T Nation

My Pros and Cons for Squat Everyday 2.0 Program


#1

Hey all. Just had a random thought tonight to get some insight from some great squatters on here, I really need some help. Ive posted videos of my squats on here and had some pretty strong powerlifters critique my form on both low and high bar and they said its pretty darn decent. I followed the Cory Gregory Squat Everyday 2.0 program to the TEEE and heres how it went.

PROS: Low bar squat 1RM went from 325 to 365 over the period of a 6 week cycle
High bar 1RM went from 315 to 335
Front squat 1RM went from 275 to 305
Core strength felt much stronger after cycle.

CONS: Bench press stayed about the same even though I did more bench frequency
Lack of OH press made me feel weaker in the shoulder department
Lack of assistance movements

So today after doing the program for the 6 weeks and a few rest days, I went in and did a set of 8x6 at 225 squat and was plain shocked at how hard it was to DO MORE REPS.
The weight didnt feel heavy, however my muscle endurance just felt plain pathetic.

My major question is this, what do you all find to be your key set/rep scheme and what do you recommend for someone who has an overall strong deadlift and bench, but lagging squat?

Hope to hear from someone.

Thanks


#2

I’m not a great squatter but I do kind of ok so my two cents’:

  • don’t worry so much about high vs low bar. Find where the bar sits best to shift the most weight and keep it there. There are other ways to mix up squatting.

  • there isn’t really a best set/rep scheme, because different goals need different approaches need different approaches.

  • if you want to get better at squatting for reps, you need to squat for reps. Same for heavy singles. If you want to get better at heavy squats, do a bunch of heavy singles, doubles and triples.

  • I’ve had success in improving my repping capacity by using around 60% of my max for four sets of five and a fifth set of five or more. Add five per cent every time you come back to it. For me, this was once every ten days or so, but I was doing squats against chains too. After six weeks you’ll be doing reps at 85%. But, that’s not a solution in the long term. It’ll help your fix your squat, but that’s about it.

  • That same approach helped me greatly improve my technique because initially the weight was low enough to work on technique. It also got me stronger. Note that I used a safety squat bar exclusively for that whole period. I would think that straight bar would work too, but SSB I find to be great because it makes life much harder. Going to straight bar from SSB is great.

  • you need to get used to both heavy squats and squats for reps if you want to be able to do both. If you focus entirely on one or the other, your ability to do the one you’re not focusing on will decrease.

  • deadlift less and replace it with a squat variation that will transfer to both lifts. Could be plain old SSB squats, box squats, SSB box squats, etc.

  • pinpoint what your weakest point in the squat is and hammer it with accessories, generally lighter for high reps.

  • I have found close to zero transfer of front squat to squat so I don’t do them any more. You may be different, lots of people find front squats help their squat heaps but I haven’t. They’re good for my deadlift but that’s about it, and even then there’s better things I could be doing.


#3

Thanks Mark. Those are some really good points. I saw a video today from George Leeman about reps in exercises and how its total BS to rely on one single type of rep scheme. I’m going to try some higher reps for now and slightly taper off I suppose. Thanks for the advice.


#4

[quote]MarkKO wrote:

  • you need to get used to both heavy squats and squats for reps if you want to be able to do both. If you focus entirely on one or the other, your ability to do the one you’re not focusing on will decrease.
    [/quote]

I’ve noticed this too.

I’ve been doing heavy singles (5+ a week) for the last month and a half or so for squats. Heavy singles lets me work on my imbalance (I learned that I shifted a lot of the weight onto my left side, and so my entire left side is really weak with the squat when I try to correct this imbalance) and getting used to a more even distribution of weight across the entire body while creating virtually no fatigue on the weak parts. It’s working surprisingly well. Hit 285lb today with what felt like a very even squat; no shifting the weight to my left side or anything.

But, at the same time, I’ve also noticed that attempting to do reps with anything over 215lb feels really fucking hard. Having done 5x5 with 255lb back in just August, this is a pretty significant drop.

Currently in a situation where I can probably squat over 300lb but can’t do reps with 225lb. It’s annoying.


#5

You may be interested in this approach:

3-6 sets for 30 total reps
3-6 sets for 24 total reps
3-6 sets for 18 total reps
3-6 sets for 12 total reps

The more reps, the lighter the weight. The lighter the weight, the shorter the rest period.

Over a block, you aim to increase the reps per set


#6

I’ve found that the ability to rep lighter weights comes back within a few weeks of training it after doing nothing but singles / doubles / some triples for a long time.

If your pressing strength decreased due to a lack of focus, why not just add more pressing? I really don’t think some overhead work is going to push you over some sort of mystical boundary into overtraining, just practice what you want to be good at. The same goes for your deadlift and reps on squat.


#7

Higher reps help with power, lower reps helps with strength.

You need high power and strength to get your best 1rm.

