the zercher standard
antidote to weakness
Honestly this is just how it feels! It’s rare to stumble upon something feeling as raw as this. Zercher exercises are brutal reality check every time. Its like one of those things one would rather not do — not ever — unless there is no other way.
Herein lies the problem. There is always another way, preferably some easier way to do things, which majority is always pursuing. In case you haven’t figured it out, this is not how you get stronger, tougher nor feel safer for that matter. Wilful exposure to discomfort is the best working strategy to face — what you aren’t ready for — but need to be ready for. It’s never just about strength, muscle gains, conditioning or how fit you are. All that are just a welcome side effects of your personal journey through tough as nails workouts which I see as an antidote to becoming weak, soft and a burden to society.
“Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times.”
— G. Michael Hopf, Those Who Remain
The Zercher Standard starts with a fat axle deficit deadlift to get you into the Zercher squat position from which you need to deliver 10 full depth squats, returning the bar — without dropping — back to the floor. You have 60sec to achieve all this, need to use a 50mm fat axle and start from 13-15cm deficit.
You need to log in at this point as what you see bellow are levels for an average 25 years old male, your numbers might be very different as they are individualised to your age, height, weight, etc. but its impossible to show you your data if you are not logged in.
> Level 3 Guardian ~ 130kg > Level 2 Fit human ~ 90kg > Level 1 Homo sapiens ~ 55kg
- - - - - ~ sub:level demi-sapiens 40kg … non:level non-fit creature 30kg or less
This is simply a brutally hard exercise. It may be — in my opinion — one of the best all-round strength exercises to transform you both physically and mentally. Zercher exercises are unique, they look strange, are tough, yet extremely beneficial while requiring very little to almost no skill at all. Contrary to all the logic they are great and quite safe for most beginners.
You don’t need to take my word for it so here is what the legendary powerlifter, strength coach and owner of Westside Barbell, Louie Simmons has to say on the benefits of the Zercher squats:
“It teaches you exactly how to squat. It teaches you to push your knees apart. Push your chest up. Push your buttocks out. The whole nine yards.”
— Louie Simmons, Westside Barbell
Louie believes Zercher squat is great for squatting mechanics, especially for beginners. It forces an athlete to maintain an upright posture throughout the movement and allows for a deeper squat than the majority of people can achieve in the more traditional squats.
The name of the article is the Zercher Standard by which I wanted to imply that it covers more than just a Zercher squat but that being said — the squatting part constitutes by far the most dominant movement of the whole standard which I am about to introduce in detail.
Quality of your bodyweight on a scale from 0 to 100%
Superfit Index (SFI™) is a unique algorithm that rates your bodyweight in percentage. No complicated measurements are needed to make the analysis. Your age, height, weight, gender and body composition are taken into account and combined into a single number, your personal Superfit Index (%).
You need to log in at this point and have your Superfit Index calculated to be shown your results when you read this article.
Information you enter assigns you to at least one of the four possible criteria:
> Level 1 Homo sapiens > Level 2 Fit human - - - - - > Level 3a Superfit Endurance > Level 3b Superfit Strong
We will return to these bodyweight criteria again as I write more about each later in the article. Additionally, for deeper understanding of your own results we shall analyse a fairly typical result from a person that trains on a regular basis. What follows is an actual result from someone who I will disguise simply as Joe. Let us take a look at Joe's results.
It’s been long time in the making and far from some rushed decision primarily because of sentimental reasons attached to the old name of how I used to call my private gym. I called it simply the gym because that’s exactly what it was to me and what it represented.
At the time when I established and opened the gym the idea was to remain private and without a published private address to find it. My mistake at the time was that I didn’t check/secure appropriate social media usernames for it while the .com domain with such a name was obviously not available long before.
The reputation of my - the gym - started to grow beyond the borders of Slovenia, getting visited by select foreign coaches I noticed all kinds of similar or same names emerging on popping up on social media and elsewhere around the world. My initial idea for a name — even though it made sense – meaning wise — was just too generic that it would be reasonable to expect it will remain as that one and only the gym.
Initial thought about the name change emerged to me probably more than a year ago but it was far from simple to come up with a worthy replacement, which was unique, meaningful and something relatable to the core values of my gym and my self. To make it all even more complicated it had to be possible to secure .com domain for it + usernames for all the most important social media accounts to solidify and assure its original status.
I honestly love this new name, not just because it goes nicely in the ear but more so as it radiated core values which are important to me.
There will also be a website on the domain gymjustified.com once I settle for its design but for the time being you can already find/follow it on Facebook - Instagram - Twitter as @gymjustified account.
Current design is something I temporarily came up with and will be used until this gets developed further. Even though the plan is to let someone with much better skills then my self do the job, current take is already quite growing on me so we’ll see.