"Ask the Coach" is a column in which Wolfgang Unsöld answers your questions.
Question: " Hello Wolfgang! I did the squat vacation last week and I'm super happy with the results. I finally got over 80kg body weight, went from 79.0kg to 81.2kg and my max is now 120kg squat!
Now I have a question for you and I would be very grateful for an answer: I still have 2 months free time and would like to go on vacation again, does that make sense? Kind regards, many thanks in advance and we hope to see you soon, Bernhard Barth”
WU: Hello Bernhard, sure, you can repeat the squats on holiday. How often you can repeat it depends primarily on your time and your regeneration. If you still have 2 months off I would do it in 7 weeks towards the end of the free time. If this is your second time doing the squat vacation, I would also recommend making the structure and exercises a bit more advanced. Then you have a new attraction and a new challenge. And so it's easier for you to pack another 20kg on your squat max and break through the 85kg limit for body weight.
An advanced version of the squat vacation that I like to recommend is as follows
Barbell front squat, paused, 8 sets of 3 reps, 42×0 tempo, 180sec rest
Barbell squats, 6 sets of 6,6,4,4,2,2 reps, 4010 tempo, 180s rest
Barbell squats with heels elevated, 6 sets of 6 reps, 4010 pace, 180sec rest
For all workouts, gradually increase the weight to a heavy set. The spread within a workout should be around 30%, ie. if your heaviest set is 150kg, the 1st set is 105kg.
These 3 workouts are performed every day for 6 days in a row
A sample day of squat vacation
- 7:00 a.m. - Wake up and have breakfast
- 9:00 - Workout 1
- 10:00 - PWO Shake
- 12:00 - Lunch
- 14:00 - Workout 2
- 14:45 - PWO Shake
- 16:00 - Snack
- 17:00 - Workout 3
- 17:30 - PWO Shake
- 19:00 – Dinner
- 21:00 - Snack
- 22:00 – night rest
Important information for the training
- Give it your all - in every single workout
- Don't pick the weights too defensively if you want to get the most out of your squat vacation.
- With this method, you will increase the weight used during the vacation
- Build yourself up to a heavy set per workout
- Get up before 7 a.m. every day. If you get up after 7am you won't be able to complete all 3 sessions with the necessary recovery period in between and end the day before 6pm
- The first training session starts 2-3 hours after getting up
- Rest 3-4 hours between sessions
- The 3rd session must be completed before 6:00 p.m. Finishing after 6pm will affect your circadian rhythm, sleep, and recovery, thereby lowering your testosterone levels—in short, reducing your gains
- After these 6 days, take 3-4 days off from training to rest and recover. Then you go back to your normal training.
- To maximize your gains in the squat, it's ideal to follow the vacation with a period of relative strength focus.
Intra workout nutrition
During workouts, I'm a proponent of combining amino acids and electrolytes - preferably in the form of the YPSI Amino-Electrolyte Complex, available from BioPrint Practitioners across Europe.
Post workout nutrition
As a man with a body fat percentage below 10% or as a woman with a body fat percentage below 16% and aiming to gain mass, drink 0.6-0.8g protein and 2-4g maltodextrin per kg body weight dissolved in water after each training session.
As a man with a body fat percentage above 10% drink 0.8-1g protein per kg body weight dissolved in water after each session
As a woman not interested in gaining muscle mass, consume the combination of amino acids and electrolytes during each workout and only after the last workout of the day consume a post-workout shake consisting of 0.6-0.8g of protein each kg body weight in water.
Have a mix of simple and complex carbohydrates for dinner 1-1.5 hours after your last workout of the day. It should be gluten and dairy free to minimize your body's inflammation levels and optimize your recovery.
Consume between 100 and 250g of carbohydrates - depending on your muscle mass and the total weight moved, for example in the form of baked sweet potato fries, quinoa salad or gluten-free pancakes with raisins, applesauce, cinnamon and maple syrup.
If you have a week off and you want to improve your squat technique and your squat performance in the shortest possible time, then take the squat vacation - An experience you won't forget for a long time...
Good luck and have fun on the advanced squat holiday!
If you have a question for the "Ask the Coach" column, email it to training(at)keinfitnessstudio.de with the subject "Ask the Coach" and with a bit of luck your question will be selected for one of the upcoming posts.
Image: YPSI Online Client and personal trainer Thomas Dybdahl from Aarhus, Denmark demonstrates excellent mobility and strength in the bottom squat position.