Are High Rep Squats the Best Single Exercise Out There?

  1. Are High Rep Squats the Best Single Exercise Out There?


    Hi Everyone,

    I want to get back into shape. I have taken about two years off lifting since a back injury, after having lifted for about 15 years.

    1. Are high rep squats the best thing to get back my muscle mass and strength, while trimming down?

    2. Are there any better ways to do high rep squats that simply the way we all know?

    3. Any research, etc. to back up these opinions?


  2. After i went through pt for my lower back they had me do single leg squats. I do them on a step or block, other leg behind with dumbells.

    This variation alows you to get as much resistance as you need with half the extra weight on your spine.

    Just a thought. But yes, if your back can handle them squats are one of the biggest compound movements.
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  3. 1. Squat is probably the single best exercise you can perform (some will argue dead lift and that would be a valid debate)
    2. High rep until you get form down or are rehabbing. Then I think you will get maximum benefit to find a weight you can barely do 5 full reps of (going down deep)
    3. For Back Mass in particular, you would do better with dead lifts, bent rows, & pull-ups
    4. Research? Ask most any dedicated lifter and they should tell you something along these lines. No other research is needed.

    Hope that helps bud!

  4. Quote Originally Posted by Sdog77 View Post
    1. Squat is probably the single best exercise you can perform (some will argue dead lift and that would be a valid debate)
    2. High rep until you get form down or are rehabbing. Then I think you will get maximum benefit to find a weight you can barely do 5 full reps of (going down deep)
    3. For Back Mass in particular, you would do better with dead lifts, bent rows, & pull-ups
    4. Research? Ask most any dedicated lifter and they should tell you something along these lines. No other research is needed.

    Hope that helps bud!
    Yep, 100% this ^^^^, when your back is fine and strong enough then heavy squats is totally the way to go (although Iím really partial to deadlift and totally legit debate on whether itís better.....)

    As for squat variations, you may want to consider a box squat and/or Anderson squat. Both would take some of the pressure off lower back (if performed correctly as both allow for a very stable bottom position) without sacrificing anything in terms of strength benefits.

    Good luck on your journey op, you could also post a log of your progress....

  5. Incase you respond better to high rep/volume training and because it hasn't been mentioned here's one that I love for size/strength without overloading the spine.

    Monday

    8x10 back squats
    8x10 lunges

    Thursday

    8x10 front squats
    8x10 hack squats

    Exercises are supersetted dropsets
    Rest periods are the amount of time it takes to strip weight (the less,the better)
    Start with a load you can rep for 20-30. Lighter is better in the beginning while your lungs are figuring out how to extract more oxygen
    Drop weight as sets progress. You'll likely finish up lifting 2/3 the starting load. If you didn't have to reduce the load it means the initial load was too light or you're spending excess time resting between sets.
    Aim to reduce the load less each week.
    Fill in the week with upper body training sessions.
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  6. Quote Originally Posted by ucimigrate View Post
    Hi Everyone,

    I want to get back into shape. I have taken about two years off lifting since a back injury, after having lifted for about 15 years.

    1. Are high rep squats the best thing to get back my muscle mass and strength, while trimming down?

    2. Are there any better ways to do high rep squats that simply the way we all know?

    3. Any research, etc. to back up these opinions?
    This is just my opinion and what works for me...

    Doing high rep squats (15-20) for multiple sets gives me really bad back pain for that day and a few after. This happens to many people I know as well. While I do agree that high rep squats can be very beneficial, I prefer to stay around the 12 rep range and just do drop sets or super set it with a different form of squat.

    If you are cutting, I would suggest just adjusting your cardio and diet. You want to train heavy when you are cutting.
    Performax Labs Product Specialist


  7. Another note to add that may or may not help...

    When I do cardio after leg day, I like to do stair master but I do it a little bit different vs other training days. Instead of just stepping on each step like normal, I skip a step and really stretch. It almost turns it into a lunge. Just make sure your speed setting is set fairly low so it gives you time to adequately stretch and push up.
    Performax Labs Product Specialist


  8. i prefer high rep deads over HR squats but as many mentioned before, its debatable. HR squats are more miserable to do ..... anytime I have to rep higher than 8 when squatting my soul dies...
    I don't make sandwiches and I don't clean house BUT I do play PC games and lift weights. Instagram: unicorn_droppings_for_you

  9. How does your soul feel after you've finished a squat workout, thrown up, had a shower etc?

  10. Quote Originally Posted by UnicornDrpns View Post
    i prefer high rep deads over HR squats but as many mentioned before, its debatable. HR squats are more miserable to do ..... anytime I have to rep higher than 8 when squatting my soul dies...
    No joke. Iíd much rather do deads for higher. I usually stick to leg press and other leg movements for higher reps.
    Performax Labs Product Specialist


  11. I tried going high reps on squats but my back tends to get involved and my form turns to **** the more reps I try to eek out.

