T Nation

Squatting 3x Week

So I’ve been dealing with lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow) for about 5 months, treating it as I go without taking any time off and for the last month it’s put a major damper on my upper training and now it’s so inflammed that I need to just take about 2 weeks off and treat it. Deadlifts slightly bother it as well and I’d rather get back as fast as possible so I’m thinking I will move to 3x a week squatting.

There are obviously a good bit of 3x week and even 4x week programs out there but I’m only wanting to move to 3x a week for about 2-3 weeks. Most programs are at least 6 weeks. So how would yall set up programming 3x week squats for 3 weeks?

I’m thinking of running something like a cube setup (I’ve been running conjugate and the Cube lately). Where I have a speed day, rep day, and max day all in the same week. Here’s what I have in mind for percentages:

Speed Day - 8x3 65-70%
Rep Day - 5x5 @ 70-75%
Max Day - up to a double at 90%

Any ideas on how much assistance work, if any outside of some light hamstring work to run? Any other suggestions of a different way to set up percentages and reps? I know the Russian Squat Program has you going up to 6x6 at 80% in the first 3 weeks.

I could run the first 3 weeks of that but if I run a program I want to do it justice and finish it out. And I just recently maxed at 385 and would like to knock down 405 ASAP (I’ve been gaining a lot since I finally put my focus on the squat so I think 20 lbs in a month or so is doable.) Thoughts?

20lbs in a month is a very high goal, I would say a 10-12 week approach you could acheive this.

the problem with mixing and modifying programs is that you are dealing with different methods and principals that do go together too well.

I would say this, do it and get back to us. I dont think you will get to many other answers other than “choose on program and follow it”

Strength takes time, and usually the author of a program is better at programming than the majority of us.

I guess the question is, what is the rush? A 6 week program that could yeild greater gains may be the better choice than the unknown gains or losses that can come with making up your own program. Reputable programs are at least decently reliable to make gains. Your program is a complete unknown.

Just my opinion

forgive a few words that were auto corrected

Well I put 40 lbs on my squat in the past 6 weeks so I say maybe 20 lbs because my squat is so low that I could be considered a beginner, for the squat at least. Anyways, the reason I’m looking for something for 3 weeks instead of a full program is because I want to get back onto The Cube once my elbow is healed up.

So it’s basically just something to set into place until I heal up and then I’d like to get back on the Cube and maybe hit 405 on my ME squat day which will be week 2 of the Cube. But I’m still debating running the Russian Squat program straight through. Just looking for other opinions as well.

I can’t make recommendation but I can tell you how I go about it. I started benching and squatting 3 times a week roughly 5 weeks ago and I actually feel pretty damn good.

Wednesday: Max Day
Thursday: Work up to roughly 80% for 2-4 sets of 5
Sunday: Speed Day and I will usually work up to a heavy triple

My squat is climbing. It seems to be working. 80% is getting smoother.

If you want to combine programs, and have to come onto a forum to ask if that combo is ok, you probably don’t know enough to combine programs in the first place, and you DEFINITELY don’t have the training experience to warrant it.

This is my opinion, and it may or may not be what the OP was asking–I didn’t read anything.

[quote]cscsDPT17 wrote:
So I’ve been dealing with lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow) for about 5 months, treating it as I go without taking any time off and for the last month it’s put a major damper on my upper training and now it’s so inflammed that I need to just take about 2 weeks off and treat it. Deadlifts slightly bother it as well and I’d rather get back as fast as possible so I’m thinking I will move to 3x a week squatting.

There are obviously a good bit of 3x week and even 4x week programs out there but I’m only wanting to move to 3x a week for about 2-3 weeks. Most programs are at least 6 weeks. So how would yall set up programming 3x week squats for 3 weeks?

Thoughts?[/quote]

Read this article from 2011 and pass it on.

Search T-Nation for tennis elbow, I read that the eccentric part of a lift helps heal tendons. The eccentric portion of a lift is the lowering, “yielding” or negative. The concentric is the lifting or “overcoming” portion.

VT - I’m not trying to combine programs, simply inserting a 3 week spot, focusing on the squat, until my elbow heals. Trying to figure out the best way to go about those 3 weeks.

