T Nation

My super squats summary

I started super squats about 6 weeks ago and just thought I’d let you guys know how it went. First of all, I ate a lot and gained about 15 pounds in the first four weeks. I look quite a bit more muscular but may have gained a bit of fat. I wasn’t keeping track of my body fat %, but people have told me that Ive gotten bigger since I started super squats. After about four weeks I stopped responding as well to the workout, so I guess I should start changing up my workouts every 4 weeks. Im glad I know this now because it was really evident in the supersquats regimen. Also, I gained a fair amount of strength. In behind the neck shoulder press, we added 20 pounds to the first weight we started with. I was doing 3x8 for this movement. After behind the neck shoulder press we moved to bench press. In Bench press I added about 15 pounds to what we started with, but the weight we started with was too high and I should have started lower. We did 3x10 in bench press. In Bent over rows i was able to move up about 30 pounds, and I’m glad because pull ups are a weak spot for me and hopefully this could have boosted the number of pull ups I can do. The next exercise we did was ez bar curls 2x10. We moved up about 25 pounds in this exercise. Next was squats. I noticed a lot of growth in my legs, a lot of my older boxer shorts seem quite tight now. My 1x20 squat weight went up by about 65 pounds. And finally our stiff legged deadlift weight went up about 35 pounds. Im not saying all this to brag, I just thought I’d share my experience with this routine. I’d recommend anyone relatively new to weight training to try it. I’ve been working out about 3 years, about 1.5 of which have been correct. Also I used Power Drive, a lot of Grow, and i got Surge in my 4th week when my body stopped responding as well to the workout. It did reduce my recovery times, butbut i didn’t notice much from it except reduced soreness. Im gonna move on to 5x5. Nate, whats your split for 5x5? You may have mentioned it but I didn’t find it.

Box: Simply OUTSTANDING! (One definition of a “T-Man/Vixen?” Willingness to share their experience…). Three questions: 1)As I understand Super Squats, there are a lot of different ways you can “work up” to the 20 rep set. How did you do it? 2) What’s your feeling on the theory that Squats stimulate growth over the entire body? (You certainly are using the largest muscles in the body) and 3)What your depth and stance?

What was your training frequency? Were all sets to failure?

Looks like some good eating, lifting, and tracking of progress boxcar. If you promise to keep posting this stuff we promise to keep ignoring or flaming any troll comments. Id be interested in your height, weight, split and a general idea of what your diet looked like. In any case, here are some points that are just some initial thoughts and options to consider
(1) If your slowing gains were a case of reduced weight gain I suspect it was more a case of nutrition or overtraining as weight gain is more a function of how well you eat in relation to you program than just program alone.
(2) Your next program should be dictated by your goals - if size is key I’d say your best bet at this point would be to shoot for 12 on most exercises incl. squats (ala Kings hypertrophy guidelines) with reduced overall sets for a few weeks (ala Poliquin principle on Tmag audio 1) for additional gains before 5x5 (making the change in reps and sets greater hence a greater “adaptation” and setting you up for another one going back to higher volume like gvt).
(3) Depending on your body fat goals (if any), its a good idea to track them and to zig zag diet to ensure you never end up with more than about 10 pounds to lose as I find shorter term dieting has a far greater impact on fat and far less impact on muscle/thyroid/general wellbeing. Also keep in mind what JB said this week about leaner individuals experiencing a better % of gains as being lean.
Having said all that, I have to say your 4 week gain eclipses anything Ive done in a month so keep it up.

