20 Rep Squats

Has anyone on here tried the 20-rep squat routine? If so, did you notice some good strength gains, size increases?

Yes, yes, and yes.

lol, thanks. So the program comes recommended, I take it? =)

From me, yes, if your goal is to back on some weight in a hurry. Others don't like it, and for good reasons. But, from what I've seen hanging out here for a few years, it seems to work pretty well for everyone who tries it and puts effort into it.

I have seen a few different versions of the 20 rep squat program. Would you mind giving ashort breakdown of the program you followed?

I did 2 workouts a week, one 20rep squat workout, one lighter workout. Day one was like squats, OH press, chins, go home. Day two was like dips, rows, auxiliary work (grip, neck, whatever), go home.

The trick to it is lots of sleep, lots of food, and lots of effort with the squats.

What percentage of one's squat one rep max would you suggest?

hurts like shit is an understatement :)

ahh 20 rep deads... In some ways I think they're harder than 20 repo squats. I'm glad I'm not that crazy anymore :P

Jonwell: You noted that some don't like the program for good reason. What are the negatives? I do BJJ as well, so I am hoping that it doesn't mess me up too bad!

"I did 2 workouts a week, one 20rep squat workout, one lighter workout. Day one was like squats, OH press, chins, go home. Day two was like dips, rows, auxiliary work (grip, neck, whatever), go home."

Jonwell - How many sets/reps did you do for OH press and chins?

People don't like it as it is very tough.  Much like squating hard for 6reps and 5 sets.  I REALLY do not like it but it is a killer for strength gains.

250lbs+ for 6reps and 5 sets just beats the hell out of you.  250lbs to rock bottom.

I would suggest about 50% of 1RM for a 20reps.  Maybe 60% if you are taking more rests between your sets.

I did 15reps x 3 sets of FRONT SQUATS a few weeks ago.  They were TOUGH.  That was after a heavy set of Front squats also.

You will be REALLY SORE and TIRED like no other if you are not use to lots of heavy and big volume leg work.  Your body will be eating it for 3-5days after your session.

Good luck.


I used 20 rep squats a few years ago in a similar fashion to what Jonwell described above. I started out with 2 workouts per week and kept the exercises simple: Squats, chins, and dips.

The squats were 1 x 20 and the chins and dips were 5 x 5. As I got stronger, I started adding Deadlifts in the same workout.

I put on about 10 pounds of meat in a very short time. It didn't hurt that I was eating everything I could get my hands on. ;)

I want to put a little more meat on these drumsticks (what my legs have become in the last couple of months) and I'm going to start hitting the squats again soon. hehehe


Thanks for the input guys. Right now I am doing mostly scrappers workouts and grappling, but I wanted to add something to put on a little meat and add some strength, especially in the legs. This sounds like just the ticket.

Xen: Where can I find some good information on the westside program?

Recovering from 20 rep squats will cut into your skill training.

I did a somewhat flakey 20 squat routine, and still managed to put on a lean 10 pounds in about 3 months. Eat lots, and don't overdo it. It does take a lot of recovery time. Also, don't just crank out 20 straight... I usually did about 10-12 with reasonable pace and then whittled down the rest with longer rests... pausing and breathing in between.

IMHO it is somewhat more of a mass builder than strength builder.

Also, I don't know if this is possible, but whenever I go back to squats after a layoff, i see results in the mirror the next morning. I look leaner and my quads are bigger. Could be psychological but i swear i have noticed this.

Will squats add some size to your calves?

For strength gains I would recomend westside over 20 rep squats. To find out info on westside go to http://www.elitefitnesssystems.com/

That is not necesarrily true. Different programs work for different people. Westside or any other group, does not have a program that will work for everyone. My programs included.


Molsonman specifically said "strength gains." In what way will a 20 rep squat program increase one's strength more then a good powerlifting program like westside?