T Nation

Using High Rep Squats


I'd like to understand how to set up upper body work in a split that's using front squats for strength work and then a day dedicated to high rep back squats. I took 315x12 and 225x22 the other day and loved it... wanting to set something up in terms of high rep progression also. Do any of you dedicate a day to high reps or just use it as a finisher after working up?

Thoughts and discussion would be greatly appreciated.

- Chase


I only do high reps occasionally after my heaviest set. The main goal is always just volume, but I shoot for a PR.


Pick a weight and stick with it until you hit 20 reps. Then add 50 pounds, and repeat. I would just do them after your heavy set of squats (4-8 reps), your CNS will be nice and primed by the time you do your widowmaker set.


This morning I did a strength session for front squats. Just worked up to a moderately comfortable single @ 315.
Tonight, I followed a high rep back squat workout from a former 800 lb squatter. (my girlfriends father) I warmed up in sets of 3-5 to a comfortable/heavy 10 rep set... and proceeded to trash my legs.

Here's how it went down.

Set 1 x10 1 min. rest (drop 20 lbs) 225
Set 2 x20 2 min. rest (drop 20 lbs) 205
Set 3 x30 3 min. rest (drop 20 lbs) 185
Set 4 x40 4 min. rest (drop 20 lbs) 165
Set 5 x50 5 min. rest (lay the fuck down)145

  • eventually caught my breath, and 2, managed to walk back inside.
    I'd say forcing myself to stay under the bar, is a totally different animal than working up to a 450+ for a 1-5 RM. This was certainly a stamina/work capacity/mentality based thing. The weight kept getting lighter but even harder to hold. I'm a 500 lb squatter myself, and I figured I'd be starting light enough with 225 but man was I wrong. I felt like I was out of shape after 20 reps... 3 more sets? F* that! ... as I'm getting under the bar.

Enjoyed a great dinner after a nice hot shower,


I'm not sure the quads respond best to high reps. Pretty sure they do best under low to moderate reps, considering their muscle fiber make-up.


I have to disagree my best growth has come with crazy volume and High reps with heavy weight. Put a weight on the bar you can only squat ten reps with then rest pause that bitch to 20-25 reps never racking the bar and see if your legs grow. Also put 135lbs on the bar and do an eccentric portion for a count of two to three and eplode out of the hole, for 2 minutes straight working up to five minutes. Just some examples that I peronally have seen growth with.


It depends on the individual. Tom platz was known for high rep feats. I personally respond to both heavy poundage and reps.


The two feed off each other, it takes both to build quality wheels.
The only lifters I have met that didn't respond to high rep leg training were the ones without the 'heart' to push through the pain.


I agree with this statement.


So how often do you guys do high rep squats? What's a leg day look like for you two? Tank, you both look like you've got a great pair of wheels yourselves. Squats once/twice/three times a week for you? Heavy and light days ? Feel free to elaborate


I would call this high-rep. work (just the finishing set at three stations shown)


I would call this heavy & high rep.


This is somewhere between.


I think high reps and increased TUT for legs are both amazing tools for growth. I frequently utilize squats for sets of 15-25, and will usually do them DC style where I will ramp to a heavy 4-6 reps weight, then drop down. I do the same for leg press and hack squat as well. I also like increasing the eccentric portion of any of those exercises, and essentially perform sets that last 60-120 seconds depending on the reps.

I have always used pretty high reps often with leg work and, so far, I have had pretty good success with growth.




Ebomb, how many times a week are you hitting the legs? Do you dedicate a day to just high reps? have any form of progression I should know about?


Right now, I'm only training legs once/week, and I am doing a modified Power/Rep Range/Shock template, so essentially, I will hit higher reps on both Rep-Range week and Shock week, but stick in the 3-6 rep range for Power week.


Definitely high reps and heavy load.

If high reps "don't work" for legs, you probably need to work up to a lower rep max first and then drop and rep out (this teaches you proper intensity and fires up the nervous system). You need to learn that you can handle more load than you think you can with high reps.

Rest pausing is a beast; really shows you how much your legs can handle (versus what the brain tells you). If you don't feel like racking the bar after your ~14th rep (knowing that you've got another 6 reps to go or more), then you're not doing it right.


High rep squats are the bomb. I used to be against the idea, but I have changed my mind. I wouldnt do them every week though, maybe once every 2-3 weeks.

There is this guy at my gym, that only weighs 60kg, but he can do 50 reps of 60kg squats in one set!



what are his legs big or not though? sounds like a lot of reps :slightly_smiling: