4-6 Reps to Better Squat Training

30 May 4-6 Reps to Better Squat Training

4-6 Rep To Better Squat Training


It seems like many lifters haphazardly pick rep ranges when they create programs or when they go to the gym to wing it for the day without any consideration on neural accumulation and fatigue.

What are most people trying to accomplish when they begin a squat program? Usually, they’re trying to build stronger legs for their sport or lifestyle and some want to add mass. Well, there’s a right and a wrong way to do this.

Barring more advanced methods, most people will use progressive overload in their squat routine. If they’re smart too, they will try to increase weight each week instead of always adding extra sets and reps.  So I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, progressive overload halts progress, if not used strategically, eventually because the lifter adapts to the stress being presented. A beginning  lifter can respond to as little as 40% of their 1RM but that quickly changes.

The average consistent lifter needs at least 83-85% of his 1RM to build limit strength. Advanced lifters need above 90%.

Enter 4-6

So Soviet researches and coaches figured out a long time ago about absolute and relative intensity. Let’s say you do 4 reps at 89% of 1RM. I’ve explained relative intensity in more detail before.

Ok so the first rep in your set is 89% of your 1RM. What’s the second rep? If you said 89%, you’d be wrong. Think about it for a second, if you’re doing 1 repetition at 89% you should only be able to do 1 repetition at 89%. If you  can do more than it’s not really 89% of your true 1RM

If you’re still following me, let’s get back to the communists.  They figured out what the absolute intensity would be for each rep range.

So for example:

6 reps at 83.2% of 1RM is a 100% effort (meaning, all things considered, you hypothetically could not do more than 6 reps at that percent of 1RM.

Moving on..

5 reps at 85.7% of 1RM  is 100% effort

4 reps at 88.5% of 1RM is 100% effort.

They figured it out for every rep range but I’m trying to make a point here so I’ll leave it at that.


This porridge is just right

So here’s the thing about the squat, you need to push intensity and volume to improve in it. While I’m a fan of the ME method, doing heavy singles for the squat isn’t the best idea for all lifters, all the time. You’ll burn out too soon and stop making progress, especially if you’re anything less than an elite lifter.

Going back to percentages, because I know that they’re everyone’s favorite. If you want to build strength speed, building power, you use 76-85% of 1RM, if you’re concerned with just building strength use 86-95% of 1RM.

If you look back to the absolute percentages used for 4-6 reps you’ll find that it suits that bill.

Make sure to make a plan, any plan, to follow so you can continue to make progress.


Have a specific question on how to apply this in your training? Ask in the comments. You can also take me up and my offer to look over your program here.


Please do not put your URL in the comment text and please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name, as the latter comes off like spam.(Thanks toTim Ferriss and  Brian Oberkirch for the inspiration)


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