Chicksan - That’s about what I was thinking. Planning on a max day (do you go for a single every time with this set up?) for a double, although a soft max I guess you could say, definitely not missing weights. Then I was planning on hitting 3-5x5 with 75% for rep day, going up 2.5% each week, and doing speed day with 65%, progressing that as well 2.5% each time. As I keep looking at it, I think something like this is the setup that I’ll do instead of jumping on a specific squat program since this will hopefully only fill in for 3 weeks until I can get back on The Cube.

VT - I’m not trying to combine programs, simply inserting a 3 week spot, focusing on the squat, until my elbow heals. Trying to figure out the best way to go about those 3 weeks.

Chicksan - That’s about what I was thinking. Planning on a max day (do you go for a single every time with this set up?) for a double, although a soft max I guess you could say, definitely not missing weights. Then I was planning on hitting 3-5x5 with 75% for rep day, going up 2.5% each week, and doing speed day with 65%, progressing that as well 2.5% each time.

As I keep looking at it, I think something like this is the setup that I’ll do instead of jumping on a specific squat program since this will hopefully only fill in for 3 weeks until I can get back on The Cube.

conservativedog - I’m a 2nd year PT student so I’ve been working the eccentrics in. Honestly, I’ve just got to focus on rehabing it instead of trying to work through it and rehab it at the same time

[quote]cscsDPT17 wrote:
VT - I’m not trying to combine programs, simply inserting a 3 week spot, focusing on the squat, until my elbow heals. Trying to figure out the best way to go about those 3 weeks.

Chicksan - That’s about what I was thinking. Planning on a max day (do you go for a single every time with this set up?) for a double, although a soft max I guess you could say, definitely not missing weights. Then I was planning on hitting 3-5x5 with 75% for rep day, going up 2.5% each week, and doing speed day with 65%, progressing that as well 2.5% each time. As I keep looking at it, I think something like this is the setup that I’ll do instead of jumping on a specific squat program since this will hopefully only fill in for 3 weeks until I can get back on The Cube.[/quote]

I’m in the middle of an Accumulation cycle so I generally shoot for a 3-5 rep max. More often than not its a triple, I like feeling of the heavier weight on my back, plus my form with heavier weight needs work. My second squat day isn’t waved. It’s an additional day for working on setup, form, messing with wraps, and increasing work capacity. Sometimes it to 70%, sometimes to 80% but that’s as high as I’ll go. DE days remain at 50% and I increase the sets each week. Today it was 24 sets of doubles, then I worked up to a heavy double.

Maybe it’s the added assistance with the addition of two more days, more focus on recovery, more calories., I have no idea but I feel better, I’m starting to looking better and the weights are slowly getting easier. Hope this helps

Thanks. I think I’ll probably work in 3RM and I’ve actually been keeping my DE days heavier without a box and it exploded my squat. I know that my squat is still weak but I worked with the box and 50-60% with bands for a while and never got past 345. When I came back to focusing on my squat again after a push-pull meet, I tried the DE days heavier (60-70%) and without a box or bands and my form got much more in tune and that’s when I added this 40 lbs to my squat so fast. Just a thought, but could also be because even though I’ve been training for a while I’ve only been training for PL for 2 years

Oh yeah, I also wanted to ask how much assistance work you are doing on each of the days?

ME Day: 3-4 addition exercises in the 5-8 rep range.

Second Squat Day: 2-3 additional exercises in the 12-15 rep range

DE Day: 4-6 additional exercises and the reps are all over the place. This is the day I do supersets, giant sets, drop sets, all that crap.

Some people dont like the box and hit great numbers without it. Im one of the people who benefitted from it.

Im pretty slow so going much over 60% isnt productive for me unless its an Intensification Cycle.

Hope this helps.

Thanks man. Definitely helps. Since you said you’re benching 3x week are you benching on the same day or alternating days? Thanks for the insight. I did my speed day today, worked up to a decent triple, then hit a dropset, then like 5 sets of hamstrings. I’ll probably try to pull my volume up as I get used to it.

[quote]cscsDPT17 wrote:
Thanks man. Definitely helps. Since you said you’re benching 3x week are you benching on the same day or alternating days? Thanks for the insight. I did my speed day today, worked up to a decent triple, then hit a dropset, then like 5 sets of hamstrings. I’ll probably try to pull my volume up as I get used to it.[/quote]

Mon: Upper ME
Tue: Bench Again
Wed: Lower ME
Thu: Squat Again
Fri: Upper DE
Sat: I dont go to the gym but I try to do some form of cardio. My favorite is walking my pups
Sun: Lower DE

This will more than likely lead to over training at some point. Yes I do need more work on my lifts but I also seperated from my wife so I find the gym helps to dwindle my anger inside. I have no idea how long I can keep this up for. So far, I have seen nothing but positive results.

