Some comments from www.FrankZane.com by Frank Zane on Squatting and the change he made to use his “Leg Blaster” ZANE
“I remember squatting with Arnold in 1972 before the Mr. Olympia contest. We both made it up to 10 reps with 405 in the full squat. My knees really hurt from that and my lower back went into spasm the very next day. Arnold ended up winning the 1972 Mr. Olympia, beating Sergio Oliva, but needed a knee operation later that year.
The last time I squatted with a barbell on my shoulders was in 1982, training for the Mr. Olympia. I worked up to three sets of 20 reps with 300 pounds, and while I was at my heaviest competitive weight, my waist was quite a bit bigger too. Yes, squatting with the upper body thrust forward — which is the common style when the weight gets heavier — builds the waist. The gut is forced outward as you descend into the squat. Just look at pictures of any heavyweight power lifter or squat style Olympic lifter and you’ll see what squatting does to the waist.
True, a bigger, thicker waist will increase your squatting power because it improves your leverage. The glutes become thicker as well from the barbell squat, and so do the spinal erector muscles of the lower back. All this spells more strength in the squat as well as for overhead lifting, and if this is your goal, fine, more power to you literally.”