T Nation

Squat and Milk...W/O 20 Reps

I’ve recently decided to gain some weight and the first thing that came to mind (after “just eat” or course) was the old 20 rep squats program. Anyways, I was thinking about it and I began to wonder, just how important are the 20 rep squats to the actual process?

Milk, in and of itself, is highly anabolic. It causes a huge spike in insulin and when you’re drinking a gallon a day you’re getting quite a few extra calories. It seems like drinking a gallon of milk a day alone would be responsible for much of the results seen in the Super Squats program.

Of course, the squats add several minutes of TUT under a relatively heavy load weekly, but how important is that particular set and rep scheme. My current routine involves lifting a few singles at around 90% pretty much every day with deficit DLs, bench press, and chin ups.

In my mind, I see my current plan, teamed with the gallon of milk, bringing similar results to the SS program. There’s not nearly as much TUT, but my lifts are done at a much higher intensity.

So, what are everyone’s thoughts on this? Are the 20 rep squats really essential to the program, or would any heavy compound lifting satisfy the training requirements?

Thanks.

can you gain weight without doing 20 rep squats? Yes

Thanks, but I was asking how important everyone thought the actual 20 rep squats were to the program, not just weight gain in general.

In my mind, I see most of the benefit of the Super Squats program coming from the milk, and very little coming from the squats themselves. I believe that any heavy comound training would be sufficient to get 95% of the results described in the book. I don’t think 20 rep squats are magic, but downing an extra gallon of milk a day while hitting the weights heavy is.

[quote]RJ24 wrote:
Thanks, but I was asking how important everyone thought the actual 20 rep squats were to the program, not just weight gain in general.

In my mind, I see most of the benefit of the Super Squats program coming from the milk, and very little coming from the squats themselves. I believe that any heavy comound training would be sufficient to get 95% of the results described in the book. I don’t think 20 rep squats are magic, but downing an extra gallon of milk a day while hitting the weights heavy is.[/quote]

What do you mean by “results” ?? The WEIGHT gain is soley responsible to the food intake (The milk, on top of whatever else you are eating). The muscular gains are soley responsible to the exercises done.

Now, if 20 rep squats were everything they were cracked up to be, it seems that more bodybuilders would do them that way, but they dont. So I’m sure a comparibly intense program would do the same thing. But 20 rep squats are fun every now and then, you might as well throw them in.

Theory talk nonsense. Do the 20 rep squats and then report back on how “unimportant” they are to the program. Unbelievable.

[quote]Lonnie123 wrote:
Now, if 20 rep squats were everything they were cracked up to be, it seems that more bodybuilders would do them that way, but they dont. So I’m sure a comparibly intense program would do the same thing. But 20 rep squats are fun every now and then, you might as well throw them in.[/quote]

Actually, some of the biggest and strongest guys ever have done this program. It’s just not something you can do frequently.

There is a whole underground world of big guys out there. Pick up the latest MILO and open your eyes.

[quote]CaliforniaLaw wrote:
Theory talk nonsense. Do the 20 rep squats and then report back on how “unimportant” they are to the program. Unbelievable.[/quote]

I don’t suppose there is a nice excel sheet out there to plug our current lift numbers in to create the correct loading scheme.

[quote]CaliforniaLaw wrote:
Theory talk nonsense. Do the 20 rep squats and then report back on how “unimportant” they are to the program. Unbelievable.[/quote]

Okay, opinion noted.

Still though, how is it unbelievable? I gained 35 lbs, 90% of it LBM, in the past without squatting beyond singles. I finished off with 2-3 sets of walking lunges and 2-3 sets of hyperextensions. I did that twice per week. The only secret to my weight gain was I ate like a horse.

As I see it, the problem with 20 rep squats is the relatively light loading. I mean, I couldn’t use more than 60% of my 1RM for those. As opposed to yesterday, when I pulled DL singles @ 95%. It makes me honestly ask myself, which is more productive, and I always decide that training at a higher intensity is.

Also, you can reply to a thread without being an ass about it. I find that people lose almost all civility online, the tone in your post being a perfect example of this. Really, the internet, and T-Nation especially, would be better places if everyone acted in a more courteous manner.

Found this from google…

I have heard many different ideas concerning weight selection, and I believe that it is good to begin with the end in mind, especially for a first-timer on this program. Most people can reasonably expect to be squatting their 5-rep max (5RM) for 20 by the 6-week mark.

To determine your starting weight, take your current 5RM and subtract 5 lbs for each scheduled workout. So, if your current 5RM is 315 lbs and you are planning to train three times per week for 6 weeks (18 workouts), you should begin with 225 lbs, as 18 workouts x 5lbs per workout = 90lbs. Subtract 90 from 315 and you get 225. Simple enough.

After your squats, do a light set of pullovers for about 20-25 reps. I recommend using a 25lb plate and doing them across a bench, but you can use a dumbbell if you like. Think of this as a recovery aid more than an exercise. Stick with the same light weight for the duration of the cycle.

Other exercises are added based on your recovery ability. You should include at least one pressing movement and a pulling movement but you can add more if you feel like you can adequately recovery from the additional volume. Listen to your body; if it gets to be too much, you can always drop a set or two later.

