Before diving into this program, you have to first determine what your One Rep Max is. This is the max amount of weight you can move for 1 rep. You will then use that amount to base your percentages off of for the rest of the program. This program is for experienced lifters and a spotter is highly recommended, especially for 1RM testing.
“This time allows for your energy systems to recharge and for you to begin each set as fresh as possible so you can perform at your highest capacity, which in turn will create the biggest increase in strength.”
Week 1: 4x6 @ 65%
Week 2: 4x5 @ 70%
Week 3: 5x4 @ 75%
Week 4: 5x4 @ 80%
Week 5: 6x3 @ 85%
Week 6: 6x2 @ 90%
Week 7: 5x1-2 @ 95%
Week 8: Build to 100%, Singles until failure (Max Testing)
*Always start with a build leading up to your working sets, ex. for week 1, start with a set at 55% before doing 4x6 @ 65%. For week 5, start with sets at 55%, 65%, & 75% before starting your working sets of 6x3 at 85%.
It is noteworthy to mention that the heavier the weight and lower rep volume, the longer your rests between sets should be. For this specific program I would recommend 45s - 1 min for weeks 1 & 2, up to 90s for weeks 3,4,5, and up to 2 mins for weeks 6-8. This time allows for your energy systems to recharge and for you to begin each set as fresh as possible so you can perform at your highest capacity, which in turn will create the biggest increase in strength.
Each week will you will need to follow your primary lift, in this case squats, with accessory or secondary exercises. These are performed typically in a 8--12 or even up to a 12-15 rep range, and are meant to aid in the long term benefits of improving your primary lift. These can help in building more strength, range of motion, mobility, and muscular endurance (you'll be thankful for that when you shoot back up to repeat week 1 and start the build over again with your new 1RM). Often these exercises can be superset to increase the intensity of the workout but do not have to be. Rest times for these exercises are shorter, and you normally wouldn't want to rest longer than 45s between sets. I also typically like to include some core specific exercises throughout or at the end of the workout, but again, depending on what the rest of your program looks like these are not completely necessary to include.
Lets take a look at a couple example workouts..
Example one - Week 1:
A. Squats 4x6 @ 65%
B. Barbell RDL 3x6-8
C1. Rear foot elevated split squat 3x10-12
C2. Glute-Ham raise 3x6-8
D1. Leg extensions 3x10+Max
D2. Calf raises 3xMAX
Example two - Week 5:
A1. Squats 8x2 @ 85%
B1. Front foot elevated split squat 4x8-10
B2. Seated good mornings 4x8
C1. Lateral lunge 3x10-12
C2. Eccentric Nordic hamstring curl 3x6-8
D1. Prone hamstring curl 3x8-10
D2. Copenhagen plank 3x1 min
You'll notice that both programs include all the major lower body muscle groups - quads, hamstrings, glutes and calves - as well as move through a variety of movement planes. These don't even come close to covering all the different exercises you could potentially incorporate but it at least gives you a starting point. Don't be afraid to play around with different exercises and try new things, this will help your body progress faster and more well rounded in long run!
Thank you for taking the time to read and I hope you either learned something or felt inspired to change up your workout if that was something you have been struggling with! If you found any value in this post at all I'd like to thank you in advance for sharing with friends and of course your gym partner!
Hope you all enjoy your day - now go absolutely destroy your previous personal squat record!
X Megan Poirier