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def_con_3
02-14-2007, 03:11 PM
Hi. I am a sprinter and I know 20-rep squats work wonders in terms of gaining size and strength. However, would they be an effective alternative to normal, lower rep squat programs for building speed and muscular endurance? Thanks.

D Breyer
02-14-2007, 04:00 PM
I do both, and switch it up every 2 or so weeks. But then again... I'm not a sprinter.

Hazerboy
02-14-2007, 05:56 PM
It depends on what your weaknesses are. 20 rep squats will get you a bigger engine (legs), though maybe what you really need is just a more efficient car (a better squat for your bodyweight).

Sensei
02-14-2007, 07:55 PM
I wouldn't have anyone do 20-rep squats for speed unless they were using pretty damn light weights...

mr.giggles
02-14-2007, 09:20 PM
I wouldn't have anyone do 20-rep squats for speed unless they were using pretty damn light weights...


I would think that your form would become sloppy and you would be bouncing at the top a lot more. :(

Songsangnim
02-15-2007, 12:21 AM
I would think that your form would become sloppy and you would be bouncing at the top a lot more. :(


Only if you weren't paying attention to said form. With very light weight it becomes quite possible to focus on form.

Isaac Wilkins
02-15-2007, 04:23 AM
Fatigue will start slowing you down. Also, speed is largely neurological. With that weight and rep range, unless you have an absurd pause between reps, you'll largely be doing energy system work.

Also, if you do it with a quite heavy weight, like 20-rep squats are usually recommended, you'll probably be too sore to perform optimally during what will really make you faster: Your sprint training.

Once in a while in the off-season a 20-rep set would be fine to alleviate boredom and provide some mental toughness, but it's way down on the list of productive training protocols for a sprinter.

ArchAngel777
02-15-2007, 10:10 AM
High rep squats have really improved my leg conditioning and strength. Doing between 15 and 20 reps allows you to really nail down the form. Use 50% 1RM and work up... Tonight I am going to attempt 185 X 20 (BW).

I was never a good squatter, but since these last two months of doing high reps my top end squat has improved much. Just my opinion.

ericg
02-15-2007, 11:02 AM
High rep squats have really improved my leg conditioning and strength. Doing between 15 and 20 reps allows you to really nail down the form. Use 50% 1RM and work up... Tonight I am going to attempt 185 X 20 (BW).

I was never a good squatter, but since these last two months of doing high reps my top end squat has improved much. Just my opinion.
I am actually surprised by this. Not saying that it hasnt worked for you I am just thinking that anything high rep will lead to fatigue and then to sub par form. I would think that instead of doing high rep with 50% 1RM you would do high sets with 5 reps to nail down your form, what do others think about this??

About the original question...listen to Borris cuz he is the man, even though he is a slow as mol@sses on cold winters night.

ArchAngel777
02-15-2007, 12:03 PM
I am actually surprised by this. Not saying that it hasnt worked for you I am just thinking that anything high rep will lead to fatigue and then to sub par form. I would think that instead of doing high rep with 50% 1RM you would do high sets with 5 reps to nail down your form, what do others think about this??

About the original question...listen to Borris cuz he is the man, even though he is a slow as mol@sses on cold winters night.

I am quite sure you can nail form down with any number of reps, it just that it would require a lot more sets. I have done the tripple + wait 1 minute repeat training before and I liked it, but I get bored just as easily. The only thing I can say is that I never gained strength with low rep squats, only when I increased their reps to 8+ do I seen gains. Always has been that way... I tried 5x5 (dabbled in it last week) and it just doesn't do it for me personally. To each their own.

Isaac Wilkins
02-15-2007, 01:48 PM
High rep squats have really improved my leg conditioning and strength. Doing between 15 and 20 reps allows you to really nail down the form. Use 50% 1RM and work up... Tonight I am going to attempt 185 X 20 (BW).

I was never a good squatter, but since these last two months of doing high reps my top end squat has improved much. Just my opinion.

I didn't say it wouldn't make one a better squatter. It probably won't make one a better sprinter, assuming that one is already decent.


And Eric: Just try racing me to a cheeseburger, biatch!

def_con_3
02-15-2007, 11:13 PM
I didn't mean doing 20-rep squats at a fast speed, I meant doing 20-rep squats to gain speed when sprinting.

Muscular endurance is my weak point, it seemed to me that 20 rep squats would be beneficial considering it would be closer to real racing conditions than say sets of 5-10. But then again, I always just heard of 20 rep squats as an exercise to gain strength and size.

Borris, I'm in the off-season now; what would you recommend for speed?

Sensei
02-16-2007, 05:55 AM
The point is that 20rep squats, grinding them out, is not going to do anything for your speed. It might help your muscular endurance, but it's DEFINATELY not going to help your speed.

I'm curious what you mean by this:
it seemed to me that 20 rep squats would be beneficial considering it would be closer to real racing conditions than say sets of 5-10

def_con_3
02-16-2007, 05:07 PM
The point is that 20rep squats, grinding them out, is not going to do anything for your speed. It might help your muscular endurance, but it's DEFINATELY not going to help your speed.

