Thursday, March 10, 2016


A while back, a reader contacted me regarding his experience with a squat program I had written about earlier

As I hope this log continues to have more reader participation, I am sharing his experience with the program, as he has written to me in an e-mail correspondence.


Well as a background I had developed some low back pain and stiffness in that area due to continually hyperextending low back when squatting and learning oly lifts. I diagnosed this by trial and error and concentrated on exercises that helped (such as deads or lunges) or didn´t hurt, started trying different stances in the squat… No interest in olys at the moment haha.

Image result for holley mangold
I can't imagine why not

I decided to up a level in training and diet 4 weeks ago, put more focus into it. Not as much motivation here at home as last year studying abroad (I trained with some people for strongman and competed in UK, but there is almost nothing in Spain, and nothing for -90kg) but I wanted to do it for myself. You know, one of those periods when motivation improves.

Anyways I wanted to have a bit more of a plan that I normally do and I had to do something with the squat. I thought that your protocol would be a good idea to stay at a certain weight and own it. It had also the appeal of the low frequency and volume, different to what I had been doing. Not too much thinking or work, just get the job done in those 4 or 5 sets. If I got some low back discomfort in one of those reps I just be aware of keeping a good position on the next one. The overall volume is not big, two or three bad reps a week would not set me back.

Image result for spinal tap 11
So not this

That is exactly what happened and my control over that postural tip has improved a lot. So I didn’t go balls to the wall since week one, but by now I have developed the ability to really exert myself squatting without low back position being a real problem anymore, so that’s good. I have to concentrate on it but didn’t lose it even on hard reps.
Here is the outline of this weeks.

As you know, between the sets with the same weight the rest is the minimum required to get the reps. In sets 3 and 4 I did normal reps, not non-stop no-lockout as you recommend. When doing a 5th set it was non-stop no-lockout. Weight in kilos. On a couple of weeks I did some very easy squatting (like 60 kg non stop 20 reps or so). I´ll be implementing a heavier day as you recommend now. Previous best was 190x1, what I got after these weeks is probably a rep PR.

Week one

Week two
150x7----I put more weight by mistake. However, since I got it I stayed here for next weeks

Week three
130x9--- Brought the weight up to keep the proportion.
100x12 Non-stop. Not to death, it was OK but hard

Week four
150x9 ---Seeing stars on rep 8
150x5 ---Really felt a pump after the first set and during the last two or three reps of this one. Good to learn to push through it.
100x15 Non-stop. I think I was past pain because it didn’t feel so bad… kind of separated myself from body and just kept going with the rhythm haha. Last rep however was suddenly really really slow.

Image result for Dave Tate death squat
When your last rep looks like this, you did it!

This was when I decided to write to you, because I was seeing some of the things you were saying in your post. I eased into it but the protocol is great for mental fortitude, conditioning and grinding in squatting. Nothing earth breaking I know, but still very useful for me.


As I've mentioned a few times, I don't make any money off of this blog.  This is pretty much just me venting to the world and practicing keeping my writing sharp.  As such, the best (and only) compensation I get is hearing that my readers have gotten something out of my writing.  It really made my day to hear that a program I put out there was working so well for someone, and I was really touched to have this reader write me and let me know.  Thanks to everyone out there following along.

If you'd like to share an experience or ask a question, post a comment on the blog.


  1. Hi Emevas,

    Funny your most recent topic was about programming. I had come back to actually ask you about programming and ROM progression.

    I just finished competing and had a pretty disappointing meet (1315 total @ 181...gym lifts all significantly better than what I hit) and was thinking of switching it up. Could you maybe talk about adding ROM progressing into a program or what a program focused around ROM progression would look like?

    If not, feel free to email me -

    Thanks for all the posts, I know lots of people from other websites read them.

    1. Good to hear from you Mathias.

      I had recently written up a program based around ROM progression here.

      These days, I may make a few slight changes to it, but the core is pretty much the same.

      Let me know if that answers your question, or if you got something more specific in mind. Always happy to entertain more questions.

  2. Thanks Emevas. I'll give it a go to create my own variation of that.