Sanya Talwar tells us how squats have changed the way she regards fitness and life itself.

Why do people squat? For a fabulous behind, for a strengthened core, for a well endowed symmetrical physique, for leg power, for sprinting power and for a better athletic performance. The reasons and motivations are numerous.

Solutions in the squat rack 

For me, it’s my vision of  the squat as a synonym for life. I think of this every time I see the squat rack.  When I began doing squats, my teacher Mr Neeraj David told me, “Bache (kid), this squat is a synonym for life. Just like life puts you down, the weights on that bar do too…

Your strength shines every time you take control of the weight of problems on your shoulders and bounce right back up, in life and in the squat rack. Don’t fear the weight, it’s all in the head. Carry it and stand right back up. If you can do that in the squat rack, you can do that in life.”

A reason to bounce back

That’s the thing with squats. They give you a reason to bounce back. When I confronted the weight rack, I became like other body builders.  Nothing mattered except conquering my own limitations. Every time I progressed on the squat rack, this marked my progress in life.

The squat was a form of therapy for me. It enabled me to deal with with the smallest and biggest of problems in life.  Staying level headed and calm while I lifted my squat bar reflected my life philosophy to life: to stay level headed, calm and collected, no matter what came my way.

Tough to begin with

When you choose to squat, you have to realize that this is something that will take a toll on your body. You can expect calluses on your back, and routine stiffness.  Initially, it will be hard and tiresome, but later, you will start craving it!

You will crave that cold steel bar that rests on the back of your neck, even avoiding a towel to protect yourself.  You WANT the mark,  the iciness of the bar gliding on your neck. At that moment, you would realize how much the adage “Some scars are worth it” meant to you.

Respect the squat

When I lifted, and squat, all I wanted was silence. I hated the sound of music at the gym, hooting, even speaking to anyone except my coach during the progression sets.  My zone was not to be meddled with. Me and my squat warred with the weights. Either I would emerge victorious, or it was going to be that bar with weights cradled on top of each other. The choice was mine.

One of the best decisions of my life

Experiencing the high of weight lifting and specifically the satisfaction that came with squats, was one of the best things that happened to me, at a very tumultuous time. At that point, I was just 20 years old, very under-confident and anxious. Squatting taught me that besides having strong legs and a well shaped behind, I could revere and thrive on this beautiful synonym of life.

Like my Coach often said “Bache, ghabrana nahi hai (Be fearless kid), that weight is child’s play for you” .

It’s time they add the word “SQUAT” to the thesaurus, under synonyms of life.