  12. I’m too old for regular squats, so I do box squats.

    The squat movement hits so many muscle groups.

  13. Quote Originally Posted by croninson1 View Post
    I tried going high reps on squats but my back tends to get involved and my form turns to **** the more reps I try to eek out.
    Yep. My back ends up more sore than my legs usually
    Performax Labs Product Specialist


  14. Quote Originally Posted by flandersguy View Post
    Iím too old for regular squats, so I do box squats.

    The squat movement hits so many muscle groups.
    box squats are legit man !
    I don't make sandwiches and I don't clean house BUT I do play PC games and lift weights. Instagram: unicorn_droppings_for_you

  15. You guys who are having back pain, have you tried raising the bar up on your back and going slightly closer stance? I know when I've tried to squat wider and low bar I end up with more of a good morning and some major back stress. Going to high bar I had to drop my weights, but I really get that mind/muscle connection where I feel my quads, then as I hit parallel I feel my glutes and hams take over, and then on the way out of the hole I can feel the stress shift back from posterior chain to quads.

  16. Quote Originally Posted by Scottfalcon View Post
    You guys who are having back pain, have you tried raising the bar up on your back and going slightly closer stance? I know when I've tried to squat wider and low bar I end up with more of a good morning and some major back stress. Going to high bar I had to drop my weights, but I really get that mind/muscle connection where I feel my quads, then as I hit parallel I feel my glutes and hams take over, and then on the way out of the hole I can feel the stress shift back from posterior chain to quads.
    I can only comment on my box squat posture, where I do have a slightly closer stance. I make sure my shins are always vertical during the movement so the hip has to work. Putting a 45 on the bench helps.

    I deadlift sumo.

  17. Quote Originally Posted by Scottfalcon View Post
    You guys who are having back pain, have you tried raising the bar up on your back and going slightly closer stance? I know when I've tried to squat wider and low bar I end up with more of a good morning and some major back stress. Going to high bar I had to drop my weights, but I really get that mind/muscle connection where I feel my quads, then as I hit parallel I feel my glutes and hams take over, and then on the way out of the hole I can feel the stress shift back from posterior chain to quads.
    Spot on. Tom Platz is a great example of a narrow stance high bar squat done right.

  18. Quote Originally Posted by Scottfalcon View Post
    You guys who are having back pain, have you tried raising the bar up on your back and going slightly closer stance? I know when I've tried to squat wider and low bar I end up with more of a good morning and some major back stress. Going to high bar I had to drop my weights, but I really get that mind/muscle connection where I feel my quads, then as I hit parallel I feel my glutes and hams take over, and then on the way out of the hole I can feel the stress shift back from posterior chain to quads.
    Iíll try it next leg day.
    Performax Labs Product Specialist


  19. I don't think there is a "correct" form for everyone on squats, it's only the correct form for you.. play with all different stances and bar positions and see what you "feel" the best.. the most stress on your leg muscles as you go through the range of motion, no back pain and no knee pain.. just my opinion but if your squat goes against some of the squat "rules" but your body is telling you it feels good and strong, then that form is probably right for you

  20. My lower back has been bad for years.. Any time I try to go heavy, my lower back suffers for days. Knowing that I won't be getting on any stage, I stick with high rep squats. I try to get 4x20. It's very humbling. .y thighs aren't huge, but have great shape and definition.
    SEMPER FI!!

  21. Every exercise has ts place. well some are better than others.

    Im doing high rep leg work bc Im rehabbing an injury. I prefer going down to lower reps; for now though this is best for me, not too heavy and higher rep. The second it hurts I stop
    Millennium Sport Technologies Representative
    www.millenniumsport.net
    (50% off code "SEP50")

  22. Every exercise has ts place. well some are better than others.

    Im doing high rep leg work bc Im rehabbing an injury. I prefer going down to lower reps; for now though this is best for me, not too heavy and higher rep. The second it hurts I stop
    Millennium Sport Technologies Representative
    www.millenniumsport.net
    (50% off code "SEP50")
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