30-day-squat-challengeHave you seen this thing floating around the web? The 30 day squat challenge? It caught my eye on facebook.

Does it work? Nope.

Will you get results? Not really. It’s rubbish.

If you’ve been reading my work for any time, you probably know why I don’t like it.

For anyone wanting REAL change (ladies especially, I’m looking at you) read and download a MUCH better plan below. Let’s have a look…

30 Day Squat Challenge Review

The 2 central mistakes of this type of approach are:

(1) Lack of high intensity muscular contractions

(2) The frequency of training is all wrong – you squat almost every 24 hours!

You start off at 50 squats and by day 30 should be doing 250 squats. Like so…

30 day squat challenge

This is just all wrong as it isn’t the number of reps that needs to increase so much as the weight you’re squatting.

To make real structural changes in the muscle tissue, 250 unweighted squats is NOT going to cut it.

Squatting to high reps with no weight is an AEROBIC activity. Yet, the people pushing this nonsense are promising buns and thighs of steel. Folks, you don’t get legs and a butt like that with aerobics, you get it with ANAEROBIC activity i.e. forcing the fibers of the muscle to contract against loads that cause muscular failure between a given rep range (usually 8-12 reps per set).

Let’s take an example…

If a guy or girl selected a weight that allowed them to squat at least 8 reps but no more than 12, that would be a suitable load i.e. the weight is light enough to allow 8 reps, but too heavy to allow more than 12. This is ideal for real, structural changes.

They would then squat until the last rep they could do and take 3 minutes rest. Then do it again.

That’s 2 high intensity sets performed to muscular failure. Let’s say they got 12 reps in the first set, and 10 in the second. Those 22 reps will have stimulated WAY MORE positive changes that this 30 day challenge ever will.

So this brings us on to point 2: How often should you do this?

In the 30 day squat challenge you’re squatting virtually every day. Any high intensity activity takes at least 36 hours for recovery and growth to occur.

If doing a low volume (2 sets like above) high intensity routine, you can squat every 48 hrs and make continual gains. See this diagram…

POP

A workout does not PRODUCE changes, it merely STIMULATES them. You have to leave the body alone in between for it to be able to produce the desired changes.

If you train at point (1) above and workout again too soon (before 48hrs) you do not give the body enough time to produce the changes and you get NOWHERE. If you leave it too long, you lose the changes and you have to start all over again. Point (2) is the perfect time for continuous gains, which is around 48hrs. I call it the Peak Overcompensation Point (POP).

So, with this understanding of exercise science, and with the 30 day squat challenge debunked, here’s a much better plan I put together…

The 28 day squat challenge

Click on the image below for a larger version you can download and share on the web…

 

the-28-day-squat-challenge

Click on the image above for a larger version you can download and share…

28 Day Squat Challenge Rules

  • You squat on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
  • You do not squat on the other 4 days of the week as your body is making positive changes and needs rest to get the job done.
  • You do 2 sets of squats in each workout in the 8-12 rep range i.e. the weight you lift on both sets must be light enough that you can get at least 8 reps, but heavy enough that you can’t get more than 12.
  • You MUST write down and record the weight used and the number of reps you got on each set of every workout.
  • The Important Part: This is what is going to bring results – When you can get 12 or more reps at a given weight, you make a note to use a heavier weight in the next workout.
  • Example – If you’re a beginner and on Monday you got 12 reps at 100lbs, you note that on Wednesday you must use more than 100lbs. Increasing the load by 5%-10% is the best approach. So on Wednesday, you’d want to use 105-110lbs.
  • Your job is to try to get more reps and more weight over the 4 weeks.

Since this protocol I’ve thrown together actually works with how your body works, you WILL have real, structural changes in the lower half of your body in 28 days.

Enjoy. And remember…

Train With Intensity!

Mark

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