For those of you following me on Instagram or Facebook, you have probably seen at least one of my posts from this past week detailing my very first week on a squat every day program. I have actually been intrigued and interested in the concept of squatting every single day for quite some time now, but various reasons and circumstances have held me back from starting it. I finally made the decision a little over a week prior to starting, and figured I would give it a go.
Although there are a number of squat every day programs out there, many of them based on Bulgarian Methods, I was really inspired to give this a shot based on Cory Gregory's Squat Every Day (The Sequel) program from bodybuilding.com.
Squat every day? Really? Like every single day?
Most people never work their legs. Some people in the fitness community work their legs once or twice a week. Some individuals in the CrossFit communities or on other linear progression programs even work their legs 3 times a week. So why every single day? Does every single day mean every single day? I'm so confused!
I know, this sounds like the program goes against everything you have heard in the past about recovery and progression, but I am here to not only explain my reasoning behind wishing to start this program, but also detail what my goals and thoughts are heading forward.
I love squatting. Plain and simple. As cliched as it sounds, I love the analogy that squatting is like life. You take a bunch of weight on your shoulders, weighing you down, and you can either wimp out and let it push you down or you can get the fuck up and get stronger!
Squatting is so functional. It works so much muscle at one time, it improves the strength and durability of not only your legs and glutes, but also your core (lower back). Also, for those of you who have been following me for some time now will know that I had back surgery for a herniated disc back in 2004 (age 20) so a strong and durable core is my primary focus when it comes to training.
Ask anyone who knows me personally (like my wife, for example) and I have probably mentioned to them in the past about how whenever I try and create a training block for myself, I almost always end up with "analysis paralysis." I am constantly reading research studies and program design protocols, so I am always testing and tweaking training programs to experiment and understand how I can better serve myself and my clients.
So when I am trying to design a training program, especially lately, I am always trying to fit in room for sufficient leg work (first and foremost), but also include in enough upper body strength and hypertrophy work, as well as some metabolic conditioning (mostly CrossFit). Something is almost always left out because I try and add in as much leg and core work as I deem to be necessary, but then still have enough time to do upper body work and conditioning - you know, outside of my time training clients and spending time with my family. I can't be in the gym 3 hours working out every day as much as I'd like to.
How can an individual possibly squat every day? Don't you need time to recover? Well, based on the research I've done on similar programs, it turns out our bodies are far more adaptive than what we give them credit for. One of the primary reasons I wanted to start a program like this is to see what my body is capable of doing. Sure, many who do similar programs can be "supplementing" to help their progress, something that I will not be doing, but it will be interesting none-the-less.
I like the analogy of the garbage man. If I was to start a job tomorrow - such as being a garbage man, hucking garbage into a truck all day long, you'd be pretty certain that I would be sore for the first few days, maybe even the first 2 weeks from doing something that I haven't done before. I would be tired, worn out, and not feeling 100%. My body would begin to adapt, however, and I would soon be getting through an entire day of slinging garbage without a problem at all.
Regardless of whether or not I am squatting 2, 3, or 7 days a week, my body will go through an initial period of being sore, but then adaptation will occur and progress will take over.
Well, I started on Monday June 6th. How long will this continue? As long as I feel I am enjoying the program and am making improvements. Does this mean a new PR every day? Absolutely not. Does this mean a new PR even once a week? Not likely. But if I approach squatting as a daily task, I am hoping to keep this going for months or even years!
As I mentioned before, I am not revealing all of the plans to what I am doing, as I may be making adjustments to it here and there, but you can be certain that there will be lots of squatting! Not only that, but I am fitting in some unique ways of getting both upper body strength and hypertrophy work in to improve strength and size. I am also dabbling in some CrossFit workouts for conditioning and skill development. In my opinion, there is nothing that compares to the intensity and effectiveness of CrossFit metabolic conditioning.
Musings from the first week
- Although the program that I am doing is based on Cory Gregory's Squat Every Day: The Sequel, I have also modified it a bit to suit my needs. I know that Cory does 400-800m of walking lunges at least 4 days a week, but I just can't bring myself to lunge that much - too boring!
- Squat form has to be perfect - or near perfect! Nearly every single squat I have done this first week has been recorded, not only to share on my Insta feed, but to also coach myself and see where I can make adjustments or corrections. I know that cutting corners can manifest and it would be like throwing even one little grain of fine sand into a high performance race car engine - that one grain of sand can and will wear down that engine over time.
- On day 5 I set a new back squat PR at 330lbs (up from 325lbs) - above video. This by no means means that this program is working already, but it certainly has me fired up for what's to come!
- I am not sharing all of my programming just yet, maybe in a few weeks after I have some more time with the program and feel as though it is well-rounded and good to share with my followers. I can say that I am absolutely in love with this program already, even after just one short week. I will definitely be sharing more information on this soon.
- My goal is to squat every day to maintain the health and durability of my lower body and core. This doesn't mean that I will be aiming for personal records all the time, because I know that I will eventually reach an upper limit. But having said that, if I can front squat 405lbs, aiming to improve that number can include pushing more weight, but having a day where I only squat a measly 315lbs (sarcasm) is still moving weight and engaging my leg muscles. Squatting 315lbs in a day is better than not squatting at all.