20 Rep Squats for Older Trainees - The Dinos Weigh In!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

One quick note, and then we'll talk training.

1. The May-June Dinosaur Files

We did a combined issue, so it's bigger than
usual - about 20% bigger. And it's been getting
great reviews from readers.

Here's the link for the PDF edition:


If you prefer Kindle, here's the link
to the Kindle edition:


As always, let me know how you like the
little monster!

2. 20 Rep Squats for Older Trainees - The
Dinos Weigh In!

On the training front, many of you responded to my
email about whether 20 rep squats were a good idea
for older trainees - or whether lower reps would work

Here's a summary of what you said:

1. Almost all of the older Dinos said they do better with
multiple sets of low to medium reps, with many of you
doing 5 x 5 or similar set/rep systems.

1a. Many older Dinos noted that higher reps make them
too stiff and too sore.

1b. In other words, the older Dinos have found that they
recover better from lower rep workouts - which is what
I've been saying for years, and which is certainly true
in my own case.

1c. Several older Dinos said that singles work best for

2. The older Dinos who prefer higher reps in their squats
have been doing higher reps for many years, and are
fully adapted to them.

2a. Several of these Dinos noted that even though they
do 20 rep squats, they don't push the weight on them
the way a younger lifter would do. In other words, they
use them more for conditioning work.

3. None of the older Dinos thought that switching from
low reps to 20 rep sets would be a good idea for an
older trainee - the consensus was "Dance with who
brung ya," i.e., keep on doing what you've been doing.

4. Several readers noted that Trap Bar deadlifts are a
very good alternative to the squat for older trainees.
I agree.

4a. For more information on the Trap Bar, go here:


5. Several of the older Dinos noted that they do low
reps (singles, doubles, triples or 5 rep sets) because
they can maintain good form on each rep - which
helps them train injury-free.

5a. This is a key point.

5b. Low reps sets do not mean you pile on so much
weight that you shake and wobble and the weight goes
all over the place. It means that you train with perfect
form - and that you use weights that allow you to use
perfect form.

5c. The pumpers and toners never seem to get this.
They equate low reps with maximum effort, life or death
heavy lifts - which is ridiculous.

6. Many of the older Dinos noted that they supplement
their strength training with low-to-moderate intensity
conditioning work.

6a. Many rely on walking for their conditioning work.
6b. Several older Dinos noted that swimming is good
for conditioning work because it is easy on the joints.

6c. At least five older Dinos noted that the lugging
and loading drills covered in Gray Hair and Black Iron
are their preferred form of conditioning work.

7. One older Dino who is a medical doctor bluntly
noted that 20 rep squats can be dangerous for an
older trainee - and can even trigger a heart attack
if you over-estimate your level of conditioning and
try to go too hard or too heavy.

7a. In other words, don't try to do 225 for 20 reps
just because you used to do 300 for 20 reps 30 years
ago and 225 for 20 "ought to be easy."

7b. "IUSETA" thinking - as in, "I used to lift such and
so, so I can surely do X now" will get an older trainee
in trouble every single time.

7c. Every. Single. Time.

7d.There was a time when I could do a perfect belly
to back suplex against an opponent in a wrestling
match - but that was 40 years ago - and that
doesn't mean I can do a suplex today - or that
I would ever try to do one.

I think that covers the feedback. Thanks to everyone
who sent in a response. I appreciate it. And ditto for
all of you who sent in feedback for The Dinosaur

If anyone has further thoughts on the 20 rep squat,
send them in.

As always, thanks for reading and have a great day.
If you train today, make it a good one.

Yours in strength,

Brooks Kubik

P.S. Here's the guidebook for older trainees:


P.S. 2. My other books and courses - including links to
my PDF and Kindle books - are right here:


P.S. 3. Thought for the day: "Don't worry about what
you used to be able to do. Focus on what you can do
NOW." -- Brooks Kubik