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Author Topic: 20 Rep Squats - Book Excerpt  (Read 1772 times)
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« on: February 26, 2008, 05:32:11 PM »

Super Squats
How to Gain 30 Pounds of Muscle in 6 Weeks
By Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D.

Bulging with Basics

Veteran gym rats aside, chances are good you have never heard about one of the most effective ways to build muscular size and strength, no matter how much chrome you have pumped in gyms that look like medical clinics or fern bars. That's because muscledom's marketers hawk personal trainers, designer sweats, da Vincian equipment, convoluted routines, mega supplements and name brand gyms - they sell a ton of sizzle for each ounce of the steak you want. Before the next time you lace up your Reeboks, consider getting big and strong by lifting weights the old fashioned way.

Half a century ago, a decade before Arnold was born, the pioneers of the Iron Game had equipment that was crude by today's standards and none of the food supplements or drugs that have spawned the current crop of bodybuilding and lifting champions. Nonetheless, these hardy souls developed a system virtually guaranteed to pile muscular bulk on even the frailest physique, a system that works as well today as it did then.

Men who have been unable to register significant gains with other routines were suddenly gaining twenty pounds of muscle in a month or two. If you have trouble visualizing these results in bodybuilding terms, look at twenty pounds of lean beef in the butcher shop and picture that much mass added to your chest, shoulders, arms, back and legs. That sort of progress turns befores into afters, transforming proverbial ninety-eight pound weaklings into hunks who no longer have to worry about getting sand kicked in their faces. The system that produces these results is simple, but not easy. It builds real muscle, increases one's strength enormously, and gives the cardiovascular system something more than a tickle in the process. About the only drawback to following this routine is that you will outgrow your clothes.

The nucleus of this venerable program is one set of squats - twenty reps in the set, to be sure, but just one set. Additional exercises are incidental, two or three sets of several other basic exercises at most, and the general caution is to err on the side of doing too few additional exercises rather than too many. With one set of squats plus a couple of sets of bench presses and bent over rows as the prototypical routine, these workouts hardly compare to the half-day affairs common to today's bodybuilding and lifting stars or to what's hyped in the glossy muscle magazines. Make no mistake about it, however, this one set of 20-rep squats is not your ordinary cup of iron tea: Whatever our recipe might lack in complexity of volume will be more than recouped in intensity.

In addition to the 20-rep squats, trainees are advised to eat a lot of wholesome food, drink at least two quarts of milk a day, and to get plenty of rest in between the twice- or thrice-weekly workouts. That's it: one set of 20-rep squats, a couple of other basic exercises, plenty of good food, milk and rest. But, oh, those squats!

The specific approach to the 20-rep squats is nearly as simple as the overall program. First, load the bar to what you normally use for ten reps. Now, do twenty reps - no kidding. Second, every single workout, add at least five pounds to the bar. These two elements are what separate the men from the boys and produce results, by simultaneously embracing the two cardinal principles of weight training: overload and progressive resistance.

The overload principle states that unless you do more than you are used to, you won't build muscular size or strength. All those training cliches like "no pain, no gain" reflect the overload principle. By requiring twenty reps with your normal ten-rep poundages, you are forced into overload mode. The principle of progressive resistance goes back to Milo of Crotona, who carried a calf a given distance each day in ancient Greece - as the calf grew, so did Milo, getting bigger and stronger for his efforts. Adding five or ten pounds to your squat bar every workout simulates the process of carrying a growing calf and most people, urbanites especially, find it more convenient.

Back to the squats….
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Beener
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« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2008, 05:37:48 PM »

old news. but a decent routine to switch it up wiht now and then. i personally hate 20 rep squats, its like doin cardio..not cool, my stomach cant handle it.
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« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2008, 06:12:49 PM »

Good stuff. I experimented with 20 rep squats but I'm ashamed to admit I hadn't stapled them in my routine. I've gotten up to 19 reps. It's torturous good fun. My squats went up significantly at that time. That was right before I busted my finger and I havn't squatted much since. I'm just being a bitch about it though. I'm going to squat next workout. 20 reps? What the hell. Why not. Thanks for the motivation.
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« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2008, 06:16:07 PM »

Super Squats
How to Gain 30 Pounds of Muscle in 6 Weeks
By Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D.




let's see a picture of Dr. Strossen.  He must be huge  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2008, 07:00:51 PM »

I feel scrawny and and thinking about using these again.  Looking online for a squat rack for the garage.
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« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2008, 07:02:18 PM »

I feel scrawny and and thinking about using these again.  Looking online for a squat rack for the garage.

You used to do with 400lbs+, right?
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HAHA, RON.....
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« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2008, 07:08:55 PM »

You used to do with 400lbs+, right?

