The Goblet Squat is one of the most awesome-for-everyone-and-everything exercises. Popularized by Dan John, this is a front-loaded squat variation often performed with a dumbbell (DB) or Kettlebell (KB) that emphasizes pretty much everything there is to love about the squat – Hip mobility, leg strength, core activation, grip strength, etc.

There is really only one complaint when it comes to Goblet Squats… sometimes it is impossible to go heavy enough. Many of you strong folks out there can Goblet Squat 200+ pounds easily for high reps, but the majority of gyms do not have DBs that go that high.

Above is a variation you can use to load up a bit more weight on the heaviest DB in your gym. You simply stack small plates on top of the DB and secure it with a  mini band. Or don’t. The band is optional. Without the band, plates sliding off becomes an additional challenge for improved form and stability.

Above is an example showing how you can add multiple different size/weight plates to the set-up. From my experience, you can add up to 40 (Ex: four 10-pound plates) extra pounds to your heaviest DB and still get the training effect you’re looking for. I don’t recommend stacking more than four additional plates just so it doesn’t become problematic to your neck position (the weights stacked that high will be eye-level).

As always, anytime you stray away from the norm, there has to be legitimate reasoning as to why in the hell you changed up a classic lift. Well, here are some reasons you may want to use this variation with extra plate loading.

  • You can’t perform other squat variations due to pain or equipment limitations.
  • You can’t alter the tempo of your squat to make it harder because you aren’t counting the tempo with honesty.
  • Your programming calls for a specific amount of reps so additional load is the best option for your results.
  • Adding band resistance to Goblet Squats often doesn’t work because the band gets in the way.

Any of those sound like you? At some point, we’ve all experienced one or more of those. Next time you do, try this out this quick tip and get back to your workout! Let me know what you think.