T Nation

Anyone Try 20-Rep Squats?


#1

I've been reading about 20-rep squats. I was wondering how many people here do them, and whether they like them as much as the literature suggests?

Do they do much for your upper body or is it just legs and some general improvement?

What's the most anyone's worked up to with them??


#2

20-rep squats are also great for aerobic endurance. Supporting that weight with your body for a long time is more taxing on your heart and lungs than what most people think.


#3

Nothing magical about them. Look, let's cut the shit already with the squat crap...if you got the raw genetic material, then you don't need some special routine to get results. Look at pro football playere. They have some of the best physiques around and their routines are readily available. Nothing spectacular in there...just guys who have the potential, living up to that potential.

My best friend's brother played for the atlanta falcons and I saw his routine and there were no 20 rep squats or pure squat workouts expecting that somehow the other body parts would develop.

Ridiculous...eat, train, and you'll know soon enough what your potential is.


#4

What if you don't have the raw genetic material? I'm alright, but I'm not unusually gifted.

Are the squats good if you want to do them?


#5

I think he was referring to the 20-rep squat program. It's a full body program which revolves around 20-rep squats. You still do bench presses, rows, etc., and there are no squat only workouts. It's by no means a magical special routine.


#6

Have you tried 20 rep squats USNS? Just for some reason, I get the impression that you haven't. This discussion isn't about what other programs you CAN do -- this is about the effectiveness of 20 Rep squats. If you have tried them and say they are shit, then go ahead. This guy is just trying to learn more about the legendary 20 rep squats.

OP, do a search on 20 rep squats in the forums -- there are a couple other threads that will give you some good information.

Here's my thoughts:

Pros:
1. Very efficient for the amount of time spent training.
2. Will stimulate a LOT of muscle growth in a short period of time (provided you drink your whole milk :slightly_smiling:
3. Your whole body will grow, but especially your thighs.

Cons:
1. Can easily lead to imbalances. You need to make sure that your hamstrings and butt are strong enough. After this program, you might consider a different program with legs specializing on hamstrings, butt, and abs.
2. You will have to buy new clothes.

Here was my routine a few months ago: 3 days a week

  1. One-Arm DB Row
  2. 20 Rep Squat (started at 185, ended at 225)
  3. 20 Rep Pullover with 20 lb dumbbell (ribcage expansion if you believe in it...after this program I sure do. Works better the younger you are)
  4. Romanian Deadlift
  5. Incline Bench Press

I gained ~25 lbs in 6 weeks, but the next time I do 20 rep squats, it is essential to add some assistance work for your abs, rotator cuffs, and mobility.

PS: 20 rep squats will kick your ass. If they don't, then you aren't going heavy enough.


#7

Yeah I guess they are good but we are what we are. People constantly blow sunshine up our asses here about what is possible. Do yourself a favor- get a pro football player's lifting routine and follow it for 6 months. Eat like him too. If, after that time, you have not seen a fantastic change and transformation into a mini hercules, then it's a safe bet you aren't cut out to be a physique competitor.

Yeah, you can squat if you want, but don't believe the hype that they will result in 3 inches on your arms and 100bs on your bench just by following super squats.


#8

Hmm..did I ever try it? From "super squats" which I mentioned, to the 20-rep breathing squat thing... did it all. No magic there.

Instead of looking for a magic bullet, just accept that genetics will dictate what you will be able to achieve. I know it's a 4-letter word here, but the majority of you idolize physiques built by a lot of work AND a lot of steroids...you won't ever have that build yourself unless you're willing to do the drugs. Period.

Even then theres a high probability that you will not rise to any competitive level. It's said 1 in 10,000 have the genetics to be a pro BB...read it and weep.

Those of you who cant , no mater how hard they try, get big muscles doing the hypertrophy stuff may want to switch to power lifting as you may respond better to this format than you do to BB training.


#9

I haven't read much about gaining a lot of strength on 20 rep squats -- it's mostly a size thing.

Anyway, 20 rep squats is only a 6 week program and since it is essential to constantly be shocking your body with new routines this can be a fun one to play around with.

"We are what we are" but the way you train, eat, and sleep are extremely important. Of course a pro-football player will have a solid routine put together by a good trainer. However, if you want to add size and shake up your training, then 20 rep squats is just another routine that you can add to your arsenel in the quest for perfection.


#10

Thanks for all the replies and discussion.

I don't have the genetics to be a physique competitor. But I want to be big and strong, even if I'll never be a Ronnie Coleman or Ed Coan.

I want to know if 20-rep squats are a good tool to get big and strong. And I think they will be, based on all the ancedotes there are about them.

I've got to admit, after doing the squats, I'm too wobbly to do anything else... maybe I should split it up and do squats one time, and upper body work another time.

Anyone ever tried 20-rep squats by themselves without any other exercises?

And has anyone ever squatted double bodyweight for 20??


#11

And... people are saying it's a 6-week routine, which is how it's described in "Super Squats". But does anyone ever do it for longer than 6 weeks?

I've read about people who have made it part of their permanent programme - once or twice every week, they do 20-rep squats, for years on end.


#12

Never thought I'd say it, but I wish Professor X was here. :-/


#13

Whatever anyone says I can attest that 20 rep breathing squats is one of, if not the, fastest way to gain muscle mass that exists. It's a program that exists for people with poor genetics who are drug free.

15-20 rep 'breathing' style workouts work well for deadlifts, bent over rows, and weighted dips too. Not as well as breathing squats but still pretty well. Jesse Maraude even said that 20 rep clean and jerks worked well. I wouldn't try that but it worked for him.

But it works best, in my opinion, when you don't just use 25 pounds for your pullovers. Take advantage of this breathing style stuff and use a heavy dumbbell that you can do 15 or 20 continuous, yet challenging reps with.


#14

So he could tell USNS that he was right?

Most people can achieve a lot with their natual abilities. Will you have shape and muscle bellies like the PI Dexter Jackson? Not likely. Can you probably get very strong and build a good physique if you put the work in? Hell yes.


#15

I think I'm going to stick with them, and see how far they take me. I'll try to work up to a high number for 20, and see where that leaves my body.


#16

Iv done them before. Had amazing success. The trick is you use your 10 rep max. and go to 20, just take as long as you want. Theres variation on this. I find doing deadlift with straps like this works incredibly well. Iv been experimenting with doing this with leg press as the morons at my new rec center don't have a power rack.


#17

You're a negative person, USNS.

And as far as "get a pro football player's lifting routine and follow it for 6 months"

Pure bullshit.

They workout ways that work for them, what works for them doesn't necessarily work for me.

Genetics are a crutch that weak-minded people use.

While I'll agree that not everyone's gonna be a pro bb, you can still get some jacked legs and one way to do that well is with 20 rep squats.

I'm shooting for 405X20 by the end of the school year.


#18

How many people with incredible physiques have you seen that tout the incredible effectivenss of "20 rep squats"?

I'm just asking, because I am genuinely curious.


#19

Bottom line, the best movements are the best movements for everyone. You aren't going to find any better movements than squats and deadlifts. As far as genetics go, if you have good genetics you might be able to get by with out these exercises, for someone with average or below average genes it is more important to choose the best movements possible. If you are a genetic mutant, then choosing the best movements will still get you there faster. Keep squatting.


#20

Now days, probably no one. But in the old days they were one of the staples. That was pre-wide spread steroids use.