Hopefully you’ve already read our first squat article – ‘8 Ways to Improve Your Squat’ (If you haven’t check it out here)
But maybe you have yet to implement some of the principles as you were unsure how to put it all together into a program. Now we are here to give you an example program/template to try for yourself!
We have had so many clients follow this program and its principles and every person has increased their back squat from 5-10 kg (sometimes even more!) over 4 weeks.
Most squat programs are catered to the ‘hardcore’ gym junkie with a high training age, which essentially means they have 2 or more years of training under their belt. For the amount of volume and intensity that these programs demand it is assumed (unwritten) that one has good deep core activation, unilateral leg and glute function, good range of motion, as well as solid support structures especially in the upper back (amongst other things). As a result, programs such as Smolov or Wendler or your classic 5 x 5 will read like this:
Monday – Squats
Wednesday – Squat lots
Friday – Squat more
Saturday – Squat even more!
They can be very effective but also equally detrimental if one is not careful and goes into them without a solid awareness of their own body. This can lead to injury! Take it from experience as we have tried all of the mentioned programs ourselves and discovered their limitations and propensity to cause injury if you do not have the knowledge to fill in the gaps!
We are here to provide a more holistic approach! We wanted to provide you with an example program/template that is designed to improve your squat but also get you stronger and more balanced in the process! The program has specific prescriptions to what we call ‘accessory work’ which is essentially anything that is not working the main movement of the squat but ticks off some of the things we mentioned earlier such as core work, upper back work, glute/single leg work and mobility. We have found all of these exercises effective and beneficial to the greater majority of our clients and athletes!
If you want to work your front squats simply change all the back squats in the program to front squats instead!
If you are feeling strong and that you are still progressing at the end of week 4 and want to do another week then feel free to repeat week 4. Once you have completed it we would suggest a deload week or half week and re-testing your 1RM at the end of the week that follows completion of the program.
Let us know how you go and your results!
** Note: You should have at least 3 to 6 months of squat movement and general strength training prior to attempting this program. Hopefully you have been taught good squat mechanics by a qualified trainer/coach before attempting this program/template! **
NSW Senior State Champion 2016 in Olympic Weightlifting, 85kg class