T Nation

The Road to a 2x BW Squat


Hey everybody, for those of you that can max out a 2x BW squat, I'm wondering how long it took you? Where did you start? Where are you now? What types of programs did you do? How many reps/sets/perweek? Im currently about 195 with a terrible 250 squat but im pushin for 350 in 28 weeks (weeks until basketball season) Wanna increase it about 5-7 pounds a week at first then begin increasing 2-5. Thanks!


Starting eating much more than you are. Once I started to focus on my eating my strength has shot up. Such as my squats.

Most I was doing was 275lbs and after about 2 weeks of constant eating and pushing myself in the gym I got ~290lbs (w/bands taking less than 20-25lbs off the lift, had 3 plates/ side for 315lbs I'm about 155lbs). Every beginner thinks it's just a matter of lifting when it really comes down to eating.

When did you start squatting? Are you doing any kind of jump program outside of squatting or leg work in the gym?


Well it took about four years for me to get a double bodyweight squat without trying to do that at all (385 competition squat at 190lbs bodyweight). Those first couple years were pretty inconsistent as far as full workouts and good eating goes, but I will say that I made it a point for a long time to squat at least once a week (and still do).

Most of the time I just pyramided up over 3-5 sets to my heaviest weight for something like 4-8 reps for 1 or 2 sets. Once I hit a rep goal (usually 8, but there have been shorter periods of time where I stayed in an 8-12 rep range, or real heavy 3-6, and even a time when I squatted in a 12-15 range) then I would add 5-10lbs and continue on like that.

As far as other lifts go, I would sometimes do leg press (always higher reps), but if anything helped the most it was stiff-leg deadlifts (also always higher reps... I think the last thing I have recorded is 335 for 12 reps from a while ago).

Squatting all on it's own though was easily 90% of the work toward accomplishing double bodyweight, and like I said it's not something I ever thought about either. I'm not a powerlifter, I almost never test "maxes", I just decided to on a whim in a local competition and found that I could do double bodyweight.

Point being, if someone WERE working toward that as a goal, AND eating enough food, AND training more consistently than I did as a teenager, I'm sure they could achieve this in less than the time it took me.

If I were going to give advice, it would be to eat a ton of protein every day and calories to grow on, and keep your training very simple. If I had to do it all over again starting from a few years ago, I would do squats (2 work sets of 4-8), leg press (1 work set of 12-20), stiff-leg deads (1 work set of 10-15), and maybe leg curls... once every 5-7 days.

...which now that I think about it is almost exactly what I did, I just didn't eat enough food. LOL


Currently on the road to this, but with a front squat. I have to agree with Mr. Popular that squatting is pretty much the entire battle when it comes to progressing with the lift. When I hit my double BW for the squat I was basically just focusing on it and GHR's afterwards with some core work tacked on. Gave my legs the ability to recover and of course I was eating to recover and grow.


I did it in about 2 years doing basically the same thing Mr Popular posted. I would sometimes squat two (never more than 8 weeks) or three (never more than three weeks) times a week. Always big weight, five reps or less.

I've almost always kept stiff-legged RDL's in my program. Lowish weight for 8-10 reps, focusing on pulling with the hamstrings. Once the weight gets high enough where I can't focus it on the hams, I drop it down a bit and start working my way back up.


I've got a long way to go. :frowning:

Something about being 6'8" that makes lifting more difficult...couldn't be leverages, could it? :stuck_out_tongue:

I'm at a solid 260-270 on my squat...lol, another 200lbs to go before 2x of my current bodyweight. Might be a few years.


I probably should have mentioned leverages in my post, as well. Seems I'm built better for squatting than any other lift. DL isn't much better than my squat, and my bench press is terrible in comparison to both.


Just achieved this milestone last week! 465 squat @ 230lbs

How long? About two years via 5/3/1. I'm not going to explain 5/3/1 since their is plenty of info on it. When I started, I could do 305x8. So clearly I am not a strength phenom, just consistently work hard.

I also could have achieved this sooner had I been more focused and not taken several extended periods off, set backs etc. Life happens!


9 months...seriously.

Made it an obsession. Was very into powerlifting at the time, ate well for it (was at my fattest then too...around 20% bf lol).

Took out deadlifts from my routine (due to the heavy lower back loading and intensive recovery drain), and did squats every ~5 days (e.g. Mon/Fri/Wed). Never went above 3 reps, did CT's ramping (after general warmups, started at 50% 1RM and worked up to max, usually took about 8-10 sets).

All other bodyparts only got ONE exercise each (routines were very abbreviated to speed up recovery on squats). This is not recommended...at least not for long periods.

I'm more into bodybuilding now, and wouldn't usually recommend the above ^


I am, in fact, doing a vertical jump development program. Thing is it mostly revolves around getting a 1.5x bw squat before doing any real intense plyometrics. Because I am a strength jumper, I'd like to get mine up to around 2x BW before really pushing that plyometric work. Ive increased my squat from 180-250 in like 10 weeks and have gained well over 6 inches on my vertical. I've been doing minimal plyometrics but the strength is what i really need. When i jump, I just don't feel enough power going through my legs. I can tell I need extra strength. I started squatting 10 weeks ago and I could do about 160x6. Now im around 220x5.


That may be a mistake. Jumping is all about moving FAST. Of course, you have to be strong enough to move your body that quickly, but once you attain that strength you need to focus on developing your speed and technique.


It took me about 4-5 months. I guess it happens quick when you only weigh a buck fifty and are 5'6.

The Wender 5/3/1 has worked amazingly well for me. I suggest the boring but big.


Also, the 2 times body weight squat before plyometrics is just a general recommendation. It didn't keep me from getting a 32" vertical at 5'9". Not impressive by any means but decent.


Well my general goal is about 1.5x bw, just because ive increased my squat by like 60 pounds and have gained more than 6 inches on my vertical. Plus I am a basketball player and I only have 2 months of weight training experience. Strength is definitely an area in which i need to improve. My vertical now is 27 inches and I'm 6'1". I can touch the rim and I want to be dunking by my sophomore year (Im a freshman)


I brought my squat from 242 @ 180something to 398 @ 199 or so and I can't jump any higher. Just saying. Although I must admit I haven't jumped since then either. 6'2", can get my palm to the rim.