How to Increase Your Squat

August 9th, 2010 Posted in Weight Training, Workout Routines 79 Comments »

How to Increase Your Squat By 100 Pounds in 10 Weeks

Update: Here is an old post I found about increasing your squat strength. I’m not sure that anyone ever really gave me much positive feedback on it, so I’m posting it again in case anyone wants to take a stab at putting 100 pounds on their squat in 10 weeks.

Arnold Squats
Arnold Squats

The squat is arguably the best exercise that any athlete can perform. Overhead press, bench press, and deadlifts rank right up there too, but I digress… No one wants to have a weak squat. To be considered ‘really strong’ you should be able to squat 2x your bodyweight.

Back in college I was regularly squatting 450 or so at a fluctuating bodyweight of 190-210 lbs. I have no genetic gifts when it comes to muscle size and strength. If I can lift 450 anyone can, so man up and put in some effort.

The goals of this workout plan are:

  • Increase overall leg, lower back, and core strength
  • Condition your cardiovascular system with high rep squats
  • Add some girth to those thighs through higher rep hypertrophy of the quads and hams
  • Spend some time really practicing and perfecting your squat form
  • Develop power and speed with dynamic effort box squats

We will use the principles of progressive linear overload, high intensity training, breathing squat principles, and dynamic effort training to facilitate progress.

The Basics

Complete just one squat workout per week.

Your form must be impeccable on all reps. It will not benefit anyone for you to train your squat with improper form.

Elements of proper barbell back squat form:

  • Keep your head up at all times; it helps to focus on a point above your head when you are driving out of the hole.
  • Keep your back straight at all times; if your back is rounding you should address this as a weak point in your training.
  • Drive with your hips rather than just relying on your lower back or your quads. Your hips should essentially ‘thrust’ your body up into a standing position.
  • Your legs should maintain a straight line, with toes pointed ever so slightly to the outside. If your knees buckle in or drift out, you should address this as a weak point in your training.
  • If you are attempting to use the program by squatting in a smith machine, or anything other than barbell front squats or barbell back squats, don’t leave a comment and don’t try to contact me. I don’t even think you should be using this program until you are ready to start barbell squatting.

For more information on barbell back squats, read my article How to Squat.

When increasing your loads by a certain percentage, it’s alright to round up or down to the nearest number that’s easy to load with the weight plates you have. If you calculate that you need 232 pounds for a set, it is OK to use 230, and so on.

Nutrition

Don’t forget to eat properly. You should be consuming a healthy diet of lean protein, fruits, vegetables, and low glycemic carbs to keep your body healthy, energized, and recovered. Use proper post-workout nutrition and sip Gatorade, Biotest Surge, or some other drink with high GI carbs during your workout.

Breathing Squats

Breathing squats – a set of squats where you perform as many reps as you can comfortably, and then pause at the top of each subsequent rep by taking a couple deep breaths in order to re-energize your system. In this manner you should be able to double the number of reps you are capable of in each set, but the sets will also take 2-3 times as long too, so be prepared.

For all sets on all weeks, perform breathing squats as outlined above. With breathing squats, you do not rack the bar until the set is complete!

How to Increase Your Squat – The Training Plan

For all sets on all weeks, rest up to 90 seconds between sets.

Before you start this program you should record your current PR stats. You might want to record a 1, 3, 5, 10, or 20 rep max. You might also want to measure the circumference of your legs to see if they grow an inch or so. Whatever interests you.

Follow the following 10 week program exactly and you could increase your by squat 100 pounds:

  1. Perform 3 warm-up sets of no more than 3 reps, steadily increasing the weight with each set. Then choose a weight that you would normally be able to squat for no more than 10 reps and perform three sets of 12 breathing squats.
  2. Perform 3 warm-up sets of no more than 3 reps, and then add 5% to 10% to the load you used in Week 1. Perform 3 sets of 15 reps.

    Example… if you used 200 pounds in Week 1 for 12 reps, you could use up to 220 pounds in Week 2, stopping briefly to take deep breaths after the 12th, 13th, and 14th rep in order to complete the set.

