Have you ever tried to squat every day?
Not air squats every day…
I’m talking heavy, barbell-on-your-back, squats every day.
This type of training is REALLY hot right now…again.
Yes, I said again.
Is a squat every day program new?
I’ve noticed this method of training gains popularity in waves.
So let’s talk squatting every day!
Close to five years ago (late 2010), I squatted every day for months, and enjoyed it.
Then, I brought a mini-version of “squat every day” to End of Three Fit about 2-3 years ago (and we will do it again).
It’s a good push.
I’ve recently gotten a good amount of emails asking me about squat every day programs and I’m always happy to give my two cents on things I’ve tried, or know about.
For the most part, everyone’s main concern…
SHOULD you squat every day??
Today, we are going to learn how to break down squat every day programs and get to the ultimate answer of:
- Should YOU, like as in YOU reading this, squat every day?
But first, let’s look at where squatting every day came from.
Squat Every Day History
Some say squatting every day, or rather, training every day goes back to the 1940’s…
If you do the research, you’ll find links to the Bulgarian Method and successful Olympic athletes who have adopted similar training ideas.
But I won’t bore you with too much history or theory…
As far as I am concerned, John Broz is the man behind squatting every day and believes everyone can and should train every day.
He starts lifters off with daily heavy squatting, and produces phenomenal results.
Most know John Broz when they hear this quote:
“If your family was captured and you were told you needed to put 100 pounds onto your max squat within two months or your family would be executed, would you squat once per week? Something tells me that you’d start squatting every day. Other countries have this mindset. America does not.”
While John has been a proponent of this method for a long time it didn’t start to become popular until 2010-2011.
In 2010, Dave Lipson (for those who don’t know, Camille LeBlanc‘s Husband) started a year’s challenge dedicated to Amanda Miller for skin cancer awareness.
He completed 365 days of squatting from 2010-2011 and his goal was to have AT LEAST 450 lbs on the bar every day.
Yes. 450 lb on the bar EVERY DAY!
I took on Dave’s challenge in late 2010, and experienced my first bout of squatting every day.
I did it for several months, but I didn’t put 450lb on the bar every day 🙂
But I did see results.
In 2013, Matt Perryman released the book Squat Every day, chronicling his experience squatting every day which he picked up from watching and reading the training of John Broz.
Fast forward to now, and Cory Gregory broke the internet with his “Squat Every Day” program.
Cory says he created the program due to bombing out in a powerlifting meet in early 2014 and started researching and stumbled on…
None other than, John Broz.
Hey, full circle!
But how’d he break the internet?
Cory is the Founder of Muscle Pharm (a massive supplement company), he has a HUGE social following, a great relationship with one of the most trafficked websites in the WORLD (bodybuilding.com) and he did a great episode with the guys at Barbell Shrugged talking about this method.
That combination took squat every day from a “crazy training method” to a common everyday program.
In fact, you may be reading this because of his influence.
So, that’s the history of Squat Every Day programs in the last decade or so.
Now, should you squat every day??
Should you squat every day (math time)?
I’m going to preface everything I’m about to say with…
- DON’T BE AN ARMCHAIR QUARTERBACK!!
Nothing pisses me off more than a coach or athlete with an opinion and no experience.
We can talk energy systems and textbooks until you are blue in the face, but without application it’s useless.
You show me a study and I’ll show you a guy who squats more than you.
I’m about to geek out here with some math to help you analyze a program, but I ALSO have squatted every day for months and know what it’s like.
And don’t worry, I’ll keep the math light.
I’m combining my experience and knowledge to give you an opinion, or a starting point.
Analyzing a squat every day program is pretty easy, if you do it using Hristo Hristov: How to Design Strength Training Programs using Prilepin’s Table, 2005.
Prilepin’s Table, in short, depicts the optimum number and range of reps given a certain percentage to increase strength.
Prilepin’s Table has its faults, and that is where Mr. Hristov comes in with his INOL (Intensity and Number Of Lifts) calculation.
Anyway, let’s get straight to the math…
- All we are doing is finding out how many total reps you are doing at a given intensity.
- Whether that is 5 sets of 3 reps at 80% or…
- 3 sets: 5 reps @ 75%, 3 reps @85% and 1 rep @ 95%…
- Or ANY combination you can think of.
Take your workout and find total reps at each given intensity and run it through this formula:
Here are two “Demos”
Now, you have a number designated to your workout, and remember this is for a SINGLE exercise; i.e. squat, deadlift, etc.
You take that number and compare it to these two charts:
This chart, we don’t care about as much, but I’ll explain that in a minute (still good to know)…
This is the chart we care more about…
Do the math for YOUR workout and find out where you are.
From the example above, you see they are .75 INOL and .6 INOL which fits in the “Doable and Optimal”.
So what does your workout look like? Where does it fit?
If you are somewhere CLOSE (not exact) to these guidelines you are on the right track to a good squat every day program.
Furthermore, it really helps you set structure to a program which does not give you percentages.
Three Caveats to Doing the Math…
1.) Single Workout vs. Weekly Total. If you want to do a squat everyday program worry more about your “Single Workout INOL of a Single Exercise” from the picture above. If you are squatting every day you are already challenging conventional wisdom, so you will most likely blow the “Weekly INOL” out of the water.
2.) This is a guideline, not science. Don’t get TOO hung up on the numbers here. This is a guideline to help you gauge what is “typical” and what will keep you training optimally. I’ve done programs which have had too much and too little INOL, but they were effective. The key here is longevity – What is sustainable, for YOU? What’s YOUR starting point? What can YOU handle?
3.) DO SOMETHING. Don’t hide behind math, but let it guide you. The real way to learn is through application and doing. Putting a little brain power behind a barbell can keep you safe – but still DO!!
So should you squat every day?
In my experience, it will yield results.
Lower volume at higher intensities is sustainable, but BORING.
But why not give it a try?
You may just perfect your squat and learn something new. Hey, no one said you have to do it for the rest of time. Give it a four week cycle.
Some freakishly strong people squat everyday, and some of the strongest men in the world don’t…
It has to fit with their goals and their training.
So now, over to you…
Tinker. Play. Experiment. Learn. Have fun.
I’ll leave you with a recent quote from my friend Nate Miyaki:
- Knowledge acquisition without application is meaningless.
- Education without an equal amount of execution, and subsequent experience, is useless.
- Statistical significance in studies give you a good starting point, but only really matters if it makes a real world difference for you.
So will you squat every day?