Posted November 2, 2017

Cookies and Squat Technique

On Halloween, my wife surprised me by making a cast iron skillet cookie that she’s never made before, and I’d never had before as well.

Of course it was delicious. It was as thick as a pie, as big as a cake, and a MASSIVE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE!!

Now the funny thing is I’ve eaten a lot of different chocolate chip cookies in my life made from dozens of different recipes. They all have some of the same components:

  • cookie base made from flour, sugar, vanilla, baking powder, butter, etc
  • chocolate chips or chocolate chunks.

Now obviously the amounts of each can vary depending on the specific recipe and the baking conditions, and the quality of the ingredients can vary widely. I mean, fine Ghirardelli chocolate is a very different cookie than cheapo Kraft chalky stuff that needs a glass of milk to choke on down. The kind of butter could vary widely too, from salted to unsalted and even the difference in butter between North America and mainland Europe.


So the fact that there’s so many different ways to make a chocolate chip cookie got me to think, is there a “correct” way to make a chocolate chip cookie and everything else is judged inferior based on that standard?

This can be hotly contested, and in many ways it’s almost too hard to decide, especially since a lot of it comes down to taste, texture, and the overall feel of the product. You can produce very different cookies from different ingredients, based on the pic above from this article HERE, and it still doesn’t mean that one is the best or worst, just different.

My buddy Sol Orwell has actually made a bit of a spin-off career getting people from all over the world to send him cookies or hosting charity bake-offs and judging the best cookies in the world. While a consistent favourite seems to be the monster from Le Gourmand, no one’s ever going to avoid eating any of the other ones.

Can you imagine if someone were to say “this is the only scientific way to make a chocolate chip cookie to get optimum chocolate delivery with proper texture to the cookie matrix” and even worse imagine if people were to believe that? There would only be one type of chocolate chip cookie!!

Now the funny thing is that there’s actually a parallel to how many people are taught to do something like squat. For decades the common thought process has been to involve the same ingredients:

  • bend the knees, hips and ankles.
  • keep the back straight with a slight forward lean
  • don’t lift the heels

Now the specific ingredients that get people there can vary widely based on the individual, but for some reason the common ingredients to this recipe came out to commonly mean:

  • feet shoulder width apart
  • toes pointing straight forward
  • knees can never go past your toes or your soul with evaporate (slightly kidding)

While there may not be anything blatantly wrong about this recipe, there’s also nothing patently right about it either. I’ve written a ton about how hip structure could vary and cause your stance to vary as well, but aside from hip structure, there’s also some elements like femur length relative to your torso length and also the fun concept of relative joint-specific mobility for the movement, motor control, position of load, whether Mercury is in retrograde, solar flare activity, and how many scoops of pre-workout you took that day.

All of these elements mean there’s not one way to squat, but the way that works for the individual. Does that mean that squatting a bit wider, turning one toe out a bit wider than the other, not going to the floor, or using squat shoes to help achieve control or mobility may be needed, but are no less of a scrumptious squat.

In other words, does your belly feel any less warm and fuzzy after eating a squat that looks like this?

Does a squat like this hit the spot?

Maybe a cute squat like this bite-sized one does the job?

What about something like this?

Squats have the same basic ingredients, but getting outside of that in terms of discussing absolutes is like saying you need caramel chips in your cookies. Sure, some people may like that and it may work well for some, but maybe not everyone. Play with the recipe to find the right solution for you, and use the cookies as fuel for more squats.