The Squat Holiday
A holiday gets associated with rest and recovery – not in this case.
This one is grueling. It is composed of 18 training sessions in 6 days – and all you do is squat.
The inspiration for the squat holiday came from one of the if not the most productive routines for Strength & Size Gains ever written – The Super Accumulation Phase. The original program puts you through 2 workouts per day, alternating one day Upper and one day Lower Body, 5 days on, 2 days off, 5 days on, done. This is an excellent method to put on size and strength in minimal time, if you have the time and drive to push through it.
I used this method successfully with the Hungarian shorttrack speedskating National team every year in December. The goal was to gain size, strength and power one month before the peak of the competitive season where strength training was often dropped from the program due to travelling and back to back World Cups. The gains from this phase helped sustain optimal posture and power up until the last and most important competitions of the season.
The Squat Holiday is a modified version of the super accumulation phase, one that I really like to use with my clients who want to use their days off to make great progress, especially in the squat….
If you got an week off and want to improve your squat technique and increase your squat poundages in no time, this is for you. The average gain in 6 days is 15kg on the Back Squat, losing 1,5% Bodyfat and gaining +3kg lean mass. And another 15-25kg on your back squat in the month after the Squat Holiday. The most impressive gains so far are 2 guys who put on 8kg of lean body mass each in 6 days, staying at the same bodyfat – eating like beasts every night.
The Workout Structure
BB Back Squat, 10 sets of 3 reps, 50×0, 240s rest
BB Back Squat, heels elevated, 6 sets of 4-6 reps, 4010, 180s rest
BB Back Squat, heels elevated, 4 sets of 8-12 reps, 3010, 180s rest
These 3 workouts are done every day for 6 days in a row.
A sample day of the YPSI Squat Holiday
- 7:00 am – Wake up and Breakfast
- 9:00 am – Workout 1
- 10:00 am – PWO Shake
- 12:00 pm – Lunch
- 2:00 pm – Workout 2
- 2:45 pm – PWO Shake
- 4:00 pm – Snack
- 5:00 pm – Workout 3
- 5:30 pm – PWO Shake
- 7:00 pm – Diner
- 9:00 pm – Snack
- 10:00 pm – Bedtime
Important notes on training
- Go balls to the wall – in every workout.
- Don’t approach loads choice defensivly if you want the most out of the Squat Holiday.
- With this method you will increase the weights used throughout the holiday.
- Gradually work up to one heavy set in every workout.
- Wake up before 7am every day. If you wake up later you will not be able to finish all 3 workouts with apropriate rest in between
- The first training session is 2-3h after waking up
- Take about 3-4h rest in between every session
- The 3rd session has to be finished before 6pm. If you finish later, it will disrupt your biorhythm, sleep, recovery and lower your testosterone – so it limits your gains.
- After those 6 days, take 3-4 days completely off to rest and recover, then go back to your regular training
- To maximise your gains in the squat, its ideal to follow a relative strength protocol in the phase following The Squat Holiday
During the workouts I am an advocate of the combination of amino acids and electrolytes – preferably the YPSI AminoElektrolytKomplex.
If you are a male below 10% Bodyfat or a female below 16% Bodyfat who needs to gain mass, drink 0.6-0.8g Protein and 2-4g Maltodextrin per kg BW in water after every session.
If you are a male above 10% Bodyfat drink 0.8-1.0g Protein per kg BW in water after every session.
If you are a female thats is not interested in gaining mass, have the combination of amino acids and electrolytes during every workout, and just after the last workout of the day a post-workout shake consisting of 0.6-0.8g Protein per kg BW in water
Have a mix of simple and complex carbohydrates with your diner 1-1,5h after the last workout of the day. It has to be gluten- and dairy free to minimize inflammation, which will optimize your recovery.
Have 100-250g of carbs, depending on muscle mass and total weight moved, ie. oven baked sweet potato fries, quinoa salad or gluten free pancakes with raisins, applesauce, cinnamon and maple syrup.
Picture: Karl Bilz squats 140kg at 69,8kg Bodyweight being just 16 years old yet.