12 week squat program


My last post I had covered some principles on how to improve skills on squatting and how to squat with better form, but today I am going to talk about a 12- week squat program, and how you can increase your strength in a pretty short period.

Have you been struggling in the gym for a long time, but been having a difficult time increasing your strength in the squat? Well today I am going to cover some points on how you can increase your squatting strength.

Whether you are into bodybuilding, powerlifting, sports ‘such as football’ or you just simply want to increase your strength in the squat because you want to be all around bigger, stronger and feel better about yourself.

Then stick around and pick up a few tips that you may not have heard of for increasing your strength in the squat and get some heads turning in the gym when they see you powering up from some bar bending squats.

This 12 week program isn’t some gimmick that has you following a high rep scheme, or having you follow some fancy set and rep system. It’s laying a foundation of following some core principles and keeping your #1 principle in mind, and that’s to squat more weight.

How quickly can you increase your strength in the squat?

Typically, results can vary with strength increases due to frequency of training, if you are training heavy enough, your range of motion and practicing proper form can have an effect on it. You will also need to make sure that you are not only eating the right kind of food but if you’re eating enough.

The idea behind this article is to set a specified time on increasing your strength in the squat. The time frame I have set is 12 weeks, (3months). I didn’t want this time frame to be too short ‘so’ to see a significant enough increase in strength.

And I didn’t want the time frame too long to prevent from over training the targeted muscle from what some would suspect would be over training.

If you follow the principal that I will be talking about in this post, you should be able to add a significant amount of weight to your squat within 3 months. It will take plenty of hard work and determination, but I think that you will be pretty satisfied with the outcome.

Strange training techniques
Strange training techniques

Simple techniques for improving your strength in the squat

Often some of the most common things that can keep you from increasing your strength in the squat are just the smallest things that many people overlook. I have covered many of these in my last article. I am not specifically saying that you need to go about strange training techniques like the one pictured above.

Straight forward, it is necessary to keep things simple and basic, often people are looking for incredible techniques or strategies that they can use to increase their strength or muscle size.

I think that if you spend more time keeping things simple and straightforward, you will have much better results than spending so much time looking for an answer that will probably have you burned out after just the first workout.

How often a week should you squat?

Sometimes you might see someone that is so eager to get results, that they might work on the exercise that they desire results from the most, every time they go to the gym. I can understand their zeal, but you will want to avoid doing this for any prolonged period.

Continued punishment on the same muscle, workout after workout, day after day, will result in an over trained muscle. Working the muscle and breaking the muscle fibers down is necessary for muscle growth, but it’s while the muscle is recovering is when they do their growing.

In order to receive incredible results in a specific exercise like the squat, you will need to go outside the box, (so to speak). In general, it is necessary to follow a program of varied exercises and switch them around frequently and train each body part two times per week.

But when you have a specific goal in mind like increasing your power in the squat, everything else will take a back seat, not saying that you will cease training on everything else, but your main objective is to concentrate on your squat.

In order to achieve great results in any specific exercise that you have designated to work on as your main goal, you should fully concentrate on that exercise and apply it at the beginning of your workouts when you are most strong and have your highest amount of energy.

I would recommend that you concentrate on doing squats at the beginning of your workout three times a week, even four times depending on how you feel. One important key point to finding great results in your training is to read your body and follow what it is telling you.

For example, if your first day for that week you do squats you do 225 lb for two reps, and the next time you go to the gym and you feel like doing 225 lb for two reps is a struggle, follow what your body is telling you and back down a little.

Barbell squats back of neck
Barbell squats back of neck

The program

The idea behind this program is to concentrate on working at your squats three times per week, which goes against what I typically recommend, but the regular rout that you would follow would be to train each body part two times per week and keep alternating your exercises around.

To fully concentrate on working on the specified exercise such as the squat, you will need to single this out as your most important goal and you will be designating this exercise as your first and foremost exercise that you will concentrate on each workout.

This is not to say that you will follow through with a thigh training routine three times per week, but simply to concentrate on doing the squats each time you go into the gym.