I'm curious what you mean by this:

it seemed to me that 20 rep squats would be beneficial considering it would be closer to real racing conditions than say sets of 5-10.


What I should've said was "20-rep squats to improve racing times," not speed.

I'm not sure if my reasoning was right, but to seemed to me that the level of fatigue in the body in the final reps of 20-rep squats was similar to the level of fatigue in the body in the final 50m of a 400m sprint.

I used to follow a normal medium-rep squat program, and the benefits have shown in about the first 20m of all my races. However, I noticeably cannot keep pumping my legs as hard after that first 20m, even in races as short as the 200m where aerobic endurance is not a major factor.

Given this, would 20-rep squats help me maintain a faster pace during the later portions of a sprint, or would normal rep range squat programs still be best?

Songsangnim
02-16-2007, 07:33 PM
I didn't mean doing 20-rep squats at a fast speed, I meant doing 20-rep squats to gain speed when sprinting.

Muscular endurance is my weak point, it seemed to me that 20 rep squats would be beneficial considering it would be closer to real racing conditions than say sets of 5-10. But then again, I always just heard of 20 rep squats as an exercise to gain strength and size.

Borris, I'm in the off-season now; what would you recommend for speed?




If you want to get better at sprinting, you will have to sprint more. To get better at an activity there is no substitute for doing that activity.

20 rep squats are not about endurance per se...they are about pushing yourself to your utmost limits...assuming you are doing them in the classic style. It does take some endurance in order to complete the set but it's mostly a different kind...more mental than physical toughness. You don't need the conditioning of a runner to do them.

schmitty199
02-17-2007, 01:25 PM
If you want to get better at sprinting, you will have to sprint more. To get better at an activity there is no substitute for doing that activity.

20 rep squats are not about endurance per se...they are about pushing yourself to your utmost limits...assuming you are doing them in the classic style. It does take some endurance in order to complete the set but it's mostly a different kind...more mental than physical toughness. You don't need the conditioning of a runner to do them.

Negative ghostrider. Running is one of the few things that's not the case. 1st of all when your growing up you usually get faster naturally. Improving hamstring strength and overall leg flexibility will automatically make you faster also. Now working hard on the sprints maximizes how fast you can be but to say there's not lifts that will make you faster by themselves is crazy.

Songsangnim
02-17-2007, 06:04 PM
Negative ghostrider. Running is one of the few things that's not the case. 1st of all when your growing up you usually get faster naturally. Improving hamstring strength and overall leg flexibility will automatically make you faster also. Now working hard on the sprints maximizes how fast you can be but to say there's not lifts that will make you faster by themselves is crazy.


Don't put words in my mouth and then tell me I'm wrong please.

I never said "there's not lifts that will make you faster by themselves."

I said "To get better at an activity there is no substitute for doing that activity." This means that the BEST way (no substitute) is to do that activity. It does NOT mean you can't use other methods to complement said activity. However 20 rep squats (classic style) are not one of them when it comes to improving speed for sprinting.

Improving hamstring strength and overall leg flexibility also happens with frequent running. And no those don't make you automatically faster. Were that the case, then some powerlifters would have some of the best running times on the planet.

In future if you are going to quote me, take issue with what I said, and not what you think I said. Thank you.

KoSh
02-18-2007, 04:47 PM
What I should've said was "20-rep squats to improve racing times," not speed.

I'm not sure if my reasoning was right, but to seemed to me that the level of fatigue in the body in the final reps of 20-rep squats was similar to the level of fatigue in the body in the final 50m of a 400m sprint.

I used to follow a normal medium-rep squat program, and the benefits have shown in about the first 20m of all my races. However, I noticeably cannot keep pumping my legs as hard after that first 20m, even in races as short as the 200m where aerobic endurance is not a major factor.

Given this, would 20-rep squats help me maintain a faster pace during the later portions of a sprint, or would normal rep range squat programs still be best?

I assume that fatigue in the body you're referring to is lactic acid buildup? In which case, both would fit within the same energy system, the anaerobic glycolysis.

But so does an 8 rep squat. Or, if going slow enough, even a three rep squat. If the activity you're doing lasts between around ten seconds and three minutes, they fall within the same energy system. The biproduct of the anaerobic glycolysis system is lactate. Which is why you feel that fatigue. Problem is, you're looking to train muscles, or at least that's what I get from your post.

Training your muscles will help you with speed no doubt. But if you really want to get faster you'll want to really focus your sprinting and supplement that with squatting. Not the other way around.

Personally, I say go heavy, and go less reps. Adding strength is a great way to increase speed. And 20 rep sets don't increase strength as quickly as a heavy load for less reps would.

Just my 2 cents.

def_con_3
02-19-2007, 12:30 PM
Thanks guys I guess I'll stick to heavier squats then.

zen
02-19-2007, 12:40 PM
Don't they have a sled or something that you can train sprinting in that will provide a little resistence? I assume you do stairs and uphill sprints and stuff like that.

loftin12393
02-19-2007, 12:47 PM
good for endurance