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S&C UnderGround >> Recommended Squat Program (Burgener? Hatch?)


4/2/13 11:37 AM
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dc1000
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Hey guys -

I have done crossfit with lots of olympic lifting for a few years now. Before that I had done a several month cycle of starting strength. And before that years of Muay Thai with no real strength training.

I just quit crossfit, because even though I really like it and my coach is awesome - I wanted to focus on my strength and power and skip all that running and jumping and shit. And when not lifting, I want to rest and recover.

I am 6'4" 260 22% BF age 37.

In my olympic lifting it has become clear that my front squat is the weak link. I can almost power clean and jerk as much as I can front squat. It is holding me back. I also haven't focused on my back squat for a few years and it has suffered.

So what I want to do is find a squat program that I can run as the foundation and then do some other work around it for 6-12 weeks to make some concerted progress on both squats lifts.

Do you guys have any suggestions?

I have seen a number of programs including the Burgener 10x3 program, a Rippetoe variation with 5x5 BS and 6x2 FS, and others.

Does anyone have any recommendations on these or other programs that I can focus on to get real nice gains in my squats?

Previous PRs include: Back squat - 345 (though more of a squat morning), front squat 235 (weak!!!!), C&J 235, Snatch 190, DL 445

Thanks!
4/2/13 6:07 PM
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NeoSpartan
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1- which program/how many days a week are you squatting now?
2- how long are you going to be focusing on your squats?

If I was in your situation I would do the following:


http://www.mikesgym.org/programs/uploads/burghatchsqt.xls


First-
Burgener 10x3

...squats twice a week. lot of quality work in there and a lot of volume. Perfect kick off program. I think it logs in somewhere around 9 weeks? Usually great gains are made off of this program.

Then-
Swords Squat Program

... Squats 3x/week. Alternatively you could do the Texas Method (called rippetoe in the xls) as well but imo the swords program has more emphasis on your front squat therefore more carryover to your clean. Easy program to maintain your other lifts on as well.

Link to Swords... http://teamhoustonweightlifting.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=48:squats&catid=35:publications&Itemid=2

finish with-
Smolov

...Aka the holy grail. squats 4x/week for 6-8 weeks which puts up to 100lbs on your ass to grass back squat, but if you're feeling ballsy do it with front squats. If you're REALLY feeling ballsy run smolov jr concurrently for your overhead press or bench press. Of course OHP would probably help you more with your crossfit endeavors. Look around online and you can find premade templates.

Smolov... http://ontariostrongman.ca/resources/training/smolovsquatcycle.htm
Smolv Jr... http://www.seriouspowerlifting.com/2362/articles/smolov-jr


Word about smolov- It's a peaking plan. So after you test your max it'll be really high but your nervous system won't maintain that 80-90lb pr too long. That said if you eat like crazy and don't strip down your volume on squats too much (go back to 3x a week, do not go down to 1x a week on 531 or something) you should be able to keep 90% of those gains which is usually pretty astounding when your close to your genetic potential already.
4/2/13 8:07 PM
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tristar
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I have been making amazing progress with the Texas Method. Been doing it for the past 3 months or so. Phone Post
4/2/13 10:11 PM
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dc1000
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thanks neospartan. I had looked at each of those programs. Convenient answer saying DO THEM ALL instead of picking just one ;)

I took my first hack today at a 10x3 program. probably used to high of a weight because I couldnt finish and had to back off. I had assumed that my 1RM had increased without testing it. While I'm sure it is up, it might not have been as far up as I thought.

I will ease back just a little bit and give it another go.

Question -

what did you do around these programs for the other stuff? while I really want to move my squat, I also want to keep working my upper body pushes and pulls and such. after the 7 or sets of squats I did today I then moved on to power cleans, deadlifts and shoulder press. I feel like I might be wrecked tomorrow. Thoughts on how to work it all in?

4/2/13 11:57 PM
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Taku
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Does one really need a special program to squat? Just learn how to squat, and add a little weight over time as you get stronger. If you are stronger each month, it's working.

TAKU

4/3/13 3:50 AM
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NeoSpartan
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DC1000, you like that answer huh? lol

Taku,

Well other than the tongue and check response of "for shits and giggles", there is some value to just changing things up and making them FUN. One benefit is that it keeps your mind fresh. You're just doing something different. Another point is that after a certain period of time you aren't able to add weight like you are used to doing per session, or weekly, or even bi weekly. After you've exhausted fractional plates and what not its time to explore other rep ranges, programs, etc. Linear progression doesn't last forever, sometimes you must vary when and why you add weight/reps. Also, there are programs available that offer linear progression in preferable fashion for whatever you're currently emphasizing that can speed progress instead of just simply 5lbs every week. And who cares if you change it up to
a) fit your scheldue
b) emphasize
c) for shits and giggles

as long as you're not changing your squat form and you're staying consistent and you're still improving... that's all that matters right? I mean for the most part every program I have mentioned basically is exactly what you said, adding just a little weight at a time, albeit in varying intensities.

