Squat Daily. We’ve seen the workouts or have heard about it about from a fellow bro, but you’re probably thinking one of two things; 1, I don’t even squat weekly, or 2, that sounds miserable.
However, it doesn’t have to be terrible, and in fact it may be just the workout you need to get out of your current rut. The problem with many of these routines is that they’re not properly developed, so yeah, you’ll be sore, but will it equate to gains? We spoke with John Davies, the originator behind “Squat Daily” to give us some insight on this new trend.
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One of the great silent rewards of a long career in sport and physical culture coaching is seeing theories you championed being accepted decades after you first introduced them. Like my work within ‘imperfection’, ‘GPP’, ’chaos’ or functionality, each seemed obtuse when I first discussed them long before the internet but now each is accepted and in nearly every stream of training.
Of recent, one of my preferred training models, both for athletes and my own training, has become popular; that being the ‘Squat Daily’ notion. This remarkably simple approach has profound implications and after thirty years, it is due its time in the limelight in the training world.
The Squat Daily approach stems from a few basic understandings, primarily dealing with the majority of training which must address recovery systems and systemically elevate work threshold such that an individual may maintain optimal posture and proper movement under duress (the foundation of ‘chaos training’).
• Recovery isn’t ‘doing nothing’. In addition to the obvious of sufficient sleep, a proper diet, BCAA’s, contrast showers, ice baths and professional massage therapy, the most effective way to enhance recovery is work itself. The beast in the Serengeti runs when it’s pursued whether fatigued or not, or it understands one can sit at the table or be served. To enhance recovery, the most direct route is making use of similar movement patterns, with marginal variations, to promote blood flow but never at the expense of poor technique.
• Work threshold. Given all of the effort to develop maximal effort, many fail because of the lack of work that targets the ability to maintain ‘position’ (posture or sport-specific related posture). This type of work, extremely high ‘time under tension’ often seen in the form of ‘GPP’, is crucial in general development in the iron game and sport.
• Rust doesn’t settle on moving parts. Simple, yet effective. If you Squat daily (and properly), you will be able to squat daily; hence, keep the joints limber in prescribed fashion and, logically, you will continue to be able to manage.
• Muscular education; this is where it gets a ‘bit fun’ as performing the same movement daily lends to a neuromuscular education and, performing the movement assuming it is taught first correctly, great efficiency. Insert, ‘what you do today will be easier tomorrow’.
• Super Compensatory effect. People who work hard daily are able to work hard because they, yes, work hard daily. This relates to developing work threshold both physically and mentally but, with squats, lends to an overall body effect.
Squat Daily (Workout #1)
Squat (classic ‘Olympic’ medium stance) 6 sets x 4 reps at 65% *
Dumbbell Split Snatch (hang, knee level) 6 sets x 4 reps at 65% (each hand, alternate reps)
Snatch Grip Deadlifts 6 sets x 4 reps at 65% *emphasis upon bar speed
Good Morning Squat (based upon ‘best guess’ of Squat one rep max) 4 sets x 3-5 reps at 70% **
Bulgarian Squat (Barbell, 35-40% of Squat one rep max) 4 sets x 3-5 reps **
Russian Split Jumps 4 sets x 3 reps (each leg)
Walking Lunges 5 sets x 60 seconds
** There will need to be latitude with the starting percentages given individual characteristics regarding torso stability and unilateral strength. Be patient, err on the side of caution and any differences will self-adjust within three weeks.
As a special notation, this absolutely does not apply to all movements and attempts to do so lend to failure as well as injury, particularly with movements such as the Deadlift and Bench Press where the leverage points will gradually become fatigued and injury is imminent. This approach, with the assumption the individual is dedicated with diet and general recovery, has been profound within many elite training circles with athletes making enormous strides in their strength and speed goals.
- Squat (classic ‘Olympic’ medium stance) 6 sets x 4 reps at 65% *
- Snatch Grip Deadlifts 6 sets x 4 reps at 65% *emphasis upon bar speed
- Good Morning Squat (based upon ‘best guess’ of Squat one rep max) 4 sets x 3-5 reps at 70% **
- Bulgarian Squat (Barbell, 35-40% of Squat one rep max) 4 sets x 3-5 reps **
- Walking Lunges 5 sets x 60 seconds
Prepared by John Davies
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