Workout of the Day
A) Back Squat 3×5
20 minutes to warmup and complete 3 heavy work sets of 5 reps at the same weight across
Target working weight = 80% of 1RM
B) 10-8-6-4-2 reps for time of:
DB Step Ups @ 2x 45/30# to 20/16″
DB Push Jerks @ 2x 45/30#
*time cap = 6 min
*goal is to pick a weight you can blast through without setting down!
The King of Exercises
The back squat is known as the King of Exercises because it involves very heavy weights moved over a long line of action. Because of the bar’s placement on your body, it requires more than 200 muscles of your largest muscles to complete. The heavy weights + lots of muscle mass means that this exercise also elicits a huge neuroendocrine response. If you’re trying to get stronger and build lean muscle mass, the back squat should be your go-to exercise.
Today we start a new approach to training the back squat – 3 sets across. Instead of adding weight every set until you hit a maximal set, we’re going to do 3 sets at one heavy weight. For today, if you have a 1RM, your target is 3 sets of 5 reps at 80% of your 1RM. The next time you do back squats (in 2 weeks), you’ll add 5-10 lbs to the barbell.
Every time you come in for back squats, you’ll add 5-10 lbs to the bar. Eventually you won’t be able to complete your 3 sets of 5. You might get 5-5-3. Or 5-4-2. The next time you come in, you’ll still add weight to bar, but this time you’ll be doing 3 sets of 3 reps across. Until you can’t complete 3×3, at which point you’ll drop to 3×1 the next time you come in.
Eventually you won’t be able to complete your 3 sets of 1, at which point we’ll reset both the weight and the rep scheme. So the next time you come in, you’ll be back to 3 sets of 5 reps at 80% of your new 3×1 max.
This method of strength training is a linear progression where we “run it out” by adding weight and decreasing reps every time you squat. It’s a great way to build volume at heavy weight. It has the added benefits of clarity in weight selection (add 5-10 lbs to last time), it’s individualized to everyone, it’s easy to run in a group class setting, and it will give you exposure to 5’s, 3’s, and 1’s. All of which means you’ll get strong quickly.
All our other strength days (deadlifts, front squats, presses, etc) will be run as they always have been, i.e. adding weight to the bar with every set. Why? We won’t be doing these exercises as frequently as we’ll be doing the back squat, so it’s more difficult to know where you’re at any given day. So increasing the weight as you go and feeling it out is the way to go.
I’m excited to start this method of training our back squats, and I look forward to seeing everyone’s increased strength!