Try This 12 Week Squats Program For The Ultimate Legs

Squats

Squats are the ultimate leg builder

It’s a Monday morning. You decide to head off to the gym to get your week started on the right foot with a solid, productive workout.

The thing is, you’re not the only one who thinks this way.

Monday will always be one of the most crowded days in the gym, especially in the morning.

People want to atone for what they ate and drank over the weekend by working off the calories in the gym.

Exercise is also a great way to get your focus up for the new work week.

If you want to get a good workout on a Monday, train your legs. No one wants to train their legs on a Monday because it’s too hard.

They’ll work their upper body and abs but not the lower body.

Now if you want to make sure you have equipment to train with, start off your leg workout with Squats.

It’s bad enough that training legs is hard. Squats will make your leg training harder and that’s why it works.

A person who does Squats will have fuller, more complete leg development. They will also be stronger than someone who doesn’t.

Ask the guy who leg presses 10 plates per side how much he squats. Chances are all you’ll get are a litany of excuses of why he doesn’t Squat.

The Squat should be the main arsenal in your leg development program.

But like all weapons, you should first know how to handle it in order to maximise its benefits.

If you have not done squats before, spend time learning proper form and technique.

Start out with an empty bar and work through the motions before adding weight.

Take your time because for the Squat to be productive, your form and technique must be spot-on.

Repetition leads to developing good habits.

If you Squat with sloppy technique or if you focus too much on the amount of weight instead of the quality of the rep, you will undermine your progress and expose yourself to injury.

The Squat Program

In this program, you will only Squat. No Leg Press, no Lunges and especially no Leg Extensions.

However, you will do 4 variations of the Squat as “Intensifiers”. The purpose of the Intensifier is to help you develop strength along different points of the Squat.

Squats Program

Mix up your squats with different variations for max results

These are the 4 Squat variations:

1. High Rep Squat – This will help you build mobility, flexibility and confidence in achieving a full range of motion. Performing high reps will also stimulate muscle growth.

2. Pin Squats – Set the pins of the Power Rack at a height slightly below parallel.

Position the bar on the pins, go underneath it and start the Squat from the bottom position. Pin Squats will help you develop strength at the mid-point.

3. Pause Squats – Hold the bottom position of the Squat for 5 seconds. Pause Squat will build explosive strength from the bottom. It will also develop your gluteus muscles and hamstrings.

4. Box Squat – Place a box on top of a flat bench. The height should be such that when your glutes touch the box, your hips still remain higher than your knees.

This is like a Quarter Squat; it builds the top of your quadriceps and strengthens your lower back.

Because the range of motion is limited, the weight you will use is 110% to 120% heavier than your 1-rep max.

Week# % Max Sets Reps Intensifier % Max Sets Reps
1 0.75 5 5 High Rep 0.50 1 20
2 0.775 5 5 High Rep 0.55 1 20
3 0.80 5 5 Pin .60 2 5
4 0.825 5 5 Pin 0.65 2 5
5 0.85 5 5 Pause 0.70 2 4
6 0.90 8 3 Pause 0.75 2 4
7 0.925 8 3 Box 1.10 2 3
8 0.95 8 3 Box 1.15 2 3

The Intensifiers are done after your regular Squat work sets.

The 5 sets x 5 reps scheme is one of the most effective programs for building strength and muscle size. It works best with compound exercises.

You start out with 75% of your maximum 1-rep Squat then add 2.5% to the weight every week until Week #6 where the increment goes up by 5%. Start using a lifting belt when you get to 90% of your max.

If you notice the total reps for your working weight will average 24 to 25 reps. Studies have shown this volume of work is ideal for building size and strength.

If you don’t know your 1-rep max, you can use this formula from the National Strength Coaches Association or NSCA:

Best weight for 3 reps x 3 reps = Y;
Y x 0.033 = Z
Z + Best weight for 3 reps = Estimated Best 1-rep max

For example, if the best you can rep for 3 is 100 kg then:

100 kg x 3 = 300;
300 x 0.033 = 9.9
9.9 + 100 kg = 109.9

Your estimated 1-rep maximum in the Squat is 110 kg.

Give this “Squat Only” leg program a try for 12 weeks. Once you see the results, you will no longer be interested in any other leg equipment except the Squat rack.