Squatting Every Day: Pros, Cons, Should You Do It?

what you need to nnow about squatting every day

Most people who squat in their training often squat between 1 to 3 times a week but there are a group of people out there that squat everyday.

So what is squatting everyday?  Squatting everyday is a program where squats are performed each day of the week. There are different approaches with some people squatting with maximal effort every day and some incorporate easier sessions for sustainability. The “squat every day” approach is also known as the Bulgarian method.

If you are thinking about whether you can squat every day in your training, then the short answer is yes, you can squat everyday. If you are thinking about whether you should, then the answer would be, it depends. The devil is in the details.

In this article, I will discuss everything you need to know about squatting every day from where it came about, and how you could implement it. I will discuss the important details of the nature of how we are squatting everyday along with the benefits and drawbacks.

Squatting Every Day: What You Need To Know 

Let’s cover some of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to squatting every day. 

So what does squatting every day mean? 

squatting every day is a form of high frequency, high intensity and high specificity training

Squatting every day is a form of high frequency, high intensity and high specificity training.

What counts as squatting every day is that some form of squatting is performed on a daily basis. It is a practice done by powerlifters and weightlifters primarily. 

It tends to be exclusively only back squats and front squats that are performed in this routine. 

There is no stipulation to how long this practice is done for and it tends to be heavy singles as its prescription.

Why might people do squatting everyday? 

weightlifters and powerlifters adopt squatting every day as a means to bring up their squat strength

Weightlifters and powerlifters adopt squatting every day as a means to bring up their squat strength which is a very important component to their performance in both sports. 

The theory behind is that there are specific adaptations on the imposed demand. The more specific your training is, the better you will get at the given training. 

Where did squatting every day come from? 

where did squatting every day come from
Ivan Abadjiev created the Bulgarian Squat Method

The “squat every day” approach started in the second half of the 20th century in Bulgaria. 

Under the watchful guidance of Ivan Abadjiev, the country was able to put Bulgaria on the map through the sport of Olympic weightlifting. The country has produced more medalists per capita than almost any other country in the world. Under his system of producing athletes, he has 12 Olympic champions, 57 world champions and 64 European champions from the year 1968 to 2000.

The notorious success of producing multiple champions came about from athletes being treated ruthlessly, along with drug use and a grueling infamous training philosophy which is known today as the Bulgarian method.

Abadjiev’s preference was year round use of squatting everyday and only using a limited number of exercises – primarily the snatch, clean and jerk, and front squat. All of which were performed to a maximum attempt and at 1 repetition sets. This routine squatting maximally is what is referred to as the Bulgarian method. All year round, the programme does not have phases of different focuses.

Realistically, the Bulgarian method of producing medalists was not exclusively just the training programming, but had to include all the drug use and the totalitarian control of the athletes’ lifestyles too. Athletes would train up to 8 hours a day as it was their full-time job. Not everyone survived the system, but those who were able to survive and recover became champions.

Interested in learning about variations of the squat?  Check out my article on the 9 Squat Accessories To Improve Strength & Technique

How was squatting every day intended? 

training was intended to get your squat as strong as possible

The training was intended to get your squat as strong as possible and was fundamentally dependant on the following ideas:

  • More work done was better
  • Do what you do in competition in training
  • How you felt in training is a lie

Suffice to say, that this system did not come without criticism for how brutal the athletes were treated and how often individuals got injured in training. 

How did squatting every day come about in powerlifting? 

most powerlifters have attempted to bring up their squat through training squats every day

During the second decade of the 21st century, Abadjiev’s reputation has spread across the western world not only to weightlifting communities but powerlifting communities too. Many big names in powerlifting online have documented their approach and thoughts to a Bulgarian style of training.

Most powerlifters cannot do the “true” Bulgarian method where they train 8 hours a day, but many have attempted to bring up their squat through training squats every day.

The practice of squatting every day has evolved from squatting maximally every day to squatting every day with days of lighter sessions. 

