T Nation

Breaking the Pattern


hi guys, I was wondering (especially those, who squat every ,or, almost every day), do you ever change your squat workouts? I mean, lets say, you max out on squats every day throughout the year, do any of you have periods where you'lle do higher rep work for some time, a month or two for examle..

I am squatting every day for nearly 4 moths now, but was thinking to ,maybe, break the "monotonic pattern" and go for ,lets say, breathing squats (20 reps). Obviously, in this scenario, I would squat 2 times a week at max, + snatch and clean and jerk. I know that my 1 rep max will increse very little, maybe 5kg or so, but thats not the goal.

The goal is to throw in something different, so that when i finish the cycle, it would sort of initiate growth on my 1 rep max training when i come back to it. You know, when you give your body something it hasn't done for a while, it is prone to getting good gains in the beginning. I did it some time ago.

My 1 rep max was 165kg, I started breathing squats with 140 kg for 5 reps. In about two months I was doing 16 reps with 140. when I came back to 1 rep max, it went up only by 5kg (170). But in the following two weeks I managed to go up to 185kg. That's the effect I want to achieve again. Thanks for any input...


You'll get gains in the rep range that you specifically train for. What you need is to program time off to supercompensate, not to engage in cardio, which is essentially what a breathing squat is. Good for its own purposes, but not for weightlifting (unless perhaps as part of a plan to move up a weight class).

I do see that your 1RM moved up. My guess is that the breathing squats served as part of a supercompensatory period for you. We're all an experiment of one, so by all means you should try again if you see it working. None the less, at some point (which you might not have reached yet), I think there's a wall between improvement in lower and higher rep ranges.


Sometimes what I do is do my usual build up (like 10-8-6) but then I bring it back down and do front squats. Then I might do some jump squats (those will shred my calves!)


Too lazy to do breathing squats and it would ruin my lifting if I was to even do it 1-2x a week...can't imagine trying to Sn or CJ after or even 2-3 days after it.

You had success with it so why not try it again?




i don't know what to do about my squat.

i've been doing whatever my coach says which seems to vary depending on how i'm feeling / how he's feeling / who knows...

i will ask him if he has programming advice...

but otherwise...

-- does it sound super crazy to do 5/3/1 for front squats and back squats (so one day per week for each of those)...

then do snatch, clean and jerk work (go to max then back off reps for whatever i need to work on)

then 1 assistance (e.g., pull ups or GHR or bench or abs or something)

i know it is only 2 work days per week - but i will of course be squatting up cleans and snatches (to max) most days.

what i've been doing ...

hit the end of linear progression...
-- know i need to be careful of 1RMing too often or my form starts to break down
-- know i need to be careful to deload or my joints start screaming and i get lumbar overuse from back squats

5/3/1 seems attractive for
-- its being reputed to bring up the 1RM (since powerlifters use it for squat)
-- it having a deload built in
-- it promising steady gains over the long haul.

but it is only 2 days per week which seems a little bit wussy (compared to say squatting every day...)

i've also done the RSR --
plugged in my true 1RM (stupidly)
couldn't complete the 3x3.
suppose i'm not terribly averse to doing the RSR again (it has been a while since last time).



interesting, what you found... i think i've found something similar, actually...

doing something else for a bit then coming back to what i was doing before. which hadn't gotten any better... but then i seemed to make gains on it whereas i had stalled on gains before.

not sure about those 20 rep breathing squats. i actually did them a couple times (to prove to myself i wasn't mentally weak). i think farmerbrett used to do stuff like that. mental challenge stuff...

i don't think it is cardio to take your 10RM and force out 20 reps with it (breathing in between reps). will help you be mentally tough, that is for sure. i did it with like 35% my 1RM and i was pretty darned wrecked. think my quads grew a bit from that...

but will it slot in okay with your other goals?? it will wreck you for oly lifting, i'd guess.


To Alexus,
Yeah, I reckon it will mess up my OL. ( concidering that i will do squats and the OL on the same day). I will simply have to work to my best ability. Take a good 15 min. rest between my squats and OL, as Koing once advised me. See how that goes.I dont realy do the conventional breathing squat where you take 10 rep max and go for 20. I simply work my way up to high reps. The last time I did these squats I actually started with 5 reps at 140 and every week added 1 or 2 reps. Two weeks ago I squatted 150kg BS for 4x4x4, this week iI did 6x4x4. Yesterday I did FS 140kg for 5x4x3. After that I went on to C$J and it 'sucked' to be honest. I was totally gassed out, didn't have the 'OOMPH'. mY MAX IS 112.5, but yesterday could nnot manage 110kg. It's a sort of 'trade - off' what I'm doing now, where my squat increases, but OL will probably stay the same if not drop, but well, I just have to try and see how it all goes. If I see that smth. realy goes in the wrong direction, I can allways change and adjust something.