Hey Rip! How about 6 week, 20 rep squat cycle?
Tonight I started doing a few singles in the squat, just out of curiosity. Got up to 350 lbs, and could have done more (I'm certain) but for some reason my hip drive took flight at 355.
But here's what I'm thinking:
What if I drop the weight big time, say down to 225 doing 20 rep breathing squats, and then over the next six weeks, add five pounds a workout, 90 lbs in total, so that come October 1st ... I'm doing 315 x 20. Now, that 225 is a big drop. Traditional folklore says that I'm to do twenty reps with a ten rep weight, which is probably closer to 275 lbs. However, I'm not greedy. Dropping to 225 will give me a chance to build up plenty of momentum to hit 315 x 20.
I know this won't neccessarily help me with my maximum strength, in the short term, but I recall you have respect for the 20 rep breathing squats, and I feel a shock like that might really pile on some new muscle, before I return to, say, an advanced novice program.
Squat: 320 x 5, 335 x3, 350 x 1
Deadlift: 345 x 5
Bench: 205 x 5
Press: 140 x 5
Power Cleans: 185 x 3
Bodyweight: 215 lbs
Hit an official 40 pound weight gain today. Which is good, but I'm under no illusions. The gains will be slow now. My body has figured out it isn't going to die from 3x5. However, 1x20 should really freak it out ... at least over the short term.
I need 30 more lbs.
I'd really appreciate your thoughts on this. And maybe, if possible, a Rip sanctioned, 20 rep squat routine? And not to push my luck, or test your goodwill, but if you could include push presses, that'd be really swell.
Jesus, flux, why don't you do it and then I'll tell you what's wrong. That will be more fun for me. But I'll give you a hint: I don't think you're going to turn 320 x 5 into 315 x 20 in six weeks. At least not the pure, wholesome way.
I have numbers eerily close to Flux'x and I just started a 20 rep squat program. I started at 185 because I was feeling burned out between weight lifting practice and heavy lifting. I've been adding 10 lbs a workout which I'll try to do until I get stuck then switch to 5 lb increases. I've gone from 185 x 20 to 235 in 2 weeks. I dropped down to 2 days a week of strength training and 2 day of weight lifting. It seems to be going fairly well, except for the incredible pain of doing 20 rep squats.
Give it a go flux. Eat alot, but you have no problem with that.
Originally Posted by fluxboy
Your ambition and raw balls have amazed me ever since I came on this forum. It's truly great stuff. From what I understand you may be physically able to do 20 rep squats only once per week (due to recovery) and add 5-10 lbs. from one week to the next. So in 6 weeks you'd be looking at 30-60 lbs. total increase. Am I off here, Rip?
Keep up the great posts and experiments, Flux. Reading and watching your progress has truly helped me realign expectations.
Out of curiosity, what kind of jumps are you making in your lifts now? Five pounds in squat/deadlift, 2.5 in bench? Are you missing reps?
Oh, you done it now, Rip. You done made Flux open up a can o' Six-Week-Whoop-Ass!
Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe
I'm gonna do my little six week 20 rep squat. On Oct 1, I might even post a little vid clip of me doing 20 reps with 315 lbs. I might even do it to your music, Tower Of Power, tho' it may pain me so. And fear not over wholesomeness and purity, for as you know, that is the source of all my strength.
And then you can tell me what's wrong. And then you can also autograph a copy of PPST for me ... deal?
One piece of advice for anyone contemplating the 20 Rep Squat routine (I did it a few times back in college) - take all of the talk about using your 10RM with a big grain of salt. Very few, and I mean VERY FEW people are capable of this (10 reps to positive failure followed by 10 rest pause reps). And the very few people who are capable of doing it are NOT capable of doing it 3 times per week for 6+ weeks. You'll stall faster than someone trying to drive a stick shift for the first time, and it will crash your CNS so that other exercises suffer too. What I did, and recommend to others, is to start with your 20RM, keep adding weight so that after a few weeks you're using your 15RM (15 + 5 rest pause), and then keep adding weight until the last few workouts of the cycle involve your 12RM (12 + 8 rest pause). Obviously this isn't written in stone, and you need to find what works for you. The OP has said he intends to start with a lower weight and work up, so he's on the right track. Good luck!
Well, I tried a twenty rep squat last night. I figured, given my amazing strength, I could do an easy 225 x 20. In fact, I believe I posted that a 275 x 20 might be a possibility, but an easy 225 x 20 to start.
I believe I must have been on crack.
My God, did that suck. I don't know what was going on, but at around rep 14, I simply lost all desire to continue. The lower back was screaming, the lungs were about to collapse, my left shoulder (it never really took to the low bar position) gradually had won out, forced itself forward, bending the wrist most painfully, my other hand/arm started to go numb ... and let me tell you. This whole "well, you can just breath for as long as necessary and do one more rep" is poppycock. While you are standing there, you are still supporting hundreds of pounds, on an every increasingly weakening body, wracked in pain. I actually started dong calculations trying to determine the sweet spot between standing, breathing, and being in pain, as opposed to risking a leg collapse by speeding up the squats.
It just, sucked. Then the rest of my workout was a shambles as I was a shaking, quivering lump of weakness.
But today, I woke up (after ten hours of straight sleep) and the body felt ... different. A good different, like it could have done it, but I was just being a wimp. I was concerned that maybe my intentions were outpacing my ability. Not so. The body can pull this off, I just have to increase my pain threshold.