  3. Perform 3 warm-up sets of no more than 3 reps, and then add 5% to 10% to the load you used in Week 2. Perform 2 sets of 20 reps.
  4. Perform 3 warm-up sets of no more than 3 reps, and then add 10% to the load you used in Week 3. Perform 3 sets of 12 reps.
  5. Warm up with 4 sets of three reps per set, and then add 5% to the load you used in Week 4. Perform 3 sets of 15 reps.
  6. Warm up with 4 sets of two reps per set, and then add 5% to the load you used in Week 5. Perform 2 sets of 20 reps.
  7. Warm up with 4 sets of two reps per set, and then add 5% to the load you used in Week 6. Perform 3 sets of 12 reps.
  8. Warm up with 4 warm-up sets of three reps, and then add 5% to the load you used in Week 7. Complete 3 sets of 15 reps.
  9. Warm up with 4 warm-up sets of two reps, and then add 5% to the load you used in Week 8. Complete 2 sets of 20 reps.
  10. This should be an active recovery week. You can’t hope to continue to make linear progress forever, so take is easy this week and consider changing your workout plan to focus on a different goal after this week.

After the active recovery week, you should go ahead and test all those PR numbers that you recorded before you started the program.

If you follow these guidelines carefully, you could add 90-100 pounds to your 20-rep max squat in just over two months. Trust me when I say you will be improving all aspects of your conditioning by trying this working for just 2 months. Be prepared for a bit of initial Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) as this will shred your muscle fibers.

Dynamic Effort Box Squats

Do you use dynamic effort box squats? If you don’t, you should. Dynamic effort squatting utilizes a lighter load so that you can generate maximal speed and power when driving out of the hole.

Use dynamic effort box squats once a week, 2-3 days before your the max effort squat program described above.

Do 9 sets of 3 reps as fast as possible with 50-55% of your max squat. There should be no pause at the bottom or top. Every rep moves as fast as possible under control.

You want to squat down onto a box that allows your hips to drop as low as, if not lower than, your knees. You are not sitting on the box for any length of time. Squat down, touch, and go! The concentric motion should be an explosive hip drive off the box back to the standing position.

For those using a full body workout routine, you should do the max effort program on Monday, deadlifts and some lunges on Wednesday, and the dynamic effort routine on Friday.

It is always a great idea to incorporate bands and chains into your dynamic effort training.

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79 Responses to “How to Increase Your Squat”

  1. Chemotherapy says:

    Squat is the best exercise program for the sports person. This post provides best guidelines about this program.

  2. Staph Infection says:

    i do about 50 squats a day and i have to admit I’m already feeling much more energetic

  3. Thinking about squats takes me back to high school when I was doing hundreds worth on a weekly basis. Yes, there are effective, however, I don’t see myself getting up to restart my workout regimen from back then.

  4. Cole Younger says:

    Im 15 and am i power lifter and i do some wicked stuff on my squats but i have never hurt so bad i did week 1 with 190 and it was murder my legs wer weak my heart felt like it was gonna come out of my chest my legs wer sore for days and i was doing 265 max and now im squatting 275 after 1 week! thanx man!

  5. Steve says:

    Hey Cole I’m really glad it’s working for you. Let us know how you feel after week 10.

  6. Tristan says:

    I plan on starting this program in the beginning of May. My squat is around 400 pounds legit parallel without wraps or a squat suit. My question is what aux. do you recommend with this? also should squatting only be done once a week or should some sort of touch or front squat be incorporated in? Now will this increase the 1RM substantially as well?

    Tristan

  7. Jerry says:

    I hvae been doing this program for 6 weeks now and it is not sucessful. I started on 195 3×12 and it was pretty easy. It got increasingly tough over the weeks, as expected. But, these past few weeks, I have not been able to complete the sets as listed. Each week, I have only gone up by 5%, which is 5-10 pounds. Is there a problem?

    • Steve says:

      This program might not increase your squat by 100 lbs in 10 weeks. It all depends on if you are eating right, sleeping right, and lifting right. If you are a genetic freak this program might put 120+ lbs on your squat, or if you are a hardgainer it might just put 50 lbs on your squat. But isn’t that still good? Obviously you want to add 10-20 lbs a week to your squat, but if you add 5 lbs a week consistently, isn’t that still good?

      You might have to try a 2 week deload and then pick up where you left off. Or maybe you are having a bad couple weeks and soon your body will adapt and get really strong really fast. See the program through and then make your analysis, or quit now but then don’t complain that the program didn’t work if you don’t see it through.

  8. Cameron Clay says:

    Hey,
    Im a football player and im 15 i just started this program. I maxed out for squats at 255lbs and my goal is to squat 315lbs to 330lbs. Im hoping that this program is successful. And Ill be happy squatting 300 or more by the end of the summer. Do you have any extra tips for me to be able to reach my goals.

  9. Hemorrhoids says:

    I have never tried squatting.Maybe i will start right away.Does it cause pain anywhere?

  10. Travis says:

    I am a few weeks into your generic full body workout (which I love). Would you recommend throwing this in right now? Squats are a part of my regular routine so I am thinking I could work on this. I am currently not working on any other body part just the generic full body.

  11. Matt says:

    Hey Steve, I love what you have going on here… I am 15 and athletic. I lift weights about 4 times a week and im primarily an arms, legs, and abs type of lifter. I have lower back pains that come and go and i cannot squat high weights to save my life. I really want to start squatting at least double my body weight, so i would love some tips/feedback/etc
    THANK YOU

    • Steve says:

      Matt: for crying out loud, please don’t injure yourself. I don’t know what you’re doing now, but you need to start squatting and deadlifting if you want to make progress, no ifs, ands, or buts. Start with light weight and perfect your form. If you come to me and say things like “im primarily an arms, legs, and abs type of lifter” and then say “I really want to start squatting at least double my body weight” I will smack you with a giant size rice krispy treat. When you can come to me and say, “I train my full body every week with an emphasis on the big lifts like bench, military press, deadlifts, and squats. I feel very comfortable with my form on squats and deadlifts as I’ve been doing those exercises for several months now according to your technique recommendations. Now I want to focus on developing my leg strength. Ultimately I would like to squat twice my body weight, but what can I do now to strengthen my legs and core so that I can progress?”, then I will give you more advise. Until then, keep reading the articles on Project Swole.

  12. Spencer says:

    I will start this plan next week but i am curious to know how many times per week i should do this? I am 5’10 175 and I can bench alot, repping 225 8x and my max was 260 last i tried but then i was repping 205 8x so now it suould be about 280. My legs i think are weak though. I didnt start squatting untill about a week ago and i could do 225 20x twice but the soreness i felt the day after was crazy! it went away after a day though. I did 275 15x twice yesterday, but i dont know what weight to start at since i am new to these squats. Id appreciate any feedback.

  13. Matt says:

    Ok Steve, that sounds good; I’ll figure myself out and keep reading Project Swole. In the meantime, would you give me some advise on supplements. I’ve been taking protein shakes after workouts and 5 grams of creatine before. What is the best supplement plan for someone looking for tone, as well as mass?

    • Steve says:

      Matt: Not sure how you are going to “tone” and prioritize mass at the same time. When you can’t choose a specific goal, I call that a “maintenance phase”. For a maintenance phase, I suggest protein shakes, creatine pre-workout would be fine, Biotest Surge post workout, and Xtend pre and post-workout for added amino acids.

  14. Spencer says:

    any idea on what weight I should start at? Maybe 315, because i can do 275 15x? Honestly I have no clue, I’m just trying to get my legs strong like my upper body is. I will start this sometime this week.

  15. Matt says:

    Thanks man, I’ll keep you informed on my progress.

  16. Joey says:

    I am a 31 year old guy who is 6ft2 and 175 pounds. I am a basketball player. I have been doing pistol squats (took me months to get great form and high reps) core work etc etc. I recently started doing squats. I keep hearing the numbers 1.5 and 2 times body weight for excellant fitness. Currently my one rep max is 290.

    If I was 5ft10 and 175 pounds, I’m sure I would be at the 350 right now, however, being that I am 6ft2 and 175, that threshold seems unlikely.

    What effect does height have on these bodyweight thresholds?

    Any opinions would be appreciated,

    Joey

    • Steve says:

      Joey: Your height will make it harder for you to squat heavy weights, but not impossible. You can definitely reach 350, 400, or even more with enough dedication and intensity. Congrats on the pistol squats. Those are tough. Keep squatting and changing up your routine to shock those legs into growth. You can squat 2 x bodyweight in due time.