My diet was like this: BREAKFAST: 2 pieces of wheat toast, a few eggs scrambled (the cafeteria serves it so i dont know how much, two egg whites, Glass milk, glass orange juice, half a grapefruit. MID MORNING SNACK: one serving oatmeal and half packet grow. LUNCH: big sandwich with turkey, ham, wheat bread, lettuce. Also some fruit, usually orange and bannana, one glass of milk and one glass of diet cola. With my workout I drank 20 oz powerade. POST WORKOUT: One serving grow, and one serving oatmeal. DINNER: what ever the cafeteria served, usually a few pieces of meat like chicken breast, or pork, some rice or beans (the carbs in cafeteria are crappy) some vegetables, a salad. One glass of milk and one glass of diet cola. Then I’d sometimes have some low fat ice cream. Sometime between dinner and bed i’d eat some cheese and nuts, and before bed a packet of grow. I dont think I ate as much as I could have.

Im 18 and weigh 199 and am 6 foot tall, I’m not sure of my bodyfat, but I’m a little soft around the edges. We did every exercise MWF, so it was a full body workout. It was pretty taxing at first, so we went like twice a week or we skipped two days between our workouts. Usually by the last set of an exercise it’d be to failure. Sometimes when I moved up in weight, I could only do 8 reps for an exercise, and I’d just try to get another rep in the next workout. For the squat technique, we went to parallel, and I took a wide stance with big breaths into my stomach, like how the westside guys do it. We just went 1x20 the first day, and added 10 pounds at first then 5 pounds per workout when it caught up with us. In the past I was always on and off of squats, but now I will continue to do them for sure. Two of the biggest guys in my HS were on the soccer team, and they really worked their legs a lot. What was interesting about squats is, they’re a really big muscle, so throughout the 20 reps you’ll probably recruit a lot of fibers, new ones each rep so you can power through the squats. I’m a bit thick, and I’d like to get a little cut before summer. My goals in the next few weeks are to put in some cardio after my workouts and hopefully lose some fat, but I don’t know yet. I’d really like to be cut because I never have before. Haha. Which article does Ian King talk about his hypertrophy guidelines? (Ill search, but if u know off the top of your head that would be cool) Also I’m going to Italy for 3 weeks with my parents right after school gets out, I don’t know what to do to not lose muscle there and especially strength, because I’m not going to be able to eat like 6 times a day or train like I do here. I was thinking just bodyweight exercises cuz I usually do pushups and situps when I’m on vacation, and I’d like to try handstand pushups. Another issue is my strength. My bench strength is pretty weak among my peers, most of my friends who are smaller than me bench way more and that’s pretty much the benchmark for strength, even though I can squat way more. I’ve tried a lot to get my bench strength stronger, but I have pretty long arms and it’s hard for me. I can probably max around 205 on bench and my 1x20 squat is 220. Most of my training has been without a workout partner so this is probably part of the problem.

Boxcar, nice job with the Super Squats routine. You are the man! I’ve done 20-rep squats before, but it was with a much lighter weight than I really should have tried to use. But it sounds like you’ve made good progress. As for me and my split for the 5x5 routine, it is as follows. Monday: Deadlifts, Seated Rows, Close-grip bench press. Wednesday: Weighted chins, Overhead presses, Shrugs, Calves (seated and standing). Friday: Front squats (followed immediately by a set of back squats with the same weight - this is to help me get my squatting poundages up fairly quickly), bench presses, dips and curls.

I usually follow each workout with cardio. Although, I didn’t do any cardio tonight because it was getting too late. On Tues and Thurs, I usually mountain bike or run stadiums. Every other Tues is completely off since I have massage therapy for injuries. Weekends is play time…and could consist of a variety of things: volleyball, swimming, disc golf, mountain biking, stadiums, combat conditioning, etc. I hope that helps! :slight_smile:

Ian King’s hypertrophy guidelines are in one of the most recent Heavy Metal columns. Check it out and think about the programs I set out. As far as your diet goes it looks like its pretty anabolic but Id strongly urge you to get onto Mr Berardi’s Massive Eating meal combos or the whole thing to maximise lean gains and minimise fat. Nate has posted details on how to use it to cut up pretty easily. You could do that while travelling and carrying some protein sachets to make sure you eat every 2-3h. Gotta say thats probably the last thing you would want to do in Italy. One thing for sure, getting cut is easier and faster than getting big.

thanks nate dogg that looks like an interesting split, i’d like to try it. Front squats look really hard to me. Do you do 5x5 front followed by 5x5 back?

