A brutal program designed to add muscle to your frame using old school methods, this program is for those of you already tough-minded…already hairy. After this, you’ll join the club and become Big Hairy and Strong.

This original program came from Dr. Randall, j. Strossen’s book ‘Super Squats’ were he uses high repetition squats along with a small selection of other exercises to build muscle mass, he claims to have added 30 lbs (13.6 kg) to his frame in 6 weeks.

In order to grow muscle testosterone is needed, testosterone is produced by big muscle groups when they are worked under load. The idea of this program is to work the large muscles of the legs, back, and core by squatting to produce testosterone then work the smaller muscles. This method will help the large and small muscle groups grow more than traditional methods of training.

In a review article Vingren et al. (2010) show that using high repetition squats with a heavy load increases testosterone levels in men and increases the size of the bicep more than using bicep exercises along.

This program is going to be hard, but hard work means big results and that’s what you came here for! This program is not recommended for beginners, lifters should have at least a year of training experience before trying this program.


Program Outlines

We’ve taken the original 20 squats program, merged our research and experience to create a monster program that will work your mental as well as physical strength. By the end of this program, you WILL be bigger. Here are the program outlines:

1. Use the barbell back squat, its the manliest squat out there and it will provide the best results. We would recommend a high bar position rather than low bar, to protect your shoulders and elbows because of the amount of time you’ll spend under the bar, but you can choose which suits you best. Stay away from the smith machines, front squats, leg presses etc. you won’t get the rewards by choosing easier less effective variations.


2. Every time you step into the gym you will perform a single set of 20 squats.

Now, when we say you’re doing 20 squats your not messing around with light weights, no, you’re doing 20 squats with a weight you originally had as your 5 rep max! You will work your way up, adding 2.5 kg to your 20 squats each time you step foot into the gym. By the end of the 6 weeks you will squat your 5 rep max for 20 reps.

To work out your starting weight simply take 45 away from your 5 rep max weight (45 because there are 18 total sessions in this program and you’ll be adding 2.5 kg each time. 18 X 2.5 = 45).


3. The set of 20 reps will be challenging and will only become more challenging as you go one. It doesn’t matter how long it takes you to complete the 20 reps, just make sure you do. You can’t put the bar back in the rack until you’ve finished but you can take as much time as you need between reps with the bar on your back. The set of 20 reps is often referred to as ‘breathing squats’ because of all the huffing and puffing you do between each rep especially as you get close to the twentieth rep.

Warm up before doing your 20 squats. It’s going to put a lot of stress on your body and going in cold will do some damage.


4. Food! You need to eat big to get big. When undertaking this program it’s even more important to make sure you’re getting the nutrients you need in order to grow and repair or you won’t make it to the end of the program. However, be sure to eat nutrient rich foods, don’t go getting your calories from chocolate bars and cakes. Junk food will only mess up your hormone balances and unpick all the hard work you did at the gym.

Milk, however, we do recommend. In the old days the original 20 squats program was commonly referred to as the ‘squats and milk program’ because bodybuilders would commonly consume a gallon of milk a day while on the program. While we don’t necessarily insist a whole gallon a day (6.6 pints) drinking plenty of full fat milk each day will definitely help the muscles grow.


5. Recovery you should be doing all that you can in between workout to help with recovery. This will enable you to push hard each workout and remain injury free. Make sure you get your 8 – 9 hours of sleep. Use your rest days to recover, go for short walks, foam roll or do short active recovery session.


6. It’s recommended that you leave it another 6 weeks after completing this program before doing it again. After completing this program try running one of bighairystrength.com’s strength programs. This 20 squats program gives a perfect foundation to a strength block.


The Actual Program

There are a few ways in which you can implement the methods of the 20 squat program. You could try the original program set out by Strossen, you could simply add 20 squats to the beginning of your current program or you could try the BigHairyStrength.com version of the program. We recommend the last option for best results.

The Big Hairy 20 Squats a Day Program

Day 1

Chest and Triceps


1. 20 Squats

2. Bench Press

3 sets of 12 reps, 60 sec rest

3. Incline Dumbell Bench

3 sets of 12 reps, 60 secs rest

4. Cable Flyes

3 sets of 12 reps, 60 secs rest

5. Tricep Push Downs

3 sets of 12 reps, 60 secs rest

6. Bodyweight Dips

As many as possible x 4, 60 secs rest


Day 2

Back and Biceps


1. 20 Squats

2. Wide Grip Pull ups

3 sets as many as possible, 60 secs rest

3. Bent Over Row

3 sets of 8 reps, 60 secs rest

4. Close Grip Pull Down

3 sets of 12 reps, 60 secs rest

5. Dumbell Rows

3 sets of 12 reps, 60 secs rest

6. Straight bar Bicep Curl

4 sets of 12 reps, 60 secs rest


Day 3

Shoulders and Traps


1. 20 Squats

2. Seated Dumbell Press

3 sets of 8 reps, 60 secs rest

3.Rear Delt Flyes

3 sets of 12 reps, 60 secs rest

4.Straight Bar Front Raise

3 sets of 12 reps, 60 secs rest

5. Dumbell Lateral Raise

3 sets of 15 reps, 60 secs rest

6. Plate Shrugs

4 sets of 15 reps, 60 sec rest


It’ll certainly put hair on your chest as well as kilos to your bodyweight. After completing this program, try taking a deload week before trying one of bighairystrength’s free strength programs. You’ll be nicely primed for a strength phase where you can put that new found muscle to the test.




Strossen, R. (1989). Super squats. Nevada City, Calif.: IronMind Enterprises.

Vingren, J. L., Kraemer, W. J., Ratamess, N. A., Anderson, J. M., Volek, J. S., & Maresh, C. M. (2010). Testosterone physiology in resistance exercise and training. Sports medicine40(12), 1037-1053.