What does science say about high frequency training and squatting every day?

squatting every day is simply a form of high frequency strength training for the squats

Squatting every day is simply a form of high frequency strength training for the squats.

There is a lot of research done on frequency of strength training and there are mixed results. The research suggests that when training volume is equated, there is no correlation between training frequency and strength gains. 

Having said that, increasing training frequency does allow you to increase training volume overall.

In the perspective of training frequency and muscle gain/hypertrophy, training a muscle group twice a week seems to be superior to once a week although it is not clear whether training more than twice a week is superior.

When it comes to scientific research of training, there are certain things that need to be taken into consideration. Relevant research is often done short term and therefore it is difficult to know the impact long term. Research results are also summaries of averages, so it is important to remember that different regiments may work differently for some people.

Squatting Every Day vs Daily Max Squatting

squatting every day meant that the squats done every day was performed to a daily max single

One thing we should clarify is when we are talking about squatting every day, what do we mean? Do we mean daily max squatting or do we mean squatting every day with some easier sessions on some times?

Traditionally, squatting every day meant that the squats done every day was performed to a daily max single

For a majority of recreational lifters, this is unlikely going to be sustainable, which is why the practice of squatting every day has evolved to incorporate submaximal sessions

This allows a more sustainable implementation of squatting every day. Many different coaches and big names in powerlifting have come up with their take on squatting everyday.

Another overlooked element of squatting everyday is the back off volume performed after the heavy top set performed that day. At the end of the day, repetitions at the end of the day will be a massive driver of gains – as long as you can recover from it.

Can you deadlift every day too? Check out my article on deadlifting every day.

5 Benefits of Squatting Every Day 

five benefits for incorporating squatting every day into your training routine

Here are five benefits for incorporating squatting every day into your training routine:

  • It allows you to spread your work out over more training sessions
  • It helps you fit around short training session availability
  • It helps you practice technique by minimising session fatigue
  • It helps bring up squats if it is a weakness
  • It may help you progressively overload from previous regime

1.  Allows you to spread your work out over more training sessions

The easiest benefit of squatting every day, is that you can spread your work out more evenly throughout the day. That means that you do not need to endure long training sessions. 

The reason why this may be advantageous is that when you train more and more sets, you end up fatiguing more and more, and this may drag your rest periods longer and longer.

Hypothetically speaking, there is an unknown optimal amount of work that you can perform in a session and maximise the stimulus from. Spreading your training across every day of the week may reduce your chances of wasting effort on meaningless sets.

2.  Helps you fit around short training session availability

If you have a busy lifestyle or other reasons and you cannot commit long periods to the gym, squatting every day may be very useful for you. 

If you want to focus on your squat and have other priorities with upper body or bench press, squatting every day would allow you to have shorter sessions where you can squat and perform a handful of other exercises since you will be training seven days a week.

3.  Helps you practice technique by minimising session fatigue

Squatting every day means you have seven days where you can focus on your technique on squatting. Depending on your goal, you can choose to stick with one or more variations of the squat.

Commonly, what people say is “practice makes perfect”. More accurately, it should be “practice makes permanent”. So what that means is you engrain the technique that you perform. If you squat a certain way, you make that way of squatting more permanent and harder to change if you need to change it.

The reason why this is important is because if you were to squat longer sessions, what happens is that you fatigue later in the session. When you fatigue later in the session, your technique is likely to break down. If you allow your technique to breakdown, this will engrain poor technique.

So squatting every day means that you do not allow yourself to practice technique in a tired state.

4.  Helps bring up squats if it is a weakness

Squatting everyday may mean you have an opportunity to dedicate a lot of work for the squat. 

If it is closer to a powerlifting competition, you may want to choose the back squat and keep it as the only variation.

If it is not closer to a competition, you may decide to incorporate different variations of the squat to improve your squatting technique such as paused squats, tempo squats, pin squats, box squats etc.

Again, practicing it everyday can give you an opportunity to focus on technique without overly fatiguing and breaking down technique during the session. 

