T Nation

Breathing Squats

What do the breathing squats workout consist of? I know it requires doing 20 rep sets of squats but how many sets? I have trouble getting my legs to grow, so I want to try something different.

Do only one set, but use all the weight you can handle. The rule of thumb is to use a weight you can do 10 reps with is you had to & then do the 20. Between each rep take a bunch of huge deep breaths. Most say 3, but it doesn’t have to be, maybe you’ll experiment & find that more or less works better. Some say the number has to stay the same throughout the set & others like Ian King say take fewer at the beginning of the set & more at the end, like 8-10. Whatever you do, once you unrack the bar you can’t put it back until you’ve done your 20 reps. What all that does is make a set of 20 really 20 singles, each with 10-20 seconds between each single which lets you use a lot more weight than if you just did 20 reps continuously. Because it’s so hard you’ve got to also eat like a pig while doing the routine.

The traditional program is just one set of 20 rep breathing squats, as part of an abbreviated, whole body routine, where you do maybe 2 sets of one compound movement per bodypart. so for example the typical routine might look like this:
1 set 20 rep breathing squats
1 set breathing dumbbell pullovers
2 sets bench presses
2 sets straight leg deadlift
2 sets bent rows
3 sets donkey calf raises
1 set barbell curls
2 sets military press
1 set lying barbell triceps extension
traditionally you’d do that routine 2- 3 times per week.
bear in mind that these are 20 rep BREATHING squats. ie in between each rep you take 3 huge breaths, like you’re having an asthma attack or something. the effect of this is that you get about 4 seconds rest between each rep, which allows you to hammer the hell out of your muscle fibres. a whole set should take about 3 minutes to complete. good luck and don’t forget to eat yourself crosseyed when you’re doing it

One set does it for me. You take a 10 reps worth of weight, and do 20.

Once you finish your normal 10 reps, you pause at the top of the movement, catch your breath, and do one more. Wash, repeat, rinse. Wash, repeat, rinse. Till 20 reps are done.

So you do all those exercises in one day and do it 2-3 days per week. Is that right?

Another question. what range whould reps be for the other exercises. Thanks.

That’s one routine you could do. Personally I would do fewer exercises, but it would still work. Do sets of 10 or so on the other lifts.

do you come to complete lock-out on the top?

yeah, thats right, the tradition was to do the whole thing 2- 3 times per week. play it by ear though. if you can’t add 5-10lbs to your 20 rep breathing squat EVERY session, then you’re probably overtraining - decrease frequency of training. Personally, I’ve also used 2 sets of 20 rep squats once per week as my leg day. for reps on the other exercises, they tended to prefer 12- 15 reps. For more info, its worth picking up a copy of Randal J Stroessen’s book “Super Squats” through Iron Mind Publishing - its a good book.