A Practical Squat Routine
There is a lot of information available online and on social media regarding the role of squats in the training of weightlifters. Much of this information is regurgitated from one to coach to a lifter, then from one lifter to another through online coaching. A beginner or intermediate lifter cannot perform a squat routine of an advanced lifter. Many try and fail. There is much misinformation on why weightlifters should squat and the frequency they should be performed each week. I will provide some references and links to information I hope each reader takes the time to investigate. In doing so you will gain a scientific knowledge of why I do not advocate multiple sets of 10 reps or squatting for periods of time to solely increase muscle mass or strength.
Every exercise selected in the training of weightlifters must develop specific skills. L. N. Sokolov, in his published work, “The Significance of Speed in Weightlifting and Methods to Develop It.” lists the 4 skills weightlifters should train to master.
The speed of a single movement.
The ability to switch from one movement (direction) to another.
The ability to develop maximum muscular tension in minimal time.
The ability to volitionally relax the muscles.
These skills have more to do with neuromuscular coordination than with strength or muscle mass. When a weightlifter needs to gain leg strength it cannot be at the expense of the these 4 skills. This is why I do not prescribe more than 6 reps for squats. The following squat program has been modified from the squat frequency and intensity as laid out in A.S. Medvedev's “A SYSTEM OF MULTI-YEAR TRAINING IN WEIGHTLIFTING.” It is important to note that only in the 3rd through fifth year of training that percentages based on maximum attempts were written. For the first 2 years squat poundages were selected within a lifter's bodyweight and frequency was also programmed by how each lifter assimilated to the training in the classical lifts and accessory work.
On average each lifter back squatted twice a week and front squatted once a week. This is an 8 week program where back squats are performed twice a week (Mon and Thurs) and front squats performed at least once every other week on Sat. Front squats can be done every Saturday depending on how the lifter feels. This is not written to save space The first number is the rep number, the one in parenthesis is the set number.. On average every lifter increases their 1 rep max by 10-15%.
Day1. warmups then 80% x3(5), 72.5% x5.
Day 2. warmups then 80% x2(3), 72.5% x5(2).
Day 1. warmups then 82.5% x3(5), 75% x5
Day 2. warmups then 82.5%x2(3), 75% x5(2).
Day 1. warmups then 85% x3(5), 77.5% x5.
Day 2. warmups then 85% x2(3), 77.5% x5(2).
Day 1. warmups then 87.5% x3(3), 80% x5
Day 2. warmups then 87.5% x2(4), 80% x5(2).
Day 1. warmups then 90% x3(3), 82.5% x5.
Day 2. warmups then 90% x2(4), 82.5% x5(2).
Day 1. warmups then 92.5% x2(3), 80% x6.
Day 2. warmups then 85% x4(4),
Day 1. warmups then 95% x2(2), 85% x5.
Day 2. warmups then 80% x3(3)
Day 1. warmups then 80%x2, 93x% x1(2), 105-108% x1. 108-115%x1
Day 2. warmups 70% x3(2).
It is important to note that this squat program produces the best results when volume in the classical lifts is low. One cannot improve results in all lifts all at once. Prioritize your training goals and if you need to improve leg strength do so while also improving neuromuscular coordination.