What do you need to do everyday to be the best-version-of-yourself?
This is one of my favorite questions and I’m sure something that’s missing in most guys arsenal is…Daily Squats. I believe that being strong is important. Being strong (in relation to your unique God given individual genetic capabilities) gifts a man with a natural confidence. Training sessions where you lift heavy things, especially squats, can have a huge benefit of tapping into your nervous and hormonal systems which can give you a healthy dose of what I call “the juice of life”. In other words it can build up one of your most precisoius resources your vitality.
I love that word “vitality”. What mans’ man doesn’t want as much of that as he can get? Who doesn’t want an increase in their masculine energy as they go through life and their day to day activities at home, work and at play?
Now one thing I came across several years ago for tapping into your “man juice” consistently is Daily Squats. There’s different thoughts about this but to keep things simple here’s my thoughts on how to add this into your fitness lifestyle.
Daily Squat Fundamentals
- Have access to a Squat rack, barbell and weights. I’m a big fan of having one in your garage if possible.
- Block out 8-10 minutes a day for this practice (early in the morning, perhaps combined into your morning ritual, is a great time).
- Consistency is the key, it doesn’t necessarily need to be every day but I recommend commiting to at least 5 days a week.
- Do a short warm-up, of 15-20 reps of total body movement or posterior chain focused movement like russian kettle bell swings or burpees.
- Do 4 sets of 1 rep of the Back Squat, work up to 90%-ish of your current 1rep max (you should have tested your 1 rep max currently) or use the RPE (Rate of Perceived Effort) model of a 9 out of 10 RPE. A 9 RPE means it is heavy, really heavy but the load can be managed with impeccable form still. This means having a standard of excellence and committing to it. It could also be helpful to video your last set with your phone as a learning tool.
- First set should be about 50% RPE, Second set should be 65-70% and third set 80-85% (I do 135, 185, 225 for my first 3 sets to keep it simple, don’t over think it).
- Add in some pause work, hold the best bottom position that you can; first rep up to 10 seconds, second rep, up to 5 second, third rep 1-3 seconds, 4th rep 0-2 seconds.
- Work on your mobility in between each set, I only suggest 1-2 minutes between sets.
- Don’t go for a PR in these sessions.
- Add in other types of squats as needed, front squats, overhead squats, or adding bands, chains, etc…
- Do all the core lifts once a week or in a 10 day period, the Squat (Back Squat or Front Squat), Deadlift, Press (Bench or Standing) and maybe Cleans and Snatches depending on your goals.
- Record each session, in your phone or in our journal.
There you go boys, do your daily squats. The more you do it the more in tune you will get with your body and how you are feeling each day to help you make smart decision of how much to load on your last set. Remember greed is a sin, just do the minimum amount to get a favorable response from your session…this can and should be a long term approach. Now the low volume, 1 “heavy” rep makes this a manageable daily strength practice and if your sore from a previous workout, do this anyway. It will feel terrible the first 2 sets but chances you will feel better actually after you’re done!
Anecdotally, I’ve experienced and heard that this practice helps with quicker recovery in between sessions of your fitness program. But most importantly it gets people more comfortable and used to handling heaving loads. I like to think of squatting or lifting heavy as a skill, and like any skill perfect practice makes perfect and the more consistently you practice the better you get. I’ve also experienced that starting your day with a Daily Squat session can set the tone for you day mentally and physically. Most importantly squatting heavy everyday can be a fantastic tool to build your virtue of fortitude and support you leading a great life. Try it for a month and see for yourself if this daily practice is for you and post in the comments how it’s going or if you have any questions.