Of the hundreds of bodybuilding exercises in use today, the potential of squats far surpasses all others. The training method based on squats from twenty squats was invented a long time ago.
According to Randal Strossen, who first thoroughly described it in 1989 in his book Super Squats: How to Gain 30 Pounds of Muscle in 6 Weeks, this technique guarantees a set of muscle mass even with the most fragile physique: trainees who could not make significant progress, suddenly gain more than 5 kg of muscle in a month or two.
Basis of the method:
- One set of squats for twenty reps (only 1 set for 20 reps!)
Extra exercises are not essential, two or three sets of several other basic exercises are the maximum, and in general you need to be wary of doing too many extra exercises, not too little.
The whole secret of the technique is in the peculiarities of squats:
- The 20-rep exercise is performed with a weight that usually crouches 10 times. Squat to parallel.
- At each next workout, you should try to increase the barbell weight to the lowest possible value. If, nevertheless, it was not possible to cope with the added weight at the next lesson, then the exercise should be performed with it the next time.
How to do 20 rep squats
1. Hang the weight you are doing 10 reps with on the bar, remove the bar from the racks, take a step back, take two or three deep breaths, and do the first rep. Nothing fancy, just squatting until your upper thigh is parallel to the floor. By the fifth rep, you will warm up properly, squatting smoothly, and deep breathing will come naturally.
2. After the tenth repetition, your body is exhausted and your mind is like a car, which either drives or gets stuck in its motion for the twentieth repetition. At least three deep breaths, more positives, and the eleventh repetition was history.
3. A little more of the same on the next one or two reps, and then the breathing and attitude get more serious. There may be five to ten lung-tearing breaths between repetitions, your mind is close to hallucinations and your determination is terrible, and you have reached the fifteenth repetition.
4. Now the rules of the game are changing again, because it is no longer breathing and reassuring oneself that play a role, but each squat becomes an event inside a capsule, cut off from time, where you, as a creature, disappear, turning into an observer, not an actor. If your mind flips, you are lost, so either get stronger and grow, or give up and stay small.
5. By the sixteenth repetition, the barbell cuts deep into your back and pushes your entire body into the floor, giving you a new understanding of the laws of gravity. Your breathing sounds like a steam engine and your legs are likely to start shaking. Pure will is the only way to do this repetition. Keep in mind that this was all just a warm-up for the remaining few reps – they will make you grow – and you are blind to everything but the pattern: breathing, squatting, lifting.
6. By the time you finish the eighteenth repetition, you are guaranteed to complete the set if you tune in to it correctly, because what was most important to you in life – doing 20 repetitions – is already in your field of vision. It doesn’t matter that each of the last two reps will take ten breaths, drive you into a frenzy, paint your face with purple paint, and make you shiver on the way up through the dead center of each squat. You are not going to miss out on victory.
Below are a couple of workout options that will guide you on the path to a stronger, bigger body and provide you with health-promoting exercises. Start each of these programs with moderate weights and work up gradually.
The first program did wonders for bodies that refused to grow in countless other programs.
- Bench Press – 2 sets of 12 reps
- Barbell Squat – 1 set of 20 reps
- Pullover – 1 set of 20 reps
- Bent-over Barbell Rows – 2 sets of 15 reps
Infinite growth on this or any other is impossible. One of the best ways to make continuous progress is by alternating programs, which is often as refreshing as a period of complete rest.
Thus, the key to successful workout planning is to alternate between programs that complement each other but are different enough to give body and mind an invigorating sense of newness.
- Collecting a barbell – 5 sets of 5 reps
- Alternate Standing Dumbbell Press – 5 sets of 5 reps
- Incline Bench Press – 5 sets of 5 reps
- Barbell Rows to the Chin – 5 sets of 5 reps
- Barbell Squat – 5 sets of 5 reps
- Hanging Leg Raises – 2 sets of 15 reps
- Alternate biceps dumbbell curls – 5 sets of 5 reps
How often to exercise
Some people manage to work with this method three times a week, every other day. Some people prefer to train twice a week, for example, on Mondays and Thursdays.
And some have found that they do not have time to fully recover from such training and, therefore, train once every 5-7 days. Adjust the program according to your individual qualities.
How to eat properly
In addition to the 20-rep squat, exercisers are encouraged to eat plenty of healthy foods, drink at least two liters of milk a day, and get enough rest between workouts. That’s it: one set of 20 reps squats, a couple of other basic exercises, lots of food, milk, and rest!