I did 90 squats a day for 90 days. You won't believe what happened...
A while back I read an article by Cory Gregory about squatting every day. At first I thought how could this even remotely be beneficial considering the strain it would put on your hips and knees alone. As I continued to research this practice, I began discovering more and more people who had implemented this regimen and, shockingly, were seeing incredible results.
You see, when you work your legs your body releases testosterone and growth hormones. This, in turn, benefits the growth of your entire body. Makes sense, right?
So it begins
So on a crisp Monday morning a couple of months ago, I decided I was going to give it a go. For the next 90 days I was going to hit the squat rack every day. But since I was going to be incorporating it into my regular lifting schedule, I had to adjust my workouts accordingly due to time. You will have to as well. Let me explain...
On leg days I typically do a solid 10 minute warmup on the treadmill or stair climber. I do this for obvious reasons. My usual sequence on leg day is squat, deadlift, leg extensions and calves. All in, this is every bit of a 60-80 minute workout.
There are countless articles out there about the benefits of releasing testosterone and growth hormones by working your legs prior to working your upper body. So naturally I decided I was going to START my workout with squats rather than finish with squats. Therefore I would start EVERY day with 10 minutes on the treadmill or stair climber....something typically reserved for leg day.
Next came the squats. I would do one warm up set of 22 (those who know me know the significance of the #22) with just the bar (45 lbs.). I’d then throw a 45 on each side (135 lbs.) and do a set of 15. Then I’d throw another 45 on each side (225 lbs.) and do a set of 15. From here I would continue with sets of 15 until I reached 90 reps. (your last set will be a set of 8 reps.). Now I was ready to start my workout for the day!
Soooooo, needless to say, this takes up a lot of time at the beginning of your workout. With the warmup, the squats from start to finish takes roughly 25-30. And then you have to do your body part workout for that day. That said, squatting every day means you are either in the gym for 30 minutes longer than you usually are OR you are cutting the remainder of your workout short. I chose the former.
I choose to do one body part a day while lifting. I’ve tried other methods of combining body parts on the same day and it didn’t work for me. Focusing on one body part a day works best for my body type. So my typical workout schedule looks like this:Monday: Chest
Needless to say, while on this program come Saturday I felt like I had done enough squats (5 days in a row) for a lifetime. So on Saturday I would warm up with a few sets of squats, do 1-2 heavier sets and then move on to my other leg exercises (i.e. deadlifts, leg press, leg extensions, calves...)
Not gonna lie, at the end of week one my legs were SORE. But to my surprise, my knees and hips felt great. What was even more shocking was that the rest of my body was not nearly as sore as it normally would be from my lifting regimen. Could it be that doing legs every day was actually helping the other parts of my body recover faster?
By the end of week two I was downright shocked that my legs were not shot. On the contrary, my legs felt great. And on top of it all, I was stronger in ALL of my upper body workouts. That’s right, I didn’t say I “felt” stronger...I WAS stronger. My max weight had gone up in EVERY exercise.
The end of week two is also where I began noticing the change in my physical appearance. I was clearly more defined in my abs. But my overall definition throughout my arms, chest and back had visibly increased.
Week 3 was when I really got into the groove and was able to streamline my workouts a bit. Now that I had dialed in the squat routine, I was able to get through it a bit faster and move into my upper body workout seamlessly. However, I NEVER rushed. The key to this is to not get hurt. Proper form is always important. However it’s paramount when on a program like this.
The end of week 4 came and I felt like a completely different person. My entire body felt tighter, leaner and stronger. NOTE: something else that was tighter were my jeans. Yes...be prepared. If you’re doing this the way I did, your legs are gonna grow.
From here on out, the results just kept getting better and better.
After 90 days
Upon completion of my 90 day experiment I can say that I am a 100% believer. I had CLEARLY lost a significant amount of body fat. I had increased lean muscle mass across my entire body. I busted through plateaus which I had been struggling with for years. I was more defined and I felt absolutely incredible. Quite honestly, I felt stronger than I had ever felt before.
So what about the negatives? People always ask me about the downside of such a program. I’ll say this...be prepared to eat A LOT. While on this program I felt like I was ALWAYS hungry. Makes sense as I was definitely burning more calories. To counter this I added 2 shakes during the day and upped my carb intake ever so slightly.
The other thing you’ll have to get used to is your legs always being “kinda” sore. After a while you get used it to. It’s definitely not that typical post leg day, can’t walk down the stairs feeling. But you feel it. And it gets better as time goes on, trust me.
It should be noted that I did absolutely ZERO cardio during this program. I typically don’t do dedicated cardio workouts. I do swim once a week but that's more so to relax. But while on this program I even cut back on the swims.
I've tried MANY workout plans and programs over the years. This was far and away the best one yet. Was it the easiest? No! Was it hard to commit to? Yes. Did it take some time getting used to? Yes. But in the end the results were 1000% worth it.
If you're looking to burn fat, increase lean muscle mass, look better and feel stronger than ever, I can't recommend this program enough.
WARNING: Speak to your doctor and see if this program is right for you before attempting this or any other physical workout regimen.
About the author
Suresh Madhavan is a 13 year Law Enforcement Veteran and Founder and CEO of New York City based 221B Tactical. After starting out developing gear to help keep Police Officers and Soldiers safer while in the field, Madhavan soon began designing fitness apparel which was nothing like anyone had ever seen before.
A life long fitness enthusiast, Suresh has helped countless Police Officers and civilians attain their health and fitness goals through diet and exercise plans which are not just easy to follow but easy to stick to.