How To Get Self-Admitted Into The 500 lbs Squat Club
Updated March 4th 2020; April 17th 2019
How to squat 500 lbs in the shortest time possible.
I too want to know this answer.
For many lifters, this may be a long sought after goal.
Squatting up until 315lbs was relatively a piece of cake.
It is the next 200lbs that really defines what type of lifter you are.
Are you willing to put up with the squatting struggles?
Or are you just going to give up?
Or maybe, you just “lucked” your way into a 500lbs squat?
How to join the 500lbs squat club
In order to enter the 500 lbs squat club, athletes must adhere to all of the following training strategies from past 500+lbs squatters:
- Hard, hard work
- Train with stronger people
- Perfect form
- Develop a strong core
- Eat a caloric surplus
- Be patient
- Staying injury-free
If you weigh 170lbs, squatting 500lbs would make you better than 99% of lifters.
If you weigh 180lbs, squatting 500lbs would make you better than 98% of lifers.
Finally, if you weigh 200lbs, squatting 500lbs would make you better than 95% of lifters.
Across the average weight of men who lift squats, squatting 500lbs would make you a very impressive lifter.
As someone who wants to get to 500lbs and above, I decided to do my research on the topic.
Currently, my highest squat is a 350lbs high bar squat at 170lbs.
So, I have about 150lbs more to go before I get admitted into the 500lbs squat club.
But there are a ton of lifters that have squatted over 500lbs but have not shared their experiences in a very concise way.
Let us break down how we can get admitted into the 500lbs squat club:
Hard work is required
This point may be a bit obvious but it is something that cannot be underestimated.
When I first squatted 225lbs, I thought that was the toughest challenge for me.
That was until I went up to 275lbs.
Then, I thought that was the hardest squat workouts I ever did.
You can see where I am going with this.
My squat workouts are getting harder and harder as my body becomes more effective in squatting heavier weight.
You need to prepare yourself physically for the battle.
This means a lot of high quality rest with good nutrition.
If ever, you will find athletes that just got lucky all the way to the top.
If you truly analyze the greats, it is years of hard work.
For some, it is decades of sheer grinding, doing all the right things outside of the gym.
Because they are practicing good habits outside of the gym, the next step is to work hard inside the gym.
There is also a mental component in it as well.
How bad do you want it?
Train with strong people
Have you ever noticed that all the strongest lifters in the world are all congregated into a small warehouse gym?
That is no accident.
Lifters feed off each other’s energy.
If you want to squat more, you need to train with people who are strong than you.
By osmosis, you can pick up a lot of knowledge from just training with other stronger lifters.
As legendary powerlifter and business owner Mark Bell alluded to, you need to make sure you train at a gym where you are the weakest person there.
If you get to become the strongest person in the gym, you will need to switch gyms.
If you think you have reached your limit, think again.
By crushing your ego to train with stronger lifters, you can see how much more untapped potential you have left to offer.
This will light a fire in your belly and make you want to achieve much more.
Currently, I only train in a garage gym.
It is nice in that I can save time and money by having the gym at home.
However, this is one missing ingredient that would be very beneficial in helping me get stronger.
If you want to train together, let me up and we will make it happen.
There is a lot of room for error when you first learn to squat.
You may be inhibited by your muscular deficiencies and bad motor patterns from previous sports.
However, after a few years of lifting, you will probably face your first serious squatting challenge.
This may be along the lines of, how can you get your 300lbs squat to a 405lbs or even a 500lbs squat?
The answer is with perfect form.
Nailing down your form, through countless repetitions, is the best way to train yourself for a 500lbs squat.
When you a novice lifter, being tired and getting loose may be some bad habit you tend to do.
If you have 405lbs on your back, there is a good chance you will get crushed in the hole.
Making sure you form is absolutely solid will allow you to take the next jump in your squat.
A strong core is never bad
Greg Nuckols, who held 3 all time world records in powerlifting in the 220lbs and 242lbs weight class, claims to attribute his 500lbs squat to having a very strong core.
During his early days of training, he would go ham on abs at the end of the workout.
These results speak volumes as he has crushed a 500lbs squat years ago. He has not regretted those decisions.
At one point during my lifting journey, I have included a ton of core work.
This was about 2-3 years after I first started to seriously lift weights;
I would do weighted plank holds and weighted back extension holds.
Originally, I did them for a strong deadlift because I read how critical it was to have a strong core for deadlifts.
At the time, these were two exercises that I thought would benefit me the most.
So, for three months, I would concentrate my efforts on making sure my core was trained.
Eating is an option
From the beginning of strength training, many coaches advocate on eating a caloric surplus in order to maintain progress.
From my research, I saw that similar advice was given.
Many lifters have bulked over 40+lbs in order push their squat pass 500lbs.
These lifters would have a 300 or 400lbs squat in their 160lbs or 180lbs bodyweight.
Once they began to get more protein and limit fat growth, their body weight and squat max increased.
If you were a beginner strength athlete, you have probably experienced rapid growth during your newbie gains.
Time, time, time
If you are not looking to gain a tremendous amount of weight, can you even squat 500lbs at your bodyweight?
Well, nothing is impossible with faith and a burning desire to achieve your goal. If you are unwilling to bulk up to a heavier weight, the next option available will be that it will simply take longer.
If you are not growing your muscle bigger, you will need to get your muscle stronger.
Your bones, tendons and ligaments will also need to get stronger.
You will need to focus on making your body become more efficient at doing squats.
This will take time. This is not a month long project.
It is definitely not an overnight project.
Depending on how great you treat your body, this can take a couple of months to a couple of years in order to achieve what you want naturally.
Injury-free lifting is important as well
What a lot of lifters do not talk about is the longevity of the lifting game.
Or they briefly scratch the surface that it is a marathon training endeavor, not a sprint.
I am here to shed some light on the topic of injury-free lifting.
I have been lifting for nearly 7 years now consistently.
4 years without any major injuries that derailed my progress significantly.
But I would say that most of my progress and my base was built during my first 4 years.
Grinding and lifting submaximal weight so that my form and technique was perfect.
As a result, I would handle heavier and heavier weights gradually.
It was easy at first but it got tough fast with linear progression...
And don't get me started about linear progression limits.
Now, I opt for a new philosophy, one that stresses the importance of slow, long term gains over short term progress with injuries.
A lot of athletes, coaches and gurus will say that if you do not push yourself and face injuries during your career, then you are not training hard enough to break your limitations.
I would counter that argument that it is reckless and balls to the wall training only demand an even greater cost and time for recovery.
This means that if you can afford to get treatment and sleep more often during the day, by all means, train harder.
But you need to know and understand how to train to get strong, not just test your strength.
This is one reason why I chose my new program, 5/3/1 Forever to cleanse my prior paradigm about linear strength training.
The reality is that strength training is never linear but it may appear that way as a beginner.
As you continue to get stronger, you will find that things may not always go according to plan.
So, you need to have a system in place so that you can adapt and still train heavy so that your body is forced to make changes.
And the more your body makes these internal changes and neural adaptations, the stronger you will be in the long term.
I am confident that if you ask any strength athlete, experienced or novice, you will find that our highest goal will always be to try to be better and get stronger.
Thus, it would be a game-changer to train injury-free for years and to stack up your progress without any disruptions.
Reaching a 500lbs squat is a dream for many lifters, including myself.
Hopefully, these strategies and new methodologies can help you take your squat game to the next level.
It would suck if you are stalling in your squats when you should not be;
Every day is a new day to make more gains and to get stronger.
So, let us continue making the world stronger every day.