One of the oldest and most famous of all old school bulking routines by far is the “Super Squats” program, which centers around high rep squats. It is common to gain 20-30 pounds of bulk in as little as 6-8 weeks with this full body routine.

This shouldn’t be surprising insofar as squats are the staple of almost every training routine!

The core of this training routine is one 20 rep set of squats, just one set, supersetted with pullovers. Add to this two to three sets of some bench presses, rows and some overhead presses and the routine is complete.

Using these full body compound movements will force your body to use all of its stabilizer muscles and burn calories as well as no other.

Quoting the author on diet:

In addition to the 20-rep squats, trainees are advised to eat a lot of wholesome food, drink at least two quarts of milk a day, and to get plenty of rest in between the twice- or thrice-weekly workouts.

That’s it: one set of 20-rep squats, a couple of other basic exercises, plenty of good food, milk and rest. But, oh, those squats!”

Let’s address the “gallon of milk a day” or “GOMAD” as it is sometimes called. Since this book was published many decades ago, this is obviously very outdated and terrible diet advice.

Add to that, even without today’s drugs, it is virtually impossible to gain 30 pounds of muscle in one month. Most natural trainers can expect maybe a couple of pounds or so a month.

Not to mention that milk might not be the best choice for everyone, due to food allergies, especially with the alternatives we have today such as brown rice and hemp protein, and at least better quality whey proteins and supplements like creatine etc.

Why Should I Read Any Further?

Aside from the book’s dietary advice, the routine itself is actually a sound weight traning routine. Its approach to putting some muscle on with relatively few exercises or even one you can use to get back in shape as the high-rep squats offer an incredible metabolic boost.

How is the Super Squat Routine Performed?

The routine is performed Monday, Wednesday and Fridays and should take no longer than 30-40 minutes. Start off with full back squats and hit a few warm up sets of 10 reps or so.

On the one 20 rep squat set, you want to choose a weight that you could do comfortably for about 15 reps.

The following five are to be done rest-pause style, doing the first 15 reps, then taking three or so breaths and then another rep, then three or so more breaths and another rep and so forth until all 20 reps are complete.

After this, you grab a moderately heavy dumbbell and do one set of cross bench pullovers for 20 reps using a weight that will allow you to complete all 20 reps in good form.

Strive to add 5 – 10 pounds every other week or so to the squats, and you will gain some serious muscle over time.

Again quoting author Randalll Strossen about doing “only” one set of squats,

Make no mistake about it, however, this one set of 20-rep squats is not your ordinary cup of iron tea: Whatever our recipe might lack in complexity of volume will be more than recouped in intensity. “

What follows is the original is a reworking of the classic routine. 

The Super Squat Routine – The Original

Press Behind Neck – 3 sets x 12 reps

Squat – 1 sets x 20 reps supersetted with Pullovers – 1 set x 20 reps

Bench Press – 3 sets x 12 reps

Bentover Rows- 3 sets x 15 reps

Stiff-Leg Deadlift – 1 sets x 15 reps

Pullovers – 1 set x 20 reps

The above routine is the ultimate ‘hard gainers’ routine and is done 2-3 times a week.

Full range of motion back squat – Image Credit: iStock

The Super Squat Routine – Minimalist Version

Superset One

Squat – 1 set x 20 reps with

Cross Bench Dumbbell Pullover – 1 set x 20 reps

Superset Two

Weighted Dips – 2 sets x 12 reps with

Chin-Ups – 2 sets x 6-10 reps

Do this 2-3 times a week!

The Super Squat Routine – Version Two

Workout A

Squat – 1 set x 20 reps supersetted with Cross Bench Dumbbell Pullover – 1 set x 20 reps

Bench Press – 2 sets x 6-8 reps supersetted with Bent Rows 2 sets x 6-8 reps

Military Press – 2 sets x 6-8 reps supersetted with Barbell Curls – 2 sets x 6-8 reps

Cooldown: crunches 2 sets x failure

Workout B

Squat – 1 set x 20 supersetted with Cross Bench Dumbbell Pullover – 1 set x 20 reps

Dips – 2 sets x 12 supersetted with Chin-Ups – 2 sets x 6-8 reps

Hang Cleans – 2 sets x 6-8 reps supersetted with Barbell Tricep Extensions – 2 sets x 6-8 reps

Cooldown: reverse crunches 2x fail 

The Original Super Squats Bulking Diet

I had to throw this in as an example of the diet was in the book. Bear in mind again it was written over 50 years ago!

Breakfast

4 eggs

2 slices of whole wheat toast

1 glass of milk with whey powder

Snack

one cup oatmeal

1 glass of milk with whey powder

Lunch

sandwich (with meat or chicken or tuna, and cheese)

one or two pieces fruit

1 glass of milk with whey powder

Snack

one or two pieces fruit

cottage cheese or other cheese

1 glass of milk with whey powder

Supper

meat (i.e. chicken, beef, pork, etc.)

whole wheat pasta, rice, potatoes or sweet potatoes

green vegetables

1 glass of milk with whey powder

Snack

one cup whole grain cereal, cream of wheat/rice or grits

1 glass of milk with whey powder

Combining one of the above routines with the Mediterranean Diet or the Perfect Health Diet is a much better idea!