Let’s be brutally honest. There is only one reason you want to squat everyday – to reach an arbitrary number as fast as humanly possible and post a video on Facebook, because “life is too short” and all that drama. Pretty much nobody suddenly decides to squat everyday just for fun. High frequency training is meant to skyrocket your numbers and that’s what you are after. You can choose to hide this blatantly obvious fact, but we all know it’s true.
One of the biggest defenders of everyday squatting and training in the USA is John Broz. Many of his ideas are explained in the following video interview:
As shown by the athletes he trains, you can certainly achieve greatness by using this method. It’s hard to argue with real life results. However, there are certain things that average people need to understand before subscribing to similar training ideology.
1. Many things work, but not everything is good for you
There are many people in the world, but only a few that are your friends.
There are many jobs in the world, but only a few that can make you feel in piece.
There are many training programs in the world, but only a few that fit your style and abilities.
There may be people who squat successfully everyday, but that does not mean that this is the best method for everybody out there. I personally got an overuse hip injury from squatting 3 times a week as heavy as I could.
When I was in a quarter squat position my hip would start shaking without me being able to stop it. There is no doubt that the reason for this injury was the frequency and intensity of my training. Once I reduced the frequency to the mind blowing one time a week, I was able to do my best low bar squat in a high bar position without hip problems. That’s why I never engaged in things like Smolov or other high frequency squatting marathons.
However, there is no denying that I made a crucial mistake – I tried to lift as heavy as possible every time. If I was cycling my intensity, I would have been able to tolerate more frequent sessions without injuries.
2. “Every time you touch the bar it’s a plus. Every time you don’t, it’s a minus.”
This is a popular statement which John Broz even makes in the interview above. People like to put it on motivational posters, tweet about it and what not. What’s amazing is that very few of those fanboys/gym activists actually ask the question: “WHY?”
Why is it a plus every time you touch an Olympic barbell? Does this give you some kind of special abilities?
The answer: It’s not a plus and we are just stupid followers who don’t think.
Let’s say that you are a piano player who can play super advanced songs. You don’t have to be Mozart or something, but you are someone pretty decent who can make the pretty ladies go: “Wow”.
If we accept the “everyday we touch logic” and apply it here, it would mean that every time you play a simple scale or just press a key, it’s a plus. Well, it’s not. When you are at a higher level, doing something so simple does not equal progress.
The same is true for squatting with just the bar. When your squat is already decent and you have the form down, what’s the point of squatting with the bar every day, even if you can. The answer is: there is no point, unless you do it for fun which is a completely different story.
3. Feeling like you are about to die
In many of his interviews John Broz talks about the “dark times”, which as far as I understand represent the following experience: you are so tired from training that you cannot pull your pants up. Here’s a logical question for you: what’s the benefit of this method for the average person that is not going to break world records anyway? Wouldn’t something like that damage your life rather than improve it? People who can’t pull their pants up from fatigue accumulation cannot possibly be that happy, can they?
4. Return on investment
Does squatting everyday represent a good investment of time, money and effort, if you can reach the same numbers in similar amount of time by using a less brutal approach?
Are you getting that much benefits from high frequency training that you are willing to invest in it?
5. Long term sustainability
What’s more sustainable? Following a classic program requiring you to squat 1-2 times a week and deload after 8-10 weeks or squatting every day for years? The last time I heard squatting was not a profession.
6. There is no such thing as being overtrained, just undertrained.
Yeah, right. There’s also no such thing as dying, just underliving.
Overtraining is very real, especially when you are natural. It’s true that one can increase work capacity over time to levels that would kill a small elephant, but to get to this stage you need to progress gradually. You don’t suddenly move from a beginner who doesn’t speak a language to a fluent speaker.
Back in the day, when I was trying to become a good skateboarder I trained every day I could. There would be consecutive months of daily training. I remember waking up in my bed and feeling absurd pain everywhere in my body. The fatigue accumulated to the point where I would feel like a dead weight for an entire week. Yet, I will persist. My legs were hurting. I couldn’t walk normally up and down stairs, but I would still go and skate for as long as I can. It was a very stupid thing to do. The right approach was to just take a few days off here and there, instead of trying to break the wall with my head only to prove nothing.