  17. Joey says:

    Thanks steve. I just wanted to know if its possible at the weight I am now. When I put the 290 on… it feels very heavy for my frame. At the moment I couldn’t imagine getting parallel or lower with 350. I would prefer to not have to put on weight to reach those numbers. I can do quarter squats with 2 times my body weight but theres no way I can do parallel. I guess I’ll just keep at it and give it a few months, see where things end up.
    I routinely weigh just under 170 3 times a week after basketball (even with tons of water). It takes me about 24-36 hours to make myself feel right again. Those squats are killing me though. I’ve done them 3 times and I’m sore for atleast 5 days (I can still do the pistols though). I wait 3 days to play ball again, but my legs are still heavy. I heard it was beneficial for recover to play on them during that time to help get rid of the latent lactic acid buildup. It doesn’t feel right while im doing it though.

    Thanks again steve. Knowing that its possible is enough motivation to give it a go.

  18. Kyle says:

    Im starting this program tomorrow and I wanted to know about what I should start with for week 1? I maxed 405 parallel about 2 weeks ago at school. Thank you

  19. Kyle says:

    Alright sounds good thanks Steve

  20. Andrew says:

    Hello-
    I weight 144, and I’m 16 and my max squat is approximately 400 pounds bench 225 and dl 350, I was wondering if you think it is possible to increase my max squat up to 500+ pounds in a year or so. I tried your program but it doesn’t seem to work for me, I gain more strength doing my old routine (twice a week squats, 3 reps each day) Switching between endurance reps and strength reps every month.
    Any advice is appreciated -
    Andrew

    • Andrew says:

      Sorry, 3 sets of 5 reps each*

    • Steve says:

      Sorry that this program didn’t work for you. I don’t think I’ve received a whole lot of positive feedback on this routine, so maybe it’s not that great. Here is some advice I can give for increasing your squat: use max effort and dynamic effort protocols once each week, on different days, usually do the dynamic workout 2 days before the max workout.

      Max – Squat heavy, working up to a 1-3 rep max once a week, attempt to add weight each week. Don’t always just use regular barbell back squats. Figure out where you weak point is and concentrate on that. If you are weak at the bottom, maybe you need to try some max effort box squats for a month. If your weak point is at the top, maybe you need to try using mini-bands or chains to work on acceleration and lock-out. If your weak point is at parallel, maybe you need to try squatting from a dead pause off of pins set at exactly parallel. Maybe you need hip or glute work instead, or maybe your weakness is either in your hamstrings or quads, which you can sometime tell if your knees buckle in or bow out (respectively) when squatting.

      Dynamic – Use from 50-60% of your one rep max. Do 7-9 sets of 3 reps as fast as humanly possible to work on speed and power. You can also use bands and chains here too. You can also use other dynamic work like jump squats and speed squats to help develop power.

      Again, don’t think you have to use barbell back squats all the time. Some elite powerlifters do not use regular barbell back squats for months at a time, instead they focus on building power and acceleration, and working on their sticking points, but incorporating bands and chains, and by using non-traditional exercises. You should check out Louis Simmon’s Westside Barbell and Dave Tate’s Elite Fitness for starters.

      5×5 is also a good program and I have a 3×5 routine on this site somewhere that should be moderately effective for strength gains.

  21. matt sohmer says:

    im 16 years old football player i deadlift 585 bench 285 and i squat 465 parelle, 315xs26 or 555 about 75%. i wanna get my squat of 555 parelle for reps. how would i complete this before july 10th

    — matt sohmer

    • Steve says:

      You probably won’t add 100 lbs to your squat in 7 weeks. That being said, give it a try. Use this squat routine but also throw in a max effort session 3 days later. So say on Monday you do the squat workout from this routine, then on Thursday or Friday you’ll do a max effort session. I suggest using a 5, 3, 2, 1, 1, 1 protocol. Expect to prioritize legs this way until July 10th, and do not try to focus on any other muscle groups. Of course you will use your regular training session to train the rest of your muscles, but you’re only looking to make significant progress on your squat strength.

