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Do More Squat Reps

High-rep squatting separates serious lifters from imitators. Put yourself in the former category with this nine-week routine to increase your ability to squat heavy for multiple reps.

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Complete just one squat workout per week. When increasing your loads by a certain percentage, it's alright to round up or down to the nearest number that's easy to load with the weight plates you have. If you calculate that you need 232 pounds for a set, it's ok to use 230, and so on.

WEEK 1: Perform three warm-up sets, steadily increasing the weight but limiting your reps to only three on each. Then choose a weight that you would normally be able to squat for no more than 10 reps and perform three sets of 12, pausing at the top toward the end of each set to take a few deep breaths (this will help you squeeze out the last two reps). Between sets, rest no more than 90 seconds.

WEEK 2: Perform three to five warm-up sets of no more than three reps, and then add 5% to 10% to the load you used in Week 1. Perform three sets of 15 reps, resting at the top of the squat and taking deep breaths when needed in order to complete all the reps. Do not rack the bar until the set is complete. For example, if you used 200 pounds in Week 1 for 12 reps, you could use up to 220 pounds in Week 2, stopping briefly to take deep breaths after the 12th, 13th, and 14th rep in order to complete the set. Between sets, rest up to 90 seconds.

WEEK 3: Perform three to five warm-up sets of no more than two reps, and then add 5% to 10% to the load you used in Week 2. Perform two sets of 20 reps as described above.

WEEK 4: Warm up as usual, but limit yourself to three reps per set. Add 10% to the load you used in Week 3, and perform three sets of 12 reps in the same fashion.

WEEK 5: Warm up with four to six sets of three reps per set, and then add 5% to what you used in Week 4. Perform three sets of 15 reps.

WEEK 6: Warm up with four to six sets of two reps per set, and then add 5% to what you used in Week 5. Perform two sets of 20 reps.

WEEK 7: Warm up as you did in Week 6, and then add 5% to what you used in Week 6. Perform three sets of 12 reps.

WEEK 8: Perform four to six warm-up sets of three reps, and then add 5% to the load you used in Week 7. Complete three sets of 15 reps.

WEEK 9: Perform four to six warm-up sets of two reps, and then add 5% to the load you used in Week 8. Complete two sets of 20 reps.

Follow the guidelines carefully, and you could add 90-100 pounds to your 20-rep max squat in just over two months.

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