How Much Should You Squat?

If you are just getting into working out or want to try something new, squatting might be for you. One of the most important parts of exercising is ensuring you do it safely.

When you are squatting, there are some weights that are too heavy and could lead to injury. On the other hand, if you do not use enough weight, you will not be able to see progress or advance to heavier weights.

For this reason, you should know the basics of squatting, how much to squat, and how you can start squatting more.

Luckily, there is a very easy way to know how much you should squat and we will cover that by the end of this post.

What Are Squats and How Should You Do Them?

by Sergio Pedemonte
A decent squat though your elbows should be up more and your wrist straighter. This is also likely a high-bar squat though its hard to tell from this angle. Shoes should also be flatter and less cushion

Squats target the lower body. When you do squats, you are able to strengthen the quadriceps, hamstrings, abdominal muscles, lower back, calves, and glutes.

Squats can be done with body weight or with barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, or medicine balls.

To do squats:

  • you should start with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Then, tighten your stomach muscles. Slowly lower yourself down.
  • You should feel as if you are sitting.
  • Then, straighten your legs and return to the standing position.
  • For further details on how to squat, use these tips.

Another tool for performing squats is a squat rack. These are typically available for use at gyms. You might also purchase one to use at your own home. Squat racks help by providing assistance and support as you squat. They fulfill the same role as a squatter by allowing you to fail safely.

To use a squat rack, you will need to make adjustments to the bar and safety bar. Then, you can add the weights of your choice. Next, place the bar across your shoulders and remove the weight from the rack. Step away from the rack, squat, and return the weight to the rack.

How to Know How Much to Squat 

When you are beginning to squat, it is important to note that everyone needs to squat a different weight. What works for you may not work for your workout partner or your best friend. This is because the weight you should squat varies from person to person.

The factors that affect how much you should squat include:

  • Fitness level
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Experience level
  • Body weight
  • Technique
  • Use of gear or drugs

How Much Should Men Squat? 

In general, men can squat more than women. An average man can squat 150% of his body weight. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, an average man of your weight can squat 300 pounds.  Men with more experience and training may be able to squat as much as 250% of their body weight.

When men first begin squatting, they may not meet the percentages mentioned. Over time, he can build up to those numbers.

How Much Should Women Squat?

Women should squat 125% of their body weight. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, you may be able to squat 250 pounds. Starting out, women may only squat half their weight or less. An advanced squatter might be able to squat 150% of her body weight. Elite squatters can sometimes squat as much as 250% of their body weight.

Is Weight or Technique More Important?

by Victor Freitas
by Victor Freitas

When you are squatting, you may want to see how quickly you can progress and add more weight. The problem is that this is not effective if you are squatting incorrectly. For greater success, you should first work on your form and your technique. Then, once you nail that, you can begin increasing your weight.

How to Build Up to Squat More (aka Linear Progression

When you are beginning to squat, you should start with a low weight, such as 20 or 50 pounds. You can also begin with a bar without any added weight. An Olympic bar is 45 pounds, making it a great starting point. What you choose should depend on your existing strength and experience. Be patient with yourself, slowly adding more weight. It may take you eight weeks or longer to reach 100 pounds. Over time, you can slowly add more weight to the bar as you get stronger.

Keep in mind that everyone’s body is different. You may need more or less time to double the weight you are squatting. This can also depend on how much time you spend working on squatting each week. If you only go to the gym once per week, it can be more difficult for you to reach your ideal squatting weight. Make sure you give your body time to recover for 48-72 hours between squatting sessions.

To be safe, you should always make sure your squatting rack is set at the proper height. If it is the wrong height for you, you will be loading the barbell incorrectly and may get injured.

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