink dumbbells with a Bodyblade acting as rectal probe. The question is, why?
Hmm, maybe we should call this column, "Ask the Contrarian", eh?
That's Charles Poliquin writing, who according to Wikipedia has coached Olympic medalists in twelve different sports. It's hard to argue with results like that, so I'm wondering: Is the overhead squat just another CrossFit fad?