20-rep squat 101

Despite the simplicity of the routine, the 20 rep squat is considered to be one of the most demanding mass building workout programs on earth. The program has been around for more than fifty years and has been used time and time again by lifters looking to gain lean mass and strength over a short period.

For those who are looking to try out this workout, here’s some advice… perseverance and determination are key to successfully complete the program. You’ll be squatting three times a week with one set of twenty repetitions each session. Your goal is to successfully add around five pounds each and every session over the six week protocol. Sounds simple, right?

To begin, you must determine your starting weight. To do this, find your 5 rep max back squat – by squatting as much as you can 5 times of course! Then subtract ninety pounds from this number (since you will be working out three times a week, multiplied by six weeks of workout, and you are expected to improve by at least five pounds per week).

There are many variations of the 20 rep squat program you can choose from, but what we provide here is one of the most frequently used versions.


You have complete freedom to choose your own accessory work, but above you’ll see pull overs, military presses and power cleans recommended on top of your squats. The heart and soul of the program is the squat though, so if you would like to modify the program, no problem, just leave that part untouched.

This program is traditionally paired with consuming a gallon of milk per day until the six week regimen is completed. If you can’t consume that much or are lactose intolerant, consider pairing it up with another protein supplement. Just make sure not to take the milk directly before the workout to avoid vomiting (trust me on this:)). Stick to the program and the milk and in six weeks, you will be impressed by how much strength and mass you’ve gained.

Click here for the full 20 squat workout program guide.