      • matt sohmer says:

        I have 2 more Questions… does squating 315 for 26 reps better than squating something really heavy like 585 about 75% the way down for like 1-3 reps and which one would build more power and strengh?

        • Steve says:

          You should not be squatting with 3/4 reps. If you are using 585, you should still be doing full reps. Heavy weight is for building strength. 26 rep sets border on endurance and hypertrophy. I can’t tell you the number of bodybuilders who use 20 rep sets to build massive wheels. However, no amount of 20 rep sets is going to build serious strength. At some point you need to use heavier weight and lower reps.

          This program is a little different in that it makes you use heavier weights to complete high rep sets, which increases your total work capacity. You couldn’t use this program forever to make strength gains, eventually you will have to do some 5 or even 3 rep sets. I don’t usually advocate too many singles with squats, but 1 rep sets are useful now and then to test your 1 RM.

          • matt sohmer says:

            so i should only do 1 rep of heavy weight? and what would be best for football to be very strong?- im 5’9″ 240 and i play Defenive takle and punter

          • Steve says:

            In my opinion, you can use the Werewolf Training programs to make excellent gains. You can also use the generic full body workout and substitute this squatting program into that routine. To make really great strength gains, I honestly think you need to change it up constantly like I prescribe in Werewolf Training. A solid 5×5 or my 3×5 routine will work well for a while too. The only think I don’t recommend is using the fat loss for men routine on Project Swole, as that is not geared towards strength gains.

          • matt sohmer says:

            thanks

            matt

  22. patrick says:

    If this is only done once a week, can you still continue other leg routines with it, and during the week when your not squating?

    • Steve says:

      This should be your leg workout for the week. I did advise one guy to include an extra leg workout for the week, with the purpose of prioritizing his leg training to the exclusion of expecting progress on all other muscle groups. I’m thinking about including this routine in a Werewolf Leg Training program.

  23. Jonathan says:

    Im 16 5ft10 148lbs and i powerlift. Im looking for a squat program that will increase my 1 rep max. Would this workout help that alot too? I currently can squat 315 once raw and wondering what i should do for the first week

  24. Glenn H says:

    Hey Steve:

    Thank you for providing the information. I am 48 years old and have been lifting for most of my life. I am in great shape. 5’10″ 180 lbs. at around 12% B.F. I struggle with squats. For most of my exercises I do 4 sets at 8-10 reps. One or two body parts per day. I do change things around every once in a while, change reps, exercises and weight. I max out at around 340lbs for deadlift, 110lb dumbbell bench presses, but struggle with 200lb squats. I can usually only do a few reps. At my age can I expect to get great gains? In spite of the fact that I don’t squat all that heavy, my wife thinks my legs are bulky enough… in fact she thinks they are too big. I do feel a need to squat heavier. At least match my deadlift. What do you think?

    Thank you, Glenn

  25. Joshua W says:

    Hey Steve,
    I am trying to get my squat back up after a knee sprain in a strongman comp I did in dec 2009. Was going to start back on my old routine now that the knee is feeling mostly better (still a little loose but nothin plenty of warm ups won’t help). I think I will give this a try first to see if it helps get my squat back in the 600s (down in the high 400s right now and it bothers me I bench almost as much as I squat at the moment) and tighten the knee up before i start the real heavy program. I will let ya know what it does for me.

  26. JR says:

    I am very interested in starting this program. There is one question I have regarding the warm up sets of 3 reps and then 4 reps. What weight should this start at, is it a percentage of a certain weight. Do you start each week at the same weight for the warm and then move into the other sets. Thanks, this program sounds very interesting.

    • Steve says:

      You can start at the same weight. I always did a warm up with 135 x 10, 225 x 5, sometimes 275 x 5, 315 x 5, then I moved into my work sets. The only reason I would do the extra 275 x 5 would be if my body was feeling off that day or if I were extra sore from a previous workout. 315 x 5 was usually a warm up, but on a bad days I remember struggling with it, so it would give me an indication as to how the rest of the workout was going to feel. That’s why I call the heavier warm up sets “feeler sets”.

  27. Cindi Hohs says:

    Steve I LOVE your website and all the info. Thank you SO much! :) Cindi

  28. Timothy R. says:

    I am 14. I weigh 220 lbs. But i can only squat about 55 lbs. with 10 reps in sets of 3-5. What is my problem?