DC1000 (& to a lesser extent Taku),

Well I put those programs in a certain order for a reason. I didn't have enough information about you (DC1000) and your current training methodology. There's some much, much, much more intelligent forum members than I, but from my personal experience I feel that squats respond a lot better to frequency. How you do that is up to you, but if you (like a large % of forum members) are doing 5/3/1 or squatting just once a week then you need to work up to more frequency. The reason why I included 3 programs is because I assumed you squat once a week, also because I don't know how long you want to work on your squat. It takes time to develop your #'s and really establish them. Again just from my experience, anything under 6 weeks I can "lose". I think it's just CNS adaptation. So if you REALLY want to take it off of maintenance and amp up your squat you have to really focus on it for a long period of time. 3-4 cycles of 6 weeks imo.

As far as 10x3, these are all submaximal programs you need to really undercut what you think you can squat. If you can do 345x3 but felt like you had 5, well you didn't do 5, so make 325-335 your max and save yourself the hassle. You can always add a tiny plate or two if you feel good but taking a plate off is psychologically damaging even if you know you overshot your max.

In reference to your other lifts. I'd keep them on maintenance mode. Which IMO is best with 5/3/1. If you feel like you need more singles you can work up to your "working" max ( a wendler recommendation) but I'd play that by ear. As well as often times if you feel beat down you just your 5/3/1 #'s and don't go for a rep max that week. You just want to stay consistent and keep improving, no matter how small the percentage.

Overall i'd be limiting the pulls as well. Cleans, dls, etc would all be on far less intense methods of progression.
4/3/13 3:55 AM
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NeoSpartan
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tristar -  I have been making amazing progress with the Texas Method. Been doing it for the past 3 months or so. Phone Post

Yea I love this, it's my 'base' program right now.
4/3/13 8:38 AM
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dc1000
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Taku -

Does one really need a special program to squat? Just learn how to squat, and add a little weight over time as you get stronger. If you are stronger each month, it's working.

TAKU

Do you really think it is that simple? I think programming can be a little thoughtful than just "go squat"

I want it to work and I want a goal. I also like having a plan.

Mike bergener and the other folks have thought about this much more than I have.

With your clients taku do you really just say let's squat with no plan? Phone Post 3.0
4/3/13 10:17 AM
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1800champagne
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If you hate yourself enough, do the base mesocycle of Smolov. Phone Post 3.0
4/3/13 11:29 AM
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Taku
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Edited: 04/03/13 11:29 AM
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Actually I take a very thoughtful approach to the training I administer.

For me program design means creating an overall plan of action, as to what should be done. Yet the procedures implemented allow flexibility to account for the individual athlete’s (client’s) needs, preferences, goals, abilities, limitations, and preferences (psychology).
 
 A fundamental that should exist to allow for both maximum efficiency, and program efficacy, is that one should prescribe the least amount of activity possible initially, and then increase the exercise demands gradually until it is discovered how little is necessary to achieve the best benefit relative to the goals desired.
 
The objective is that exercise not be prescribed randomly or arbitrarily, but objectively and specifically (with the athlete / client in mind), and within a carefully regulated environment. All this is monitored carefully by way of regular assessments (comparison of progress relative to goals and athlete / client constraints).
 
With the above in mind. I must say that my programming rarely consists of working on one particular exercise over extended periods of time. Unless I am working with a strength specific athlete (Power Lifter, O-lifter) or someone is very new and requires a lot of practice on basic movement patters, or they just really feel the need to improve a certain movement.
 
Fo example: I worked with a guy today. We just so happened to do some squatting. But we may not squat again for several workouts. 
 
Finally...My methods are based on working within ones momentary ability (VMF MMF) not based on RM percentages etc. I am not a fan of that style of training.
 
TAKU
4/3/13 11:38 AM
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Taku
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Cont:

Perceived effort is a good measure of intensity. Rather than focusing on protocols that use different percentages of 1 RM, my training programs focus on perceived effort. In my experience using different percentages of 1 RM is not a good way to prescribe exercise programs. This is because across individuals, and different muscle groups, and different exercises, the same percentage of a 1 RM can yield a different number of repetitions. Such differences can exist within an individual. This means that for some people and for any exercise an individual performs, the prescription can be too hard or too easy, rendering it ineffective.

