This is an intermediate squat program for lifters who are squatting anout 275 pounds or more for reps. It incorporates the following components:
- Rep Work - For general conditioning, form work, and to help maintain or build additional leg size.
- Undulating Periodization - Training will become progressively more intense as the weeks pass, but you will alternate between light weeks and heavier weeks.
- Peaking - At the end of 8 weeks you should feel strong and ready to make a run at a new PR attempt.
For some of you, straight linear periodization will make squat weaknesses grow slightly weaker. This was the case for me. If I wasn't training above 80% on the squat frequently I noticed that my hamstrings would start to pick up strains when I moved back to heaver weights. This was a sign that something was broken.
I've spent the last 30 months training with heavy squats multiple times per week. While this has been beneficial in many ways, I noticed two major downsides:
- Loss of conditioning. Having no rep work in my program made me a slave to a limited number of sets. If I wanted to do more, it was extremely difficult. In addition, my overall health and fitness levels deteriorated. This was not good for long term strength gains.
- Decrease in muscle size. I was losing leg size. This issue is not one of vanity, but rather optimization. The loss of leg size can only contribute to the slowing of strength gains. While this slowing might appear to be a trivial percentage to some, when you're chasing big numbers every pound counts. There is no downside to having more muscle mass when you're chasing strength.
This program is designed to give you the best of both worlds: rep work for size and conditioning, and consistent heavy work to improve confidence under the bar and assist with maintaining and building strength.
Week 9 can either be used as a rest/deload week if you prefer.
Please also note that the sample training split listed below can be modifeid to fit within your current program.
8 Week Squat Periodization
- Monday - Squat Day
- Tuesday - Bench Day (Heavy bench, triceps, back work, etc.)
- Thursday - Deadlift Day (Deadlifts, hamstrings, quads, etc.)
- Friday - Overhead Press Day (Moderate bench or close grip bench, triceps, back, etc.)
Use the following set and rep scheme for the next 8 weeks. Base the percentages off of your current one rep max plus an additional 20 pounds. This isn't to say you can't add more than 20 pounds to your squat during an 8 week period, but a 20 pound addition over the course of 2 months is very good progress for an intermediate lifter.
Even a 10 pound bump every 8 to 9 weeks is solid progress. So aim for 20, hope for 30, be satisfied for a minimum of 10 pounds.
|8 Week Periodization|
|Week 8||95%, 100%||1, 1||1, 1|
Week 8 Notes. During week 8 perform a 95% single. This should be in the ballpark of your old one rep max. If it feels manageable or rather easy, go for the 100% single.
If the 95% single is an absolute grinder, add 5 to 10 pounds to the bar and try one more rep.
If your 100% single was easy, add another 10 pounds (no more) to the bar and try another single.
Sample Squat Day Workout
|Leg Press, Hack Squats or Lunges||3-4||Varies|
|Glute Ham Raise||3-4||6-10|
|Ab Wheel or Barbell Rollouts||3-4||10|