Squat Training: A Different Perspective

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Squat Training: A Different Perspective
By Jim Wendler

The program listed below was done by one of my training partners, Kevin Deweese. Kevin and I started training together about 2 years ago. We began our powerlifting careers together at the 2001 IPA Nationals and his success on the platform is impressive. At that first meet, Kevin totaled 1600 and squatted 600. At the Ironhouse Open in April 2003, Kevin squatted 860 and totaled 2100. And to top it off, Kevin is 21 years old. Needless to say, he has a bright future in the sport.

The squat cycle was an idea I had of taking a download week every other week. This would always bring speed back into the workout and help the body recover from the heavy band tension. I noticed that during the heavy band training, the aspect of speed was sometimes lost and thus, the training goal of the workout diminished. You will see that Kevin's download week was always 5-6 sets of 2 reps with 325lbs and a blue band. This was the constant in the program.

Kevin was an unusual ability to use a lot of band tension and thus this kind of training is suited for him. His max effort work remained the same, though he did take a few ME days off during the blue/green phase.

His best squat before the Ironhouse Open was 800lbs. This was done at the 2002 IPA Nationals. His 800 was slow, yet his 860 was a joke. Kevin firmly believes that this squat cycle is what made the difference in his training. I should point out that there were no changes in his equipment.

His assistance work for his squat consisted of the following exercises: glute-ham raises, Reverse Hyperextensions, hanging leg raises, roman chair sit-ups, and dumbbell side bends.

His max effort work consisted of low box squats with the cambered bar and the Safety Squat bar, suspended good mornings with the cambered bar and the Safety Squat bar, deadlifts off pins and deadlifts while standing on an elevated platform.

Week/ Bar Weight/ Band/ Sets x Reps

Week 1: 325 blue 8x2
Week 2: 345 blue 8x2
Week 3: 365 blue 8x2
Week 4: 325 blue/purple 6x2
Week 5: 325 blue 6x2
Week 6: 345 blue/purple 6x2
Week 7: 325 blue 6x2
Week 8: 365 blue/purple 6x2
Week 9: 325 blue 6x2
Week 10: 325 blue/green 5x2
Week 11: 325 blue 5x2
Week 12: 345 blue/green 5x2
Week 13: 325 blue 5x2
Week 14: 365 blue/green 5x2
Week 15: 325 blue 5x2
Week 16: meet

Remember that this squat cycle was used to squat 860. Kevin's best squat before was 800. Based on the 800lbs. squat the percentages were as follows: 325=40%, 345=43%, 365=46%

I should point out the following things:

1. Kevin is an advanced squatter. I wrote about this squat cycle to give people ideas. If you squat 400lbs do not use this!
2. I came up with the idea, but Kevin put the cycle together. He is very knowledgeable about training, so I want to give credit where credit is due.
3. As I stated before, Kevin can handle a lot of band tension. I attempted to do something like this, but it about killed me. Just to give people an idea, I used 375 and a blue band to squat 925 at the same meet. Understand that everyone is different.
4. Kevin doesn't do a ton of different accessory work. He also does not perform extra workouts or drag the sled. Because of his college schedule, Kevin has to walk about 2 miles/day. His job requires that he be on his feet all day.

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