Matt: You mentioned that your beginners squat every single workout. What is it about squatting that works so well at making kids so strong and big?
Rip: It’s because they’re so goddamn hard. They load the whole system, not just a piece of it. They essentially work all muscle groups underneath the load--which is all of them except the neck, and that is used isometrically. Its range of motion--when done correctly--is greater than a deadlift or power clean. Done with sufficient intensity and volume, it produces enough stress to evoke a hormonal response, something no isolation exercise--or circuit of isolation exercises--can do. Squats, better than any other single exercise, load the whole body in a way that causes the body to respond as a whole. [From an interview by Matt Reynolds.)