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Thread: Programming the squat

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2020

    Default Programming the squat

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    Hey Rip,
    I was doing NLP over the winter but I want to reduce overall workload as I am back to work now. I roof all summer sometimes very long days in the heat as well. Recovery is always harder in the summer during these times as Iíve ran NLP a few winters in a row and always end up getting stuck on intermediate as a beat the piss out of my body in the summer. I recently heard on a podcast that if a guy wants to squat once a week and go up by 2-2.5 pounds that would be doable. I can manage the intensity/volume days for the presses but I would like to squat once per week and deadlift once per week to keep overall stress down.

    Squat 405x5
    Deadlift 450x5
    Bench 280x3
    Press 190x3

    I know I can probably squeeze out a little more of NLP with these numbers but I am looking for the 4 day intermediate split to keep overall stress down and progress going up as well as trying to keep all workouts around an hour with my schedule. Would I be better off doing one intensity set for these lifts or more of the 5x5 one lift per day style in practical programmingh? Iím 35 y/o male 280lbs 6í2Ē. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    North Texas


    Try it and see. These things are very individual.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2023


    In my experience, one set of squats a week is usually not quite enough volume. The intensity day stress is a "medium" level stress. But it's not a bad place to start. Try one set and go up each week, and if the next increase isn't made, add a set. DON'T start pulling volume or resetting weight on your first stumbling block: remember, you're starting at a low volume.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2020


    After taking a look at a few programs in Practical Programming I think I am just going to try the standard 4 day split. The previous one I tried seems to be the most taxing. I was doing

    Intensity bench/press volume
    Intensity squat/pull volume
    Intensity press/bench volume
    Intensity pull/squat volume

    I am going to give the original one a shot

    Bench or press volume
    Squat and pull volume
    Bench or press intensity with light opposite press
    Intensity squat and pull

    This might be more manageable for me as I can spread the intensity out throughout the week and alternate press and bench press.

    A couple questions as I didnít see anything in the book. What percentage should my light press be after intensity bench be for 5x3? And which day should I do my chins?

    I agree that squatting once per week isnít quite enough so Iím hoping this one will be more manageable. Thanks in advance

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2016


    Paul Horn has a book that has a program with squatting once a week and deadlifting once a week. He goes off of 5x5 ramping sets with optional drop sets. You should give the book a buy, itís a great read

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2021


    starting strength coach development program
    An extra data point: squatting a single set of 5 once a week works for me.

    As Mark said, though, you'll have to try and see. I think the single set works better for someone that is already pretty strong, and also explosive.

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