20 Rep Squat Program – Update

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Gaining weight – Feeling great

I have been absent on the blog for exactly a month now. This is due to some site maintenance I have been doing, a LOT of football I have been playing, and I have also been concentrating on the 20 rep squat program. With that being said, I am back with a bang to give an update on how it is going so far.

As I mentioned on my last post, the idea of the program is progressive overload, completing the same workout 3X a week, increasing the weight each time for squats, and each week for the other exercises. The exercises and reps remain consistent throughout, it is the added weight which makes each session tougher than the last. Below is what I started on the first session of this program, a month ago:

  • 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

I planned on increasing the squats by 2.5kg every session, and each other exercise by 2kg each session, I have added to the squat rack most sessions, with a few set backs, and the 2kg to every other exercise was optimistic, but I have increased the weight everywhere by at least 10kg over the month! Below is what I am currently lifting:

  • 1 x 20 squats – 55KG
  • 1 x 20 barbell pullovers – X
  • 3 x 15 bent over rows – 45KG
  • 3 x 15 bench press – 40KG
  • 3 x 15 military press – 20KG
  • 1 x 15 stiff leg deadlifts RACK PULLS – 70KG

So, good gains in all places, and I have gone from 85KG to 88KG in terms of my weight, because this program is demanding, it does require you to eat more, leading to weight gain.

So, time for the Good, the Bad and the Ugly on my experience so far:

The Good

  • I like the consistency of doing the same thing each session, and trying to beat last time.
  • I have gained strength and size in all areas.
  • The compound emphasis of the exercises increases strength in all the main areas of the body (chest, back, legs).
  • Sessions start short and easy at the beginning of the program, which can be good for a busy schedule, and to ease you into it.
  • The overload nature of the program will increase 1 rep max eventually.

The Bad

  • Not necessarily bad, but the sessions really do get harder as you go on, for me this is a good thing, but they can really knock you out, especially in the heat we’ve been having.
  • I found the program to really lack any arm gains, so I switched it up and took out the barbell pullovers, and I do a varied, intense set of biceps and triceps after each session.
  • For someone with low flexibility and long legs like me, I struggled with stiff leg deadlifts, and replaced them with rack pulls (this is something I am working on).

The Ugly –

  • My face whilst attempting 55KG squats, twenty times.

So to summarise and tidy everything up, my recommended version of the 20 rep squat program is:

  • 1 x 20 squats
  • 3 x 15 bent over rows
  • 3 x 15 bench press
  • 3 x 15 military press
  • 1 x 15 rack pulls
  • 1 set of compound bicep exercise
  • 1 set of compound tricep exercise

So, 2 weeks to go, feeling stronger and heavier than at the start… PROGRESS. Will be back to summarise at the end. But, until then, look out for a new blog post next Monday.

Have a brilliant week,

Luke

*Here’s a few action shots no one asked for but are getting anyway*

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