Increase the volume as you see fit. I always encourage people to keep a log of their training so they can go back and see what they did and figure out what worked for them or what may have hindered them. I hope this helps, good luck

Smolov Jr, 3 weeks of just squatting, seems to be what you are looking for.

I have been doing 3 days of squats (rotates with other stuff like deadlifts, good mornings, etc) for a little while now and it works great. I keep the order of my days a little different than what you’re planning-- first day is max effort, second is dynamic effort, third is repetition method. I like to think that you want your max effort to be truly that, a maximum effort that isn’t hindered by any soreness/DOMS you could have from doing lots of volume the day before.

The same applies somewhat to my dynamic effort day. I want to lift 50-70% at the maximum velocity, so I don’t want to be hindered. My rep day is last because you can get so sore you can barely walk out of the gym and not worry about having to squat again for another 3 days (in my case I train everyday).

Anyone doing the 3x per week squats use any NO boosters? L-Citrulline and tadalafil have given me tremendous leg workouts and I can sometimes lift for 2 hours but try to keep it under hour and a half. I do rest longer between sets, but I feel like I could go all day.

[quote]cscsDPT17 wrote:
So I’ve been dealing with lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow) for about 5 months, treating it as I go without taking any time off and for the last month it’s put a major damper on my upper training and now it’s so inflammed that I need to just take about 2 weeks off and treat it. Deadlifts slightly bother it as well and I’d rather get back as fast as possible so I’m thinking I will move to 3x a week squatting.

There are obviously a good bit of 3x week and even 4x week programs out there but I’m only wanting to move to 3x a week for about 2-3 weeks. Most programs are at least 6 weeks. So how would yall set up programming 3x week squats for 3 weeks?

I’m thinking of running something like a cube setup (I’ve been running conjugate and the Cube lately). Where I have a speed day, rep day, and max day all in the same week. Here’s what I have in mind for percentages:

Speed Day - 8x3 65-70%
Rep Day - 5x5 @ 70-75%
Max Day - up to a double at 90%

Any ideas on how much assistance work, if any outside of some light hamstring work to run? Any other suggestions of a different way to set up percentages and reps? I know the Russian Squat Program has you going up to 6x6 at 80% in the first 3 weeks.

I could run the first 3 weeks of that but if I run a program I want to do it justice and finish it out. And I just recently maxed at 385 and would like to knock down 405 ASAP (I’ve been gaining a lot since I finally put my focus on the squat so I think 20 lbs in a month or so is doable.) Thoughts?[/quote]

OK you’re all over the place here, I just figure I’ll tell you what I think you’re doing wrong and I’ll let you decide if I’m right or wrong.

  1. What are you doing now that isn’t working? You said your squat is going up, why change anything? What if you start squatting 3 times a week and your squat goes down, or cumulative fatigue sets in and you get injured? I understand you want that last 20lbs quick; I’ve been chasing gym PRs and meet PRs for a LONG time. But don’t take 2 steps back and 1 step forward.

  2. Let me give you a little spoiler about PRs. Once you hit it, it’s old news. You’re going to get 405 someday soon, and you’ll be high on life for about 20 minutes. And then your focus will now switch to that 425 squat. Are you going to squat 4 times a week to get to 425? How about 455 / 500? Consistent, repeatable gains are where it’s at. Learn to appreciate the struggle.

  3. The squats may be the cause of your elbow problems. Sometimes my elbows (where the bicep attaches) gets so inflamed I can barely bench. For me, it stemmed from having poor shoulder flexibility. I use a lacrosse bar on my upper pecs & front delts for about 10 minutes before I squat with the straight bar. Also I’ll do static stretching of my pecs against a wall or power rack. This helps a lot, but even at that I can’t use the straight bar more than 2-3 times in a 2 week period. Granted, I’m tall, awkward & inflexible so your results may vary.

  4. Whatever Brandon Lilly is doing (a la The Cube) is working very well for him. He put on a pretty good show at the XPC Finals, as well as the Animal Cage. If you have the Cube method book, I’d recommend following it. Whenever I feel like training again I’m going to see what I can pick out of it.