T Nation

Squat Program For Strength


Looking for any advice I can get.

5'8, 170lbs

Current 1RM tested last Thursday at 350 for the squat (no spotter, so think might have another 10 lbs in me)

My goal is much more geared towards strength in my lower body than my upper. As such I decided to try a 5/4/3/2/1 wave squat as my first lift.

Squat 245x5, 275x4, 295x3, 315x2, 335x1 and 1 (felt weak) - what actually scares me is why i've historically been able to do 295x7 and 315x5 and I'm not really sure what I've been doing differently.

From there decided to do:

Romanian Deadlifts with Trap Bar: 225x10, 245x8, 275x6, 225x10
KB Front Squat: 44lbs (each) x 12,12,12
Hack Press Machine: 180x10,10,10 (felt mostly in hips/glutes)
Leg Extensions: 110x 12,12,12

My main questions are as follows.
1) Is this a good program overall (i.e. any deficiencies, are accessory lifts decent)
2) How would you recommend week to week progression (ESPECIALLY on the first lift)
3) Is there another day during the week I should consider doing more explosive movements (i.e. would this benefit the strength goal), and if so, how would you suggest I think about that

Thanks in advance guys


I'll bite on this one...

You tried a new 1RM last week and managed a PR. This week you did 2 singles at almost 95% of that PR and are surprised that it felt kind of heavy? What were you expecting?

To be honest I'm a little bit confused about what you're asking. You "decided to try a 5/4/3/2/1 wave squat." Was that just for this week or are you planning on using this long term? If so, what was your periodization plan?

As for accessory work, there is no way to know if those are good. The point of accessory work is to help build strength and carry over into your squat. Without knowing where you are weak it would be impossible to say if that is good or not. Having said that, however, I will generalize and say no. There are better options.

Clear up some of my questions and I will be happy to offer some suggestions from there.


Just to echo Gone Heavy, how are you figuring the weights on your waves? What style of squatting do you employ and where do you miss the lift. Those accessories are probably not the optimal ones if your goal is solely to increase your squat, although If you have weak quads it would be understandable.... I have that problem, but it's pretty rare....


Ive never heard of 54321. Id recommend finding a program geared towards strength development and hammer it for about 6 months. 531, 513, Conjugate, Cube, Smolov, Sheiko, Coan/Philip(sp?) just to name a few.


quit testing strength and start building it