How Many Squats Should I Do A Day?
Have you been asking yourself “How many squats should I do a day?” Is it every day or every couple of days? Are you questioning this when planning your workout? The number of squats you should complete per day will depend on your ultimate goal. Read further to learn more about how many squats you should be doing each day.
Progress occurs during your passive recovery. That is during rest. Therefore, completing squats every day is not essential, as this time is for muscle recovery and growth. Completing squats every day may lead to overtraining in which a decrease in performance as a result of your amount of training outweighing your recovery occurs.
Different combinations of sets and repetitions will induce different adaptations to either increase strength, muscle mass, endurance or muscular power. Which goal are you trying to achieve? I have put the following together for you to learn just how many squats you should be completing per day to achieve your goal.
What Is A Squat?
The squat is a compound exercise. Compound exercises are exercises that incorporate more than one muscle group.
In saying that, the squat predominantly utilizes the quadriceps (Front thigh) however it also works with the gluteal (Bottom muscle), adductors (inner thigh) and soleus (calf muscle). Antagonist muscles such as the hamstrings (back thigh) and gastrocnemius (secondary calf muscle) stabilize the lower body during squats. Essentially, the squat trains the lower body!
The movement should be performed through a full range of motion. Ensure correct technique and muscular control are upheld at all times.
ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) Progression Models in Resistance Training and ACSM's Guidelines for Exercise Prescription provide scientifically based information on the prescription of exercise. You can apply the information provided in these documents to how many squats you should be doing per day to get the results you desire. We have summarized this for you below!
If you want to improve your lower body strength, completing squats 2 - 3 times a week for beginners is optimal. You should complete 1 – 3 sets of 8 – 12 repetitions. Set your weight or resistance to 60 – 70% of 1 Repetition Maximum (1RM) to see ultimate strength progression. Try to have 1 – 3 minutes between sets for optimal recovery between sets.
Your total volume of squats a day 2 – 3, days a week for strength gains is only 8 to 36 repetitions.
Muscle Mass (Hypertrophy)
When you are trying to increase your muscle mass or muscle size, again for beginners completing squats 2 - 3 days a week and alternate days are best. However, the difference is in the sets and repetitions required to induce results. You should complete sets of 3 - 6 and 8 – 12 repetitions per set. Set your weights or resistance to a moderate load of 70 – 85% 1RM with 1-2 minute rest periods.
This structure of exercise execution has been proven to increase muscle size and will allow you to work towards increasing the size of your quadriceps muscles.
Your total volume of squats a day, 2 – 3 days a week for hypertrophy gains is only 24 to 72 repetitions.
For the beginner, improving endurance via squats is similar to strength and hypertrophy and can be completed on 2-3 days a week. You should perform 1 - 3 sets of 10 – 15 repetitions with 1 – 2minutes of rest between sets. High volume programs with a compilation of low sets and high repetitions using light to moderate loads have been shown to aid in increased muscular endurance.
Your total volume of squats a day, 2 – 3 days a week for endurance is only 10 to 45 repetitions.
Improving the power of your lower body through squats as a beginner will require sessions on 2 – 3 days a week, with rest days in between. You should complete 1 – 3 sets of 3 – 6 repetitions. Utilize a light to moderate load, 0 – 60% of 1RM particularly for lower body exercises such as the squat. Utilize less than 1 to 2 minutes rest between sets.
Perform these at an explosive velocity to enhance power adaptations in conjunction with a strength based squat program, which has been proven to increase leg power.
Your total volume of squats a day, 2 – 3 days a week for power is only 3 to 18 repetitions.
Overall, your choice on how many squats to perform each day depends on what you are trying to achieve. Whether it be strength, muscle mass, endurance or muscular power a number of squats you should perform each day will differ. Generally, you do not need perform squats everyday. 2 – 3 days a week is effective when following the right principles of exercise prescription.
Remember, results do not occur overnight! It may take 6 – 8 weeks to see physical results from your squat training. By following the above guidelines on how many squats to perform each day, you will be well on your way to achieving your specified goal! If you have any questions, please comment!