For example, I remember back when I was in my late teens and going to the gym every night, I would train each of my body parts in a set program that I would concentrate on and follow through with on a regular basis, but I would always start out each training session with the bench press.

By concentrating on the bench press at the beginning of every workout, I wasn’t giving my best energy and attention to other muscle groups, I was just putting all my energy and efforts toward my one goal, and that was to increase my bench press.

The problem was that I continued doing this for a long time, much longer than 3 months and after a while I found myself in a state of being over trained and I got to the point where I wasn’t seeing any results and I eventually ended up getting burned out.

Following this principle with your squatting can be very effective, but keeping it at a 3-month period, and no longer, you will avoid hitting the over trained state.

How this training setup might look for the week, is when you squat the first time for the week, you would do squats behind the neck, your second day for the week for squatting would be to the front of the neck, and your third final day squatting for the week would be squats behind the neck.

You will need to concentrate on making small increments with your squats each training session. For example the first time in the week when you squat, if you can do a hundred pounds for two reps, the next time you squat, shoot for 100 lb for three reps.

There are three things that you will need to concentrate on, and that is increasing your reps, sets and weight. If you can make small increments in your training sessions with each of these three things, you should be able to make steady progress.

Another important part of this training principle is to keep a training log of exactly what you lift each workout. You will need to keep a record of how much weight, how many sets and how many reps you do each time you do the squats.

If you go to the gym every training session and simply rep out with the same weight every time and have no idea how many reps you did your last workout, you will have no idea of how many reps you need to do your next workout to keep these small increments progressing forward.

Below I have an idea of what type of rep and set system that you can follow to give you an idea of how you can set your program up.


  • 100 lbs, five sets, two reps. Your first training session for the week. Barbell to the back of your neck.
  • 100 lbs, four sets, three reps. Your second training session for the week. Barbell to the front of your neck.
  • 105 lbs, five sets, two reps. Your third training session for the week. Barbell to the back of your neck.


  • 110 lbs, five sets, two reps. Your first training session for the week. Barbell to the front of your neck.
  • 110 lbs, four sets, three reps. Your second training session for the week. Barbell to the back of your neck.
  • 115 lbs, five sets, two reps. Your third training session for the week. Barbell to the front of your neck.

As you can see in this example, you have already increased your squat by 15 lbs within 2 weeks. At this rate you could increase your squat by 30 lbs a month. Then you take that by 3 months and you will have added 90 lbs to your squat. At the end of this three month cycle, return back to your normal training program.

The two important things about this program is fully concentrating on your squats at the beginning of your workouts when your energy level is at its highest, and keep following a process of progression, which you will need to keep a training log to keep track of your records.

Barbell front squats
Barbell front squats

What other exercises should you include with the squat to increase your strength?

The best way to increase your strength in the squat is to work the squat at the very beginning of your leg training workout every time when your strength and energy are at their best.

When it comes to concentrating on other exercises that will help with increasing your power in the squat, I would recommend following up with the squat by doing other power moves such as deadlifts and the clean and jerk.

You don’t want to be following up your squats by doing these other moves more than two times per week. The other third time in the week that you do squats you will follow that up by training a different body part such as your arms or back.


No one ever said that setting up a 12-week training program for developing strength was going to be a breeze, but in order to get the results that you are looking for is going to take a lot of gut busting work, but when you see the results, it’ll definitely be worth it.

Other important factors that you will want to follow to increase your strength in the squat over the coming 3 months is to make sure that you are eating plenty of healthy fruits, vegetables and protein, and it is also very important that you keep yourself well hydrated with water.

A combination of other good sources of food for protein is peanut butter. Greek yogurt is another excellent protein source to add in your diet but the important thing is that you want to fuel your system with the right kinds of food and you will receive better results if you follow a supplementation program.

There are many supplementation products on the market, but I have found that two of the best are whey protein and fish oil.

You can check out one of my reviews on gold standard whey protein powder by clicking on this link.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to leave a comment in the box below and I will get back to you as soon as possible.


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