    • Steve says:

      You need to train with 3-5 rep sets to maximize strength gains. Also, I don’t know any of the other variables about your training, diet, or lifestyle, so there’s no way for me to tell what you are really doing wrong. That’s why people pay GOOD personal trainers big money to get their asses into shape.

  29. Ranjeet says:

    Hi Steve,
    I’m 22yrs old and am a student. I would squat 242 lbs for 2×2 before stopping my workouts due to my exams. It has been about a month since I have not touched weights and moreover, my sleep was disturbed (Exams). I could manage to get only a 4 hour sleep in the past one month. And my legs have shrunken now :( I want to get back to squatting 242 for 2 reps soon and want my legs to look like mine again. I need some help and directions here.. It’s coz I have taken a big break during which I know that I’ve lost strenght due to a lot of stress. Pls do advice on what weights I should do now and what’s the best way to GET BACK my strenght. Should i start low and go slow or can we speed things up? Waiting for your valuable advice.
    my previous stats: squat- 242 lbs for 2×2
    bench- 225 lbs for 5reps
    deadlift- 365 lbs for 1 rep

    • Ranjeet says:

      And I’m sure you’ll tell me the best way to get back to squatting 242lbs for easy 2 reps and then after that I want to go past 275lbs (long term goal). Maybe i’ll give your squat routine (featured above) a shot once I get back my previous stats. Waiting for what you have got to say Steve.

      • Steve says:

        You should start slow, with say 5 sets of 5 reps, then work your way up to the 2×2. Start with whatever weight you can get for 5 reps, then just keep increasing the weight every week.

        For example maybe you can do:
        Week 1: 200 lbs x 5 reps x 5 sets
        Week 2: 210 lbs x 5 reps x 5 sets
        Week 3: 220 lbs x 4 reps x 5 sets
        Week 4: 230 lbs x 4 reps x 4 sets
        Week 5: 240 lbs x 3 reps x 3 sets
        Week 6: 250 lbs x 2 reps x 2 sets

        Then start back at 5×5 again, but with a heavier weight. So then you might do:
        Week 7: 225 x 5×5
        Week 8: 235 x 4×5
        Week 9: 245 x 3×4
        Week 10: 255 x 3×3
        Week 11: 265 x 2×2
        Week 12: 275 x 1×2

        In this way you could get up to a 275 max in just 12 short weeks. Muscle memory should kick in and allow you do make these kind of gains, but listen to what your body tells you. Also, all sets and reps posted above are AFTER you complete whatever warm up sets you might need. You will need more warm up sets for the 2×2 and 1×2 workouts than you will for the 5×5 workouts.

        • Ranjeet says:

          Wow Great! I was sort of lost not knowing how to start things. You have also posted as to how I can get to 275lbs for a double :) Thanks a lot Steve:) I’ll get back to you soon with the results. Thanks again! :)

  30. tylermccln says:

    hey man i need to know how to put about 50 lbs on my squat, 40 on my deadlift and bout 25 on my bench in 3 weeks. Whats the best thing i could do?

    • Steve says:

      Steroids. All I can say is on week 1 use 3×8 rep sets, on week 2 use 4×5 rep sets, and on week 3 use 5×3 rep sets. Then on week 4 see what your max is. Realistically, you won’t be able to put that much weight on your lifts in only 3 weeks unless you are an experienced lifter who has taken a year or so off. Then muscle memory will kick in and you’ll get stronger faster. Also consider supplementing with creatine, Xtend, post workout drinks, and maybe a nitric oxide product.

  31. Ron says:

    I have been lifting off and on for about 8 years. I have taken the last 2 weeks off and want to start something back up that I can do from home for now because I dont have a gym membership currently. I have a squat rack at home and a pull up bar. Do you think doing this squat routine in addition to your 5 day a week pull up routine would be benificial for a few weeks until I get a new gym? Iv been looking to build my legs and develop strength for upper body. Im 6’5 and 225lbs.

  32. mzxlsn says:

    Squat is the best exercise program for the sports person. This post provides best guidelines about this program.