Yes.  I was 220 pounds at the time.  Wrapped up the knees.  And certainly didn't break parallel, to be honest.  I can't get near that today.
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« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2008, 05:21:27 AM »

I've got reservations about this. You can't go adding 5 ponds to the bar each time, twice a week say. If you started this routine and the weight that you used was "challenging" to get the full 20, adding 5 pounds would be too much an increase. You'd either not get the full 20, or form would suffer in attaining them. If you can get hold of them, purchasing a number of 1 pound little disks (and smaller 1/2 pound disks) would be a MUCH better way to progress. At each session, the body would not notice a great percived increase in weight on the bar and you'd probably still be able to obtain the full 20 reps. Keep adding this little 1 pound, every  week or so eventually adds up to a big long term increase. Nobody can "just" get 20 reps  with a given weight and keep adding five pounds at each session. They are reading comics if they think that you can.
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« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2008, 05:28:12 AM »

those 1 pound plates are awesome.

the growth is definitely finite.  but even adding 2 pounds per week is great.
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« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2008, 05:43:26 AM »

those 1 pound plates are awesome.

the growth is definitely finite.  but even adding 2 pounds per week is great.
Indeed, even adding tiny increments will reach an end. I've been doing stuff like this for a while now (not 20 rep squats, but small increments on excercises) and it seems to work well. For the incline bench, for ex, I used to add the smallest "normal" sized plates you could commonly get [1.25kg or so] and I'd struggle like hell to get the reps in again. With these tiny disks, by incline bench has recently gone up my about 7kg. It's taken longer, but i would have never attained it comfortably by using the plates that you usually use in the gym.
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« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2008, 08:17:55 AM »

Im a DC follower, and do 20 rep set of squats asa a widow maker once every 2 weeks, i never look foreward to thta sesison lol. I add 2 1/2 kg's each time i come to do it.Man its funny spinning theose wee things on ur hands b4 u do it, but keep adding them and it soon gets tough after a few weeks.

davie
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« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2008, 05:27:08 PM »

how many sets do you guys do?
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« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2008, 02:59:34 AM »

Well i have 3 leg days in 2 weeks. Each time u do one set of a low rep xcercise e.g. front squat, wen i reach target of 6 i up weight next time. That sets for strength.
Then i rest a while and do a widow maker 20 rep set, likwise once i hit 20 reps with that weight no matter how hard it was, i up it for the next time.

They are as follows (at the mo....it changes once i stall and dont progress on an xcercise)>

1). Low rep set of Front squats .... Widow maker BB HAcks
2). Low Rep BB Hacks .... Widow maker BB back squat
3). Low reps BB Back squat .... Widow maker leg press.

davie
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« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2008, 03:52:33 AM »

whenever I have tried the 20 rep squats I always gets so light headed it feels like I am going to pass the hell out.  Heart is beating out of my chest.  Can't catch my breath for awhile. 
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« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2008, 02:25:02 PM »

whenever I have tried the 20 rep squats I always gets so light headed it feels like I am going to pass the hell out.  Heart is beating out of my chest.  Can't catch my breath for awhile. 

Hows ur fitness? I ask as these definately put that to the test?!

U really gotta suck in that air btween reps.

Sometimes iv sucked in 1 big breathe between reps 1-4, 2 deep breathes between reps 5-8, 3 breaths between 9 and 12....4 between 13 and 16, then as many as needed between reps until i finish.
Sounds weird,  but its actully kept me repping and not given me too much time to think "oh man im never gonna be able to this rep"....i just focused on the number of deep breathes i was taking then did a rep, the repeated this over and over until i was done.

davie
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« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2008, 10:23:15 PM »

Hows ur fitness? I ask as these definately put that to the test?!

U really gotta suck in that air btween reps.

Sometimes iv sucked in 1 big breathe between reps 1-4, 2 deep breathes between reps 5-8, 3 breaths between 9 and 12....4 between 13 and 16, then as many as needed between reps until i finish.
Sounds weird,  but its actully kept me repping and not given me too much time to think "oh man im never gonna be able to this rep"....i just focused on the number of deep breathes i was taking then did a rep, the repeated this over and over until i was done.

davie

I get through the sets just fine.  It is after I put the bar back on and stand up for a second.  You are right about breathing though I need to be more conscious about that next time.
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« Reply #16 on: March 04, 2008, 02:08:53 PM »

I feel scrawny and and thinking about using these again.  Looking online for a squat rack for the garage.

Seriously, if money is an issue, you can build a damn strong one with 4x4s for under $100.  It's not really difficult.
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« Reply #17 on: March 04, 2008, 02:14:01 PM »

Seriously, if money is an issue, you can build a damn strong one with 4x4s for under $100.  It's not really difficult.

you'd have to have a drill press, buy the hardward..build the pins,etc....100bucks maybe if you already had the tools and a welder.
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« Reply #18 on: March 04, 2008, 05:09:34 PM »

Yes.  I was 220 pounds at the time.  Wrapped up the knees.  And certainly didn't break parallel, to be honest.  I can't get near that today.


 Roll Eyes
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