T Nation

Doing 20 Rep Squats While Working Hard Labor Job


#1

I plan on following this routine but my only concern is that while I only work a few days a week, when I work, it's usually about 13-14 hours on my feet and me lifting heavy boxes around. Getting food is no issue, but the lack of rest during work days is my main concern. I can still make up for it on the days I'm not working. I only plan to do this routine 3x a week.

Was anyone else in my position who followed this routine and still made really good weight/mass gains?

I guess this question can be applied to any other hypertrophy based routine as well...


#2

20 rep breathing squats or widowmakers 3x/wk. If you’re doing them the way they’re supposed to be done, I don’t think you want to attempt it with or without heavy manual labor. Possibly once every 5-7days.


#3

Get a notebook. Write down how much you eat and how much you lift each day.

Your lifts must go up each week. If they do not, then you need to eat more until they do.

Start a log. Post the link. Accountability.

Do this, and I will support you in this endeavor, insane as it may be.

-Sab


#4

I did a 20 rep routine last winter, and only squatted twice a week. Later on into the program, I had to skip a couple workouts due to lower back tightness. I sit on my ass all day so recovery wasn’t much of an issue.

3-days a week, adding weight every workout, sounds pretty brutal and a couple long days lifting heavy things may not be optimal for recovery. My lower back was the most affected by the programming although my adductors were sore for awhile when I started.

I did probably an overzealous bulk at the time, clean during the week but w/ a higher frequency of cheat meals and a lot of milk, sweet potatoes, beans, and oats. But, I was able to genuinely progress and add weight for a lot longer than I expected. My last set of 20 was at my previous ~5rm weight, and I think I got it 18 times. After that, I plateaued, regressed, and could honorably change programs. I grew a pair of legs in the process and put on a fair to moderate amount of weight.

I think you should do it and start relatively light to give your body time to adapt, then cutting back to 2 or 1 days a week of 20s is always an option when weights get heavier and you have a better idea of how you are reacting to the programming.


#5

Thanks for input everyone. It should be noted that I have followed this program before about 2 years ago when I was a real noob. Back then before I started, I was about 185 lbs but could only squat 200 for 2 reps and I did have some trouble gaining weight on the routine. I started the routine with 135 and made it up to 180 (didn’t clear to 20 though) but I also only followed it for 5 weeks.

This time I’ve read about the program a little more and how it works with a much heavier focus this time on the gaining weight. I’ll probably actually start the program in about 2 weeks because I still need to finish one more week of westside then take another week off.

I didn’t know you could make logs here, but once I begin this program, I’ll definitely give that shot.


#6

I don’t know if 20 rep squats is the best way to learn how to lift heavy weight, especially at 3x a week. My personal experience was that even as a beginner attempting to squat 3x a week on SS (for essentially 15 reps) really took its toll on me. To me, if the program that I’m doing looks “easier” but I’m still making progress, who cares?

I agree with theuofh, because as squatting makes more of a demand on your body, you will likely want to back off from 3x a week to ensure gains.


#7

A few days later, hopefully someone reads this.

Now I’m not too sure about this program, my form is god awful in this following video because I can’t seem to squat back at all. This video was from yesterday - it’s just me goofing around with higher rep squats during the last days of Westside.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfWsDeoFPr8

Here’s an older video, done on a real RE day. Form doesn’t seem too bad until the very end, then again it was 25 reps of 155 without much pause breathing.

Here’s an even older video that shows me squatting 300

The most i’ve done since then was 2 singles of 315, but as far as recording goes,that above is the best I have on video.

There IS a certain trend in these videos besides the fact that I’m having trouble squatting back - it’s that I have very little leg power. It seems my legs are too weak so I have to good morning my way out of sticking points, hence my form can never be that great. Anyone who has seen my deadlifting videos can note that I pull way too much with my lower back and not enough leg drive.

My mind is deadset on following 20 rep squats because it’s a fun routine I’ve done before and I’m sick of being stuck at 203 lbs. If I start low enough on this routine, will that give me good enough practice to improve my form as a side effect?


#8

I would normally say just nut up and do it but this is in the beginner’s section so maybe not. Give it a try and if you find it’s an overload you can just do something else.


#9

[quote]MAS50 wrote:
I would normally say just nut up and do it but this is in the beginner’s section so maybe not. Give it a try and if you find it’s an overload you can just do something else.[/quote]

Well I wouldn’t really call myself a complete beginner, but there’s still a lot I need to learn and although I have almost a 1000 total in my big 3, I wouldn’t really consider myself intermediate usually.


#10

I don’t think practicing form at 20 reps at any weight is a good idea. Maybe take a month or so and do heavy sets of 5-8, then back off and do a lighter set at 15-20.

Your 300 squat looked good, but you developed a little bit of a butt wink in your recent ones. This may be due to inflexibility or a little muscle amnesia. I would get your form back before attempting to progress on 20’s and I don’t think it will take you that long.

Jumping into progressive loading 20’s w/ your back in the recent position may be asking for injury. I just came back from a shoulder injury, made worse by being bullheaded enough to continue through a program when I knew something was wrong. The x amount of time spent stagnating and rehabbing was not worth the progress I made pushing through.

But the 300 looked good, and if you can reclaim that form I’d go full speed ahead w/ the 20s.


#11

Thanks for the input. Here’s a new squat video today. Has nothing to do with my routine for that day, but I just wanted to practice my form.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jf9Mm-H5b7w&feature=channel_page