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Gain strength in the lower body and improve your squat 1RM with this 12-week squat training program. This program is designed for healthy experienced squatters with no injuries and it’s great for athletes who want to get in better shape.

This program takes you through a unilateral preparation period into a final phase of maximal strength. It includes sled work to get you out of the weight room and build volume without the added load of muscle damage on the body caused by eccentric movements. With sled work you can maximize concentric-only movements and do more work without inhibiting recovery.

This is a 2-day a week program such that you would train lower body twice a week and then perform an upper body training program the other 2 days of the week (upper body program is not included here).

This program builds correction and balance through the first 3-week phase to ensure that the trainee is ready for each successive 3-week block.

The goal of each phase of the program is as follows:

Day 1 during the first 6 weeks you will develop structural balance and hypertrophy.

Day 2 during the first 6 weeks will increase work capacity and ensure a healthy posterior chain.

Day 1 during the second 6 weeks is to elicit a neurological response, which will be maximized on Day 2 of this phase.

Day 2 during the second 6 weeks will improve the actual 1RM effort in the squat.

A note on sled work: Sled work uses concentric –only movements and in the case of pull throughs with the sled, it will teach explosive hips and posterior chain without having to worry about end-range hip extension and deceleration due to the load of the machine wanting to take you back. This unlocks the habit of sticking to compliant movement patterns and losing touch with dynamic movement patterns that athletes use in real life.

Weeks 1 to 3

Day One Sets Reps Tempo Rest

A1. Cable Split Squats 5 sets 10-12 reps 30X0 60 s

A2. Standing Leg Curl 5 sets 10-12 reps 40X0 100 s

B1. Front Step-ups 4 sets 8-12 reps 30X0 60 s

B2. Seated Good Mornings 4 sets 10-12 reps 30X0 100 s

C1. Toe Press 3 sets 12-15 reps 21X1 60 s

C2. Seated Calf Raise 3 sets 15-20 reps 11X1 10 s

Day Two

A1. Petersen Sled Drags 5 sets 25 yards xxxx 75 s

A2. Forward Sled Bows 5 sets 25 yards xxxx 75 s

For the Sled Bows, face away from the sled with straps over the shoulders and held against the chest. Bend at the waist into forward flexion, pulling the sled behind you. As you go into extension, the tension is off the body.

B1. 45° Knee Flexion Walk 5 sets 25 yards xxxx 75 s

B2. Pull Through w/ Sled 5 sets 25 yards xxxx 75 s

For the 45° knee flexion walk, take a ½ squat position and walk forward with the sled straps held by your knees and torso erect. It look like you are picking up a wheel barrel that is behind you but you never stand up. For the whole set you are dragging the sled in ½ squat position.

Week 4 to 6
Day One

A1. Back Squats 1 1/4 5 sets 8-10 reps 31X1 100 s

A2. Lying Leg Curls 5 sets 6-8 reps 50X0 100 s

B1. FFE Split Squat 4 sets 9-11 reps 40X0 75 s

B2. Good Morning 4 sets 9-11 reps 40X1 75 s

C1. Standing Calf Raise 4 sets 15-20 sets 30X0 60 s

C2. Seated Calf Raise 4 sets 15-20 sets 20X1 60 s

Day Two

A1. Walking Lunges w/Sled 5 sets 25 yards xxxx 75 s

A2. Backward Sled Drag 5 sets 25 yards xxxx 75 s

B1. Side Walk (Shuffle) 5 sets 25 yards xxxx 75 s

B2. Back Ext / Step 5 sets 25 yards xxxx 75 s

Weeks 7 to 9
Day One

A. Back Squats w/Chains +30% 1RM weight

Wk 7 10 sets 3 reps (45% bar weight) 30X0 60 s

Wk 8 10 sets 3 reps (47% bar weight) 30X0 60 s

Wk 9 10 sets 3 reps (50% bar weight) 30X0 60 s

B1. Side Step-ups 5 sets 8-10 reps 40X0 100 s

B2. Lying Leg Curls w/ 30° Concentric Pause

5 sets 4-7reps 31X1 100 s

Day Two

A. Back Squats

Wk 7 10 sets 1 rep (75%) 10,0,X,0 180 s

Wk 8 10 sets 1 rep (77%) 10,0,X,0 180 s

Wk 9 10 sets 1 rep (80%) 10,0,X,0 180 s

B. Barbell RDLs 5 sets 5-7 reps 40X0 100 s

C1. Walking Lunge 5 sets 12 steps 30X0 75 s

C2. Cbl Pull Though 5 sets 12-15 reps 30X0 100 s

Weeks 10 to 12
Day One

A. Back Squats w/Bands

Wk 10 10 sets 1 rep (55% bar weight) 20X0 75 s

Wk 11 10 sets 1 rep (60% bar weight) 20X0 75 s

Wk 12 10 sets 1 rep (65% bar weight) 20X0 75 s

B. Dynamic Band Pull Throughs

5 sets 12-15 reps 20X0 60 s

C. Squat Jumps 5 sets 6 reps 10X0 60 s

Day Two

A. Back Squats

Wk 10 6 sets 4,3,2,3,2,1 (70,72,75. 72,75,77%) 20X0 180 s

Wk 11 5 sets 3,2,1,2,1,1 (75,77,80,77,82,85) 20X0 180 s

Wk 12 4 sets 2,1,2,1,1,1 (80,85,82,87,85,90+) 20X0 180 s

B. Leg Curls 5 sets 5-7 reps 40X0 100 s