90 DAY CHALLENGE: THE SQUAT FAMILY (PROGRAM FOR STRENGTH-WK 1,DAY 5)

23 Sep

Today we will be covering how to use the Squat to get stronger. These principles can be applied to any weighted movement but for simplicity sake we will be using the Back Squat. This post is going to be longer then usual but I assure you taking the time to understand it will save you years of frustration in the gym. 

QUESTION:

It seems I have made little progress on my Squat; it stays pretty much the same year round.

ANSWER:

Most importantly you need to have a plan, what are going to lift each time you go to the gym.? it makes no sense to lift as heavy as you can, each set of each workout, you will fatigue yourself and make little progress.

I like to work in a 4-week progression, remember that jumps in weight will happen slowly but if you are adding 5 pounds to your Squat every 4 weeks that’s 65 pounds at the end of the year.

QUESTION:

If I am not maxing out every set how will I make progress?

ANSWER:

Take some advice from the best Powerlifters in the world, many of which have written books and articles explaining their methods.  The program that has worked best for me is Jim Wendlers 5/3/1 system

Here is how he breaks down a 4 week cycle

NOTE: many of you are going to say “what the hell are those percentages about”… Click HERE to see the article explaining how to calculate these numbers (trust me it’s not hard) 

WEEK 1 
75% x 5
80% x 5
85% x 5+ (at least 5 reps but this is your set to max out)

WEEK 2 

80% x 3
85% x 3
90% x 3+ (at least 3 reps but this is your set to max out)

WEEK 3 
75% x 5
85% x 3
95% x 1+ (at least 1 rep but this is your set to max out)

WEEK 4 (recovery week) 

60% x 5
65% x 5
70% x 5 

QUESTION:

Shoulder I alternate exercises?

ANSWER:

It is up to you, I like to change things up every 4-weeks. For example I will do a 4-week Back Squat phase then do a 4-week Front Squat phase then repeat. This is personal preference but I find switching every 4-weeks keeps things fresh. 

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