Extreme Squat Workout: Death By Three’s 5/5 (1)

Fitness is ever evolving. There are rules, of course, but there are some that believe within reason that if you know why you’re breaking the rules, breaking them on purpose is okay. For instance, take a limited range of motion squats.

Normally, everyone will yell at you for not finishing the repetition or only doing a half-squat. If you’re doing it for the reason that the top half of your squat is your trouble area, then you’ve made a good training decision. I’m not suggesting you do wild and crazy heavy barbell squats on a swiss ball (cue injury), but there are ways to violate or tweak rules in order to gain more strength. This will be one such way.

The rules we’ll be violating on purpose today are those of volume and load. The muscles have to have sufficient work volume and heavy enough load in order to be properly stressed. When training there are “optimal” set and rep ranges for the desired result.

Many people abide by the “tried and true” 3 sets of 10 for a total of thirty repetitions. That repetition scheme also has an “optimal” percentage of your one repetition maximum.  That’s a decent volume and load scheme for beginners, but as your body adapts, that set and rep scheme will stall and you’ll find your gains doing the same.

What I’m about to prescribe is definitely an advanced set and rep scheme and even if you do it, you will definitely need to take time after committing to this. Prepare yourself for the “Death by Three’s” Squat workout.

After warming up you’ll perform these each stage with 60-90 second rest intervals, you’ll need them. This is an example template, by no means if you’re not up to these weights yet, should you attempt these weights.

3 sets of 10 with 135 lbs. It seems easy to begin with, but remember to keep your rest intervals tight
3 sets of 8 with 185 lbs. At the end of this stage, you should start feeling the blood really pump into your quads
3 sets of 6 with 225 lbs. It might be a good idea, even as a strong lifter to have a spotter on standby
3 sets of 4 with 275 lbs. There should be a solid amount of sweat on the floor beneath you now
3 sets of 2 with 315 lbs. If your legs aren’t dead by this point, your weight was too light at the beginning

Following this protocol for 4-6 weeks should leave your legs feeling stronger and more powerful than ever. We’ve purposefully violated the rules of load and volume in a unique way to challenge the legs to grow and become stronger. Lift safely (get a spotter), lift with good technique and watch your numbers increase by leaps and bounds.

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The Author

John Fannin

John Fannin

John spent four years as a 0351, Infantry Assaulltman in the United States Marine Corps. He deployed twice to the city of Ramadi, Iraq with 3rd Battalion 7th Marines. After leaving the Marine Corps in 2008 John pursued a degree in Kinesiology from Texas Lutheran University. During his time at TLU, John was fortunate enough to play football for a year and serve the local community as a volunteer firefighter. After graduating John worked as a personal trainer for few years before coming to work at American Grit. John is also the proud owner of a great beard.