The 20 rep squats routine - also known as squats and milk - also called muscle man makers if a friend gets really theatrical. This is a brutal program, no two ways about it. I'll outline the program, go over what food to eat and some tips on how to make the routine work, and then you get your rear in gear and do it!
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Sweating and straining and pushing your muscles and sinews farther than they think they can go is what this program is about. But if you complete it, the rewards are awesome. You will add 20-30 pounds with one of the best muscle building workouts around!
The keys to this program are to make your workouts short but intense, and always complete your 20 squats. Start with your 10 rep max and then squat that 20 times. You can stop, you should take at least 3 good deep breaths between reps, catch your breath as your sweat runs onto the bar, but the bar is still on your shoulders and will not leave till you’ve done all 20 squats.
So, here’s the squats and milk routine. It’s meant to be done for 6-9 weeks to bulk up and add massive amounts of muscle. It’s not a routine that should be done for more than 2 months at the most, it's just too intense.
(Sets x Reps)
Do the workout 3 times a week ideally, or only 2 times a week if you can't recover that fast. Simple, that's how to build muscles.
That’s the plan. You should add 5 pound to your squat every time your workout, which is the traditional version of the program. It should be incredibly straining, though not impossible; it’s OK to only add 2.5 pound sometimes. This requires a strong will, as well as the ability to listen to your body.
This routine is sometimes called squats and milk, and for good reason. When you are doing this you should be drinking a gallon of whole milk a day along with tons of food. Go for at least seconds and thirds at meals!
3-4 Eggs for breakfast, big sandwiches for lunch, lots of vegetables, steak for dinner if possible, and a glass of whole milk with every meal. Milk is an awesome source of calories and protein and it’s IGF-1 (Insulin like Growth Factor 1) will build you body like steroids.
You must eat incredible amounts of food to keep building muscles. Lots of food and sleep will do wonders for you, and you will not finish the program without it.
There’s your plan. I first heard about this in the book Super Squats: How to Gain 30 Pounds of Muscle in 6 Weeks by Randall Strossen. The book gives the most complete info on this, and if you're still intrigued I highly recommend the book.
The above program is a modification of his program, with ideas and tips from others and my own mistake(s), but the core of the 20 rep squats routine hasn’t changed in decades: finish the almost impossible 20 reps. This is an awesome way to gain muscle and will give you bragging rights to boot!
Oh, and be sure to sign up for the e-zine Starting Strong to get monthly strength training, exercise, and diet tips e-mailed to you - and access to the free e-book Train Smart, Eat Smart: Exercise Nutrition Hacks!
Strossen, Randall J. 1989. Super Squats: How to Gain 30 Pounds of Muscle in 6 Weeks. Larkspur, Calif: IronMind Enterprises.
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