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Program Review: Super Squats

First published on 4th March 2023

Tags: fitness

What is it?

What is Super Squats?

Super Squats is a 6-week workout program mentioned in a book by the same name authored by Randall J. Strossen. Staple of the program is a single set of 20 repetitions of breathing Squats. It’s a full-body workout plan, everyday you will be targeting all parts of the body. But Squats remains the most important part of the day, as the name suggests. In every session you increase the weight on the Squats bar by 2.5 kg.

What is a breathing Squat?

Think of your normal Barbell Squats, but you have to take at least 3 deep breaths between each rep.

It is the most brutal thing I’ve ever done in the gym.

How it went?

If you care to watch each of my 20-rep Squat set (even the ones where I failed), then you can view it all in this YouTube playlist On the first day I did 21 reps of 40 kg, on the last day I did 20 reps of 80 kg.

Some stats.

Category First Day Last Day Difference
Bodyweight 59.5 kg (131 lbs) 65.5 kg (144 lbs) 6kg (13 lbs)
Height 5’9 5’9 0
Super Squats set 40 kg (88 lbs) 80 kg (176lbs) 40 kg (88 lbs)

How closely did I adhere to the programming laid out in the book?

I followed the full routine except for the last few days when I was running out of time and the full routine was taking longer than an hour. In those cases I followed the abridged program

How did I handle the eating prescribed by the book?

This is where I truly fell short. The eating prescribed by the book is something I cannot handle, so I tried to eat the best to my ability and resources. But doing so day-after-day became really tiring and time consuming and I started slacking.

Eating (more) has always been difficult for me.

My general thoughts and experiences regarding the Super Squats programming

Loved it. And hated it. These 6 weeks a true horror for my body, it took me three attempts to get 20 reps on 80 kg. And after 3rd week I has some pain in my trapezius everyday.

Because in a 20 rep set, the bar stays on your shoulders for a lot longer than your normal squat set. And adding deep breathing to the mix only increases this duration. Then it becomes less about my quad strength and more about my upper back. The time under tension is the true enemy here.

How I will move on from this in my continued training and diet?

I’ve decided to step away from powerlifting style of training. I’ve played around with 5/3/1 style of training for a year and it did get me strong.

Now I want to do hypertrophy focused work.

I choosing to go with Stronger By Science Hypertrophy template. It’s a 21-week program.

I am really thankful of the Super Squats for showing me how much mental strength I can muster. It was a successful run, On day 0 I was not sure I could manage to finish the program at 80 kg of 20 reps. But I did. Gladly proved myself wrong.

You have to be a masochist to run this program for the 2nd time.