August Program of the Month is brought to you by Performance Coach Sam Butterworth!
SQUAT MORE TO SQUAT MORE: Supersize your strength in 4 weeks with this high frequency Squat training program.
Following up from my program of the month from around this time last year, where we looked at increasing bench press strength, this August we will be focussing on the humble back squat.
If you have been training for a while and have hit a little plateau with your squat strength or struggle with the mechanics of the movement and simply need more practise, then this might be just what you need to grease that groove and get STRONG(er)!
Derived from the “Smolov” protocol by Russian Strength Coach of the same name, in this training program you will squat 4x per week for three weeks using loads calculated off your One rep max. The true beauty of this approach is that you are able to train the squat frequently enabling you to hone in on technique and master the movement pattern. This is made possible through clever volume and load selection in each session that avoids any chance of overtraining. The set and rep parameters and the percentages that coincide are outlined in the table below:
Each week you will apply progressive overload techniques by adding 2.5-5kg to each session to force a strength adaptation to occur. Those with less experience in the gym can expect to be able progress a lot easier than those of more, however this is dependant on the individual. An outline of the weekly progression is outlined below:
Remember, the focus here is on increasing performance in the squat, hence the frequency of lower body sessions. However, that does not mean other aspects of your strength training have to take a back seat. Below is an outline of how you might want to tie in the 4 squat days with upper body movements.
Implementing recovery protocols is going to be an important component of reaching the end of the three weeks with not only a monster squat but injury free legs. Ensure you include plenty of foam rolling / stretching pre and post session to unlock adhesions and to move freely under the bar. A yoga class or sweat session in the steam room or sauna on rest days will also help recovery.
If you have any questions about the Smolov program or would like an in depth technique analysis of your Back Squat feel free to get into contact with me or grab me on the gym floor! Smash it team!