20 Rep Squat - Strength Gains

I’m thinking about doing the 20 rep squat routine. I already know it’s a hyper trophy program, but squatting my current 5 rep max for 20 reps sounds rather intriguing! But as I’m a competitive powerlifting (fairly new to it), I feel that this will benefit me. But I’m curious on what progress I can expect in regards to my lifts, more specifically on my lower rep movements, from anywhere to 1 rep max, to my 5 rep max.

I do understand 20 reps will work a different system, and I’m sure i might need to slowly transition to lower weights once the program is over.

I didn’t add anything to my lower rep work after 6 weeks on Super Squats. It is an excellent program and I think everyone should do it, but if your goal is specifically to add to your 1rm, I did not have success with that.

Did it not go up at all then?

My working weight for sets of 5 went up maybe 5-10lbs. Not as much as it should have over the span of 18 workouts if that were my focus.

So what would you say have gained from doing that program??

And if you haven gained that much on your 1 rep max, is there another program that you would recommend for 1 rep maxes?? Maybe smolov or something similar?

I was able to put on 12lbs in the 6 weeks, but that’s honestly not even what is good about the program. The program is a hard lesson in what it means to actually work. Those 20 reps (if done properly) will basically kill your soul, and you’ll be doing that 3 times a week. That means it will be up to YOU to commit and put in the effort each workout, despite the fact that everything in your mind and body will be screaming at you to stop. Most folks simply don’t have the discipline and willpower to pull it off, but doing it will really pay off for any training.

Additionally, you will learn how to be obsessed with progress. As much as you might dread every workout, if you ever miss all 20 reps (failing at rep 18 or 19) you will be torturing yourself mentally until the next workout when you finally have a chance to redeem yourself. You will live, breathe, eat and sleep 20 rep squats.

It’s also a valuable lesson in recovery. Learning how to eat and rest enough to recover from workouts.

And also a good way to understand how rest pausing works.

As for your other question, are you looking to build or peak your squat?


I’m taking Autumn/winter time off to focus on increasing everything before I start competing again, so I just want to increase my total. And I think building up my squats are a good way of going about that.

For building the squat, pretty much any program with decent principles and logical/sustainable progression will work. I’d look at ones written by successful athletes or coaches. Something like 5/3/1, Cube Method, Juggernaut Method, Westside Barbell for Skinny Bastards, etc etc are all great. I definitely wouldn’t try to peak at this point, as it wouldn’t really do anything for you.

So, on my off season, start with 20 rep squats. Then, go easy for 2 weeks. And then pick another one.

Do you know a program that you would personally recommend??

Any of the ones I listed would work very well. I’ve run 5/3/1 and WS4SB, along with my own butchered Westside, and they all worked. Looking at Cube and Juggernaut, they would work too. There really isn’t anything magical about the 1s and 0s of a program; it’s about solid principles that facilitate your ability to grow.

Even if it doesn’t directly carryover to your 1rm
1.It will build you some great work capacity
2.A bigger muscle has potential to produce higher forces compared to a smaller one,so after some weeks of heavier work it will probably show to your max

So if you wanna give it a shot,go for it

Ive done 20 rep squats several times my best was 445 x 20 at 260, go with your 10rep max , when you become fatigued you lose form it is very easy to injure you’re self , do it with a side of stl deads for 20 reps for 6 weeks. Then heavy sets of 5-7 will be much easier, high rep exercises note your breathing.

i’d rather not do 20 rep squats. You define yourself as a powerlifter which means you rarely do over 5 reps? Going from 5s to 20s will fck you up, imo. Ease into it. As the comrade above said about the rest pause, you do not have experience with that => you will get hurt => you’ll lose all kinds of gains, all kinds.

i’d suggest going for something like the bulgarian method for a while, but don’t work up to a daily max, cause you ain’t about that oly weightlifter life. Squat every day, changing up the way you squat or even do split squats or maybe lunges, work your hamstrings/low back and boom, you get 20+kg on your total. Trust me, I’m bulgarian :wink:

Why would defining yourself as a powerlifter mean you rarely go over 5 reps? The Bulgarian method is well proven for weightlifting. It is not well proven for powerlifting… Sure there are some people who have good success with it, but almost all top lifters don’t train that way.

I love 20 rep squats and I guess opposite to what others are saying if my high 15-20 rep squat goes up i know my 1rm has increased as well. Maybe not drastically but I know I’m in for a good meet prep. I almost always gauge where I am based off my 20 rep squat before a meet prep. 2 meet oreps ago I worked my 20 rep squat hard finallu got up to 375 for 20 and 6 weeks later hit my first 700 squat on tje platform. Took another Hypertrophy phase with them ans made it to 405 for 15 grinding and death reps and smoked 740 7 weeks later. 2 weeks ago i hit a easy 415 for 20 in under 60 seconds so needless to say I am excited for my meet in a few weeks.

Reed; are you talking about performing the 20 rep squats routine (the one Perry Radar made famous) or doing a 20 rep set of squats?

I assumed this topic was about the former, but I think you are talking about the latter.

Yeah man I was talking pretty much specifically just in general. I haven’t ever ran the super squats program. But, I have specifically focused on 20 reps squat blocks but generally only doing them once a week.

Yeah, I get a way different training effect from breathing squats vs a straight set of squats. I found the latter seemws to contribute well to strength development. I use them a lot in my programming.