I was actually planning to do the massive eating with a calorie deficit to try to cut up. I need to get some no carb protein powder. I also bought some barleans flax oil to use with it. thanks a lot for the input guys.

One other point, I found my gains improved dramatically, and fat gains was minimised, by a 4 day split and never working a bodypart more than once or twice a week.

First things first…boxcar willy, outstanding work young man! You should be pumped and carrying your supah dupah squatting self around with pride! So next up is cutting a litte bodyfat, eh? I definitely agree with Dre in that you should look into using JB’s Don’t Diet/Massive Eating guidelines to approach this. I kind of stumbled upon this method for about a month–using Massive Eating guidelines in a caloric deficit–and leaned out quite nicely.

Dre…man, you really are dropping some atomic bombs of knowledge my man! Great work and keep it up. You mention zig-zagging calories and that’s a neat thing about Massive Eating in that you’re eating maintenance on training days and surplus on recovery days–hence, you’re tricking the ol’ bod. Quick question for you: I think that I would benefit largely by incorporating GVT into my lil’ mini-mass cycle, but I’m not sure if it would be a good idea to do so immediately following my current program, which I am planning to do for another two to three weeks. I’m not sure if you recall what I’m doing at the moment, as I outlined it in Dre Day I was thinking that I might do two weeks of lowered volume before switching–maybe something that would also increase strength levels like 10 sets/bodypart in 4-6 range or 5x5 for 2 exercises/bodypart. Thanks for listening and any input, Sargeant Dre. And always keep your eye out for Tiny Timbo.

hmm what is you 4 day split?

Boxcar, I am doing five sets of both the front and back squats. I do the front squats, rack the bar, change my position, unrack the bar and do the back squats. Now, I’ve only just started squatting again since October (due to knee injury). So I’m using fairly light weights and adding 5-10 pounds each week. I decided on this type of squat method because I read about it in Poliquin’s book “Modern Trends in Strength Training.” He recommended doing a staggered set in order to increase your leg strength fairly quickly. And since my size and strength is at an all-time low, I figured this would be the quickest way to get me back to heavier weights. It is pretty tough, but it feels so damn good! I should be packing on some good leg size and strength fairly quickly (I hope!). :slight_smile:

Boxcar my fav. 4 day is 1. chest and abs, 2. back, 3. rest, 4. delts and legs, 5. arms, 6 and 7 rest. Going to that from your type of split makes a huge difference to lean gains, fat minimisation AND strength. Also, because you seemed to stall on supersquats, read what Im about to tell Timbo about making continuous gains. Timbo - first, you know someone will call you out soon for a weight check to BE READY. Now - I found I get certain strength and size gains from higher volume training and then they plateau so to keep moving I do a few weeks of strength and then use that strength with hypertrophy reps for even more size and strength and so on - its not so much changing programs cause they go stale (cause I think thats mostly crap) but having to change to increase resistance which is the absolute key. As long as resistance goes up you will gain from the same routine for years. So its sort of zig zag training alternating between strength and size and GVT would be right at the size end of the spectrum. If the principle is necessary because you stall and it works for you its easy to construct your own cycles as gains slow. Now that I am close to my ideal size I can eat up and do size and then cut back on eating or diet during active rest and strength. From experience, Ive gone from 10 reps 180 - 200 db and 60-90 pound db bench and this is the only thing that got my pecs moving. Im stuck on 85bb curl and 15.5 arms even with 3 weeks 5x5 at 90 so I want to do a good number of triples or max’s tonight and Im taking my muscle mag curl strength rating table for added motivation. Ill do 2 days per week westside biceps if im still stuck but ill get there.