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Soreness on 'Squats and Milk'


I just started the 'squats and milk' program yesterday, and I hit 20 reps on the squat with 75% of my max. Today, my legs are sore as hell, and I'm really doubting that the soreness will be gone by tomorrow, where I'm supposed to do another set of 20-rep squats.

My question is, if my legs are still painfully sore by tomorrow, should I take a break and wait an extra day, or should I just hammer through the workout and ignore the soreness? Is it okay to work through the soreness? Or will it just cause unnecessary damage?
Thanks in advanced, any response will be helpful.


Hammer through. Your body is lying to you.


Your legs will more than likely be more sore 2 days after. Get up and move around alot today and go through your warmup tomorrow and it should get better.


This. Mobility and movement. A couple studies have been done that show that light cardio, walking etc can reduce the severity of DOMS.


Just power through, your legs will soon adapt.

I've found that when training a sore muscle, after the first few sets the soreness actually goes away to some degree.


This. Go for a walk, then do a bunch of mobility drills. The soreness will fade after a couple of weeks, anyway.


If you force yourself to power through you'll notice soreness to go down week to week. First couple weeks are always brutal on a high frequency program.


Yep. It should take almost exactly 2 weeks, but after that your legs will be immune to soreness for as long as you continue the frequency.


x100 what everyone said. Training through soreness is fine. You might have some not-so-awesome sessions until you adapt, and then you'll be golden. The right nutrition and recovery methods will help tons.

Out of curiosity, what's the rest of your program look like?


OP- I would echo the sentiments in here with the caveat that if you can't perform the squats with proper form due to soreness, you can adapt (i.e. wait until soreness is gone) and "start" the program fresh.

Also something for all to consider:

I'm not one to buy into every study, but since I eat some amount of ginger almost everyday I would consider it as a means to prevent soreness and also to contribute to a healthy immune system. Even if the soreness aspect isn't really true/tat beneficial, you'll likely gain health-wise by including it daily


What these guys said.

Use this program as an opportunity to train your mind and willpower. That being said, if you want to give it an extra day or so to recover in the first week or two, it might help you to get used to it. Eventually you'll adapt to the higher volume.

Also, as the weights get heavier, I found doing a few heavy static holds before each 20-rep squat session helped. Basically, take a weight 20+ lbs heavier than you're doing for that day, unrack, and just hold it for 15 seconds or so. Repeat a few times. Then drop the weight and do the session. This helped keep my mid and upper back from wearing down from holding the bar so long.


You are going to feel miserable for the entire 6 weeks of the program, and will spend the majority of your freetime performing some sort of mental gymnastics to justify not doing the squats. Don't listen to your brain, this is all just part of the training, and it means you are doing it right.


If its the program I am thinking of,

A)20 rep back squat
B)20 rep pullovers (light)
C3)Decline Situps

Circuit done 3 times, each movement to failure, 1 minute between movements

That's the program as written, whether that is what he is actually doing or not remains to be seen.


That's only the program, as written, on the net somewhere. It was not listed in the actual Super Squats book. The book has a few different variations, well worth the read.


Don't take this the wrong way, but there are lots of "squats and milk" programs, going back as far as the 1920s and '30s. J.C. Hise was one the first advocates of the idea and suggested just squats, pullovers, behind the neck presses, and curls. That's why I'm asking. Just curious.

To my knowledge though, there's no one single "it" routine. Strossen's Super Squats could be argued to be the most popular, but that's not what you laid out.


Definitely not taken the wrong way. For the longest time I just thought "Squats and Milk" was more of a mantra than an actual program. Was pointed to this program on another forum a pretty while ago when discussing beginners programs. You and Punisher have given me a little research material though.


The John McCallum Breathing Squat routine I personally used.

Breathing Squats 1x20
Pullovers 1x20
Weighted Dips: 3x8-12
Pullovers/Straight-arm Pulldowns: 3x8-12
BB Curls: 3x8-12
Standing BTN Press: 3x8-12

I ran this for 13 weeks or something.

The squats did me good. The pullovers and dips gave me costochondritis (now healed). The SA pulldowns worked well, but I probably could have used something better. The BB curls caused serious forearm pain, and the BTN press left me with some RC issues.

I wouldn't recommend running it how he suggested, for those reasons.


For all of you wondering, my session looks like this (in this exact order aswell):

  • Squats - 1 x 20 @10RM followed immediately by Pullovers 1 x 20
  • Overhead Press 3 x 10
  • Bench Press 3 x 10
  • Rows (of any sort, but I usually use kroc rows) 3 x 8
  • SL Deadlifts 3 x 10 followed by one last set of Pullovers (1 x 20) at the end

I found this version on tnation, someone else was running this program except they used behind-the-neck press instead of the standard OHP. I simply swapped in standard presses because they feel much better for me.

Also, I do band-pull aparts every single day for extra rear-delt + upper back work, I currently have no shoulder pain or dysfunction so it seems to work well.


To be fair, he never suggested running it for 13 weeks. It's only supposed to be a 6 week program.


Does it bother anyone else that "Kroc Row" has now become completely interchangeable with "dumbbell row?"