Build a Bigger Squat: 12-Week Periodized Squat Program

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Build a Bigger Squat: 12-Week Periodized Squat Program

Squats work magic on your legs and glutes. Squats is a dynamic exercise that requires the involvement of multiple muscle groups from the lower body and upper body. It is an effective exercise that builds bigger leg muscles and develops strength in your lower body. It also strengthens your tendons, ligaments, and bones.

There are many variations of squats, such as back or front squat, barbell squat, or sumo squat. The primary purpose of each movement is to help in developing stronger leg muscles. You can experiment with these variations to bring a dynamic change to your workouts. Periodized workout plans are a great way to prevent overtraining and reduce the chance of injury as they involve alternate days of low and high-intensity workouts.

Building a bigger squat will support you in your other exercises too. We have a periodized workout plan that runs for 12 weeks to make things easy for you. It will help you get your dream body and make you stronger. The plan includes different exercises with an altered number of sets and reps to get you in shape. It is an advanced program designed for intermediate lifters.

12-Week Periodized Workout Plan

Main Goal

Increase Strength

Workout Type

Split

Training Level

Intermediate

Program Duration

12 Weeks

Days Per Week

4

Time Per Workout

75-90 Minutes

Equipment Required

Barbell, Bodyweight, Dumbbells, Machines

Target Gender

Male & Female

Recommended Supplements

Creatine Monohydrate 

Beta-Alanine 

EAA Hydration Powder

BCAAs 

Whey Protein Powder 

The 12-week periodized workout plan is an intermediate program for lifters. Lifters squatting for 275 pounds or more are suitable candidates for this program. This program has periodization, which means that training will be more intense gradually. The training will require maximum strength and focus as the weeks pass. You will have alternate days for light and heavy training weeks.

Not having frequent changes in your workout plan makes you weak. You might also lose your muscle mass eventually due to plateau. Moreover, you might not lift heavier weights and habitually perform the same sets. Hence, periodization is an important factor that prevents muscle loss and challenges your inner strength.

This 12-week program gives you rep work for size and general conditioning, maintaining your strength, and providing confidence to work under bars without any break.

You need to follow the plan for eight weeks straight. After that, you can have the 9th week to give yourself some rest. You should perform this workout four days a week. The plan is divided into sets of 3 for your convenience. The exercises for weeks 1-4 will be the same for all four weeks. The detailed description of the four-day plan is here:

Monday: Squat day

Tuesday: Bench day

Thursday: Deadlift day

Friday: Squat day

Starting with your current rep max, gradually add weight to your exercise. You should have 20 pounds more than your starting rep max by the end of this workout plan. You can add more weight if you want, but 20 pounds is good progress to make.

Workout Summary 

Following are the details of the 12-week periodized workout plan:

Week 1-4

Monday

Exercise

Sets

Reps

Dumbbell Squat

3

15

Pistol Squat

3

15

Lunge

3

15

Pulse Squat

2

15

Tuesday

Exercise

Sets

Reps

Hip Thrust

3

15

Good Morning

3

15

Barbell Sumo Squat

3

15

Single-Leg Squat

3

15

Thursday

Exercise

Sets

Reps

Romanian Deadlift

3

15

Sumo Squat

3

15

Single Leg Deadlift

3

15

Stiff Leg Deadlift

3

15

Friday

Exercise

Sets

Reps

Barbell Squat

3

15

Goblet Squat

3

15

Banded Lateral Walk

3

15

Smith Machine Sumo Squat

3

15

Week 5-8

Monday

Exercise

Sets

Reps

Back Squat

2

10

Front Squat

2

10

Good Morning

2

10

Walking Lunges

2

10

Tuesday

Exercise

Sets

Reps

Barbell Hip Thrust

3

15

Leg Extensions

3

15

Lying Leg Curl

3

15

Dumbbell Leg Curl

3

15

Thursday

Exercise

Sets

Reps

Farmers’ Walk

3

15

Deadlifts

3

15

Single-Leg Deadlift

3

15

Leg Press

3

15

Friday

Exercise

Sets

Reps

Single-Leg Touchdown

3

15

Seated Leg Curl

3

15

Dumbbell Leg Extensions

3

15

Single-Leg Bodyweight Hip Thrust

3

15

Week 9-12

Monday

Exercise

Sets

Reps

Goblet Squat

3

15

Zerchers Squat

3

15

Squat Pulse

3

15

Smith Machine Sumo Squats

3

15

Tuesday

Exercise

Sets

Reps

Lying Leg Curl

3

15

Jump Squat

3

15

Kettlebell Clean and Jerk

3

15

Dumbbell Leg Extension

3

15

Thursday

Exercise

Sets

Reps

Barbell Lunge

3

15

Dumbbell Step Up

3

15

Glute Cable Kickback

3

15

Romanian Deadlift

3

15

Friday

Exercise

Sets

Reps

Seated Leg Curl

3

15

Kettlebell Clean & Press

3

15

Dumbbell Leg Curl

3

15

Reverse Hack Squat

3

15

Tips to Build a Bigger Squat 

Following are some practical tips that will help you build a bigger squat.  

1. Work on Your Form 

When lifters do higher reps, their form deteriorates. It is crucial to maintain your form throughout the exercise. No matter how many reps you cover, your primary focus should be on your form. Training in the wrong form affects your performance and makes you prone to severe injuries.

2. Wear Appropriate Clothing 

Improper or wrong clothing can affect your overall squat performance. If your clothes are too loose or have some flare in them, you will have difficulty exercising. It will also affect your overall performance. Similarly, the wrong pair of shoes can also bring some unlikely effects. It is essential to be relevant to gyms.

3. Hold Your Reps 

Many people often experience problems getting out from the bottom. Holding the reps at the bottom can be a great way to train your glutes and hamstrings. It also affects your core strength and stability. For this, you will squat normally, and when you reach the bottom point, you will hold the position here for 4 to 5 seconds.

4. Train for Strength

You need to train your muscles with a heavyweight if you want to develop strength. Using 85% of your 1 RM will help you train for strength. It will collectively help you build a bigger squat. Apart from that, you will see a visible difference in your overall form.

5. Keep Your Head Straight 

Heavy squats demand extreme focus and attention. It is essential to shift your focus to one point and free your mind from anything. Doing this will help you get your workout right. If you excessively move your head or eyes during exercises, you might not be successful in completing your workouts due to a lack of focus.

6. Practice Breathing 

Breathing is essential for squatting. It is a two-step process that allows you to make the most out of exercise. You first need to breathe into your stomach to create intra-abdominal pressure. Next, you need to hold or brace it. This helps keep your spine safe and improves your ability to lift a weight.

To Conclude 

Periodized workout plans promise quality results. You continue to challenge your body with different strength and resistance levels. An additional benefit is that your strength gains do not compromise at any point, and you do not hit the plateau. The workout plan suits all advanced lifters well and helps develop stronger hamstrings and glutes.

Reading List

Top 10 Essential Barbell Exercises for Building Muscle and Strength

Tips for Stronger & Defined Legs

Why Ankle Straps are The Best Choice for Lower Body Perfection

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