T Nation

Breathing Squats


Did anyone ever perform brathng squats cycle? i need some info wether u found it good or not...how often do u perform them in a week? also as regards to the other lifts what do u do? when do u perform them....Help pls


I did this awhile ago (>2yrs ago) and had a good run at it. Its in my first training log if you are really interested.

I squatted twice a week, working up to a set of 20 each time. When it started to get heavy, I did a couple lighter singles before my work sets.

I believe one of those heavy singles was the first time I squatted 315, and by the end of the program I was doing a set of 20 greater than my starting 5rm.

I ate a shit ton, force fed pretty much, and got a bit chubby. Attempted to do some RDLs after squatting I believe, w/ maybe back extensions and calves, and my other 2 upper bodies days were whatever.

Not a good powerlifting program IMO, but I think everybody should do it once, preferably as a more novice lifter, after learning proper squat form. Its brutal, but you get accumulated quickly and its only 1 set so getting it over with is the goal of the day. I think most of my gains from it were from actually eating and I probably would have been better off with a more volume oriented program like a 5x5 or something of the sort.


I don't know why you think 20 reps at a 10 rep max is a good idea for a novice.

Quote from Mark Rippetoe's Starting Strength on why beginners especially need more than one work set. "One school of thought holds that one work set, if
done at a high enough intensity, is sufficient to stimulate muscular growth. For novices, several problems with this approach immediately present themselves. First, inexperienced trainees do not yet know how to produce maximum intensity under the bar, and will not know how for quite some time. Second, if they don' t know how to work at a very high intensity, more than one set will be necessary to provide sufficient stress to cause an adaptation to occur â?? one set will not
provide enough."

I know that nearly killing yourself in the gym sounds hardcore and fun, but do you really think that you can keep anywhere near acceptable form while trying to kill yourself with squats. Most people have a hard enough time doing a mildly challenging set of 8 squats with out form going to shit, just imaging how bad it,s going to be once you've pasted failure by 8 reps and you're about to pass out and your legs are burning worse than ever before.

Of course all that is purely hypothetical, most people are not going to be able to do 20 reps with their 10 rep max and there for not produce anywhere near the intensity required for a one set program to work


20 rep squats taught me how to get intense under the bar. If your form is not optimal, I'd say it's better to be squatting weight that you can do 15-20x than 1-3x.


I didn't see where he stated it was 20 w/a ten rep max., he stated "worked up to a set of 20". He also mentions that he doesn't beleive it was a good powerlifting program. IMO....sets of high rep squats have their place, however I agree that a workout based only around that single set will be short on intensity.


My last 2 workouts, I think, were 19 reps then 16 the next time, and I actually failed on the reps, i.e. bar to the pins, and didn't quit. That was maybe 6 weeks in. So technically, it was pretty close to a 20rm.

Which reminds me, there is a large '20 rep squat' or soemthing similar thread in the archives that is worth checking out.