T Nation

20 rep Breathing Squats

is there anyone who has used the 20 rep breathing squat in their routine if so what percent of 1 rep max did you use? how many sets? did you use any other exercises in your leg routine? Can someone please explain the breathing part?

I explained these in issue 132’s Reader Mail section. Also in an old “Dawg School” column. Check previous issues.

I’ve done them. Absolutely brutal, but done properly they’ll pack on the mass. It’s not so much a percentage of 1rm, but whatever you can do normally for 10-12 reps, and you take at least three deep breaths in between each rep. As you fatigue, you’ll have to take more than three. The original 20-rep squat was supersetted w. breathing pullovers, breathing deeply during each rep, also 20 reps. If you want to do any other leg exercises after a maximal effort set of these (and I said set, not sets), your set wasn’t truly maximal effort. Good luck!

As far as starting poundage goes, just start with a light weight, do the 20 reps. If you did it easily, up the weight 10-20lbs, and do another 20 reps. Repeat the process until you are using a weight that you max out on. Then at your next training, you’ll know roughly how much to start on.
I personally did 2 sets per training, once per week. The first set was hard, but the second set was lunch-losing BRUTAL. I felt that by including this hard ‘warm-up’ set, I was able to really get fired up for the second set, as a result I was able to add 10lbs to the bar each week.
I did no other leg work.
As far as breathing goes, I took 3 big, deep breaths between each rep, holding the 4th one in as I descended.
Totally recommend the program - good luck with it!