The 21-Day Squat Challenge starts TODAY. If you’re confused about what to do — TMI situation — try this.
Every new member of our gym does TWO “challenges” at the same time for the first month. The first is a Snatch Domination challenge, where they try to get 1,000 reps (with an empty bar) on the snatch with good form. Usually that’s pretty easy if you do 10 (or more) sets of 3 reps every single day.
The other goal for the month is to do a variation of the 21-Day Squat Challenge.
Here is the way we’ve been making all new people do it. The results are looking good (for instance, Landon just finished and added over 25 pounds to his front squat).
Do this with FRONT SQUATS. You could use back squats, but if you’re a beginner, I strongly encourage you to master the front squat first.
- Step 1: Ramp up with the Volcano WOD: 3’s until hard, 2’s until hard, 1’s until form breaks down. Stop the second your form is shit! (That’s what we mean by “Fail”.)
Step 2: Ninja Pause Squats for AT LEAST 7 sets of 3 reps (Hold each pause for a count of 3), starting at about 60% of your best 1 rep for the day on the Volcano Ramp.
Watch this video to understand what I mean by “Ninja” pause squats 😉
During the pause at the bottom, you should be focused on keeping your CORE as tight and strong as possible. Don’t let any part of your body loosen up and relax! This is not a Box Squat. This is not an endurance exercise. It is about Strength and Power!
You MUST remain maximally tight in the bottom.
- Hold each rep for a count of “3-Mississippi”.
- Do 7 (or more) sets.
- Start your sets at 60% of your best single for the day (what you did at the top of your Volcano ramp.)
- ONLY add weight if you did the last set PERFECTLY.
- Then add (at most) 5%.
- Do this workout every day for 21 days straight.
It’s OK to go DOWN in weight at any time, too!
The point is QUALITY of movement, NOT weight! You are learning HOW to squat with more control with this drill. Beginners often have the mistaken belief that getting stronger means loading up the barbell and cranking out tons of shitty reps. No. That’s a brilliant way to get injured.
RULE: Your reps ONLY COUNT if they are quality. Otherwise, you are not allowed to count them. I’m dead serious. Bad reps, ugly reps, don’t count towards your total. Drop the weight and do quality reps ONLY.
More Quality is ALWAYS better. Quantity is only better IF it is more of the same quality. The 21-Day Squat Challenge is about getting in as much QUALITY work as humanly possible in a short time. The Ninja Pause Squats are a great way to teach yourself how to do that. That’s why we have been using them for all of our own new beginners.
Now go lift something heavy,
PS. If you’d like to be coached throughout the challenge by myself and Tamara, you still have time to sign up HERE!