Gino's Blog

Doing squat.

Here’s Real-Life Lesson # 2,005 that I’ve taught football players for 40 years and college law enforcement students for two decades: don’t do squat or squat.  Multiple meanings. It’s the difference between winning and losing on any field or in any field.

Do squat has a dual meaning. It means either do nothing or it means squat in the gym. The difference between doing squat and doing squat is where you end up on the scoreboard – the left side or the right side of the score.

Don’t do squat has a dual meaning. First, it’s a double negative. Don’t do squat technically means do not do nothing, do something. But in street-talk, it means doing nothing. If you don’t do squat, you got a bad evaluation because you’re doing nothing even though it grammatically sounds like you are doing something. Secondly, don’t do squat also means ignoring leg-day and not doing squats. Not doing squats means:  (a) you are intentionally taking the easy way out of a workout, or (b) you are unintentionally missing out on the most important part of your workout. Not doing squats can be the result of being uniformed, poor coaching advice, or just plain laziness. The difference in doing squat and not doing squat is not only the difference between winning and losing, it’s also the difference between getting flattened and not getting flattened. It’s the difference between standing up and getting knocked down. It’s also the difference between how you look and don’t look. Nothing changes your shape more than squats.

I’ve taught students and athletes for decades that, contrary to popular belief, there’s more than one definition of insanity. Here’s another definition of insanity: don’t do squat and expect to be strong when it counts. Doing nothing to build strength in the gym and expecting to be strong, is another definition of insanity. Not doing squats in the gym and expecting to survive in high-risk sports and professions is another definition of insanity. You can’t do squat and expect to win. You can’t not do squats and expect to win.

My number #1 challenge as a coach and college professor has been to change adolescent mindset toward doing squat. Doing squat is part of the 10-90 Rule – over 90% will do squat and won’t do squats unless they are pushed to squat. Nothing is tougher than convincing students and athletes to do more and squat more instead of doing squat. The reason why over 90% don’t do squat is fear – fear of weight on your shoulder, fear of exertion, fear of discomfort, fear of sweat, and fear of hard work. The truth hurts literally and figuratively because squats are not easy. Holding a heavy weight on your shoulders isn’t easy. A heavy weight on your shoulders can be crushing. The human mind plays games with heavy weight on your shoulders. The human mind is an anabolic agent of heavyweight perception – the mind will make you believe that the weight is heavier than it is. Squats need a caution attached to the bar – “Objects appear bigger than they are.” The good news is there is a solution to the problem of doing squat – L.I.F.T.ers

In the 1970’s, the word squat was used differently in workplaces. Grammatically, it became confusing. But squat was a common theme in my manual labour job at Maple Leaf Mills during high school between 1971-75 and during my 15-year police career between 1975-1990. Squatting at Maple Leaf Mills was a matter of survival. There was no way to survive carrying and lifting 1,200 140-lb. floor bags during 8-hour shifts by doing squat or not doing squats.  One rep of carrying and lifting every 20 seconds forces you to make a choice – do squat or do squat. Dual meaning. First choice: squat the weight by bending down, lowering your ass, and firing the weight up to reach the 6th level of flour bags in the train cars. If you failed, the bag would fall back, knock you down, break the flour bag, break your spirit, and worse of all, break your reputation. You were labeled bilingually as weak and lazy – in both Broken English and Broken Italian. Second choice: quit. do squat about it. Find an easier job, something less challenging, something less painful, something more comfortable.

My poor illiterate immigrant Italian relatives who worked at Maple Leaf Mills were not part of the Post-Modern Era of Sensitive Leadership. They were blunt. They followed Real-Life Lesson # 1,334: honesty out, honesty in, and vice-versa – the heart and soul of all relationships. They didn’t lie to you. They didn’t tell you that you were strong when you were weak. If you couldn’t squat the weight from ground-level to the top-level you couldn’t do squat. Dual meaning. First, it meant you were too weak to do a real squat to lift a heavy weight. If you couldn’t fire up the weight, you were fired. There was no other job for you to do. There was no alternative. There were no office jobs for high school students. There was no social media job where you could post and tweet instead of lift. Secondly, couldn’t do squat meant you couldn’t do anything associated with doing your job right. Nothing meaningful, nothing relevant, nothing productive, or nothing at all. It became a grammatical nightmare. It you added couldn’t before do squat, it became a contradiction, a paradox – if you couldn’t do squat, you could not do nothing which technically meant you could do something.

There is no word for squat in Broken Italian or Broken English. If you didn’t do squat, they yelled a mixture of Broken English and Broken Italian. They spoke the L.I.F.T. language – Loud Italians Fight Together. Dual meaning. They fight with each other but they will fight for you, both with the same intensity. In the 1970’s, intensity was not yet politically incorrect. Intensity had not been forced out of society by The Establishment. Intensity had not been replaced with sensitivity. You could be both intense and sensitive or neither. There was no connection between intensity and sensitivity in the 1970’s. However, the Post-Modern Establishment has declared differently. They have found a connection because The Post-Modern Establishment has declared itself smarter than any previous Establishment in the history of wo/mankind.

