What Is The 20 Rep Squat Program?

Mickey | General | Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

I personally have found the 20 rep squat program to be a terrifying, horrendous ordeal, whether I’m trying to build muscle or not, but it is an exhilarating challenge. I was only able to stick with it for three weeks, but the results were impressive. At my age and with my history I just could not keep it up for the full six recommended weeks. Today I’m going to review the book where I first heard of the program.

Randall J. Stossen from Ironmind Enterprises wrote a slim book called Super Squats: How To Gain 30 lbs of Muscle in Six Weeks. According to the hype on the cover, it contains a program that promises to provide the ultimate challenge, the ultimate test of strength and willpower, and yes, the ultimate program for anyone trying to gain size.

At the time when I read the book, I was looking for all of those things. I got all of that and more, and not all of it good. But let me briefly review Stossen’s work for you.

The foundation of that book is the claim that the squat–whether done with a barbell on the back, on the front of the body, or hung between the legs on a belt– is the superior movement or exercise for building muscle mass. I would agree with this, as would most of the bodybuilding magazines and fitness products I have seen in the last couple of years.

But here is where it gets simple. And interesting. And scary. On the Super Squats program you choose your weight and then squat in for one set of 20 reps. Then you’re done. This is the ultimate in abbreviated training. However, there is one catch.

You must choose a weight that you are just barely to squat for 10 full repetitions. That is the weight that you’re going to be squatting for your set of 20. This might sound impossible, but it’s not…quite. The way that you work around your strength levels and work capacity is through breathing between reps. Every time you stand up from a squat, you take as many breaths as you need to as you rest up for the next rep. No, it doesn’t really feel like rest, but it’s more restful than the bottom of the squat position is.

That is the program. That is literally all there is to it beyond the commandment to eat everything in sight so you can actually build the muscles that you are trying so hard to earn. Repeat this process a couple of times a week and grow.

The reason I could not get through the full six weeks was a combination of constraints on my time, which led to poor sleeping, which led to a loss of appetite, which led to me not taking in close to enough calories to handle this kind of a workload. But for the three weeks I was squatting 20 rep sets, I grew. Is it the best way to build muscle mass? If the histories of the men profiled in the book are to be believed, it seems plausible.

I may revisit the program in the future. The book is a fun, informative read, and the program is going to pay off for anyone who can devote themselves to this level of weight training.

Good luck!

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress | Theme by Roy Tanck | Free SEO by Court's Internet Marketing School | Get Tranquility White WP Theme