Squat routines vary in what you are doing during that time frame. For instance, you're not going to train heavy during a recuperation period, just like you're not going to train light when it's closing time on a meet.
Sometimes routines pop into our heads as they begin to fit our needs. Some prove to be great, while others are disastrous. When I set up routines, it's according to what people tell me about themselves, and what has worked for me.
I train 5 days a week and if necessary, 6 days. There are hundreds of arguments against this type of training, but once again it's how you prep your body for this type of assault. You'll find out that it's not done in one or two training sessions, but is built upon over a period of time. If you are someone who likes to be out of the gym in one hour, you can forget this whole thing. I leave it to you. In order to take a record or standing away from someone, you have to be prepared.
It's like baking a cake. When you read the recipe you automatically say, "I can do it; once the flour is sifted, the eggs and milk are blended -- the remainder is academic." It all comes together in an instance. So plan to be confident with your workout program and give it an honest effort.
Let me give you an idea of my prep work building for a contest:
Stationary bike riding
Medium heavy squats
Bike ride home
Heavy squats, contest style
Bike ride home
I use such programs as you are about to read for change-up and to stimulate different portions of my training.
For instance, if you've read my book on bench pressing
you would have heard me talk about a system that I developed. The system is called the 6 x 5 or 5 x 6, any way you put it, it's 30 medium heavy reps.
What it means is, to pick a weight you can do 6 sets of 5 reps. Let's say you can do 6 x 5 with 500 pounds. The 6th set, if your last rep is as easy as the first in that set, it's time to change -- say, 515 pounds and so on. This workout puts on great size and gives unreal strength. Think about it, 30 reps x 500 is 15,000 pounds. If you can do this, isn't it in range to think about doing 600 for a single -- or even more.
My routine for this:
This may be Weeks #1, #2, #3.
765x6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6 [30 reps]
Remember this, let's make a problem -- say your sets go like this:
6-6-6-5-4 = 27 reps, you have 1 more set of 3 reps to equal 30 reps. This is the foundation you build on until you can get the 30 reps in 5 sets. You can't change it until you can do 30 good reps.
Weeks #4, #5, #6
795 x 6, 6, 6, 6, 6 [30 reps]
Weeks #7, #8, #9
840 x 6, 6, 6, 6, 6 [30 reps]
As you can see, in this 12 week program both the upper and lower numbers change at different intervals to conserve energy and fight off the daily routine which keeps the mind constantly jogged, and does not let you become complacent with the same numbers over a long period of time.
These numbers are mine and may be yours too. If not, change them to meet your own workout strengths. What I'm trying to instill in your minds in the idea.
Weeks #10, #11, #12
Week #10: Try a maximum lift.
700x2 Always remember assistance exercises .
If succeeded, make Week #11 a week to work on form.
Week #12 - Contest week - should be a work-up to contest weights.
Before I start routine number two, let me explain an option available to you. Let's just say, during a certain part of your training career you become what is known as "World Class." Should I continue this 6 x 5 System?
This is entirely up to you. Maybe you've become used to its benefits and want to carry it a couple steps further. Okay! Maybe you're tired and need a change -- if so, I want you to try my Routine #2, which is 3 thru 5; 1 thru 3 on the heavier end. It goes something like this . . .
In the middle range of sets, you don't want to get more than 3-5 reps, and on the top end you don't want to get more than 1-3 reps. If you can do more, it's time to change your poundages. In the mid-range you can't get less than 3, and on the top end, less than 1; if so, the weight is too heavy.
These poundages can be altered as you like. Nothing is stationary, it's up to you. Maybe you'd even like to make a mix during a training session. There is nothing wrong with mixing as long as it produces. The downside to all this is, you can't keep it all in order in your head, you're looking confusion right in the face. So sit down, read it over, put it down in writing, so you can see it and from there chart your next course.
Routine #3 is probably the most used routine by lifters and in training it counts for nothing. It's a good looking routine, but not quite the one to build your squat off of. This routine I use to find out just where my maximum poundage may be. It's one that will not necessarily give you poundages on your squat, but should be employed for several weeks to adjust your lifts for a meet. I like it because after months of hard training, I can call on it to tell me the truth about my maximum.
It's a low rep, maximum poundage routine.
770x1 - last warmup
To finish off this routine, you should rep out with a low weight to pump warm blood into those muscles.
You find out the more these routines are used, the stronger you will get -- the more advances you'll make and the less training from the bottom you'll have to do. Even your warmups will be higher.
So far we've built a great back, traps, erector muscles and thighs . . . even so they are held up by the lower leg or calf muscles. I assure that your calf muscles grow somewhat with the squat but they also need special attention too.
I use a variety of movements for this area. In specializing I use the leg press calf movement, calf raises seated and standing, board jumping, and walking on my toes.
I find the leg press calf raise allows for the most weight owing to the positioning. I find in most useful after leg pressing to lower the amount of weight on the rack. Press the desired weight to a lockout, and do an upside-down toe raise. In protecting calf shape, I desire the seated calf raise machine because you can not only control the weight better, but you can do regular calf raises, toes in calf raises, and toes out calf raises. Standing calf raises I do on a day when my lower back is tight and I don't get the pressure as on the leg press machine. Board jumping I used earlier in this seminar. Going from flat footed to all out upward spring brings into play the complete calf muscle. This is a desired effect that is put into play coming up out of a deep squat. It's a burst of energy you have to build into your legs. It may seem silly and unnecessary, but when this is all put together, you become a dyno.
This kind of squatting brings about the strength and courage to do it again and again. What do I mean? How about the person who misses a squat and because they trained for one shot, bombed out. Then there is the person who trains this system and misses for some reason and comes back on a second and third try and does more each time. That's built in strength and courage that can't be brought by the art of clothing. Remember you can't squat what you haven't trained for. Don't let anybody fool you into this syndrome. The brain will pick up the false signal and shut the body down. If you go beyond that, you're putting your career in jeopardy. It's just simple logic. You can't train the mile run by doing hundred yard dashes.
Do it my way, and they won't say, "maybe he'll make it" -- but rather, "here comes the diesel!"
Enjoy Your Lifting!