Let’s be brutally honest. There is only one reason why you want to squat every day – to reach an arbitrary number as fast as humanly possible and post a video on Facebook and/or Instagram. 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 is John Broz. As demonstrated by his athletes, a lifter can achieve greatness by using this method. It’s hard to argue with results. However, there are certain things that the average human needs to understand before subscribing to the Broz ideology.
1.Many things work, but not everything is good for you.
The world is full of people, but only a few could be your friends.
The world is full of jobs, but only a few can make you feel in peace.
The world is full of lifting programs, but only a few fit your style and abilities.
There may be many lifters who squat successfully every day, 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.
My hip got inflamed and started shaking at the bottom and the top. Undoubtedly, the source of my injury was the frequency and the intensity of my training. When I reduced the frequency to once a week, I recovered and eventually did my low bar numbers in the high bar position.
However, I have to admit that I made a crucial mistake – I tried to lift as heavy as possible every time. Had I cycled 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.”
John Broz has made this statement on many occasions. Many iron addicts put it on motivational posters and “tweet” it. But nobody asks the important question – why?
Why is it a plus to touch the bar as often as possible?
I am sorry, but “touching” the bar as frequently as possible is not a plus.
Imagine that you are a piano player who can play super advanced songs. If we accept the “every day 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 advanced, doing something so simple does not equal progress.
The same is true for squatting with just the bar. When your squat is already decent, there is no point to play with the bar or really light weights.
3.Feeling like you are about to die isn’t cool.
In many of his interviews, John Broz talks about the “dark times”- 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? 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?
Are daily squats a good investment if you can reach the same numbers in a similar timeframe by using a less brutal approach? I don’t think so.
5.Poor long term sustainability
What’s more sustainable? Squatting once a week or squatting every day? As far as I know, squatting still isn’t 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 you can increase your work capacity over time to levels that would kill a small elephant, but to get to that stage you need to progress gradually. You don’t suddenly move from a beginner who doesn’t speak a language to a fluent speaker.
As a teen, I wanted to become a pro skateboarder and trained every time I could. Sometimes there were consecutive months of daily training. I remember waking up and feeling completely drained and beaten. My legs were hurting. I couldn’t walk normally, but I still went to the park – a very stupid move. The right approach was to just take a few days off instead of trying to break the wall with my head only to prove nothing.
7.The basics always work
We are not special. There is no need to use super advanced techniques when there are simple methods to achieve something. The basics will always work even for advanced lifters.
8.Squatting every day vs. Squatting to the max every day
Honestly, you can do any exercise every day if the intensity and volume are low.
If your deadlift is 500lbs, you can deadlift 225lbs for 10 reps daily without expecting trouble. However, deadlifting 450lbs x 5 every day will kill you in no time.
I am sorry, but you can’t expect PRs every day.
9.The Bulgarian training method suggests mental illness
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.
One lifter even said that the lack of sunlight was driving him insane. He envied cyclists for their opportunity to see the sun.
If you want the life of a weightlifting slave, this method is great for you. Otherwise, move to something else.
10.I think that Western periodization 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.
What’s Western periodization?
In short, you do every major lift once a week for 1-2 work sets. You progress in a linear fashion from high to low reps over the course of 8-12 weeks by adding weight to your work sets. You reach a realistic PR (personal record) and then 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 low compared to Sheiko, Smolov, Bulgarian training…etc. This is a good approach for people who have a poor recovery.
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 a sick political expertise.
4. No dark times
You won’t always set PRs, but you won’t be 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 somewhat natty-friendly.
Nonetheless, you have to know that the retro powerlifters who used this type of periodization were far from natural.
Q: Hey, low IQ moron! I got good results with high frequency. Die, please.
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, keep lifting.