A Guide To The Hatfield Squat: An Uncommon Exercise For Powerful Legs.

From The Desk of Maverick Brenton.
Subject: How To Perform The Hatfield Squat.

The Hatfield Squat is one of my favourite exercises for building a powerful and muscular lower body.

It allows you to move more weight than the regular squat, and it allows you to overload the quads, glutes, hips and hamstrings – building them up and getting them used to moving very heavy loads.

This exercise was originally invented by a fella named Fred Hatfield, aka Dr. Squat.

Fred Hatfield was one of the first men in the world to squat over 1,000lbs/460kg, which he apparently did at the age of 45 – not a bad effort, if you ask me.

Now he come up with the Hatfield Squat so that he could destroy sticking points in the regular back squat, which is exactly what the exercise does.

It allows you to use your arms to pull yourself through sticking points in the squat, and it allows you to increase or decrease the difficulty of the exercise at any given moment, simply by adjusting how much you use your arms to aid in the lift.

Here I am below, doing reps with 260kg/585lbs:

As you can see, I use my arms to aid in balancing myself, and to provide help in the weaker areas of my squat.

Personally I like to use a box, allowing me to pause and build explosive power out of the bottom, which I have found to help greatly in my regular free squat.

If you’re an experienced lifter, feel free to go 100% raw, without a belt or knee wraps – just make sure that you brace your core and keep everything stable, because very nasty things can happen if you make a mistake with big weight on your back.

Broken ankles, crushed vertebrae, torn muscles and torn ligaments, to name a few.

So be careful and don’t overdo it.

Now if you’re a beginner, I would recommended focusing on normal squats.


If you do want to add Hatfield Squats into your training, then build them up slowly, with or without the use of a belt and knee wraps.

These can be performed with or without a box or bench to sit on, they can be done off pins, and you can even perform Hatfield Lunges – which are an awesome exercise for developing the glutes and hamstrings.

Below is a sample leg workout, with a focus on the Hatfield Squat, that you can use anytime you want to overload your lower body:


Hatfield Squat Pyramid up to a heavy set of 3-5 reps, then drop the weight and do a back down set of 15-20 reps.

Safety Bar Box Squat – Perform 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Reverse DB Lunge – Perform 3 sets of 15-20 reps

DB RDL – Perform 3 sets of 15-20 reps

Leg Extensions – Perform 2 sets of 20 reps

Leg Curls – Perform 2 sets of 20 reps

Seated Calve Raises – Perform 1 set to complete failure with a moderately heavy weight, doing no less than 30 reps.


There you have it fellas.

Add this exercise into your lower body training, work hard at it, and watch what happens to your legs.

They will grow and they will get stronger, as long as you are eating plenty of food and getting enough sleep.

Your man,
Maverick Brenton.

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