You can do high reps only, have high power, but lack strength. This will equate to, for example, being able to do a set of 5 at 315, but your 1rm is only 335.

You can do low reps to get high strength, but lack power. This will equate to, for example, your 1rm being 335, but you can only do as set of 5 at 265.

These are made up numbers.

The key is you need to do both. Higher reps will build mass, which you can turn into strength.

Generally speaking, on a 12 week cycle, a common practice is higher reps for 8 weeks, the low for 3, week off, then max out. the 3 is your peak cycle to gain strength from your mass gains.

I’m with you, I can squat heavy, but my reps suck terribly. I feel I’ve hit a hard stick beause of it, and next cycle I will take off the wraps and go sleeves only for 4-5 weeks, then wraps for higher reps (5 or so) for 3 weeks, then peak.


#8

^
I think you might mean another word than power? When talking about athletic endeavors, power is always a combination of strength and speed. This is typically done with low reps and many sets. Although one can target speed-endurance which could be like doing a set of many medicine ball tosses.

Really, it’s kind of a continuum like below:

<----speed----------speed strength----------strength speed----------strength---->

Speed would be like box jumps, speed strength could be speed squats, strength speed could be seen as compensatory acceleration, and strength would be your heavy work where bar speed slows down a bit (for most to one degree or another).

As far as including more volume, many see the volume work as building ones base of strength, and the heavier work as learning how to display the strength base developed prior. Even the Bulgarian method includes a couple back off sets for volume.


#9

Today I kept my squats at about 20 reps at 50%, going to add 5lb each squat session 3x a week for atleast 6 weeks. I did presses also 3x10 and some accessory work (just some triceps and stiff leg deads). Do you think that’s a good scheme to base off first then taper into lower reps for awhile? Thanks for all the tips by the way.


#10

[quote]Swoleburu wrote:
Today I kept my squats at about 20 reps at 50%, going to add 5lb each squat session 3x a week for atleast 6 weeks. I did presses also 3x10 and some accessory work (just some triceps and stiff leg deads). Do you think that’s a good scheme to base off first then taper into lower reps for awhile? Thanks for all the tips by the way.[/quote]

Well, you’ll get better at doing reps for sure. I’m kind of dubious as to how useful you’ll find that scheme to overall build your squat. I mean, 20 reps at 50% is going to be taxing, and I think you’d risk ingraining poor technique as that will degrade as you fatigue.

Just from my own experience I’ve found sets of five with a final plus set seem to work very nicely to get you stronger while also helping build reps.

But again, it really is entirely down to what you want. If you want to build your ability to squat for 20 reps, then your approach may be just the ticket.


#11

[quote]Swoleburu wrote:
Today I kept my squats at about 20 reps at 50%, going to add 5lb each squat session 3x a week for atleast 6 weeks. I did presses also 3x10 and some accessory work (just some triceps and stiff leg deads). Do you think that’s a good scheme to base off first then taper into lower reps for awhile? Thanks for all the tips by the way.[/quote]

Are you talking 1 set of 20 or like 4 sets of 5? 1 set of 20 won’t get you much stronger than doing sets of 20. 4 sets of 5 will help build strength.


#12

[quote]Fletch1986 wrote:
^
I think you might mean another word than power? When talking about athletic endeavors, power is always a combination of strength and speed. This is typically done with low reps and many sets. Although one can target speed-endurance which could be like doing a set of many medicine ball tosses.

Really, it’s kind of a continuum like below:

<----speed----------speed strength----------strength speed----------strength---->

Speed would be like box jumps, speed strength could be speed squats, strength speed could be seen as compensatory acceleration, and strength would be your heavy work where bar speed slows down a bit (for most to one degree or another).

As far as including more volume, many see the volume work as building ones base of strength, and the heavier work as learning how to display the strength base developed prior. Even the Bulgarian method includes a couple back off sets for volume. [/quote]

I meant power. I basically typed what George Leeman says in this video:

However, his training philosophy is different than pretty much everyone in powerlifting. He mentions that if he can pull it once, then he can pull it for reps. This is only true for the deadlift, as when you go touch and go, you can do all sorts of reps, especially at his weight on the bar because the damn thing bends so much.


#13

Sorry didn’t clarify. I did 3x20 high bar just to get back into the higher reps since its been literally over 6 months since ive done any high reps. I went in again today and did higher reps also but just 12 instead of 20 per set. It could be just me, but when I stick to the 3x5 or 5x5 etc, I just plateau so fast that it seems to not be worth staying in that range for my goals.

My goals aren’t particularly to be able to squat 405x20 etc, however I feel to get past this plateau I need to incorporate higher reps. The whole “program” crap is just becoming too confusing and throwing off my progress. Time to experiment. Glad you guys are getting gains :slight_smile: Thanks for the tips. Cheers.