  33. Tucker says:

    Hey Steve,

    I’m 18 years old and I can squat about 410 and I am 6’1 200 pounds. When I am calculating what I should lift and what I can do on the first week, which is about 300 ten times relativley easily, by the time I get to the third week I’m doing 330 pounds 20 times. There’s no way I can do that much weight that many reps in only two weeks. I need to get my squat up but looking at this I am pretty hesitant right now. What do you think?

    • Steve says:

      You can do 330 lbs for 20 reps, it just might take 5 minutes. This workout is pretty old and the numbers are pretty aggressive. You can always scale back the weight or reps, if you absolutely think you can’t get 330 x 20. Are you familiar with breathing squats? You can stand there for 30 seconds between reps if you have to, the point is to keep the weight on your shoulders until you hit rep # 20. Even if you have to stop at 15 reps, it’s better than 10 or 12.

      • Tucker says:

        You sir, are a magic man. I havent been doing 20, but I make sure to do between 10 and 15 on all my sets. My squat has SHOT up. But I owe it to you. I wouldn’t have thought to do higher reps if I hadn’t seen this. Like I said I was around 410 for my squat 3 weeks ago, and now I’m pumping out 485!! Just got that today and it was awesome. (btw I’m not one of those wooses that goes halfway, I make sure I get 90 degrees every time) But anyway back to the point, just wanted to say thanks for the tips!

  34. Nelly says:

    Steve, I’ve complete the first 28 day cycle of the strength training and moving on to 2nd one. I have been squating using 60-65 lbs max (45lb bar)and working/developing toward more weight. I am a 40 something, 5’1″ 112lbs and want to increase legs and I believe more weight will do that, but is the 2x bodyweight realistic for women my size?

    • Steve says:

      Women can easily squat 2x their bodyweight because they have very strong legs. Women can train legs like men and have the capacity to lift heavy weight like men. Upper body is a different story. Women tend to have weaker upper bodies.

      • Nelly says:

        Great info, Steve. Now I’ll feel more confident in using more weight for my squats. I do agree with you on the upper deficiency, especially when doing pull ups :)

        Your expertise and guidance is well appreciated, thanks!

  35. Vanilla Bear says:

    Thanks for posting this and the “How to increase your Bench” workouts. done both and both work for me. I was just wondering if you could give some of the same tips for a deadlift routine because im in powerlifting. Im Sixteen and currently deadlift about 500 (with a suit). What are your thoughts?

    • Steve says:

      I think I could probably do that if I had more time. If you are deadlifting 500 at age 16 then you are well on your way to powerlifting fame. Stick with it. Train your weak points like a mofo and you will continue to progress.

  36. Vanilla Bear says:

    Sounds cool. Anyway thanks for this routine, it really helped me out of a plateau. I went from repping 315 for 10 to doing that for 20! I never thought of doing higher reps like this.

  37. Cameron says:

    I have probable spent the last 4 months jumping at least 1000x a day ive gone to the park 3 hours a day but my vert is capped at like 31 inchs (running) which really has pissed me off ive never tried squats ive leg pressed 450 but i always thought squats hurt but im going to try it and if this helps my vert I will leave a wonderful comment on how this works

  38. idan says:

    Hey Steve,
    How would i incorporate this into the Werewolf training for muscle or strength??

    • Steve says:

      I’m not sure if incorporating Werewolf and this routine into one, is the greatest idea. However, you can probably just substitute your prescribed Werewolf squat sets for whatever the prioritization workout recommends each week.

  39. Sarah says:

    Hi Steve! Great information…I’m a girl and enjoy lifting but tend to wonder if I’m doing it right…I’m 31, 120lbs and 5’6. I squat 3 reps of 8-10 sets with 60lbs because I can lift bar w/weights over my shoulders and at the gym with squat rack I can squat 100lbs. Well, just wondering if you have any advice and if I should squat once a week or more? I also do lunges with 60lbs and deadlift 140lbs. Any advice would be appreciated..thanks!

    • Steve says:

      Great job Sarah! Glad to hear you’re lifting. My advice is to keep squatting, deadlifting, and overhead pressing. Once a week is enough, unless you want to specifically target something. For example my current routine calls for two squat sessions a week.

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