Training Frequency for 20-Rep Squats and Deadlifts

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

One quick note and then we'll talk iron.

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2. Training Frequency for 20-Rep Squats
and Deadlifts

As promised yesterday, we're going to talk
a bit about training frequency for 20-rep
squats and deadlifts.

The traditional advice for the 20-rep breathing
squat was to do them 3x a week.

That worked fro some trainees, but for others
it was too much, too often.

So people began to experiment with differrent
training frequencies.

Peary Rader experimented with twice a week
breathing squat workouts back in the 1930's,
and found (to his surprise) that he gained just
as well on twice a week workouts as he did on
three times per week workouts.

Rader later wrote about this in Iron Man - and
urged trainees to give twice a week workouts
a try.

His article raised such an uproar that one of his
regular writers, Bradley J. Steiner, had to urge
readers to back off and show some respect.

"Watch what you say about Peary Rader and what
he knows about training," said Steiner. "He's my
editor, and those are fighting words!"

That was sometime in the late sixties or early
seventies. I remember reading Peary's article and
wondering if it would work.

Meanwhile, some trainees experimented with
training every five or six days on the 20-rep

The ones who did made terrific progress.
Peary Rader wrote about that, too - but most
trainees didn't listen.

Even today, they don't listen.

They think you need to train every day. Or hit
every muscle group (or exercise) three times
a week.

Or squat every day (that's popular now).

Or deadlift every day (that's also popular now).

Heck, someone out there probably thinks you
need to squat or deadlift every hour to make

But the bottom line is this:

1. You won't build strength and muscle if you
don't recover from your workouts.

2. Those 20-rep squats and deadlifts are very
demanding - and require more recovery time
than less strenuous programs.

3. Twice a week is better than three times a
week for 20-rep workouts.

a. And consider going heavy one day and not
so heavy the other day.

4. Once every four to six days is fine. In fact,
it may be best for most of us.

5. Ditto for once a week.

6. And remember, you can always do one or
two upper body only workouts, plus one workout
where you hit 20-rep squats or deadlifts each

a. No, 6 is what I would do.

7. Note to older trainees: Rest and recovery
is more important for you than ever.

Hope that helps - and I'd love to hear from
you on this one. Send me some feedback!

Yours in strength,

Brooks Kubik

P.S. I cover leg and back specialization in
detail in Chalk and Sweat - and in Strength,
Muscle and Power:

Chalk and Sweat

Strength, Muscle and Power

P.S. 2. My other books and courses are right
here at Dino Headquarters:

P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "Train hard, heavy
and serious - and smart!" - Brooks Kubik