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Old 11-24-2011, 04:59 PM   #1
Daniel Frankel
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How to determine a good weight for a 20RM?

I'm planning to do a 20RM squat set later tonight, but as I obviously am only going to do 1 set, how might I determine a good weight for myself, as it is obviously quite hard to say "okay, that warmup set of 5 went fast, I can do 20 at a weight that is x times heavier"?

I weigh 140, and 1RM is 265.
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Old 11-24-2011, 05:51 PM   #2
Preston Sprimont
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Re: How to determine a good weight for a 20RM?

In general, I'd say shoot for 65-70% of your 1rm. (Which would be about 172.5-185lbs for you)
65% is a pretty safe bet, 70% could be pushing it, and anything higher will likely be a battle.

Rip says somewhere in Starting Strength that your 20rm is probably about what you think your 10rm is; so if you know your 10rm, use that weight.

Also, you'll just have to go with your gut. Every day is different. If you're warming up and 185 for 5 seems easy, you could probably hit 190-200 for 20 (though it'll be grueling). If 185 is crushing you, it could just be a sub-par day and you should aim for a lower weight.

A 20rm is a strange animal... it's incredibly physically taxing, but it seems like it's more mental than a 1rm, 3rm, 5rm etc.
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Old 11-24-2011, 05:57 PM   #3
Preston Sprimont
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Re: How to determine a good weight for a 20RM?

Also, for what it's worth, a month or two ago (when my tested 1rm squat was 275), I hit 185 for my 20rm. I planned on making a second attempt (I'm following CFFB, and that's what the workout called for), but I was completely drained from my first attempt. I feel like I could have hit 190-195 had I used that weight for my first attempt. So if you're feeling it, make your 20rm attempt at a challenging weight and you may surprise yourself!
Good luck!
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Old 11-24-2011, 06:49 PM   #4
Daniel Wheeler
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Re: How to determine a good weight for a 20RM?

I read an article on the original "super squats" and "squats and milk" routines.

The plan is 18 workouts over the course of 6 weeks each workout adding 5 pounds.

Take your 5rm and plan on squatting that for 20 at the end of the 6 weeks.

So if your 5rm is 250, subtract 90 lbs (18x 5= 90) from that which would give you a 160lb starting point for your first 20rm workout. At the end of the routine the last workout would be 250 for 20.
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Old 11-24-2011, 06:55 PM   #5
Michael Loucas
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Re: How to determine a good weight for a 20RM?

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Originally Posted by Daniel Wheeler View Post
I read an article on the original "super squats" and "squats and milk" routines.

The plan is 18 workouts over the course of 6 weeks each workout adding 5 pounds.

Take your 5rm and plan on squatting that for 20 at the end of the 6 weeks.

So if your 5rm is 250, subtract 90 lbs (18x 5= 90) from that which would give you a 160lb starting point for your first 20rm workout. At the end of the routine the last workout would be 250 for 20.
Damn this thread. I need to lose weight. I thought I was going to be done with the intense squatting after finishing smolov, but this looks fun and tempting...

Maybe I'll try it once I drop 30-40 lbs.
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Old 11-24-2011, 07:00 PM   #6
Daniel Wheeler
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Re: How to determine a good weight for a 20RM?

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Originally Posted by Michael Loucas View Post
Damn this thread. I need to lose weight. I thought I was going to be done with the intense squatting after finishing smolov, but this looks fun and tempting...

Maybe I'll try it once I drop 30-40 lbs.
haha

I'm going to do the above after the close of my current 9 week program, then smolov after an autoregulation/transition phase (I become "accustomed" to heavy weights again).

The consensus seems to be that doing the 20rm program doesnt immediately add to your 1 rm because your body is unaccustomed to squatting heavy.

From what I've read, a couple weeks of autoregulation (squatting to heavy singles that day) and your 1rm catches up with the 20rm.
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Old 11-24-2011, 07:02 PM   #7
Brian Strump
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Re: How to determine a good weight for a 20RM?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Wheeler View Post
I read an article on the original "super squats" and "squats and milk" routines.

The plan is 18 workouts over the course of 6 weeks each workout adding 5 pounds.

Take your 5rm and plan on squatting that for 20 at the end of the 6 weeks.

So if your 5rm is 250, subtract 90 lbs (18x 5= 90) from that which would give you a 160lb starting point for your first 20rm workout. At the end of the routine the last workout would be 250 for 20.
We did something similar over 9 weeks at our affiliate. 5rm minus 90lbs as your first round of 20 reps. Twice a week you do 20 reps, increasing 5lbs each time. Members loved the overall strength gains over those 2 months of our "squat challenge"
It is taxing physically, mentally and emotionally!
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Old 11-24-2011, 07:04 PM   #8
Daniel Wheeler
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Re: How to determine a good weight for a 20RM?

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Originally Posted by Brian Strump View Post
We did something similar over 9 weeks at our affiliate. 5rm minus 90lbs as your first round of 20 reps. Twice a week you do 20 reps, increasing 5lbs each time. Members loved the overall strength gains over those 2 months of our "squat challenge"
It is taxing physically, mentally and emotionally!
Ya thats the same program just lengthened out to 9 weeks and shortened to 2 workouts per week instead of 3.

Do you have numbers on your members gains? that would be cool to take a look at.
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Old 11-24-2011, 07:27 PM   #9
Adam Carlson
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Re: How to determine a good weight for a 20RM?

Daniel - I love/hate 20RM squats. They are definitely more mental than anything else.

You will probably not be able to keep a regular rhythm as you go, and that's ok. You might bang out the first 10 reps no problem, then do 3 or 4, then another 2, and then singles until you finish and finally get to rack the bar.

Choose when to breathe smartly, and make sure that the bar is squarely where you want it to be. One thing that can freak people out as they do the 20RM is poorly positioned bar that starts sliding down.

When you finish, you will be sucking wind pretty hard, and that's normal. When I do 20RM, I usually start thinking in terms of singles by the time I'm in the mid-teen reps
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Old 11-24-2011, 08:06 PM   #10
Steve Bray
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Re: How to determine a good weight for a 20RM?

yep like i said on fb. when i hit 20 Reps on 220lbs it destroyed me mentally and it felt like a metcon WOD at the end. also i tried for 21 but couldnt stand up lol.
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