I had a long post on Deadlifts published few weeks ago where I talked about why I don’t introduce them right away.

Squats on the other hand, get introduced after 1-2 sessions. Today I’ll be sharing with you our current squat progressions that we use at Enhancing Life.

These progressions take you through four phases:

1) Phase One: Increasing movement option

The first three progressions are not technically squats. See these activities as exercises to help your clients gain access to motions that are required for someone to have a good looking squat.

One of the biggest issues you’ll see when people squat is, they’ll hinge back vs going straight down.

Hingy Squat:

Squatty Squat:

The first three progressions will help your clients tuck their hips, stack the rib cage on top of them, and maintain that position as they descend down (like the second picture above).

If your clients can’t do this or don’t have access to that motion, it doesn’t matter how many cues you use, or how many times you show them what to do, they won’t be able to do it.

Our current favorite activities to open up our client’s movement options are the following three moves:


90/90 Bridge

Rockback Breathing

2) Phase Two: Owning the Position

This stage will help your clients OWN the position you want them to maintain. No movement, just holding. For someone who is extremely unaware of their body and doesn’t take cues well (most of your clients), ISO holds are great to teach them how to own the position you’re wanting them to keep for when you progress and add movement to the lift.

This is perfect for group/semi-private training! You should be able to walk away from this exercise once you’ve put them in the position that’s desirable.

Assisted Squat Hold (Ramp)

(why elevate the heels??)

3) Phase Three: Adding Movement

Your job as a coach has never been easier. All you have to do now is add movement to the position they’ve already mastered by doing the ISO hold.

Assisted Squat (Ramp/to box)

4) Phase Four: Add Load

Can you imagine getting to loading a squat and all you have to do is “Hey, keep doing what you’ve been doing, but hold this weight” and that’s it!

I’m all about making my job easy, keeping the coaching quality high, AND being able to manage multiple people at once.

Goblet Squat (ramp/to box)

KB Front Squat (Ramp)

Zercher Squat (Ramp)

Safety Bar Squat (Ramp)

DB Squat on Ramp

TB Squat on Ramp

There you have it. Our current squat progressions at Enhancing Life.

What about all the ways clients will mess up?!

Now I know you’re wondering…. So how do I implement this? How fast does someone get through the list? How many reps? How many sets? Do all clients need to go through all the phases? How does the actual program look like? What about coaching?! I suck at coaching! I can’t even get my clients in a correct 90/90 without them looking at me like I’m wasting their time.

I’ve got some good news for you 🙂

On Wednesday, I will be sending all my newsletter subscribers the answer to all of those questions….except for the last part. I can’t teach you how to coach through the internet, but I do have a solution to that part that I will share at the end of this blog.

On Wednesday I will be taking you through three different clients’ timelines. I’ll talk about what variations I start with, how it’s implemented in their program, and how long they stay with each phase.

My goal is to give you AS MUCH context as possible to help you with the clients you work with.

Client A:

Your regular general pop client who is fairly active outside of the gym. They’re not scared of the idea of lifting weights and they’re ready to get after it.

With these people, I’ll show you how to get them to buy into the basics.

Client B:

Deconditioned client who is not very active outside of the gym. They’re scared of lifting weights and they’re really wanting to lift weights.

With these people, I’ll show you how to use the basics to get them to buy into lifting 😉

Client C:

Deconditioned client who is not very active outside of the gym. They’re scared of lifting weights and they’re not wanting to lift weights. They are unable to progress due to outside factors that as a coach you cannot control….but you still have to train them.

With these people, I’ll show you how you can continue to train them, even though there are other things outside of your gym that are preventing them from progressing. #noclientleftbehind

If you’re not on my list and you’re wanting to see what I do with all these people: CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE

Now let’s talk about your coaching skills, because if you’re not able to coach people through everything that I shared with you, the execution will fall short, the results will not happen, and the client will not buy into your training.

That’s why Michelle Boland and I created a workshop that is 100% hands-on!

Have you ever attended a seminar where they picked you as an exercise demo? For 5 minutes, you get to feel what it’s like to be coached by the instructor. You get to respond to their verbal and manual cues, which allows you to feel what your clients will need to feel.

Out of all the other attendees who didn’t get coached, you’ll be more successful getting your clients to execute that exercise correctly.

This workshop allows you to be coached, demo, practice coaching, and walk through some troubleshooting with every single activity! Instead of 5 minutes of personal attention, you’ll have a whole day of movement and hands-on learning.

If you’re wanting your staff under one consistent model, this is the workshop for you and your employees. Learn to develop movement standards where everyone gets to develop their own training talent and skill following the same principles.

Going through our Consistent Training Model will allow you to manage multiple people in one session while keeping the coaching quality high. You will creatively increase your client’s movement repertoire by altering load placement and performance variables to drive adaptation in each plane of motion.

Location: Hype Gym, NYC

Date/Time: Sunday, September 29th 2019. 9:00am-4:30pm (lunch 12:00pm-1:00pm)

CLICK HERE for the event’s page.

I hope to see you there 🙂

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