The True Hack Squat

4 min readMar 18, 2024

George Hackenschmidt is the greatest jump longevity case I’ve ever known.

He could jump high all the way through his 80s. He died at 89.

[In this picture he was 74.]

His favorite exercise was holding weight behind his back and balancing on his toes as he squatted down through a full range of motion.

It was originally drawn up like this:

And later it could be seen in photo form:

When I started my knees over toes journey, this would have been excruciating to attempt, and I would have failed — even with light weight.

But REGRESSION of the ATG Split Squat…

…over years…

…eventually made full squats on a slantboard feel good!

And I was surprised to find that even George Hackenschmidt’s squat feels good!

Now it’s clear to me that by training at the pain-free level, you could BROADLY and CONSISTENTLY make people in their 80s far more athletic than the norm.

This is because JOINTS can also grow and strengthen, just not as fast or large as muscles.

Avoiding joints leaves a lot of potential on the table.

Attacking joints adds a lot of risk.

The solution is a SCALABLE route of ABILITY.

And by rethinking exercise in terms of:




We open new doors.

For example, using a chair on either side of you works great:

So does a band across the J-hooks of a squat rack. This was the idea of Mark Bell, the first big-time podcaster to have me on his show. He has remained a loyal friend and mentor ever since:

These solutions allow you to regress George Hackenschmidt’s favorite exercise. Millions of people incorrectly think they couldn’t do it.

Unfortunately, the idea of SCALING knees over toes training was not broadly taught until ATG.

And if you go into a gym, you’re likely to see a “Hack squat” machine that looks like this:

For the record, this exercise strengthens the upper thighs and hips. I don’t think this is a “bad” exercise. I don’t think any exercise is “bad.”

But this “Hack” squat machine allows someone to AVOID the very position that George used to develop his lower thighs and knees.

And if you know what the Hack squat machine is, you should know the true history.

This machine would be more accurately named the “Not-Hack” squat machine.

Avoidance of the knee’s natural range of motion is unlikely to produce the longevity results that Hackenschmidt experienced.

But George was dead before Hack squat machines became popular.

He had no voice to educate on this subject.

Fortunately, we’re here now, and you and I are spreading the truth like wildfire.

Exercise science and exercise history will only get more accurate from here.

Yours in Solutions,



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