Has anyone tried this? I think I’d puke
I am interested as well to hear the experiences and feedback
Thanks for the tag, @Chris_Colucci
I both loved and hated this program. I’ll do some pros and cons
- I did add leg size. By about week 4 or 5 of the program I did a double take in the mirror because suddenly my legs were fuller. Not a shocking amount, but the difference was there. My wife noticed too.
- My endurance went through the roof. I was running in addition to this program and I found running was significantly easier than before. All other types of endurance based work became easier as well (loaded carries especially)
- I added some upper back size. You don’t really think about it, but having a bar on your back is hard on your traps/upper back. Just trying to hold the bar there meant my upper back was getting worked.
- I built a lot of mental fortitude. This is probably a part of the program that people will gloss over, but there were so many times I wanted to dump the bar and quit (especially in the last few weeks). I learned a lot about pushing through pain. I can see why this was a program for a wrestler.
- It’s so simple. It was really great to just have a few exercises to do. I added a couple extra things (which I’ll get to later), but it’s just a nice, straightforward approach.
- It can be boring as hell. When you’re trying to slog through 6, 7 or 8 minutes of squatting, aside from the pain, your mind starts to think, “Is this over yet?” Also, because it doesn’t change at all for 8 weeks (aside from the length of time), if you get bored easily you’ll hate this.
- My high end strength tanked. You won’t get stronger in the traditional sense on this program. It’s purely an endurance/hypertrophy program.
- I wasn’t prepared for the upper back discomfort. It was borderline agonizing sometimes. Again, this wasn’t due to pain like something was wrong, it was just simple my muscles trying to support the bar.
If you’re willing to put strength work on hold for a bit and need something simple for your lower body, and you’re mentally prepared for the slog it’ll be at times, I highly recommend this program. I added in some light pullovers after the squatting to help get my breathing under control, as well as ab or calf work after the main work. Additionally, I ended up adding another set of leg extensions and just super setting the extensions and curls. It didn’t detract from my recovery in any way and it sped things up on the days where I wanted to be done.
Make sure you don’t blow yourself out early. You might think you can zip through 2 or 3 minutes of squats easily because the weight is light, but it’ll crush you. Focus on making each rep count, control your breathing, and pace yourself. By the 7+ minute weeks I was doing 5 squats, 5 breaths, repeat. It meant I was keeping constant TUT throughout the whole set. Also, DO NOT THINK YOU’RE A BIG MAN AND TRY TO UP THE WEIGHT BEYOND THE RECOMMENDED 30% OF YOUR MAX SQUAT. It might be doable for 3 minutes, but not at 7 or 8.
One final thing: I firmly believe this could be done as an assistance program once you’ve run it a couple times. I tried to add stuff like power cleans and whatnot before the program and it didn’t work out. If you wanted to retain some strength work, you could maybe do a handful (like, 2 or 3) heavy singles or doubles prior to going at it, but not much else.
Great advice. I have been looking for something challenging to work on. I am older, and I really need to improve my work capacity and all that. I decided for the heck of it to go ahead and try this with leg presses. I know leg presses are a different animal than squats, but I needed something… Started today. Started with a weight well under what I thought I could do and I was right. That is ok. I can go up a little every workout for however many weeks and just see where it takes me. I really went light. Got through 8 minutes without locking out. I was gassed but really felt great within 1/2 hour.
Flame away on the leg press
Wait, what? Have you already been running the program or just starting it? Did you read the article?
You don’t start at 8 minutes. You start at 2 minutes on the first session. You progressively add time as the sessions progress.
I’m not gonna knock the fact you used the leg press, as I actually mentioned in my training log I could see this program being done with the leg press, prowler sled, or Hatfield squat. However, if you’re going to go that route, follow the program AS WRITTEN and use 30% of your max in whatever exercise you choose. That means working up to a tentative max on the leg press (note: while I personally believe maxing out on the leg press is so fucking stupid, it’s necessary to find somewhat of a 1RM for this program’s protocol).
Is this squat session is to be done in a non stop fashion, or it is ok to pause on top like in a 20rep breathing squat?
If you can do it non stop without pausing at the top sometimes, then you’re some sort of super human. You’ll need to pause and catch your breath.
The trick to minimizing the amount of times you need to stop, as I said above, is to pace yourself. Don’t try and gun through 20, 30 or 40 squats as fast as you can. Just try and keep a steady pace, focusing on form for each individual rep, for as long as you can.