If you are attempting to incorporate squatting every day for the purpose of improving technique, there needs to be a focus on keeping most of the sessions submaximal. 

5.  May help you progressively overload from previous regime

Progressive overload is the name of the game for long term progress. 

There are multiple elements within a training programme that you can manipulate to sustain continual progress long term. At the end of the day, the total training quantity needs to grow over time to keep pushing the stimulus for muscle size and strength. 

If an athlete has a finite capacity to train in a session, manipulating the training frequency may be a useful way to enable progressive overload. The addition of more sessions in the week will give you a window for inputting training.

4 Drawbacks of Squatting Every Day

four drawbacks with the squatting every day regiment

Here are 4 drawbacks with the squatting every day regiment:

  • May not be mentally sustainable
  • Does not give flexibility for life events and lifestyle factors
  • May risk overuse injury
  • May neglect other areas of weakness (deadlift, bench, or other muscle groups)

1.  May not be mentally sustainable

Performing squats every day is simply very repetitive. 

This can dramatically increase the risk of boredom and decrease enjoyment and overall experience of the lifter. There is definitely the factor of individual differences when it comes to this and there are famous lifters around the world who have training like this for months and years and made incredible gains. Unfortunately, these lifters are few to find. 

For other lifters, it will simply not be mentally sustainable and likely lead to burnout. Burnout will lead to them not adhering and abandoning the training regime or worse the sport.

Even if squatting every day was hypothetically the best programme to improve someone’s squat, there needs to be the human factor of whether they can emotionally consent and commit to the training.

2.  Does not give flexibility for life events and lifestyle factors

Squatting every day demands training everyday. 

This is a huge ask of anyone who trains who is not a full time athlete. There is a minimum level of commitment that you need to turn up at the gym every day of the week and train. 

This does not give flexibility for life events and lifestyle factors. Sleep and nutrition needs to be on point in order to be able to recover from it and not let fatigue progressively accumulate. 

If there are life events that happen that takes you away from going to a gym for a day or two, this breaks up the cycle of squatting every and thus impacts the consistency and demand of the program.

3.  May risk overuse injury

There are people who support the squatting every day routine who often make the following claims:

  • There is no such thing as overtraining, just undertrained.
  • How you feel is a lie as some people who do not feel like training can sometimes come in and make a personal record.

In my professional experience, it is true that many people do have the capacity to train harder than they realised that they can and still recover from it. It is also true that someones subjective experience is not necessarily indicative of their readiness to perform.

Ultimately, I think it is a myth that overtraining is a myth. If the program is not managed well, and you push beyond your maximal recoverable amount of training every week, your performance will just plummet.

As this is a routine of highly specific training, this may mean certain muscle groups and joints get a beating more than some others. This will risk pain, which may lead to injury that may render squatting every day no longer a possibility. 

4.  May neglect other areas of weakness (deadlift, bench, or other muscle groups)

Squatting every day will mean that there will be a big emphasis on the quad and gluteal muscles and the hip, knee and ankle joints.  

The longer squatting every day is kept up in training; the more the squat will increase, but that may mean that the deadlift may not go up as much as it can. 

As a powerlifter, the deadlift still contributes a large proportion to your powerlifting competition total. This may mean that long term use of squatting every day may disadvantage your deadlift progress and thus hold you back competitively.  Check out my article on whether you should squat or deadlift more

For this reason, squatting every day may not be desirable for you if you also need your deadlift to progress equally as much.

At the end of the day, your strength or hypertrophy progress is a zero sum gain in the sense that if you push one thing, it may well negatively impact something else.

Check out my article on whether you can squat and deadlift in the same workout

Squat Every Day Program: How To Do It

example ways of planning how a week of squatting every day

To plan a program that incorporates squatting every day is going to require some thinking to balance out your day to day fatigue levels.

Here are some example ways of planning how a week of squatting every day may look:

For Improving Squat Technique

This is an example of what a training week for improving squat technique may look like. 

