It’s very fun to play around with the Squat First protocol. Basically what you would be doing is train 3 times a week doing 20 reps of squats first (High intensity 1 set), then you can choose some few more compound exercises for some other muscle groups mostly 2 sets each, then you’re done.
9 Part Guide to Bigger CHEST (if clicking doesn't work- right click and hit "Save link As")
Another thing that I love about this squat first protocol is that you could hit many body parts in one session, but still be able to stimulate growth to the optimum level; and we all have the squats to thank for that and the efficiency of which you would hit the other muscle groups by doing the most high CNS lifts that you can possibly do at that time. You can also do some whole body regimens with the squat 1st if you want but I would suggest only doing a “semi” whole body work though if your goal is muscle growth.
I would like to share here what I did when I applied this to my chest day and back day. The result is yet another 30 minute program that would surely kick your ass!
1st – 20 Squats: the first thing I did is a set of 20 rep squats. I loaded my 12 rep max to that. After the 15th rep I could feel all those lactic acid burning my quads and I had to stop for a few seconds standing still from rep to rep (rest pause technique). Note that you can try a heavier max but I honestly don’t go below 12 reps with squats thus the weight I used was such. Like what I often do, I lowered the weight slowly in all those 20 reps to get my money’s worth (which I did).Follow @AboutLifting
2nd – Superset Heavy Flyes with Hammer Decline Bench Press : I did 2 super sets to failure of flat dumbbell flyes to hammer strength machine decline bench press. Take note that you can easily swap hammer strength machines with any compound chest move like bench press. Hammers are the greatest amongst all the other machines out there since it’s just like lifting free weights but on a fixed plane which is perfect when going to all out failures during high intensity training sessions.
An example of a Hammer Machine for back done by Dorian Yates for High intensity Training with Mentzer:
Note: With the heavy flyes; what that means is that I pick up dumbbells with which I can only do 6 reps if flyes. This is great to stimulate that stretch-induced anabolic response.
3rd – Tbar Rows: Just some regular 2 sets of heavy t-bar rows. I did some 8-12 rep range weight with this. I always do drop sets with Tbars so this time I just did straight sets.
4th – Lat pull downs: Just 2 straight sets of wide grip lat pull downs for 10 reps. it’s also a great idea to do some 2 sets of an arm exercise on this one to partially hit lagging arms (triceps or biceps). Since if you would focus on upper arms the next session at least you would manage to hit them twice in a week – keep in mind that upper arms can tolerate, or should I say “thrive” being trained two times in a week (one session for heavier low reps and the other one light and slow with more reps and volume).
Final note: If you plan on continuing with the squat first protocol, I sure do hope going in and out of your gym doesn’t involve going through a flight of stairs! Eat your eggs, people!