T Nation

20 Rep Squats/Deadlifts

Hey guys,

I am new to T-Nation, but have been lifting for about 10 years.Ive read a tremendous amount on the 20 rep squats/deadlift program. Has anyone here on the forums embarked on the program for a given cycle? If so, what were your results in bodyweight gain?

I am thinking about giving the program a shot as I have sort of pleated at 173lbs at 5’8. Which isn’t great I know, but I started at 123lbs and am a type-1 diabetic. I am also curious to the ramifications the program has on the CNS. My nervous system is very sensitive and high intensity training causes me non-stop shaking. Any responses would be greatly appreciated. Thanks guys and gals.

20 rep deadlifts is stupid, I dont know where this idea came from.

I never go over 10, and I never go over 5 for heavy sets.

The point of deads is to get as much weight in the air as possible with reasonable form.

20 rep squats are a gray area in my book, you don’t do them often, its like a blast to shock your body every once in a while.

Thanks Westlock. Oh, I know. I was just planning to do them for like a 6 week cycle. And I was thinking about trap bar deadlifts. I try not to do regular deadlifts as I use an alternate grip which creates an imbalance and torque on my back.

Do not do 20 rep deadlifts.

Absolutely do 20 rep squats. Just a month ago I hit 300x20 on squats, after 8 weeks before only being able to do 265x20. I simply added 5 lbs every 4 days (yes, I did them every 4 days), and as long as I hit all 20 reps, add 5 reps next session. Granted, I didn’t hit the 20 reps every session. But increasing my 20 rep squat by 35 lbs in only 8 weeks wasn’t too shabby either.


Any other exercises while on the program? Bodyweight gain?

I was doing a push/pull split. Gained a couple lbs over that time period, nothing hugely significant.

Basically my routine went like this for those 8 weeks:

Day A: (push)
1)Quad dominant (back squats)
2)Horizontal press (bench, dumbbell bench, incline bench)
3)Vertical Press (military press, push press, dumbbell OH press)

Day B: (pull)
1)Hamstring/glute dominant (deadlift, romanian deadlift, stiff-legged deadlift)
2)Horizontal pull (barbell rows, dumbbell rows, horizontal pullups)
3)Vertical pull (pullups, chinups)

I lifted every other day, so it went like:
1:Workout A
3:Workout B
5:Repeat (Workout A)

Assuming you’re a beginner, you could probably stick with this for 6-9 months, and as long as you vary the exercises/eat more whenever progress stalls, you’d be fine.

Im not so much a beginner, but i have no prob training as one. What were your sets/reps like for # 2,3 for both days? Thanks Hungry.