Weight and Resistance Training - How Often Do You Squat?

View Full Version : How Often Do You Squat?

08-09-2005, 04:51 PM
Once a week, every other day, every 4 days? Honestly, my "squatting muscles" are in terrible shape -- and I can't seem to get much improvement. Should I squat light and squat often? Less reps/more weight?

My lunges are not so great, either! :(


08-09-2005, 10:09 PM
I do legs "heavy" once a week. Squats, lunges, hack squats, dumbbell squats...every variation you can think of. But because I'm a trainer, I realized I probably do about 50 unweighted squats per day also, between demo'ing, lugging weights around, and doing squats without realizing it while I spot clients doing chest presses :lol: I don't advocate doing legs daily!

If you are lifting to your perceived level of muscle failure or total fatigue, you should have a minimum of 4 days recover time for large muscle groups. Make sure you also work your hamstrings and don't just concentrate on your quads. If you are doing a full body or circuit type workout with only 2 sets per body part, you can probably do it every other day, depending on your age and fitness level.


08-09-2005, 11:57 PM
Okay...newbie here... jumping in... :wave:

I do two sets/10 reps of dumbbell squats as part of my full-body workout, which I do three days a week.

When I first start doing them, I had a hard time. I really had to pay attention to my form, or my back would hurt from doing them. For 2-3 weeks, I didn't use any weight.... just concentrated on getting the form right and getting used to the movement. Now, they're one of my fav exercises as I can always feel the burn and I think they've contributed alot to my leg strength. And it's one exercise that I need to up the weight on my dumbbells! :)

Lunges are another lower body exercise that are somewhat awkward when you first start them. Again, I think it's important to go through complete sets, mastering the movements, even without weights, until you're comfortable with the correct form.

And don't worry... you're not alone. I have about three exercises that I literally hate... and the lunge is one of them. Interestingly, it's the ones we hate the most that shape us the best. In my opinion, these are two exercises that can take longer to feel like you've "got" them! Just keep trying, keep proper form, and one day, suddenly, you'll be like..."hey! that wasn't so bad today!" and you'll get that high from feeling so much stronger. :)

BTW, Mel... I really appreciate your insight that I've read in so many posts. :) What an inspiration you are!


08-10-2005, 12:09 AM
Hahahahaha I don't even belong in this section but I saw it on the main forum page thingy and the title literally made me laugh out loud!!!! xD I guess its what I get for being out of the loop...I was like um isnt that kind of a personal question?! Hahahaha

08-10-2005, 09:24 AM
Thanks, Charlotte :)

and Kittie, haha, if you think this was personal, you should see some of our other posts! :o


08-14-2005, 04:05 PM
OK, I'm on a 4-day split. Seems to work best for me right now in terms of recovery and level of exertion. I'm seeing progress in all my leg exercises except.... squats!

Today was leg day, and my hacksquats (on the machine) were pushed to the limit: 2 sets @ 0 x 12. 1 set @ 20 x 8.

AFTER hacksquats, I did:

Leg extension
Lying leg curl
cable kickback
seated inner thigh
seated outer thich

Is there a muscle involved in squats that I'm not working enough? This is not a problem with my knees, I just max out on these squats.


08-14-2005, 04:23 PM
Luanne - when you're referring to squats, are you talking about regular squats with DBs or a BB? Or are you talking about hacksquats? 'Cause hacksquats on a machine are a different animal than squats and are H-A-R-D, in my humble opinion! Hacksquats can bring the biggest guys in my gym to their knees! :lol: You can't compare the weights you can do with regular squats to your hacksquat weights - they're apples and oranges.

I like to tell clients that the hacksquat machine is the most hated machine in the gym :devil: BUT the most effective one for the butt and thighs. Very few of my female clients can do any weight at all on it -- don't forget that the sled itself weighs a considerable amount (probably at least 40 pounds on the one in my gym). So if you're doing sets on a hacksquat machine at 0 and 10 pounds, you have nothing to be ashamed of! :)

Both regular squats and hacksquats target your quads, but the hacksquat machine uses a lot more glutes (which is why it's hard to sit down the next day!) Do you ever do lunges? Those seem to target about the same butt area as hacksquats do. And if you're not doing regular squats - just hacksquats - those would be good to add into your leg workout also.

But really, it sounds like you're doing just fine with the hacksquats. ;)

08-14-2005, 05:58 PM
The hacksquat sled at my gym is 85 pounds with no weight on it. The most I've ever managed for 10 reps is 25 pounds per side! On a regular, free bar squat, I can do nearly four times that. The angle and the muscles involved all make hack squats much harder, as Meg said. Unless you are actually doing them with a bar, the real old fashioned way (also called Jefferson squats), and then they are just plain impossible!

I think you are doing fine, too :) Most of my clients don't do any weight on the hacksquat machine either.


08-14-2005, 06:11 PM
85 pounds! Wow - I wonder if ours is that heavy? It's Icarian brand - what kind do you have? I'd love to know so that I could tell clients. I know the sled on our leg press is 55#.

Actually, our has to be lighter because I can do 90# on a side and for sure I can't squat any more than you can. After all, you ARE the World's Strongest Woman. :strong: Unless it just means that I have a really strong -- as in ENORMOUS -- butt! :lol:

08-14-2005, 07:13 PM
Meg and Mel --

Thanks for the "attagurl" on the hacksquat. I do regular squats with DB. They are very awkward for me (I'm 5'7" with v-e-r-y long legs) with a barbell. I've thought about using the Smith machine, but:

a) am not sure how to do it

b) I guess that's the only real reason :^:

I also do lunges (see the original post of this thread), but they were never that HARD when I was in my 30's! So, maybe I'll lay off the hacksquat machine for awhile (BTW, ours is really heavy, I'll have to see what brand it is) and go back to straight squats.



08-15-2005, 12:42 PM
I find I can only squat once a week. My legs need the time to recover the rest of the week. lol

08-15-2005, 03:16 PM
I've just started squatting too. It's kind of addicting. But I guess all free weight type exercises are kind of that way for me. When I happen across something that looks and feels "strong" I like to do it. Right now I've done it 2x/week for 2 weeks. Surprisingly, I wasn't going to do it yesterday because my butt was still sore from Fri but dh was at the club with me and I wanted to push myself to a higher weight (50#!) so I did 1 set of 50 and it pretty much stretched out my soreness. Hair of the dog that bit you, I guess! LOL

08-16-2005, 12:59 PM
Meg -- You were right, my glutes are pretty sore :smug: !

BTW, our hacksquat sled is a HammerStrength -- does anybody know how much they weigh?