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THIS IS GONNA BE A BAD WEEK”, Says Froning After Doing High-Rep Squat Workout with Dr. Mike

 Written by 

Julien Raby

 Last updated on 

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In Cookeville, Tennessee, Crossfit Mayhem hosted a workout session led by Dr. Mike Israetel, co-founder of Renaissance Periodization. 

This session, featuring legendary CrossFit athlete Rich Froning, focused on quadriceps development through a blend of high-repetition squats and lunges

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Dr. Israetel’s approach emphasizes precision in technique to maximize muscle hypertrophy within a CrossFit framework.

Core Components of the Workout

High-Rep Squats

High-repetition squats are pivotal. Participants keep their chests up and pause at the bottom, ensuring a slow descent. This method not only challenges endurance but also targets the quads more effectively.

Technique Adjustments for Quadriceps Focus

Technique modifications aim to enhance quad engagement. For instance, placing plates under heels shifts focus away from the lower back and glutes, spotlighting the quads.

Lunges to Squats Superset

A superset combining lunges and squats further intensifies the quad focus. Techniques like maintaining an upright torso during lunges amplify the workout’s effectiveness.

The rationale for High-Rep scheme

Muscle Hypertrophy and Endurance

High-rep sets are incredibly effective at inducing muscle hypertrophy.

By pushing the muscles to fatigue over a prolonged period, we’re maximizing muscle fiber recruitment. This not only helps in building size but also enhances muscular endurance.

Dr. Israetel

Strength Development

“Although high reps are often associated with endurance, they play a significant role in strength development”, Dr. Israetel explained. “By combining high-rep training with lower-rep, heavier sets, we create a well-rounded program that improves both strength and muscle size”.

Metabolic Stress and Adaptation

He also highlighted the role of metabolic stress in muscle growth. “High-rep sets increase metabolic stress, a key factor in muscle adaptation and growth. This stress leads to an accumulation of metabolites, like lactate, which have been shown to contribute to the hypertrophy process.”

Engagement and Mental Fortitude

“High-rep workouts demand not just physical endurance but mental fortitude. They challenge athletes to push through the burn, enhancing mental toughness. This aspect is particularly beneficial in CrossFit, where both physical and mental resilience are crucial,” Dr. Israetel added.

Tailoring to CrossFit

Finally, Dr. Israetel connected the high-rep approach to the CrossFit ethos. “In CrossFit, we’re not just looking for strength or size; we’re after an all-encompassing fitness. High-rep sets complement the high-intensity, varied nature of CrossFit training, making them an essential tool in our training arsenal.”

Dr. Mike’s Reflections on the Athletes’ Performance

Dr. Mike Israetel shared insights into the astonishing capabilities and resilience of the athletes participating in the challenging session. 

His observations reveal a deep admiration for their strength, aerobic capacity, and commitment to mastering technique.

Unparalleled Endurance and Strength

“Elite CrossFitters seem to operate on a different level of endurance,” Dr. Israetel remarked. “Their ability to push through high-repetition sets without visible signs of fatigue is truly remarkable. This not only demonstrates their physical strength but also their mental fortitude.”

Aerobic Capacity Beyond Expectation

Discussing the athletes’ aerobic capacity, Dr. Israetel noted, “It’s as if they don’t have a limit. They just keep going, which is unusual and impressive. Their performance today underscored the vast aerobic base that complements their strength training.”

Adaptability and Technique Focus

“The precision with which they approached each exercise, especially after guidance, was impressive,” he observed. “Adapting their technique to maximize muscle engagement shows their willingness to learn and grow. It’s clear they’re not just about brute force; there’s a method to their training that involves a deep understanding of biomechanics.”

Quotes Reflecting on the Session

Reflecting on the session’s intensity, Dr. Israetel shared, “Seeing them tackle the high-rep squats and lunges with such determination was a testament to their character. ‘This is gonna be a bad week for my legs,’ I joked, but they just nodded, ready for whatever challenge comes next.”

He further added, “Their reaction post-workout was telling. ‘Yeah, that sucked,’ they’d say, but with a smile. It’s this ability to embrace discomfort, to see it as part of the journey, that sets them apart.”

Watch the full workout:


Julien Raby is the owner of BoxLife. He owns a bachelor in literature and a certificate in marketing from Concordia. He's Crossfit Level 1 certified and has been involved in Crossfit since 2010. In 2023 he finally made it to Crossfit Open Quarterfinals for the first time. LinkedIn Instagram Facebook

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