You couldn’t Google Broken Italian Translation in the 1970’s or today. There was no Google Broken English Translator then or now.  You learned both from live, face-to-face communication. It was impossible to L.I.F.T. wirelessly. It was impossible to L.I.F.T. behind a screen or on a screen. You felt the energy of every L.I.F.T. The force of the L.I.F.T. was the difference between doing squat and doing squats. It was the difference between getting something done and getting nothing done. L.I.F.T.ers  hammered Real-Life Lesson #6,788 that I’ve taught students and athletes for decades – the more you squat, the less you will do squat. Squatting becomes a habit when you do it enough times with enough intensity. When squats become Second Nature, you will lose the First Nature temptation to do squat.

Even without a word for squat, L.I.F.T.ers got the point across. Apps weren’t needed. Youtube wasn’t needed. Bend your legs, drop your ass low, and fire-up. These three elements of doing squat are natural. L.I.F.T.ers didn’t need diplomas or degrees in lifting. They learned through practical experience. They learned Real-Life Lesson #7,227 – if you don’t lift together, you drop it. Lifting together has a dual meaning. First, it means individual Synchronized Lifting – aligning your body, then your mind, then your soul, then all three together. Nature won’t allow a heavy weight to move unless you use strict form physically – stance, posture, tracking. It constitutes Real-Life Lesson #5,119 – If a weight does not move along its natural track, it will fall back. You won’t lift it. Secondly, the entire body has to work as a team. Then your mind has to get straight. So does your soul. When body, mind, and soul are all straightened out, they become a powerful team.

When I got hired as an 18-year old rookie cop in 1975, I heard the same squat message for 15 years until I quit in 1990. My first platoon staff sergeant, Roman Block warned our entire B Platoon at briefing: “You ain’t doing squat and getting paid for it. No Sir!! You been doing F*&^%$# squat long enough. You ain’t doing F@#$%^& no more!!!”  Roman Block’s definition of doing squat in 1975 was different than the rest. Dual meaning. First, doing squat is an abstract concept open to wide-ranging definitions. Secondly, his definition of not doing squat was different than resting and was different than the rest of alleged leaders I worked for. Solving the mystery of doing squat was governed by the 10-90 Rule of Leadership – over 90% of leaders I worked for did squat about doing squat. Less than 10% didn’t. Roman Block was a 10%er. A 10%er is a blessing. S/he will change your life by teaching you the difference between doing squat and doing squats.

My main message to students and athletes for decades has been to not waste your adolescence doing squat. Instead, do squats. You have the choice every day of your life to do squat or do squats. You can build strength or become weak. It all depends on the most important exercise of all – free will. Wasted adolescence is a tragedy. Parents, teachers, and all of society have to work together as a team to prevent wasted adolescence. The Post-Modern Era presents the biggest challenges to adolescent potential in mind, body, and soul. The fight to save adolescent souls is tougher today in the Post-Modern Era than ever before because of Post-Modern Weaponry – the forces of evil has more artillery and more powerful artillery to kill adolescent potential than ever.

The next time you are tempted to do squat instead of doing squats, think of those who would gladly switch places with you – the sick, the dying, the hungry, the poor.

This is Chapter 6 of a new book I’m writing called Soul of a Lifter – part 2. The mission of the book is to lift. Audio excerpts will be posted on Blunt Talk Podcast.

Our new website is a multi-media platform. Our mission is to lift. Our new website is centered on the concept of Blunt Talk Motivation that includes Blunt Talk Podcast, Blunt Talk Blog, and Blunt Talk videos. The links to the new website are the same as before and

Blunt Talk Podcast recently reached its 73rd country. Our blog had two record-setting days in May. We have had 166 podcast guests, all who have a soul of a lifter. Each Blunt Talk Podcast is a free, permanently archived download at:  Each episode is guaranteed to lift. We are humbled and blessed to connect globally with tens of thousands of listeners, viewers, and readers.  The most recent podcast includes ongoing chapters of a free audiobook called The Mystery of Murder: Working with the Dead. Thank you for your patience during our website renovations.

Blessings & all good things.


Gino Arcaro M.Ed., B.Sc., Level 3 NCCP (Nat’l Coaching Certification Program)

Owner – X Fitness Inc.

Head coach – Niagara X-men football


Gino Arcaro is a widely published author. His website, blog, Youtube channel, and list of SWAT FOOTBALL Books are at:

His books include:

4th & hell: seasons 1 and 2, Soul of a Lifter, SWAT No-Huddle Offense, SWAT Defense, SWAT Tackling Video & e-book,  X Fitness Workout System, and a 3 business book series called Soul of an Entrepreneur

He also has written 20 editions of 6 law enforcement academic textbooks. A new 8-volume interrogation book series will be released in 2014. And just released, a new children’s book called “BE FIT – DON’T QUIT.” He is currently writing three non-fiction motivational novels book called The Mystery of Murder: Working with the dead, Midnight Shift from Hell, and Another Bar Fight. Another book on human potential called “Hashtag Peace” is at the editing stage.


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