When it comes to squatting the old internet guard would have had you believe that you could only train it heavy once a week maybe at a push twice a week but the second session would have to be done light or using something like the dynamic method. I think it is clear to anyone who reads the blogs, books on training or who even follows the training of weightlifters or powerlifters who compete in the IPF or unequipped you will see that there is more than one way to skin a cat.
That being said however there are still some scenarios where people can’t train the squat more than once a week. Some people have injury histories that stop them from doing it, some people are training for a sport and can’t commit to heavy leg training more than once a week and some people just don’t have the time or the want to squat more than once a week.
In this article I want to run you through the things you’re going to need to consider if you want to squat once a week and still progress your strength.
1 – You are going to have to train hard every squat session.
If you squat 2-4x per week then you are in the position where you can accumulate volume and fatigue over more sessions which means you don’t have to do as much in the one session. However, since you are only going to be squatting once a week you’re going to need to ensure an overload every session. The good thing about squatting once a week however is you have 6 days of rest from session to session so you can really go nuts every workout and it shouldn’t affect your next workout.
2 – You should use more than one squat variation in your programme to help with your skill learning.
Since your squatting only once a week you might think you should do more of the one kind of squat but you also need to ensure you are getting enough volume and overload in to make sure you are making progress. This means that you’re going to be doing an intense block of work for squat which will leave you very fatigued for any extra volume or work you might want to do on squat. To try and spend your energy a bit more intelligently doing extra volume in the form of pause squat, pin squat or front squat can help you to develop your technique.
3 – You need to make sure every week is pushing your progress.
You don’t have a lot of training time and as such you can’t really afford to waste any of it. You need to ensure you are progressing some element of your programme from week to week if it’s volume, weight lifted or reps done with a certain weight you need to ensure you are making some kind of progress week to week.
4 – You’re going to have to really pay attention to what you are doing.
As mentioned in point 2 since you have a very limited time frame to practice the movement through the week you’re going to really have to pay attention to your technique. You should spend some time during the week watching expert squatters and reading some material on squat technique. Ideally you should also have a coach to help with this process failing this the best thing to do is to work on your own mental representation of the lift. You should also video each set and critically appraise your own performance look for weaknesses in the lift and where you could improve your execution.
5 – You should devote as much of your training session time to squat as is feasible.