Add 200 Pounds to Your Squat With This Program

There is no substitute for strength. Learn how to add 200 pounds to your Squat from STACK Expert Beau Bradbury.

It's that time of year. You go out for sports and decide you are serious about dominating. You are tired of being second or third string; you want to be the MVP. You want to be the one people in the stands is talking about.

Making the leap from dud to stud is what this squat program is all about.

RELATED: Squat 101: A How-To Guide

Make it your duty to add 200 pounds to your 5-rep Squat


Most sports are played on the feet. Legs power your locomotive up and down the field or court. The stronger and more powerful your legs are, the better. Hip and leg power decide your playing time. If you are a weakling, you will most likely play less.

Given identical skill sets, the lineman who squats 600 pounds crushes the lineman who squats 200 pounds every single play without fail.

I guarantee you, if you add 200 pounds to your current 5RM Squat, the coaches will take notice. You will be well on your way to top dog status.

But first, you need a plan. Mistakenly, many people wander around aimlessly from program to program for years and end up realizing they are about the same as they were when they started. Don't fall victim to this common mistake.

If your goals are to build a commanding physique, acquire incredible strength and perform optimally in sports, consider this advice.

RELATED: 5 Ways to Improve Your Squat Strength

One thing to consider: If you're advanced and have been squatting for several years, it will be difficult to add 200 pounds to your Squat. However, if you've been training for only a few years, adding 200 pounds is possible.

Make it your mission to add 200 pounds to your 5-rep Squat


For instance, let's say you can now squat 205 for a set of 5. What do you think you'll look and feel like when you can hammer out 405 for a set of 5? More importantly, how will your competition feel?

You will acquire more muscle, more power and more speed and dominate on and off the field.

You in? Let's get down to the details.

First, it is imperative to learn how to Squat correctly (see the below video for some tips). Find an experienced coach or get help in some way. Make darn sure you are completing a full range of motion on every rep (a coach or video will help). Trust me, nobody cares about how much you can half-squat. Just like nobody cares how much you used to bench.

You will squat 3 times per week with one or two days of rest between workouts. You are a beginner and should be able to handle this. Start out on the light side and add no more than 5 pounds every workout.

Two common mistakes are starting Day 1 way too heavy and adding too much weight each session. Five pounds works. Five-pound increases equal 15 pounds per week and 60 pounds per month.

RELATED: How Squats Benefit Your Athletic Performance

Sample Week for Squats


A proven rep and set scheme is 3 sets of 5 across.


  • Workout 1, Monday: squat 205-205-205
  • Workout 2, Wednesday: squat 210-210-210
  • Workout 3, Friday: squat 215-215-215

I believe it is worth repeating: Make it your duty to add 200 pounds to your current 5RM Squat.

"What about my bi's and abs?" you ask.

Until the task is complete, promise that you will focus entirely on adding 200 pounds to your 5RM Squat. Whatever you decide to add should not divert you from your primary mission. This task is hard enough and will not happen if you get distracted by adding a bunch of fluffy feel-good exercises. Do the Squats or stay on the bench.

Building a full body program for maximum success


To maximize gains in the Squat, we respect the law of specificity by prioritizing Squats and putting them first in the workout. It's a great idea to add a pressing movement followed by a pulling movement, but only after you successfully complete your Squat work sets. Stick to the major movements that involve multiple joints and lots of muscle mass. For example, Chin-Ups are more beneficial than machine Preacher Curls, and Deadlifts are a better option than Shrugs. Shrugs are an awesome exercise down the road, but let's keep it simple for now.

There are thousands of programming options. Here is just one example:

Squat Duty Sample 1

  • Squats - 3x5
  • Bench Press - 3x5 (pressing move)
  • Weighted Chin-Ups - 3x6-8 (pulling move)

Squat Duty Sample 2

  • Squats - 3x5
  • Shoulder Press - 3x5 (pressing move)
  • Power Clean - 6x2 (pulling move)

Don't let the simplicity fool you. Simple is good. Simple works. One of the biggest mistakes a beginner can make is doing too many exercises. Grow stronger faster with the basics.

This is just an example. The weighted Pull-Ups could easily be Deadlifts, Power Cleans or Bent-Over Rows. Likewise, the pressing movement could be a Shoulder Press, Incline Bench Press or Push Press. Be sure to keep the Squats first and play with the other movements if you need to stay entertained.

Do this for 40 workouts—roughly 13 weeks—and your new wheels will be installed.

Movement Demo

7 Tips to a Fundamental Squat

  1. Feet shoulder-width apart with toes slightly pointed out.
  2. Spread your chest and maintain a flat back throughout the movement.
  3. Glue your heels to the floor.
  4. Start by pushing your hips back.
  5. Keep your knees out over your toes.
  6. Descend until slightly below parallel.
  7. Explode up to finish.

Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock