Super Squats – Review of the Legendary 20 Rep Squat Program

Supersquats is a book that Ironmind put out some time ago and was one of my formative influences for setting standards for what hard work is.

The title was eye catching enough for a 17 year old looking to find the fastest route of the world stage: Supersquats: How to Gain 30lbs of Muscle in 6 Weeks. My bullshit barometer was already finely tuned at that age, but Ironmind as a company carried more credibility than your typical newsstand muscle rag. Randall Strossen always emphasized simplicity in his products and publications, to the point that the company sold whey flavored whey protein (no artificial flavoring).

Many of the books published by his company were written by or about some of the early legends of lifting, guys and gals who gained world renown in an era that predated the saturation of corporate sales copy in the fitness industry. Ironmind also held Olympic lifting in the highest regard, offering training videos from Olympic training halls and photo prints of some of the most iconic lifts in the sport.

So how could a company that rooted itself in so much of the ‘good stuff’ offer up a book with such a seemingly phony sensationalist title? For 20 bucks + s&h I had to find out. After waiting for several weeks (these were pre-Prime days), the book came and I got to work.

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Programming for Strength: EVERYTHING You Need to Know

Programming for strength is a relatively simple task on paper; you take a a few proven exercises, work them in some logical fashion throughout the week and implement some pattern of progression. Easy peasy.

While that simple prescription is obvious in most programs you might pick apart, starting from scratch is anything but simple. It isn’t until you have to justify every step you take in constructing a strength program that you realize how many variables need to be addressed and how ill-equipped you are to address them.

You might get stuck in selecting between two exercises you really want to try. Should you pick one over the other? Implement them both on the same day? Different days? Should they be done with similar reps and effort or should that vary? Are all of these decisions arbitrary and you’ve been staring at your notebook for 2 hours over nothing?

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