Tyler Robbins Fitness

B.Sc. Biochemistry, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), Certified CrossFit Trainer (CCFT/CF-L3), USA Weightlifting Level 1

Filtering by Tag: Squats

Squat Every Day Update

I am moving on from my squat every day program. Although I enjoyed the program and saw some new all-time PRs, it was quite taxing on my body, and aiming for a new 1RM every single day started to really wear on me. I ended up completing about 3 1/2 weeks of the program, so here are my results/thoughts/things I learned:

  • My 1-rep maxes for the first week:
    Front Squat - 265lbs
    Back Squat - 330lbs
    Deadlift - 385lbs
    Bench Press - 220lbs
     
  • My all-time 1-rep maxes (coming into the program):
    Front Squat - 270lbs
    Back Squat - 325lbs
    Deadlift - 435lbs
    Bench Press - 225lbs
     
  • My 1-rep maxes for the final week:
    Front Squat - 280lbs
    Back Squat - 340lbs
    Deadlift - 405lbs
    Bench Press - 235lbs
     
  • Results speak for themselves, all of my lifts improved within 3 weeks.
     
  • I felt pretty good throughout the program, but since I am also Head of CrossFit at the Athlete Institute, I enjoy doing a few CrossFit WODs every week. It is a very fine line to walk, squatting every day and throwing in some CrossFit WODs on top of that. I think I did too much volume during my third week that ultimately wore me down causing me to burn out in the 4th week. I think if an individual wanted to just squat every day with some light conditioning thrown in, then this program could be beneficial. On the other hand, if you like doing more volume and/or conditioning, you have to be quite attentive to your overall volume and not overdo things.
     
  • On a similar note, this is not a beginner program. Your form must be perfect, or near-perfect as you will be pushing max weight every. single. day. Developing bad habits and pushing more weight than you should with bad form is a recipe for disaster.
     
  • One of the biggest advantages to doing a program like this is getting comfortable under the bar. I remember reading about this, as it was one of the primary reasons for wanting to try the program. Whether using pause reps, or just trying to move more weight, I feel more comfortable and confident in my squat and bench press, having the mindset to be able to push through and fight through heavier weights that I may have previously just given up on.
     
  • I enjoy training with volume. I am not saying that training in 3 or fewer reps isn't effective or necessary, I just enjoy the feeling of training with more volume. To be honest, I have yet to ever come across one workout plan that is sustainable for a long-term. Our goals and aspirations change, so some times you have to re-focus your efforts.
     
  • I am certainly not walking away from squatting every day for good. I think there are a lot of positives to the program and could see re-visiting it again in the future, especially if I have an interest in giving my numbers a bit of a bump.




Back to Basics: Strength Day 1

Warm-up

The warm-up shouldn't take you more than about 5-10 minutes to complete, especially once you become familiar with the exercises and sequencing. Watch the video to get an idea of how each exercise is done.

Quadruped Shoulder Series x 240 reps
Open/Close x 15 reps
Scarecrow x 15 reps
Scapular Retraction x 10 reps
Plange Push-ups x 10-15 reps
Face Pulls with Scapular Retraction x 15 reps
External Rotations x 10 reps
Overhead Squats x 10 reps
Leg Swings x 48 reps
Scorpions x 8 reps
Fire Hydrants x 20 reps

Strength

Back Squat - all sets are 5 repetitions
40% of "working weight"
50% of "working weight"
60% of "working weight"
Working Set 1
Working Set 2
Working Set 3
Working Set 4
Working Set 5

Bench Press - all sets are 5 repetitions
40% of "working weight"
50% of "working weight"
60% of "working weight"
Working Set 1
Working Set 2
Working Set 3
Working Set 4
Working Set 5

Barbell Row - all sets are 5 repetitions
*shoulders and body should be warm by this point, only a 60% warm-up set should suffice
60% of "working weight"
Working Set 1
Working Set 2
Working Set 3
Working Set 4
Working Set 5

Each exercise has anywhere from 1-3 warm-up sets with 40, 50, and/or 60% of your "working sets" weight. All "working sets" weight stays the same for all working sets. I usually round to the nearest 5-pound increment for my warm-up sets. This is where 2.5lb. weight plates come in handy so that you can micro-load your barbell with 5 total pounds.

A set of squats (180lb. "working weight") would therefore look like this:

40% - 70lbs. x 5 reps
No rest
50% - 90lbs. x 5 reps
No rest
60% - 110lbs. x 5 reps
90 second rest

180lbs x 5 reps
*90 second rest
180lbs x 5 reps
*90 second rest
180lbs x 5 reps

*90 second rest
180lbs x 5 reps

*90 second rest
180lbs x 5 reps

*There is no set rest time between warm-up sets (besides the time it takes you to load your barbell), however, the following guidelines should be followed for the working sets:

  1. If you complete all 5 repetitions with ease and no break in form, take a 90 second break before the next working set.
  2. If you struggle with one or more repetitions to reach 5, take a 90-180 second (1.5-3 minute) break prior to starting your next working set. Do not be in a rush to start the next set, as your body requires time to recover from the previous set's effort. Your central nervous system also needs time to recover.
  3. If you miss one or more repetitions, which means you either fail to lift the weight at all, or substantially break form to complete (not recommended), then rest for 5 minutes before attempting the same weight again.

