Squats are one of my favorite lifts. Simple, straightforward and one of the strongest motions our body can do. They are also super functional to strengthen our legs to run up hills and compete in ruck events.
Two of my favorite squat routines involve a squat reverse pyramid. A reverse pyramid is when you add or subtract reps or weight with each set. Here are two examples. A strength pyramid and an endurance pyramid.
The Strength Pyramid
The strength pyramid requires a cage with adjustable catch bars. Set up your squat bar with about 90-95% of your one rep max. Set the catch bars high so it stops you before you lower the weigh much. Do a set of 10 then move the catch bars a notch lower. Do a set of 8 then move the catch bars another notch lower. Continue to subtract 2 reps and move the catch bars lower until you get to a set of two at a full depth squat. These multiple sets of partial depth squats allows you to get more reps in with the heavier weight than you would doing all full range of motion squats. Also functional in that most of our hill running power comes from the last 15-20. Of leg extension.
The Endurance Pyramid
The endurance pyramid is similar to the strength pyramid except you start with a low weight and lots of reps then add weight as you decrease reps. Unlike the strength pyramid, this will be full depth squats from start to finish. I like to start with 20 reps at just a body weight squat. Then 18 reps with 20 pounds. Next 16 reps at 40 pounds. 14 reps at 60. Add 20 pounds and subtract 2 reps for each set until you reach 2 reps. By then you have 180 pounds for that last set of two so you still be lifting heavy by the end.
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