A sample program for someone with good recovery ability might look like this:

Squat: 1x20
Pullovers: 1x20
Stiff-legged deadlift: 1x15
Pullovers: 1x20
Bench press: 2-3 x 10
Bent row: 2-3x15
Military press: 2-3 x 12

–JB

[quote]CaliforniaLaw wrote:
Theory talk nonsense. Do the 20 rep squats and then report back on how “unimportant” they are to the program. Unbelievable.[/quote]

lol
Looks like the don’t knock it until you tried it theory.

If you wanted to skip the squats your probably could, but replace it with 20 rep deadlifts.

whatever the case, MY BELIEF is that 20 reps of an exercise where the body is supporting a heavy weight is going to increase your hormones tremendously which will further support your body adding lean body mass.

I did it before, my thighs grew over an inch… so it worked, I also didn’t drink a gallon of milk a day but was still between 4,000-5,000 calories

So yea 20 rep squats work but it was real rough doing them 3x a week

I didn’t go all the way and finish them becuase from the frequency I strained something in my trap/upper back so I needed to take a break. I might throw them in every now and than sometime down the road.

[quote]Airtruth wrote:
whatever the case, MY BELIEF is that 20 reps of an exercise where the body is supporting a heavy weight is going to increase your hormones tremendously which will further support your body adding lean body mass. [/quote]

That’s just it though, the weights used for 20 rep anythings aren’t “heavy.” I’m fairly certain the hormonal changes would be similar between 20 reps @ 60% and 3-4 reps @ 90%.

And KO421, how much weight did you gain, and from what weight to what weight? I ask because I’m currently taking in around 4500 calories per day and my weight isn’t budging. I’m a lean 202 @ just under 6’1" as of this morning

I did a 20 rep squat program ages ago and found it to be highly effective. Worked up to 225lbs for 20reps over 8 weeks. That set was the hardest i have ever done in the gym. My thighs definitely grew well.

The part of the 20 rep squats and milk program i would actually be questioning is the milk part. There’s a lot of literature out there saying that cows milk is basically very unhealthy for humans, and a gallon a day is a lot of milk. Just a thought.

(We are the only animals on the planet to drink the milk of another animal)

Calories = Weight gain. A gallon of whole milk is 16 cups of milk. 16 x 150 = 2400 calories of milk a day. This is half your diet right here.

Muscle growth = training intensity, frequency and rest. I don’t see where 20 rep squats fit into the equation. You could drink a gallon of milk, and intensely train with any program and you should gain.

My 1rm is 315, I know it’s shitty, but I did 20 rep squats at 230. That kick my ass so bad, but my quads grew, so different don’t underestimate the power of Breathing Squats.

I remember that program. Did it when I was 15. I put on a pound or two, but I think most of it was acne. I think the basic premise of the workouts was high volume, high intensity. If you did 19 squats, or 2X15, or 3X12 with your 15RM I don’t think your body could really discern the difference. The pullovers afterwards didn’t expand my ribcage though.

[quote]elliotnewman1 wrote:
I did a 20 rep squat program ages ago and found it to be highly effective. Worked up to 225lbs for 20reps over 8 weeks. That set was the hardest i have ever done in the gym. My thighs definitely grew well.

The part of the 20 rep squats and milk program i would actually be questioning is the milk part. There’s a lot of literature out there saying that cows milk is basically very unhealthy for humans, and a gallon a day is a lot of milk. Just a thought.

(We are the only animals on the planet to drink the milk of another animal)[/quote]

Raw milk or organic whole milk is usually fine for anyone. Most of the problems people get from drinking milk come from drinking crap milk.

The fact that we are the only animal on the planet to drink milk of another animal is a pretty irrelevant point. It’s not like milk is the only thing we ingest that comes from another animal.

[quote]TrainerinDC wrote:
Muscle growth = training intensity, frequency and rest. I don’t see where 20 rep squats fit into the equation. You could drink a gallon of milk, and intensely train with any program and you should gain.[/quote]

That’s a great formula, but taking a weight that you can do for ten times, and doing it twenty times, teaches you what a real workout feels like.

I don’t know many people who would not benefit from such a lesson.

[quote]themonthofjun wrote:
I don’t suppose there is a nice excel sheet out there to plug our current lift numbers in to create the correct loading scheme.[/quote]

I think the excel sheet reference means htis is a clever joke. In which case, bravo. If not, here’s the “loading scheme”:

  1. Load up a bar with a weight you can only do ten times.
  2. Put that bar on your back.
  3. Do ten reps in normal succession.
  4. Do ten more reps, one rep at a time. Take 2-3 deep breaths (or more) in between each rep.

It doesn’t matter how long it takes to finish the set. Just finish the set. Twenty reps or bust.

Simple, but not easy.

[quote]RJ24 wrote:

And KO421, how much weight did you gain, and from what weight to what weight? I ask because I’m currently taking in around 4500 calories per day and my weight isn’t budging. I’m a lean 202 @ just under 6’1" as of this morning
[/quote]

I dont remember exactly but I think around 10lbs? I didn’t finish the whole routine though I just came off a big cutting cycle and was at about 176 I think I was around 183-186 when I stoped 20 rep squats.

Not much else grew but my legs and calves though it was hard to put any sort of intensity towards the other lifts.

If you have lagging legs it is a real good routine