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12 Week Squat Program for Improved Form & PR

The squat is hailed as the king of all exercises. A compound movement that recruits multiple muscle groups, the squat not only builds leg strength but also promotes overall muscle growth, endurance, and core strength.

This 12-week squat strength program is meticulously crafted to take you from where you are now to squatting with more power, precision, and confidence.

12 Week Squat Program

1-Week Example

How to read Olympic weightlifting training plan load

In Olympic weightlifting and strength training there is a standard form of writing planned load. Coach give a prescribtion that athletes need to do on the each training in specific way.

Let`s talke a look on certain example:

It means that in this specific exercise – Back Squat, athlete will do for
1 set for 4 reps on 50%, 3 sets for 4 reps on 65%, 1 set for 4 reps on 75%,

% – counts from actual 1 RM, means that if your current 1 RM 100 kg (220 lbs), athlete work 1 set for 4 reps on 50% – 50 kg (110 lbs), 3 sets for 4 reps on 65% – 65 kg (143 lbs), 1 set for 4 reps on 75% – 75 kg (165 lbs)

Day 1

Warm-Up: 10 minutes of dynamic stretches targeting the quads, hamstrings, calves, and hips.
Aim: Prepare the body for squatting, increasing blood flow to the muscles.

Back Squat: 4 sets x 8 reps at 65-70% of your 1RM.
Aim: Establish a solid squatting foundation focusing on form and technique.

Pause Squats: 3 sets x 5 reps at 50-60% of 1RM, with a 3-second pause at the bottom.
Aim: Improve stability at the bottom of the squat and boost power out of the hole.

Leg Press: 3 sets x 10 reps.
Aim: Isolating and building the quadriceps and hamstrings without the balance component of squats.

Woman Squatting

Day 2

Warm-Up: 10 minutes of dynamic stretching and plyometric exercises like jump squats.

Box Jumps: 4 sets x 6 jumps.
Aim: Improve explosive power and reactive strength.

Speed Squats: 5 sets x 5 reps at 40-50% 1RM.
Aim: Enhance the rate of force development, focusing on moving the weight quickly.

Bulgarian Split Squats: 3 sets x 8 reps per leg.
Aim: Strengthen each leg individually, improving balance and addressing imbalances.

🔻12 Week Squat Program by Oleksiy Torokhtiy

Do you want to double your squat strength? In just 12 weeks, you’ll be able to boost your squat results.

This program transforms any ordinary squat into a powerful athletic movement.

Squat Strength Program

What’s included:

  • 📆 12 weeks of squat programming;
  • 🎯 Effective combination of sets, reps, and weights;
  • 🥇 Fully designed and coached by Oleksiy Torokhtiy;
  • ✅ Over 60+ movements, banded work, and weight training;
  • 🔥 Accessory work for core, joint stability and injury prevention;
  • 🏋️‍♂️ Max out on back squat and front squat at the end.

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Day 3 – Volume and Accessory

Warm-Up: 10 minutes of dynamic stretches with a focus on hip mobility.

Front Squat: 4 sets x 8 reps at 65-70% 1RM.
Aim: Strengthen the quads and improve upper back strength and core stability.

Romanian Deadlifts: 3 sets x 10 reps.
Aim: Target the hamstrings and glutes, promoting a balanced leg development.

Calf Raises: 4 sets x 12 reps.
Aim: Develop the often-neglected calf muscles, enhancing squat stability.

Hack Squatting Machine Exercise

Recommendations for Further Programming

For the primary squat movement each week, aim for a conservative 2 – 3% increase in weight. Listen to your body; if a set feels easy, you can increment slightly more, but if form breaks down, stay at the current weight or deload.

1. Volume and Intensity

Every fourth week, reduce volume (number of sets) by 50% for a ‘deload’ week. This facilitates recovery while still practicing the movement.

2. Accessory Work

Rotate accessory exercises every 3-4 weeks to prevent plateaus and ensure balanced muscular development. Use this list:

Zercher Squats

Hold the barbell in the crooks of your elbows—this squat targets the core, glutes, and upper back, making it challenging due to the barbell’s front-loaded position.

Pistol Squats

A challenging unilateral exercise where you squat using just one leg while the other is extended forward. It’s excellent for targeting imbalances and enhancing balance.

Box Squat with Chains

Perform a regular box squat, but with chains on the barbell. The weight increases as you stand up (due to chain lift-off), adding resistance during the concentric phase.

Belt Squats

Using a belt squat machine or setup, this squat allows you to load weight via a belt around your hips, taking the spinal load off while still working the legs intensely.

Anderson Squats

Starting the squat from the bottom position (from pins on a squat rack), it focuses on the concentric phase of the squat, helping develop power from a static position.

Cossack Squat

A side-to-side squatting motion that enhances hip mobility while also strengthening the glutes, hamstrings, and quads.

Tempo Squats

By varying the time taken for the eccentric and concentric phases (like 4 seconds down, 1 second up), it increases time under tension and muscle activation.

Integrating these variations into a squat strength program can provide comprehensive lower body development, prevent plateaus, and address different aspects of squat performance.

3. Form Check

Record one set per week and evaluate your form or have a coach review it. As weights increase, maintaining impeccable form is crucial.

4. Nutrition and Recovery

Pair this program with a protein-rich diet to aid muscle repair. Ensure adequate hydration and sleep, and consider foam rolling or massages for muscle recovery.

Conclusion

If you seek real progress in squats, you definitely need to try – LEG KILLER program. This 12-week squat strength program is a comprehensive roadmap to not only enhance your squat strength but to also foster holistic leg development.

With consistent effort, meticulous attention to form, and adherence to the program’s principles, by the end of the 12 weeks, you’ll witness tangible progress in your squat prowess. Remember, it’s a journey, and every squat brings you one step closer to your strength goals.

Also Read:

References:

  1. Hubert Makaruk, “Internal Validity in Resistance Training Research”, 2022 Jun, NCBI, 21(2): 308–331.
  2. Marcio Lacio, “Effects of Resistance Training Performed with Different Loads in Untrained and Trained Male Adult Individuals on Maximal Strength and Muscle Hypertrophy, 2021 Nov; NCBI, 18(21): 11237.

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By trusting the recommendations of our certified experts in coaching, nutrition, dietology, and sports training programming, as well as scientific consultants, and physiotherapists, we provide you with thorough, well-considered, and scientifically proven content. All the information given in the articles concerning workout programming, separate exercises, and athletic performance, in general, is based on verified data. We ensure that you can rely on our professionals’ pieces of advice and recommendations that can be treated as personalized ones which will benefit you and fully meet your needs.

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Sergii Putsov

Author: Sergii Putsov
Head of Sport Science, PhD

Experience: 20 years
Best ResultsSnatch – 165 kg,
C&J – 200 kg

Sergii Putsov, Ph.D., is a former professional weightlifter and National team member, achieving multiple medals in the 94 kg weight category at national competitions. With a Master’s degree in “Olympic & Professional Sport Training” and a Sport Science Ph.D. from the International Olympic Academy, Greece, Sergii now leads as the Head of Sport Science. He specializes in designing training programs, writing insightful blog articles, providing live commentary at international weightlifting events, and conducting educational seminars worldwide alongside Olympic weightlifting expert Oleksiy Torokhtiy.

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