Programming the Split Squat (part 2)

Continuing on from the previous post, you can add further continuity and difficulty to the training program by altering the tempo (lifting speed). The tempo changes result in a very different feel to the same movement and results in a greater focus on the movement end range (the weak point).

Combine this with the pyramid method mentioned previously and your phase 3 program is going to be significantly harder than your phase 1. The attached video shows the changes in tempo over the 3 phases and it could programmed as follows:

PHASE 1 (3-4 weeks):

A1 – Split Squats + slow tempo 3 x 10 – 12

PHASE 2 (3-4 weeks):

B1 – Split Squats + pauses 3 x 6-8

PHASE 3 (3-4 weeks):

C1 – Split Squats + 1 & 1/4 rep style 3 x 8-10

To sum everything up:

  • We’ve utilised the split squat as a key lift over 3 consecutive phases which allows for continuity within consecutive programs and superior results.
  • The pyramid method involves a lowering in the priority of the split squat in your future training program. ┬áIt’s simply shifted into the accessory movements whilst simultaneously there is the addition of more challenging exercises (such as back squats, jumps or weightlifting movements). This creates more training complexity and density to the program which is required as your skills progress.
  • The tempo change produces a different feel to the same movement whilst producing different muscular contractions and better targeting the end range of movement
  • I’ve also utilised an undulating rep scheme through the 3 phases as well

Ultimately this is simply an example of how you can run with a movement over a 10-12 week phase while you can utilise this method for any lift and any training goal. I learnt the pyramid method from Derek Woodske who is a former Canadian Record Holder in the Hammer Throw and former Poliquin Institute Head Educator. It’s beautifully simple and it it’s effective.