Health and Fitness Advice Training Journal: 20 Repetition Set of Squats, Part 4

The final workout of our 20-repetition set of squats was the toughest one yet and since Jill did the best job.

The 20-repetition set of squats has been the one of the toughest workouts that I’ve included in my routine over the past 10 years.  The workout is as brutal as it is simple; one set of squats for 20-repetitions.  That’s it.

The key to this workout is to start at the proper weight for the first week and making the proper weight increases for the following four or five workouts. 


Check out my post about the 20-repetition set of squat for more details on how to structure this workout. Jill and I took our time warming up for our last attempt at this workout.  The key to preparing for the 20-rep set of squats is to warm up without expending too much energy; if the proper weight is used you will need every drop of energy possible to finish this massive set. 

I take my time and work through my basic dynamic flexibility workout before moving on to my warm up sets of squats. The mental and physical components of this workout are substantial and you can’t let the idea of handling a heavy weight for 20-reps psych you out, and you can’t get to psyched up for the set or else you’ll burn through a lot of energy during the early stages of the set.

Being as objective, Jill performed her set of 20 repetitions with 145-pounds the best.  Her form – as usual – was impeccable, as was her pace.  She probably could have handled another 10-pounds without a problem, but this is a minor point considering 145-pounds is over 20% more than her body weight. I was happy that I completed my set of 315-pounds – 15-pounds off of my best from 10 years ago – but a bit disappointed that I had to re-rack the bar after completing 15 reps.

The grids on the bar were digging into my back (maybe it was the fact that I was holding more than 100-pounds over my body weight for 2 minutes) which necessitated the re-rack that took no longer than 10 seconds. The workout was performed on Tuesday March, 3, 2009 at approximately 12 noon. 

I weighed in at 206-pounds and the girls handled a weight that was more than 20% higher than their body weight.  I followed my usual supplementation routine, taking a creatine/whey protein shake immediately prior and following the workout.


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