Ask Joe The Pro Vol. 15 - Under The Bar With High Rep Squats!

Joseph Ohrablo
Written By: Joseph Ohrablo
August 17th, 2011
Updated: June 13th, 2020
Categories: Articles Training
29.4K Reads
Mr. NC Joe the Pro is back and telling you to squat! High reps, baby! In this volume Joe also talks about natural gains expectations and his current workout.

Ask Joe The Pro

Joe OhrabloJoe what's your take on high rep squats for mass?

I think it's a good idea! The quads seem to respond well to reps 10 or greater. I think it's an awesome idea to incorporate 20 rep sets into your current squat routine once a week. Try to add 5 pounds per week, per 20 rep set.

So let's say you do a 5 set scheme like 12, 10, 10, 8, 8. You would add a 6th set x 20. For the first workout you manage to do 225 x 20. The next week go for 230 x 20, etc. You could also try something crazy like once a month squat 200 pounds for as many reps as possible! Dr Joe Klemczewski calls this "The Dr. Squat challenge."

Men have to squat 200 and women 100 pounds. You have to go lower then parallel on every rep or it doesn't count! You can rest as long as you like at the top, but trust me it's HELL.

I tried it once and got 200 x 50! My lower back, lungs and traps were screaming more then my quads! It takes balls of steel to squat high reps! It's fun to do heavy power workouts of 1-5 reps, but nothing will test your guts more then doing 20 reps or more on squats! HAPPY SQUATTING!

I been training for 5 years. I just did my first contest where I weighed 170 pounds. My goal is to come back next year 185 pounds shredded, and I'm 100% natural is that possible?

Man I used to think JUST like you. I'm sorry but NO you can't put on 15 pounds of muscle in one year as a natural athlete. What you CAN do is add a few pounds of muscle but LOOK 15 pounds heavier. 1-2 pounds of new muscle in the right areas can make you look dramatically different.

Look at guys like Dave Goodin who have competed at the same weight for the last 20 years. But with new muscle maturity, muscle quality and density, you can create a totally different look and really weighing the same. Just keep training hard, eat right and focus as IF your about to gain 15 pounds of muscle! Who knows... maybe you'll gain more then I'm predicting, but what you weigh on stage means nothing versus how you LOOK! Good luck man!

What's new for you Joe?

I decided to sit out 2011 because of personal reasons, but I am eager to get back on stage in the spring of 2012! I am on a new split that is focusing on my lower body! It looks like this:

  • Monday - Quads with a little hamstrings and calves.
  • Tuesday - Chest and shoulders - I'm done doing shoulder presses because of elbow and shoulder pain, plus I don't wish to have any more front delt mass, so I'm focusing on medial and posterior delts now.
  • Wednesday - Back, calves and abs.
  • Thursday - Hamstrings, some quads.
  • Friday - Arms and calves.
  • Saturday and Sunday - Off.

I'm training instinctively, just having fun. I managed to deadlift 585 pounds in the off season so I'm happy about that. I'm mixing lower rep with higher rep training in one workout and I'm mixing the volume up, some days doing high volume, others lower.

I enjoy training how I want to each workout. The only thing I'm sticking to is squatting every week... sometimes twice a week. I'm going to do back squats on Mondays and front squats on Thursdays. I'm really focusing on getting my lower quads in more and I'm desperate for some calf size.

It's tough with calves being almost all genetic, but hitting them 3 x a week with different rep ranges is doing SOMETHING. My calves are shredded year round so even if I gain an ounce on each, I'll be happy lol.