If you complete all 5 working sets with the same weight then you increase your weight by 5 pounds for the next workout you complete this exercise.

Accessory

Incline Press/Bent Over Row - 6-12 repetitions per set, 3 sets

Incline Press - 15, 12, 8, 8, 12, 15 repetition pyramid set

You will notice that I do not have single-muscle and/or single-joint accessory exercises (bicep curls, tricep extensions, etc.). The main strength lifts across all 4 strength days cover essentially every muscle in your body. Coupling that with some of the accessory work to aid in strength and growth, muscles like your biceps and triceps get plenty of work. For example, during a bench press or overhead press, although your are primarily pressing with your pectoral muscles of your chest or deltoid muscles of your shoulder, your triceps are heavily involved in the movement. By doing these exercises, your triceps will get stronger and grow.

Remember that these exercises/lifts are here to aid your main lifts. All of your focus and energy should be focused on your strength work. If, however, you wish to complete the accessory exercises, do not be as attached to previous workouts' numbers and wish to increase numbers. For example, you may have pressed 40lb. dumbbells for 8 reps on the incline press, but as you get stronger and push your bench press numbers higher, you may be more fatigued by the time you reach the accessory work, forcing you to either get fewer reps or drop the weight of the dumbbells a bit.

I use 90 second breaks between each set. I complete all sets of an exercise before moving on to the next exercise. I do not super-set. For example:

Incline Press/Bent Over Row x 6-12 reps
90 second rest
Incline Press/Bent Over Row x 6-12 reps
90 second rest
Incline Press/Bent Over Row x 6-12 reps

One exception to this workout in particular is the Incline Press Pyramid Set. I use 30 second rest periods between the 15, 12, and 8-rep sets, a 90 second break at the half-way point. For example:

Incline Press x 15 reps
30 second rest
Incline Press x 12 reps
30 second rest
Incline Press x 8 reps
90 second rest
Incline Press x 8 reps
30 second rest
Incline Press x 12 reps
30 second rest
Incline Press x 15 reps

The goal with the pyramid set is to choose a weight that forces you to struggle (close to failure) on the last 2-3 reps of each set. You will therefore increase in weight on the "up" portion of the pyramid (decreasing in reps from 15 to 8) and decrease in weight on the "down" portion of the pyramid (increasing in reps from 8 to 15).

Questions/Comments/Concerns? Make sure to comment below!





How to: Squat

This guide will take you through the progressions and intricacies of how to squat. I will also explain the differences between a front squat, a high-bar back squat, and a low-bar back squat.

Read More




My next 3 weeks of training

A real quick post detailing what I plan on doing for my final 3 weeks prior to starting P90X3. I am continuing with my mass/strength gaining theme. Lots of recovery time, but a lot of heavy lifting on working days. This may seem very different than what many of you are used to, so ask any questions if you find anything concerning.

My off/recovery days will be used to either completely rest, or do some light yoga/stretching if I am feeling stiff.

Sunday December 1st - Saturday December 21st

Sunday - Hockey
Monday - Workout 1
Tuesday - Off/Recovery
Wednesday - Workout 2
Thursday - Off/Recovery
Friday - Workout 3
Saturday - Off/Recovery

Workout 1

5x5 Back Squat
5x5 Bench Press
1x5 Deadlift
Body Beast Bulk: Chest

Workout 2

5x5 Front Squat
5x5 Barbell Row
3x8 Good Mornings
Body Beast Bulk: Back (no deadlifts)
3x5 Turkish Get Up

Workout 3

5x5 Back Squat
5x5 Overhead Press
Diamond Delts

One glaring omission to many of you is the fact that I do not have a single, dedicated leg day. Well, that's because I am squatting 3x/week. I will be using the back squat on Mondays and Fridays and the front squat on Wednesdays. This will vary where the load is placed on my body so that I will activate muscles slightly different each time.

You may also notice a lack of "core" work. Again, with squats, deadlifts, and overhead presses, my core will be gaining PLENTY of strength. Just for good measure, however, I will be adding some Turkish Get Ups on Wednesdays.

No "isolation" work here (biceps, triceps, etc.) as my triceps will get worked on chest day, biceps will get worked on back day. I will be moving plenty of weight to work both of those muscle groups.

Heavy squatting, as well as deadlifting works wonders to increase production of testosterone and growth hormone to grow my muscles. That is one advantage to having squats 3x/week. I also need more recovery time between workouts to allow for proper recovery/tissue re-building.

This then gives me a week of recovery/light workouts prior to starting P90X3 on Sunday December 29th.