Remembering Dr Squat

Last week we lost Dr. Fred Hatfield, also known as Dr. Squat. First man at the age of 45, he set a squat world record by lifting 1014 pounds in the 100 kg weight class, the first person to squat more than 1000lbs. You may recognise the hands supported safety bar squat I sometimes use or as its sometimes called the ‘Hatfield Squat’.

I remember coming across Dr Hatfields work when researching strength training for boxers nearly 17 years ago, I was 17 or 18 I came across this in all its pre Web 2.0 glory details his training routine with Evander Holyfield before his dominant win over Buster Douglas, Holyfield was a lean 208 where as Douglas was a heavy 246, a watershed moment for physical preparation for boxing. Dr Hatfield rightfully called out long distance running a poor conditioning choice, implemented strength training and plyometrics into the heavyweight boxers routine.

To quote Dr Hatfield himself “Ideally, the boxing punch consists of a synchronization between arm, leg, and trunk actions. The punching movement of a boxer consists of leg extension, trunk rotation, and arm extension, in succession. The more effective the coordination between arm, leg and trunk movements, the greater the impact force of a punch. The leg muscles play a vital role in the power developed in this sequence. Increasing leg force development and coordinating it with trunk and arm action is probably the most effective way to increase punching power.

Because boxing is an explosive sport, ballistic training methods are especially effective during weight training for boxing. This kind of training method requires the athlete to perform each repetition explosively, with maximal intended velocity. Finally, in my view, the best way to weight train for competitive boxing is via a cycled training schedule. This type of training schedule integrates workouts and exercises that will meet all the basic performance demands of boxing, strength, power, speed, agility, and strength endurance.”

You have to remember at the time this was considered an enormous departure for boxing preparation. This was 1990.

Lets be honest not much has changed and we continue to build on the work of great coaches like Hatfield moving forwards. Thank you Dr Hatfield for your contribution to the field.

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