TAKU

4/3/13 12:19 PM
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dc1000
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I know you get paid to answer the following question so I won't be offended if you decline to answer, but:

What would you do if a guy came to you and said, more than anything in the world I want to put 100 lbs each on my back and front squat, I want to do it as quickly as possible, and I am willing to do whatever it takes to do it?

I have done such varied programming for the last three years I feel like I'm not making the progress I could. for example, we might back squat sets of 5 one week, then three weeks later do sets of 3, and then not again for two weeks. same with all the exercises. power lifts, oly lifts, all of them - varied and seemingly random, though I will say with the snatch and C&J we have followed a 5, 3, 1 progression but over weeks at at time. I want to make concerted effort in the squats, right now.

4/3/13 12:44 PM
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jeremy hamilton
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"What would you do if a guy came to you and said, more than anything in the world I want to put 100 lbs each on my back and front squat, I want to do it as quickly as possible, and I am willing to do whatever it takes to do it?"

Squat daily, heavier on one day, super light on the next, gradually increase until everyday is heavy. IMO

4/3/13 12:57 PM
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dc1000
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jeremy hamilton - "What would you do if a guy came to you and said, more than anything in the world I want to put 100 lbs each on my back and front squat, I want to do it as quickly as possible, and I am willing to do whatever it takes to do it?"

Squat daily, heavier on one day, super light on the next, gradually increase until everyday is heavy. IMO

I am not trying to be dense but could you elaborate on reps and sets please ? Also do you mean seven days a week? Phone Post 3.0
4/3/13 1:06 PM
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Taku
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Edited: 04/03/13 11:12 PM
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dc1000,

No worries.

First I would find out why the need for the squat improvement. Assuming he is dedicated to this goal, I would do a few things.

1. look at his squat and see how his mechanics are. Do we need to clean anything up? Are there any major issues?

2. Look at other body issues (if any). This includes assessing over all strength in major muscle groups. Again, attend to any mechaincs issues etc.

3. Determine his current ability in the target movements.

Then I would create a program where we squat regularly. Remeber from my post above, programing is always based on  the individual athlete’s (client’s) needs, preferences, goals, abilities, limitations, and preferences (psychology). Here are a few approaches:

I sometimes use a heavy light medium approach with pure strength goals. Instead of percentages I would train to VMF / MMF. On Monday (Heavy using a TUT or rep range goal). Wednesday (Light stopping short of Mondays efforts by several reps or sparing TUT). Friday (Medium or Heavy again depending on recovery)

I would cycle this way for four weeks, and then take extra rest, and re-test for new best effort on Wednesday or Thursday of the 5th week. Then re-assess.

Sometimes I might have them squat only once per week, and train other movments during subsequent workouts.  

Finally there are methods I have found effective for improving ones strength quickly. So, I would experiment with several of these to see which one produced the desried results. In my experience I most often see improvements of anywhere from 5 - 25% every four to five weeks. The range is broad because the improvment rate is based on many factors.

TAKU

4/3/13 1:23 PM
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jeremy hamilton
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"I most often see improvements of anywhere from 5 - 25% every four to five weeks."

It takes me a year to get MAYBE 4% on my squat... I need to use one of your training programs.
4/3/13 1:34 PM
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jeremy hamilton
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dc1000 - 
jeremy hamilton - "What would you do if a guy came to you and said, more than anything in the world I want to put 100 lbs each on my back and front squat, I want to do it as quickly as possible, and I am willing to do whatever it takes to do it?"

Squat daily, heavier on one day, super light on the next, gradually increase until everyday is heavy. IMO

I am not trying to be dense but could you elaborate on reps and sets please ? Also do you mean seven days a week? Phone Post 3.0

Yes 7. You set the paramaters...

Everything else would take a backseat big time.

Work up over 5 sets or so to a top set of 3-5, plus one backoff set. Something like that.

Just practice that shit as much as you can. Add backoff sets as you progress in ability. Start light, one set a day (not to failure) will be enough for a while, soon enough there will be no amount of volume that makes you sore.

This will bring lots of tendonitis in the elbow, but remember you said you are willing to do whatever it takes to do it.
4/3/13 1:35 PM
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NeoSpartan
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jeremy hamilton - "I most often see improvements of anywhere from 5 - 25% every four to five weeks."

It takes me a year to get MAYBE 4% on my squat... I need to use one of your training programs.

yea goddamn. i might have to talk to you (taku) about designing something for me
4/3/13 10:05 PM
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Taku
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Edited: 04/03/13 11:15 PM
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Hey Jeremy,

I imagine that you are much more advanced then most of the guys I work with. Remember I am not often working with pure srength athletes (although I have and I do). That is why I posted such a broad range of possible improvement. Beginners may get a big jump, while more advanced guys would be on the low end of the scale.