7. The basics work best, no need to complicate things
The truth is that we are not so special and unique when it comes to training. There is no need to use super advanced techniques when there are simple methods to achieve something. The basics will always work for the average individual and even for many advanced lifters.
8. Squatting everyday vs. Squatting to the max every day (you can actually squat every day)
You can do any exercise every day, maybe even twice a day. That’s the truth. You can deadlift daily, if you want. But, there’s a catch…
What you cannot do is perform a slow lift with great intensity day after day. If your deadlift is 500 lbs, you can deadlift 225 lbs for 10 reps daily without expecting much trouble. However, deadlifting 450 lbs x 5 every day will kill you in no time. What really causes problem with daily training is high intensity.
This actually backs the idea that you can always go to the gym and do something every day – squat the bar as they say. Cool, but why would you do that when touching the bar does not make you stronger? What does it do for you exactly?
9 . There is a strong element of mental illness found in the Bulgarian training method
If you watch the popular video revealing the training methods of the Bulgarians during Ivan Abadjiev’s reign, it will be hard to deny that there’s something very sick about that lifestyle. The lifters were basically living in lifting camps most of the year, trying to satisfy the unsatisfiable.
One lifter even said that not seeing enough sunlight from all that lifting was driving him insane and that’s why he considered cyclists happy – they were able to see the sunrise.
Fuck that shit. Nobody was put on this place to be a slave to some arbitrary numbers. It’s all an ego driven grand illusion installed in the brains of Big Brother’s mice.
10. I think the Western periodization method is still the best OVERALL way to train
I have written about Western periodization many times on this blog. It’s one of my preferred ways to train and the method that has given me good results.
What’s Western periodization?
In short, you do a lift only once a week for 1-2 working sets. You progress in linear fashion from high to low reps over the course of 8-12 weeks by adding weight to your working sets. You reach a realistic PR (personal record) and drop the weight back to something higher than your previous starting weight. Then, you build back up again to a new PR.
The main benefits of this approach are:
1. Almost guaranteed PRs, if you set realistic goals corresponding to your abilities.
2. Less chance of overtraining injuries because the frequency is much lower compared to Sheiko, Smolov, Bulgarian training…etc. It’s a good approach for people who have poor recovery for whatever reason.
3. Less time in the gym saves you money, effort, energy…etc. Not everybody wants to be surrounded by brahs in tank tops who never miss an opportunity to take a selfie and drop some sick political expertise.
4. Infinite progression
In theory, you can do this training forever because you cycle (upload, deload, upload, deload – lol). This is how this world works – it’s based on cycles. You can’t function properly without rest and sleep.
5. No dark times
You will not always set PRs and do amazing, but there are no dark times when you are too tired to eat, pull up your pants up, write an URL address in your browser..etc.
6. More adaptable for naturals
Obviously, steroids are widely used by lifters to recover, get stronger and build more muscle. That’s why some training methods are less likely to work for the natties out there. This approach is one of the more natty friendly methods.
However, you have to know that the Western powerlifters who used it in the past were far from natural and were pinning their rears with tons of drugs on daily basis for decades.
Q: Hey, low IQ moron! I don’t want to train in this fashion and I have experienced better results with high frequency. Why should I even try? Go fuck yourself!
A: I am not telling you how to train. I am also not against high frequency training which is actually needed when we are talking about skill development.
If a method is working for you and making you happy, you should keep doing what you are doing. I just know that in the long term similar training will fail for most people. If you are doing fine with it though, keep on lifting.
I don’t believe linear progression followed by deloading is the only way to do things. It’s just a classic that has worked well in the past for many.
At the end, the only way to know whether high frequency training is for you is to try it. Nobody can make that decision for you. What’s certain, however, is that you can make just as much progress with something less extreme that does not suck all your energy. There are three justifiable reasons to squat/train everyday:
1. Similar training has proven to be super effective for you in the past.
2. You enjoy doing it while still getting some benefits.
3. That’s your job.
All other reasons are not legit.