The 20 Rep Squat Program

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It has been said that every lifter should complete this program at the very least once in their lifetime. What is it… and when am I starting?

Image result for cartoon squat

I don’t know about you, but the first of the month being on a Monday feels good to me. Monday 1st July has a great ring to it. It certainly feels like a good time to try something new. But, what to start? Well, as the title may give away, The 20 Rep Squat Program.

As I previously mentioned, this is a program that has been said to be something which every lifter should put themselves through, at least once. So, I thought, why not. In this blog post I am going to outline what the programme is, why I have decided to do, and what I hope to get out of it. If you have any questions on this, drop an email to

What is the 20 Rep Squat Program?

The 20 rep squat programme is said to be both a mentally and physically challenging way to put on mass, muscle and strength. The program lasts for 6 weeks, with 3 sessions a week. The idea is that you have a rest day after each session. Every session is the same in terms of exercises completed, but the weight you will be lifting should be increased every time. So, here are the all important exercises:

  • 1 x 20 squats
  • 1 x 20 barbell pullovers
  • 3 x 15 bent over rows
  • 3 x 15 bench press
  • 3 x 15 military press
  • 1 x 15 stiff leg deadlifts

So, in terms of weight, it is best to do a practise session where you figure out what weight you can manage for these reps and sets. For squats, there is a bit more thinking behind it. This takes a minute to get your head around but the idea is that – To find the starting weight for the squats, take your 5 rep max and subtract 2.5kg for every workout that you are planning to do over the 6 weeks. If you plan to do the recommended 3 workouts a week for 6 weeks, this would be 18 workouts. 18 x 2.5 = 45kg. So if you squat 150kg for 5 reps, your starting weight would be 105kg. After 18 workouts adding 2.5kg a time, you will squat your previous 5 rep max for 20 reps. For all other exercises it is best to go ahead with the practise session to find your feet with the initial weight.

Here is the weights I will be starting with on Monday:

  • 1 x 20 squats – 40KG
  • 1 x 20 barbell pullovers – 10KG
  • 3 x 15 bent over rows – 30KG
  • 3 x 15 bench press – 30KG
  • 3 x 15 military press – 10KG
  • 1 x 15 stiff leg deadlifts – 60KG

With the squats, I will be adding 2.5KG each session, and for all other exercises, 2KG.

Why am I doing this? 

The end goal is to gain strength and size across the entire body, triggering hypertrophy through progressive overload. The first couple of weeks will be easy, but then it will get progressively harder. I am looking forward to giving regular updates on strength and size.

I am currently on a slight plateau in terms of increasing weight in my sessions, and am hoping that this will take me to the next level. I will be eating a lot for these 6 weeks, in order to maintain energy and increase size.

Sounds like something you would be interested in? Get involved!

Have a productive week ahead.


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