Finally, as wel all know...the closer we get to our potential, the smaller the improvments will be.

TAKU

4/3/13 10:42 PM
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dc1000
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jeremy hamilton - 
dc1000 - 
jeremy hamilton - "What would you do if a guy came to you and said, more than anything in the world I want to put 100 lbs each on my back and front squat, I want to do it as quickly as possible, and I am willing to do whatever it takes to do it?"

Squat daily, heavier on one day, super light on the next, gradually increase until everyday is heavy. IMO

I am not trying to be dense but could you elaborate on reps and sets please ? Also do you mean seven days a week? Phone Post 3.0

Yes 7. You set the paramaters...

Everything else would take a backseat big time.

Work up over 5 sets or so to a top set of 3-5, plus one backoff set. Something like that.

Just practice that shit as much as you can. Add backoff sets as you progress in ability. Start light, one set a day (not to failure) will be enough for a while, soon enough there will be no amount of volume that makes you sore.

This will bring lots of tendonitis in the elbow, but remember you said you are willing to do whatever it takes to do it.

thanks

Did you mean elbow? or knee?

I've squatted plenty in the past and have been squatting regularly just not frequently.

I've also been front squatting, overhead squatting, as well as squatting in my clean.

I'm ready for real volume so will just give it a go

Not to be argumentative - but don't I need to recover sometime?
4/3/13 10:46 PM
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dc1000
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taku,

thanks for the explanation.

I guess the appeal of the 10x3 program and others is that it is laid out before you and absent the benefit of a personal trainer, having a program to follow is helpful.

my own judgment on enough or too little is often skewed. I find when i'm feeling good I do too much and when i'm not feeling well i do too little.

i'm back tomorrow in the gym, was going to try 10x3 and see what happens, this time at a more reasonable weight.

the real goals here are twofold:

1) my squat is out of line with my other lifts I believe and I squat like a pussy. time to squat like a man

2) i'm tired of my front squat being my limiting factor in my clean and jerk. I can jerk more than I can front squat right now. and that is WACK

4/3/13 11:18 PM
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Taku
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dc1000,

No worries. Good luck with the training.

TAKU

4/4/13 12:23 AM
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NeoSpartan
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It's cool bro I jerk more than I front squat too. If i have the day to myself I might go for magic #5







/joke
4/4/13 9:44 AM
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jeremy hamilton
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dc1000 - 
jeremy hamilton - 
dc1000 - 
jeremy hamilton - "What would you do if a guy came to you and said, more than anything in the world I want to put 100 lbs each on my back and front squat, I want to do it as quickly as possible, and I am willing to do whatever it takes to do it?"

Squat daily, heavier on one day, super light on the next, gradually increase until everyday is heavy. IMO

I am not trying to be dense but could you elaborate on reps and sets please ? Also do you mean seven days a week? Phone Post 3.0

Yes 7. You set the paramaters...

Everything else would take a backseat big time.

Work up over 5 sets or so to a top set of 3-5, plus one backoff set. Something like that.

Just practice that shit as much as you can. Add backoff sets as you progress in ability. Start light, one set a day (not to failure) will be enough for a while, soon enough there will be no amount of volume that makes you sore.

This will bring lots of tendonitis in the elbow, but remember you said you are willing to do whatever it takes to do it.

thanks

Did you mean elbow? or knee?

I've squatted plenty in the past and have been squatting regularly just not frequently.

I've also been front squatting, overhead squatting, as well as squatting in my clean.

I'm ready for real volume so will just give it a go

Not to be argumentative - but don't I need to recover sometime?

I mean elbow. Unless you squat high bar then elbow might not be a problem.

You will recover at night when you sleep. It will suck for a little while but that's why I said start light. You could even start with 4 or 5 days a week and then progress to 6 or 7.

Don't be a puss, people do a lot harder stuff than squat for 45mins a day.

If you are having a bad day then so be it, get some practice in and then try again the next day.

I would not do this personally because I have 2 other lifts that need attention. But if it was gun to my head, add 100lbs to my squat, this is probably how I would do it.
4/5/13 12:18 AM
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Pikes
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Not to hijack the thread, but I'm currently dealing with a bum shoulder (might just be tendonitis but I'm getting an MRI to determine if it's anything worse). Obviously that takes away all upper body lifts, but I hate being inactive so I plan on focusing almost entirely on squats.

I guess my question is if this sounds like an OK plan? I'd still consider myself a beginner as my 5-rep max on squats is my body weight (185). Should I just stay out of the gym altogether and be miserable until it's over?

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