In case you need motivation to squat later, a video shared on Powerlifting Motivation’s Facebook page definitely got us pumped up to train legs. The video highlights a lifter named Davon Mahon squatting a listed 180kg (396 lbs) for 42-reps.
While it’s hard to tell from the video, it would appear that there is four plates on each side, which in reality would make this 405 lbs. Either way, that is one serious cardio session.
Mahon performs the 42-reps for a total time of just over four minutes. That’s four minutes with roughly 400 lbs on his back, and did we mention he only has a belt on for support? On top of that, he has tennis shoes on as opposed to the normal Chuck Taylor’s or weightlifting shoes.
He nails the first 14-reps with ease before slowing his tempo a little bit, this is where the lactic acid kicks in. As he reaches the 30-rep mark you can begin to feel his pain, with every yell and grunt, he continues to rep out squats like it’s his job. While the time in-between reps increased, the actual rep tempo stayed consistent, which is crazy impressive.
After he racks the weight Mahon falls to the ground in exhaustion, this is a similar reaction you see from lifters performing the 20-rep squat.
The 20-rep squat is performed by selecting a squat weight you could normally lift for 10-12 reps (think 65-75% 1-RM) and performing 20 consecutive squats without racking.
If you’re newer to training, start with a lighter load, I would recommend 60-70% of your 1-RM (other coaches will have varied view points). There are two common ways to perform the 20-rep squat.
1. You perform the reps straight through taking as long as you need in-between reps with the weight still on your back.
2. You create a breathing aspect to keep a consistent tempo in-between each rep. My past gym implemented three deep breaths in-between each rep, this equated to roughly 10 seconds of hold time before proceeding to the next rep. Although, this is just one example, you can manipulate your breathing and tempo in multiple ways.
Benefits of The 20-Rep Squat
While performing a squat for 42-reps is a little extreme, there are definitely benefits to performing the 20-rep squat.
- If you’re short on time and need to provide a high volume stimulus on the legs, the 20-rep squat can be a viable temporary solution.
- The 20-rep squat can help train the density of the nervous system to handle a weight for a prolonged time.
- Your muscular endurance and strength will increase.
- There will be a cardiovascular benefit from performing 20 consecutive reps.
- You’ll build confidence in yourself when you prove your doubts wrong by hitting the 20-rep target.
42-reps is freaking impressive, but not realistic for most lifters. The 20-rep squat is a viable option for most lifters and has multiple benefits. So whether you’re crunched on time or looking for a supplemental squat routine – give the 20-rep squat a try.
Feature image from @PowerliftingMotivation Facebook page.