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Go Goblet and Be Remembered Forever- Kasey Esser

Go Goblet and Be Remembered Forever

I love over-the-top, hyperbolic statements.  It makes life more fun.

Anyway, wow, 2014 has gotten off to a crazy start.  I can’t remember the last time Jess and I had the chance to sit down and binge-watch any shows (sure, we have started watching House of Cards, but 2 in a row just doesn’t do it justice, I’m talking about knocking out 7-8 in one sitting…and yes, that happened last year with Scandal one Sunday afternoon, and it was awesome).

However, the craziness has been all good things, so no complaints.  I’ve had the opportunity to go to San Francisco, Phoenix (twice), and Las Vegas.  While there are many benefits to living in Los Angeles, one of them is the fact that there is always going to be a continuing education event nearby.

This past weekend I went to Vegas for the Functional Movement Screening (FMS) Level 2 course.  I heart FMS and am grateful to have had the opportunity to hear Gray Cook teach 3 times so far this year.  Level 2 goes deeper into the corrective exercise framework and how the FMS fits into a client’s programming.  I highly recommend it if you use (or want to) use the FMS in any capacity.  I’m sure I will blog about some of the gems I learned in the very near future.

Outside of learning a bunch of stuff, the highlight for me was getting the below pic;

Go Goblet and Be Remembered Forever- Kasey Esser



I love flexing, so it seemed natural to ask Gray for a posedown.  I proceeded to flex with other peeps on the Strip, including this furry guy from one of my favorite movies, Despicable Me.


Go Goblet and Be Remembered Forever- Kasey Esser


Anyway, let’s talk about the important stuff;



I’m pretty sure I read recently that Vegas is one of the top spots in the WORLD for high-quality food these days, so it was no surprise to any of my friends that I spent the majority of my time outside of the course eating my face off.

Now, I don’t recommend what I ate to any of you (unless you happen to be dirty bulking, in which case, high-five), but there may or may not have been a Cremé Brulee shake and some Red Velvet pancakes that were absolutely dominated.  I definitely recommend The Wicked Spoon at the Cosmo for brunch.


Go Goblet and Be Remembered Forever- Kasey Esser

Still salivating…


I was flabbergasted by the eggs they had there.  I looked at the colleague I was with and exclaimed, “But..I just don’t understand.  They look like regular eggs!  What is in these things?”


My conclusion?



And final random story, we also ate at a Chili’s on the way there in Barstow.  Whenever I am at a sit-down restauarant, no matter how nice, I will always ask if they have Trumoo.

For the uninitiated, Trumoo is chocolate milk.  And it’s legit.

Because I am a child, I like to drink chocolate milk at any meal I can.  When I was at Evansville, I would down roughly ¾ gallons a day at the dining center.  Good times and something I should have appreciated more looking back.

At 99.9% of places I go, they give me a confused look, and when I explain Trumoo is chocolate milk, the confusion turns to judgment.


“Is this guy serious?  Is this some sort of fraternity prank?”


I can hear these thoughts running through their mind.  I don’t break eye contact during this period.  Most restaurants say they don’t have any, but they typically offer to make some for me.

However, after getting a bewildered look from the Chili’s waitress, she said they thought they actually DID and went to check.  Sure enough, she came back out with a full mug and an extra carton for good measure!  I proceeded to down 4 cartons through the rest of the meal.  She got a great tip.


Go Goblet and Be Remembered Forever- Kasey Esser

Annndd still salivating…


Ooookkk, while I enjoy telling random stories on my blog, I do like to talk about health and fitness too, so let’s do that next.


Do You Goblet??

Goblet squats have been around for quite some time now.  They were invented by strength coach Dan John and are a fantastic way to help teach a proper squat pattern.

Below is a pic of what a goblet-grip looks like, as seen in a goblet squat;


Go Goblet and Be Remembered Forever- Kasey Esser


The above is obviously a kettlebell, but goblets can also be done with a dumbbell (see below).

Go Goblet and Be Remembered Forever- Kasey Esser

And while the goblet-style may primarily be lauded for providing a great counterbalance to get better squat depth with great posture, it does so much more.

I was inspired to write a quick post about this just watching different clients over time.  Most of my thoughts about training come up through random feedback they give me.

