I am thinking about trying a routine centered around breathing squats in order to pack on some pounds. Does anyone know a decent split with breathing squats, i.e. how many days a week and what type of set and rep scheme to incorporate into the rest of my lifts. Also what type of results have people gotten from this routine?
I did a search for breathing squats but didn’t find an overview and benefits of the technique.
Can anybody chime in on why and how? I have heard it "Expands the rib cage" theory but I havn't read anything confirming this "myth".
Once or Twice a year I incorporate a 6-8 week period of breathing squats or “20 rep” squats into my routine. The way I have set this up in the past is that I do 1 set of 20 rep squats three times per week on alternate days (i.e MWF). I do this at the end of my upper body work. It may not sound like much, but if done properly it’s a killer. I break up my upperbody into three days and maybe add a few sets of stiff legs for hamstrings on two of the days (i.w M and F).
There are a few important points to keep in mind when setting up a 6-8 week cycle. For one, breathing squats are very tough on the lower back. It’s easy for a lifters form to breakdown after the 10th rep. So what’s generally recommended is that you start your cycle well below your 20 rep max. So if a person 20 rep max is 225, I recommend that they start at 175 and add 5 pounds every workout. If done properly, by the fourth week, you will be working with a new max. This will help ready your lower back for the high reps. If a cycle is done properly it undoubedtedly works.
I believe that Drax is the man to ask about breathing squats. In a post long ago(March) Drax said something like 1 set of 20 reps of breathing squats TOTAL per workout. I think that he also suggested taking a few breaths in between reps- so you don’t crash. I have done breathing box squats(just like breathing squats, but incorporating box squats) because I was lagging at the bottom. Normally, I squat 225(I did 315 before until I was in a car crash), but with doing the breathing box squats, I was doing a measley 95 pounds, up to 150ish now. Oh well, gotta learn the groove somehow. I hope this helps. -The Starkdog
I think the old breathing squats routine recommended 3 workouts per week with 20 rep squats supersetted with pullovers and maybe a few other movements. I feel the frequency is a bit too high however. A good way to incorporate them into your training is laid out in Ian kings “limping” series…I believe it is stage 3 of his limping series “limping into december” You could follow a standard 4 day split as recommended by Mr. King with one day devoted to a quad based workout incorporating the 20 rep breathing squats. For even more of a killer you could incorporate another day using a 20 rep deadlift (hip dominant)
You could do a whole-body routine as often as possible. Something like this Mark Berry routine: 1. press 1x10 2. back squat 1x20 3. press 1x10 4. stiff-legged deadlift 1x20 5. bench press 1x10. See if you can do this 2-3 time per week. The weights should be as much as you can handle for whatever you do & they should be done rest-pause style so you can use as much weeight as possible. The ribcage-expanding thing is supposed to work by stretching the cartilage in the sternum. There is an exercise called the Rader chest pull (after Peary Rader) that helps with the chest-expansion thing. You grab a low chinup bar or something, reach up at about 45 degrees with slightly bent arms & an undergrip and stick your chest out as far as possible while pulling straight down and in towards you. Breathe in deeply while dooing that. You should feel a stretch in your sternum & if it even hurts a little (a lot!), that means it’s working. John McCallum gained 100llbs in a year on a breathing squat routine, using his hip belt I guess because he had a glass back. Peary Rader also gained 100lbs in 2 years after failing to gain any in the previous years on other routines.
Check out the hardgainer site think they have something on the 20 rep squats.
Hey thanks for all your replies I think I will end up squatting three days a week with a few other compound lifts thrown in each day maybe 2 sets of each exercise. I think I’ll throw in some bodyweight squats in the morning and evenigns to aid in recovery. Hopefully by the end of summer I’ll be up another ten pounds or so.
drax i can respect you for doin the 20rep programs… but you have so much bullshit at the end of your post. Effective lat excercise or not, theres no way to expand the rib cage. Also without AAS or trickery (bein huge dieting to cancer patient size then gainin it all back) 100lbs in 1 or 2 years is not really possible on such a program when you consider the law of diminishing returns.