It consists of submaximal singles of different styles of back squat executions along with low volume and low difficulty back off sets.

Week to week progression may include a fixed weight increment such as 2.5kg or 5lb for back off sets.

Day 1:  Monday 

4010 Tempo Eccentric Back Squat 

1×1 @ RPE 6

3×2 @ 65% of 1RM

Day 2: Tuesday

4 Count Pause Back Squat

1×1 @ RPE 6

3×2 @ 65% of 1RM

Day 3: Wednesday

Back Squat

1×1 @ RPE 7

3×3 @ 80%

Day 4: Thursday 

Pin Squat

1×1 @ RPE 6

3×3 @ 70%

Day 5: Friday

Box Squat 

1×1 @ RPE 6

3×3 @ 70%

Day 6: Saturday 

Back Squat

1×1 @ RPE 8

3×2 @ 85%

Day 7: Sunday

3310 Tempo Pause Back Squat

1×1 @ RPE 6

3×2 @ 60%

For Improving Squat Strength

This is an example of what a training week for improving squat strength may look like. 

It consists of heavy singles with low volume and high intensity back off sets.

Week to week progression may include a fixed weight increment such as 2.5kg or 5lb for back off sets.

Day 1: Monday 

Back Squat 

1×1 @ RPE 8

3×3 @ 80% of 1RM

Day 2: Tuesday

Back Squat

1×1 @ RPE 6

 3×3 @ 60% of 1RM

Day 3: Wednesday

Back Squat

1×1 @ RPE 7

2×3 @ 70%

Day 4: Thursday 

Back Squat

1×1 @ RPE 6

3×3 @ 65%

Day 5: Friday

Box Squat 

1×1 @ RPE 8

3×2 @ 85%

Day 6: Saturday 

Back Squat

1×1 @ RPE 5

3×2 @ 65%

Day 7: Sunday

Back Squat

1×1 @ RPE 6

3×2 @ 60%

Who Should Squat Every Day? 

people that squatting every day would most suit

Squatting every day is a routine that requires a lot of thinking, planning and discipline. It also is not necessarily for everyone. Having said that, these are the following people that squatting every day would most suit:

If you are looking to bring up your squat, then you can squat every day as a means to develop your technique or generally your squatting strength. If you have a deadlift that is way larger than your squat, and your squat is much lower than everyone else’s in your weight class then you could implement squatting everyday.

If you are advanced, then you could consider squatting everyday as a means to fit volume in.

If you have not trained for at least five plus years, then squatting every day is unlikely going to be an appropriate option for you as you can probably get away with squatting less frequently, even if you are attempting to bring up your squat.

If you really love squatting, then you can consider it. If you do not love squatting, then this routine could potentially ruin your training experience and even emotionally burn you out and make you not look forward to training. This will increase your risk of missing sessions and make you feel disappointed for the lack of consistency.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, squatting every day is simply a tool that you can use for very specific goals. 

For most athletes, this is not an appropriate or even desirable way of training squats purely because it may not be psychologically sustainable – even if you are a high level powerlifter. 

As a tool, I believe you can use this over several weeks or a handful of months to bring up a lagging squat, but other than that, for most people I would stay away from squatting every day. 

In my coaching experience, you ideally want to be looking forward to your training sessions around 80% of the time. 

At the end of the day, you should always seek to look at if what you are doing at the moment is already helping you make good progress. As they say, if it is not broken, don’t fix it!

About The Author: Norman Cheung ASCC, British Powerlifting Team Coach

Norman Cheung

Norman Cheung is a powerlifting coach and an accredited strength and conditioning coach under the UKSCA. He has been coaching powerlifting since 2012 and has been an IPF Team GB coach since 2016. He has experience with coaching a variety of lifters from novices to international medallists and international university teams. Along side coaching, he takes interest in helping powerlifters take their first step into coaching. He currently runs his coaching services at strongambitionscoaching.com