As a personal trainer I’ve designed many routines and plans. In excess of hundreds! I don’t know how other strength coaches or trainers feel but I find it quite hard to program for myself. This brings me onto this squat everyday routine that I created (and did for quite a while before giving it up).
Here it is…
The plan was inspired by the Bulgarian method of squatting to a max daily which I learnt from the Matt Perryman book titled ‘Squat Everyday’. I also got some ideas from Cory Gregory (the muscle pharm CEO and another connoisseur or squatting daily).
I then added a whole load of bodybuilding style exercises as well as weightlifting and strongman moves that I enjoy. The plan I’d say was designed for maximum strength and hypertrophy and it did work. I got very strong and very used to regular squats, it became easier and easier to come in and squat. I found I needed less and less warming up each time, I was loose in the hips and ankles and ready to squat whenever.
So what went wrong?
Well there’s no other way to say it than there’s a hell of a lot of volume in here! I mean training volume (sets and reps, total work). It got to a stage where I was napping more during the day on top of my solid 8 hours at night and still not recovering. I don’t think I ever performed the cleans, GHD or the sled work because I was just so beaten up.
Plus there’s no days off. I don’t care how much you claim you enjoy training, I love it too, but every day is a bit much when you’re hitting this many muscles. A routine like this is very draining compared to a typical bro-split. That’s not to say it can’t be done. It can, if programmed in well but I didn’t do that.
I was getting bored, even though strength was increasing weekly. For those of you out there doing strength routines, never underestimate weekly gains. It’s rare and pretty amazing.
– I learnt that I could take an exercise like the squat, as taxing as it is and do it daily so long as sets and reps were managed well.
– I moved onto a simpler upper body / lower body split after this but kept the squatting to 4 times weekly. 4 times got me the same results as 7 days but kept things exciting.
– Legs felt incredibly loose and I was always ready to squat. I hit Pb’s regularly.
– Even the extra sleep and stretching wasn’t managing my fatigue
– broken down physically and mentally (draining)
– bored. This is an important one, you should be having fun
– Squats became the main focus and other body parts suffered. This was especially the case when I failed a squat PB, I noticed my energy on the rest of the session (another body part) was definitely off.
– So hard to maintain with work
All in all it was a great learning curve and I’m glad I did it. Generally we can all get better GAINS by doing more. That means increasing training volume. Doing 5 sets of squats instead of 3 etc. But this routine had my jumping up in volume far too quickly I think and I wasn’t able to recover quickly when it got to around 6 weeks in. Maybe a simple deload would have helped. But otherwise I’d say for somebody who is working and has other commitments it was hard to stick to, especially considering sometimes I went into the gym twice daily.
Sometimes It can take a while to understand your own body. 2 programs down the road from this routine I found the best routine I’ve ever created and the basic principles are the same. There is a clear progression betweem routines. They developed from this and I went on to doing that ‘best routine’ with my current training partner and he responds just as well from it too.
What I want you to take away from this is that everyone can and should experiment. Try something crazy and see how your body responds. You can then scale up or down based on your response and progress from there.
Despite it being the hardest and the worst routine I’ve done in terms of breaking me down, there are elements of it I do to this day. The process of experimenting and making a judgment call is very important for understanding and reaching long term goals.