I don’t post as regularly as I would have liked to, but I think that’s just the nature of how things go. Like I’ve been doing recently, I’m just stopping in to leave a tidbit of progress. I’ve been having a ton of luck when it comes to my squat programming, so I figured I’s share what’s working.
- Squat every other day. I did this before I was set up to train with Sam, and I love squatting this frequently. I’m only hurting after my volume days, but otherwise, I find I can absolutely recover in time.
- Squat in different rep ranges. I generally squat for 1s, 2s, 3s, 4s, and 5s. I do have a volume day where I will aim for something like a 10×10 at significantly lower weights, but the total volume achieved is absurdly high compared to my heavy days.
- Different squat variations. I used to just box squat and front squat. I was afraid to do anything else because I thought I was good at box squatting and I new I had to keep up with my front squats. Now I’ll box xquat, box squat with chains, front squat, pause front squat, back squat, pause back squat, back squat with bands, back squat with chains…
- Hit PRs in different styles of squat. The culmination of the other three points… I’m always trying to go for PRs in a style of squat and/or rep range. I think this is the biggest contributing factor to my recent progression.
My most recent changes have been including a high volume day back into the workouts periodically. I’ll do this probably once every two weeks because I’m actually sore for two to three days after. With the frequency of my squatting, this has a huge mental impact on me. The really interesting thing? I’ve found that it has little actual impact on my squatting performance when I’m sore. Go figure…
Another recent change is including bands when I back squat. Once I’ve reached my limit on back squats or paused back squats, I’ll toss on some bands. This lets me add more weight to the bar, so I’m forced to walk out some heavier weights but I get some help out of the whole. With bands, I’ve been able to walk out numbers directly between my pause back squat double and my 1RM box squat. It absolutely helps my mental game.
With these two modifications recently, I’ve seen some awesome improvements. My last tested 1RM box squat jumped 10 lbs. I was able to hit 365 very comfortably, to the point where I considered going for 375 but decided against it because the ramping progression I was using (I might have just been going overboard with one more set). In my last squat workout, I broke three PRs. My banded box squat PR is 320 for a double. By back squat double is 285. My pause back squat is 280 for a double. And just think… If I tried each one of those movements in their own workout and tailored my ramping for each one, I bet they’d be higher!