Here’s a great way to train the squat pattern three times per week, whilst altering your squat style and focus each session, when the goal is muscle hypertrophy (growth).
When you say squat, most people think Barbell Squat. However, we can still train the Squat pattern but alter the nature of its incorporation. This allows for greater variance, especially when coupled with the DUP method. The DUP method (daily undulating periodisation) involves the utilisation of different set x rep schemes across the week. This involves the training of different qualities across the week rather than across phases which is more the norm.
While the Barbell Squat is a great lift, it is also highly technical and definitely not compulsory for muscle hypertrophy. By shifting to a different squat variation, you can still train the movement but prioritise other movements on different days. With that said, the Barbell Squat is still a great option for most, especially when you find the right variation most suited to your body, needs and ability.
Thus, we’ll use the Barbell Squat here as it allows for strength development and hypertrophy to occur over the lower to mid reps, whilst practicing the skill of squatting. More rest would be required here between sets to support load progression potential. The Split Squat incorporation still trains the movement pattern, but more isolation will occur between the two sides. This ensures superior structural balance between the two sides and prevents muscular asymmetries occurring, whilst the load is placed in the hands rather than on the back. The Hack Squat is a more simple movement yet significant stress and tension can applied to the target muscles without the same fear of technical failure. Additionally, it is a great way to more easily add additional training volume which is a key part of muscular development.
Of course, this is just one way you could break up your week if your goal is hypertrophy. Barbell Back Squatting three times per week will also work fine as your primary quad movement each day if you can handle it. We’ll save that option for another post though.