10 x 10 Squat Workout


Today, I’d like to pass on a workout that I’ve used on a regular basis in the past that always worked like magic. Every time I’ve used this workout, my legs always grew beyond my expectations.

Mind you, this workout is a gut busting, head spinning, mind blowing workout that must be done at top intensity but at the end of the day, it is well worth it.

If you really want to try something new, and are looking to add more muscle mass to your body, than you really have to try this technique.

The entire workout is based on the 10 x 10 volume training principle. That is, you will do 10 sets of 10 using a particular weight for the duration of the workout. Since this type of workout places an extra ordinary amount of stress to the body, it has no choice but to get stronger and build muscle mass.

I was first introduced this technique when I was about 19 years of age. I asked my mentor what I could do in order to build my legs. His reply was simple… “10 sets of 10 squats”. He invited me to join him and his buddies on Saturday morning to do squats. I asked him why he only did 10 sets of squats with no other exercises such as leg press’ or hack squats included in the routine. His reply? “After you’ve finished the 10 sets of squats, you’ll be lucky to even make it down the stairs let alone do leg press’ and hack squats”. Well, he was right. It was one heck of a tough workout and one that really changed my attitude about conventional weight training sets and reps.

After a month of this type of training, my body simply blew up. To this day, I’ve never experienced anything like this workout. With that in mind, I’d like to pass on this workout on to you and the things we did in order to get ready for this workout. Do this type of workout of a couple of months and your going to build muscle mass, plain and simple. However, this workout is not for the faint of heart so if you’re a complete beginner, don’t attempt this workout.

Now, you may be wondering why we chose Saturday mornings to do this workout. Simple, we needed a day in which we were all available that didn’t involve work or school commitments. This way, we could wobble home, have something to eat and go to bed.

Here’s what we did in order to get ready for this workout:

  • Load up on complex carbohydrates on Friday night;
  • Load up on protein on Friday night;
  • Got at least 8 hours of sleep on Friday night;
  • Drink a litre of milk Friday night;
  • A light breakfast on Saturday morning consisting of 1 cup of oatmeal, 3 egg whites, ½ cup of yogurt, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar with one glass of apple juice an hour and a half before the workout;
  • Drank 3 glasses of water before the workout;
  • Drank two glasses of black tea half hour before the workout – no sugar and no cream or milk.

At 11:00 AM we hit that weight hard and fast. Since there was about 5 of use, the workout took about an hour or so to do. We squatted 10 sets of 10 and went home, that was it.

To do this type of workout, you need to know how much you can squat. If you can squat 350 pounds, you’ll use about 60% to 70% of your max which will be about 210 pounds. I suggest you stick to 60% of your max for the first couple of workout because after 5 sets, 60% will start to feel like 90%.

Here’s how your schedule will look:

  • Warm up: 2 sets of 20 repetitions using 40% of your maximum;
  • Workout: 10 sets of 10 using 60 – 70% of your maximum.

You will rest about 60 seconds in between each set. It’s important that you stick to this rest period because you need to keep the intensity at a certain level. I suggest you use a stop watch.

Also, drink plenty of water when doing this exercise. It also might be a good idea to sip on a carbohydrate drink after set 6 or 7. Believe me, you might be running on low fuel at this point so it might be a good idea to have some carbohydrates at this point.

Remember the following points about this workout:

  • Do this workout once per week, preferably on Saturday morning;
  • Only do one exercise, squats. Don’t do anything else for legs on that day;
  • Drink plenty of water before, during, and after the workout;
  • As soon as the workout is finished, have a protein/carbohydrate drink;
  • Have another big meal an hour and a half after the workout;
  • Get at least 8 hours of sleep the night before the workout;
  • Don’t workout on Sunday. In fact, try and rest two days after this workout.

I suggest you try and do this type of routine for 6 to 8 weeks to get the most from the workout. Now, as you progress with this type of workout, you may want to add a little more weight. Once you can comfortably do 10 sets of 10 repetitions, using the same rest patterns, it’s time to add more weight. Try adding another 10% to the bar.

Good luck and all the best,


Blake Bissaillion

Blake has been weight lifting for about 28 years now. He's 45 years of age and started seriously training when he was 18 years old.

Blake is the founder of Building-Muscle101.com, a successful fitness website that has been around for more than 15 years.