Tip: The Bodyweight Squat Test

There are a lot of strength tests out there, many unrealistic. But here's one that you and everyone else should be able to pass.

Barbell Squats: Bodyweight Equivalent for 6 Reps Minimum

Front squat, back squat, you name it. I don't care what variation you choose, if you can't squat to your skeletal full depth with your bodyweight on the bar for a set of 6, you've got some work to do.

This is a fair gauge for lifters of various bodyweights and sizes. Clearly, a 180-pound guy is going to have an easier time reaching this goal than a 290-pound guy will. But once again, it'll reflect either a need to increase strength or a need to decrease body fat until you're at a weight that supports such goals.

If you're big and heavy, you'd better be strong enough to match your weight on the squat bar and still be serviceable at basic bodyweight training. If you aren't, it's time to ask yourself why.

Almost exactly one year ago, I was in a wheelchair after full reconstructive surgery to both knees from two completely separated patellar tendons incurred during a basketball game. After learning to walk again, I've been able to train my way back up to a 275-pound front squat, at a bodyweight in the mid 240's.

There's still a year left in my projected recovery. If I can do it, so can you.