Impressive Display of Single Leg Strength

Posted on by Ben Bruno

Today’s post is going to be short, but I just wanted to share some very impressive displays of single leg strength from my friend Kevin Anderson.

Last week he did rear foot elevated split squats with 315 pounds for 5 reps each leg with the bar on his back, making it look easy.

This week he did 315 pounds again for 5 reps per leg using the Dead-Squat bar. This time he made it look so easy that he did both legs back-to-back without evening putting the bar down.

At least make it look hard Kevin so we all don’t feel so weak!

After doing 315×5 with the Dead-Squat bar, he actually did 335×5 each leg (putting the bar down between legs) but I didn’t have the camera going for that. That one was actually a struggle, so I guess he’s at least some degree of human.

I like the idea of using the Dead-Squat bar because it makes it so you don’t have to put a bar on your back, it makes it easier to get into position, and it leaves a safer bailout if you can’t complete a rep.

I’ve used it for heavy split squat iso holds, which is where I got the idea to try it.

Kevin and I are both 5’9” though, and I’ve found that people over 6’1” or so are too tall to use it without the front knee hitting the rail. For guys under that height though, it’s a great option, similar to loading with dumbbells only with far greater loading potential, not to mention a lot more stable and safer to pick up and put down.

It’s funny, a year ago I thought 225×5 was very impressive for this exercise, but the bar continues to be raised—on one leg.

One of my high school athletes hit 305×5 on Wednesday too, so I there’s a ton of untapped potential with single leg strength. It’s exciting to see.

If you’re looking for a point of reference for what these guys can do with their bilateral lifts, Kevin’s best back squat is 420×3 (good form) and he can low handle trap bar deadlift 515×8.

The high school boy that did 305×5 doesn’t squat so I don’t have a point of reference there, but his best low handle trap bar deadlift is 500×7.

Interesting and impressive stuff!

I also uploaded a bunch of other videos this week so be sure to check out my You Tube page and subscribe.

Have a great weekend!

  • Scott

    What is his rear foot on? I like how (I imagine) it lets his foot find the right position quicker than a bench.

    Impressive indeed. Barely human, as you say.

    • Ben Bruno

      That thing is called a single leg squat stand.

  • smittydiesel

    Very strong stuff!

    • Ben Bruno

      Haha, makes me feel weak!

  • Booch

    I like the idea of doing Iso-holds to mix things up. For someone who is over 6’1 (I’m a millimeter or so off of 6’2), is there a variation of the hold? Or maybe I’m just stuck doing the hold with the barbell on my back?

    • Ben Bruno

      I’d recommend holding two dumbbells at your sides, which is fine until you’ve maxed the dumbbells. Alternatively, you could hold a heavy dumbbell in the goblet position, or if you need a barbell for more loading, hold it in the front squat position. I wouldn’t put a bar on your back for iso holds though.

  • Cussy182

    It is interesting to see the bar being raised for single leg strength, but on the other hand – one of the big draws for single leg training was that it’s friendly on the back.

    But if we’re now putting 333lbs/150kg on your back for even single leg stuff – that’s still a lot of pressure on the back.

    Even single leg straining is not necessarily back-friendly.

    Is there any way around that as you get stronger on single-leg stuff, Ben?

  • Adam

    Hey Ben, do you guys have a rule of thumb to go by as far as how high the elevation is? Knee height? Higher?

  • Heyward Boyce

    oh my Godddd…..I was so proud of myself today for doing a single leg squat with 100lbs… That’s TRIPLE that amount. Holy shit. What’s his main dietary staple?