So I have compiled a list of 3 reasons you should use the goblet-grip more often in your own programming.  And before we get into the list, I want to mention that I’m NOT just referring to goblet squats here.  You can use a goblet-grip with lunges, carries, split squats, and hinge variations.  It works with many patterns, though I don’t recommend bench-pressing goblet-style.  That just doesn’t make sense.


Go Goblet and Be Remembered Forever- Kasey Esser


I am going to be referring to the general benefits of “going goblet”.


#1:  It’s a quick way to get better-looking arms


One of the consistent pieces of feedback I get regarding the goblet-grip is;

“Wow, I really feel these in my arms, too!”


I’m not a huge fan of using the time I have with a client doing curls, so for those who are not very proficient at chin-ups, what do you do, outside of rowing?

Look no further than the goblet!


A proper goblet-position is essentially the top of a curl, with the weight held just off the chest.  While a normal set of biceps curls (or rows, for that matter), contract and relax your biceps throughout the set, the goblet keeps them under tension the WHOLE TIME.

In a typical 10-12 rep set, that’s a lot of time under tension, and spread over multiple sets, is going to be a great stimulus to getting your guns looking way sharper in a short amount of time.

I remember last year I included goblet side lunges in one of my cycles.  While I had used the goblet position before, I had not used it at that time for a single-leg movement.  After 10 reps on each leg without setting the weight down, my arms were pumped beyond belief, and it’s no surprise that they were probably bigger than they had ever been after that cycle.

Ladies, don’t fear size, your arms will just look better.


#2:  Massive Fat-Loss Potential


If fat-loss is your goal, you should attempt to stimulate as much muscle as possible with your exercise selections.  This will lead to a greater calorie burn, not just in the session, but in that 24-48 hour period afterward.  If you take care of your post-workout nutrition, your metabolism will be on overdrive (this is why I said POTENTIAL in the heading…you can’t out-train a bad diet).

The goblet-grip helps you accomplish this because you are virtually working every muscle in your body.  Going back to those side lunges I did last year, I have never gasped for air quite like I did after those sets.

This brings me to a quick side point;

The goblet-grip is tiring as all get out, but due to its self-limiting nature (aka you know when you are doing it wrong), it keeps you in good form.  A lot of exercises, say a barbell back squat, are extremely taxing, but it’s super-easy to compensate your way through it, whether you realize it or not.

Sure, you can cheat a goblet-positioning, but it’s much harder to, in my opinion.  You will know something is up if you are out of position!


#3:  Posture, Posture, Posture


You may just see yourself working the front-side of your body in the mirror, but the goblet-grip ensures that you develop your posterior chain (glutes, hamstrings, back) like a boss.


For one, the counterbalance it provides forces you to get back into your hips and use your glutes.  The more you can use your glutes in general, the better your body will tend to look and perform.

Plus, in order to prevent letting the bell tip you forward, your upper back has to do mad work.  This, combined with the work your core is doing to resist that potential flexion, results in a solid-looking posture if you do them right, not just during the set, but in life.

Think about a heavy set of deadlifts.  Your spine, scapulae, rhomboids, lats, and every other muscle in your back (and core) are stabilizing like crazy so that you don’t snap in half.

Don’t you think your body will be able to carry its own bodyweight upright if it can withstand heavy pulls?


While you can’t go quite as heavy with goblets, that doesn’t mean you still aren’t getting those postural benefits.

And as I try to ingrain in people’s heads all the time, posture may not sound all that sexy, but it’s amazing how just a little improvement in someone’s posture makes them look SO much better.

You will hurt less, look leaner, and have a more commanding presence.  Sounds pretty appealing to me!


Go Goblet


There are other benefits to this amazing grip, but those are the big rocks, and that’s what I’m all about.

Less fat, better-looking arms, and posture that screams, “Yeah, I don’t just watch House of Cards all day”.

If you aren’t already, it’s time to incorporate the goblet-grip more often in your programming.  I just wanted to shed some more light on its many benefits.


Let me know what your favorite goblet-style exercises are and your experience with them!


Take the Leap,

Kasey, CSCS


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  • Fred L

    I know you introduced me to goblet squats, but after reading this I’m going to start using the goblet-grip with the single-leg elevated squats as well! Thanks!

    • Kasey Esser

      Nice! Let me know what you think about them! For you, just make sure to keep the ribs down, especially when you are driving out of the bottom.