Re: no squats and growing
I love squats, but when done properly, they are more glute involving than the legs themselves, that said, I still think they work the legs better than any other exercise, but they just build the glutes and abductors massively too, which some bodybuilders don’t want, hence the lack of depth you see sometimes from certain bodybuilders, but Tom platz had great legs, and loved a a2g squat.
Leg presses will certainly build the quads, as that’s their purpose, they’re pretty much quad dominant, with perhaps a little hams and glutes, if much at all.
Depends on how you squat, "properly" is subjective and boils down to what you're squatting for. The squats you see in powerlifting meets with a wide stance, very low bar and lots of forward lean will build more glutes than quads, true, but the olympic squat (which by the way is how Platz did it) is a fantastic quad builder.
With leg presses you can change the involvement of the glutes dramatically depending on where you put your feet. Squats don't allow for so much play in that regard because your feet need to be in line with your centre of gravity or you fall over.
I should have elaborated on that point, an Olympic squat, Tom platz squat is more what I define as a squat, powerlifting squats are very unnatural, and are not done in a full rom, so I don’t consider them a ‘proper’ squat myself.
Sure you can adjust your stance on a leg press to involve the glutes more, but that’s not really it’s purpose, it’s a more quad focussed exercise that should involve a more narrower stance, but will still hit the glutes and hams to some degree.
It’s why we also have deadlifts, glute ham raises, bridges etc.
And if you do narrow stance squats in the fashion Tom platz did you cannot eliminate the glutes at that range, they are just as involved as quads, and probably more, with a front squat you can start to isolate the quads somewhat more in a squat.
I think bob chicerello? (Don’t quote me on the spelling) once called squats a massive butt builder on bodybuilding.com.
Trying to back squat at any kind of stance and not involve the glutes is just silly, unnatural, and risking all kinds of injuries.
Yes squats will always hit the glutes hard, no way around it. Even front squats, there will be a greater difference in hamstring activity than glute activity compared to back squats. But in a correctly performed olympic squat the load should be evenly distributed between hips and knees (or glutes and quads), it can develop both extremely well and grow your quads just as well as leg presses would. I mean olympic weightlifters have almost universally great quads for a reason.
It's when you start getting into that powerlifting style of squatting - which quickly becomes more of a squat/good morning hybrid - that you end up with predominantly a hip exercise. That's why, general rule of thumb, big equipped powerlifting squatters can "squat" tremendous weights (into the four digits nowadays) but don't have that impressive quads and generally suck at raw high bar squats. They do have some of the strongest glutes in the world though.