T Nation

What is a Widow Maker Set?


can anyone please simply tell me what a widow maker set is? I get the impression is sucks major balls therefore its good to do!



It is a set of squats with what is normally a 10RM weight that is extended to 16-20 reps without removing the bar from the back. The first 10 reps are done normally. Once you get past 10, take a couple of breaths and perform another rep; continue in this fashion, taking additional breaths between reps as you tire until you feel you can't get another even with taking the breaths.


20 squats in DC training.


A few examples. Can be done with hack squat machines, smith machines, barbell and leg press machines or any squat machine really.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wm2Hq7zH6kE&feature=related oly barbell squat 315X24

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqzemVgSqUQ box squat widowmaker

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKSIVAfMM8I&feature=PlayList&p=FC0BE76E18AB997B&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=21 (widowmaker here for 50 reps doing sissy squats at the start to failure and doing regular squats after)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ATpbpDub8g Narrow Stance oly squats with barbell widowmaker

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGSa8BepfJc v-squat widowmaker

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6NO4D_wlvY smith machine widowmaker

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcQur8kS5uk&feature=channel_page (have to fast forward a bit towards the end, he does his heavy set first then the widowmaker after)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_skFzbZrc4U&feature=channel_page This isn't a widowmaker but I thought it was a bad ass video displaying true intensity

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMKy_1SnBSk&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Eintensemuscle%2Ecom%2F35581%2Dinten leg press widowmaker


100+ rep leg-press widowmaker sets are an awesome way to wrap up leg day.


I personally think with Widowmakers its totally acceptable to rack the weight after 10-12 reps and rest sure you can bust out a few more but I notice my form gets way to shady for me to continue my lower back starts to hurt so i just rack rest 30sec-1min get 3-5 reps rest 30sec-1min then bust out the last reps.


I guess that's fine if you "personally think" that, but that's not a widomaker set. That is a rest-pause set. DC training does not rest-pause squats. Honestly, what you do isn't even rest pause; you perform 3 straight sets with 30-60 sec rest. In a widowmaker set you do not rack the weight, nor do you pause for 30 sec or more. The most "rest" you get is about 5 breaths and that would be between the last rep or 2--AGAIN WITHOUT RACKING THE WEIGHT.


30-60 sec rest is too long in my opinion and makes it no longer a widowmaker. I think I could have better accepted 15 seconds (although then it would technically be rest pause sets) than potentially 1 minute...at 1 minute it's a completely separate set with that much rest.


One more thing... Because of the increasing number of breaths taken after the 10th rep, widowmakers are sometimes called breathing squats.


This is why I like to use smith machines, leg press or hack squat machines. It allows you not to worry about that shit. if you're doing barbell squats and you rack that shit it's no longer a widowmaker.