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5 Minute 20 Reps Squat Workout

No Time To Workout? Try This Quick All-Out Workout Challenge

On today’s episode of Live Lean TV, I’m sharing a 5 minute 20 reps squat workout.

If you are rushed for time, but are still looking for a fast way to pack on some muscle mass, here’s a short but effective workout challenge for you.

Next time you think you don’t have time to workout, give this 20 reps squat workout a try.

I call it the All-Out 20 Reps Squat Workout.

I promise, it’s going to be tough.

Let’s do it.

All-Out 20 Reps Squat Workout

Here’s how the All-Out 20 Reps Squat Workout is structured.

Total time:

Including the warm up and optional final exercise, this workout should only take 7 minutes.


Click the links below for a step-by-step exercise demonstration of each exercise.

Warm Up

Even though this is called the 20 reps squat workout, we still need to start with a warm up.

This warm up is important to elevate your heart rate, get the blood flowing to the muscles in the legs, and lubricate your joints.

Complete this quick 1 minute warm up consisting of the following plyometric and bodyweight exercises.

WU1. Jump Squat

Reps: 20 seconds

Rest: 0 seconds

Sets: 1

Notes: After completing 20 seconds of jump squats move directly into jump lunges.

WU2. Jump Lunges

Reps: 20 seconds

Rest: 0 seconds

Sets: 1

Notes: After completing 20 seconds of jump lunges, drop down to the ground to complete 20 seconds of push ups.

WU3. Push Up

Reps: 20 seconds

Rest: 0 seconds

Sets: 1

Notes: After completing 1 set of each warm up exercise, move into the all-out 20 reps squat workout.

A. Barbell Back Squat

Reps: 20 reps

Sets: 1

Tempo: 4-0-2-10

Note: if I had to film this workout video again, I would have added a little more weight than what I used. More details on this below.

Coaching cues: Now that you’re warmed up, let’s get into the all-out 20 rep leg workout, which is comprised of 20 “unique” reps of the barbell back squat.

But these aren’t your ordinary squats. I want you to go as deep in your squat as possible, which your hips dropping below your knees. This is often referred to as “ass to the grass”.

On the way up and down, make sure the pressure of the weight goes through the entire platform of your foot, especially your heels.

Why are these reps considered unique?

I want you to use this unique tempo:


  • 4 seconds on the lowering of the weight (eccentric)
  • 0 second pause at the bottom
  • 2 seconds to lift the weight (concentric)
  • 10 seconds hold at the top or 3 deep breaths

This 10 seconds hold at the top of the lift is what makes these reps unique. After you complete 1 rep, take 10 seconds, or 3 deep breaths as you hold the barbell at the top of the squat.

This 10 seconds hold at the top gives your body the chance to recruit higher threshold motor units to complete the lift, that you typically wouldn’t use if you just followed a normal squat tempo.

That’s a good thing.

So make sure you hold the movement for 10 seconds or 3 deep breaths at the top of the squat, and then drop back down into a deep squat where your hips go low, then press your feet through the floor to go back up.

Complete 20 reps following this tempo.

Best Muscle Building Workout Tip So Many Males & Females Ignore

Once you reach the last rep, make sure you get nice and deep, then stand up for the last 10 second hold, while taking 3 deep breaths.

Re-rack the weight and you are done the all-out 20 reps legs workout.

When following the strict tempos, the entire 20 reps set should take you just over 5 minutes to complete.

It may seem like a quick workout, but it’s going to do your body good.

The next exercise is optional, but it’s something I like to do after squat workout.

B. Dumbbell Pullover (Optional)

Reps: 12 reps

Sets: 1

Tempo: 2-0-1-0

Notes: If you perform the barbell back squat a lot, overtime having a heavy barbell on your shoulders tends to put a lot of pressure on your spine. So I like to add a quick 12 rep set of these dumbbell pullovers with straight arms after the 20 reps squat workout.

These may help expand your ribcage, although it has not been scientifically proven that this works. This movement does make you feel good as it provides a nice stretch after all that weight coming down on your spine.

Complete 12 reps, then your workout is done. That’s it.

When should you complete the all-out 20 rep leg workout?

This is the type of workout to do if you only had 5 minutes or you were rushed for time, but the gym was close by.

This way you can go in and bang out this leg workout, and then get back out of the gym.

This isn’t a leg workout that I would normally do, but once again, when you’re tight for time, this is a great 5 minute workout that hits pretty much every muscle in your body.

The Best Leg Workout For Mass and Strength

Since the exercise is a barbell back squat, it’s going to be great for fat burning and muscle building.

Why I would add more weight next time

As mentioned earlier, next time I do this 20 rep leg workout, I’ll add use more weight.

After the 20 reps of squats , I wasn’t quite exhausted, so I probably could have went up in weight.

So make sure you select a weight, that you can complete 20 reps with, but make sure it’s heavy enough that you are all-out exhausted at the end of the set.

But remember, this workout is only meant to be done when you are pressed for time.

The majority of your resistance training workouts should be 45-60 minutes.

Why did I choose squats?


Although the barbell back squat hits all the muscles in the legs, they primarily target the quadriceps.

As I mentioned in a previous video about muscle fiber types, the quadriceps are comprised of mainly Type IIa muscle fibers, which respond better to higher reps.

What Is The Best Rep Range To Build Muscle And Strength? (MUSCLE FIBER TYPES) | LiveLeanTV

This is the opposite to the hamstrings, which respond better to lower reps and higher weight.

So in the case of completing a 20 reps leg workout, squats are better than barbell deadlifts.

That’s why I chose this squat routine, as opposed to 20 reps of the barbell deadlift.

Deadlifts target more of the hamstrings, which have a different type of muscle fiber.

The muscle fibers in the hamstrings responds better to lower reps and heavier reps.

Think you can’t build muscle with 20 reps?

If you think you can’t build muscle with this 20 reps leg workout because the weights are not heavy enough?

You just have to look at some of the historical figures in bodybuilding.

Classic bodybuilders like Tom Platz and Fred Hatfield did these 20 reps workouts often, using heavy heavy weights.

These guys were strong and were building huge massive thighs.

So you there you go.

You have a quick warm up at the beginning, an all-out 20 reps squat set, and then an optional set of dumbbell pullovers at the end.

Then you are done so you can get out of the gym and do what you have to do.

Awesome job.

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Question For You:

  • What do you do for a workout when you are short on time?
  • Do you skip your workout or do you get creative and burn one out?

Be sure to share your answers in the comment section below.

Check out our free workout videos here.

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0 responses to “5 Minute 20 Reps Squat Workout

  1. Done this just recently, killed my legs, difference was my speed I was a
    bit quicker, next time I try it I your speed and properly collapse after
    that lol….

  2. if you people expect to get ripped prompt without spending a one extra minute in the gym, then you really want to keep an eye on this video tutorial SIXPP.COM

    I want to be a wise woman

  3. First I would say work with a professional to access why you can’t do them. Most times people hurt themselves because they do them wrong. By getting to the root and correcting the cause, it may allow you to do them and get the gains. If the professional can’t correct the issue, they should be able to give you alternatives based on your specific issues (not something I can access online).

  4. @mcw0805 check my last few videos where I talked about rep range … quad dominant exercises respond better to high reps, while hamstring respond better lower reps and heavier weight

  5. Brad, I love your vids!! Can you make a video explaining what kind of rep and weight range will affect the strength and size? I’m a teenage girl and I absolutely love weight training, but I’m looking more for leaner legs. My mom thinks I’m getting big so she’s yelling at me all the time. Thanks!

  6. @butterfly1974able you can get results both ways but i find a gym provides the opportunity to get better results and faster

  7. I new to your website, but so far like what I’ve seen. I have a question regarding the Tabata Workouts. Can Tabata’s be your only workout or are they meant to accompany other workouts? I started to incorporate Tabata’s into my sprints. It kicked my butt. But I’m not sure if it’s enough. I did 2 sets of Tabata sprints (20 sec x 10 sec x 8 reps: 2 sets). I enjoy working with kettle-bell too and like doing Tabata’s with the bells. Can you help me out and let me know if I should be doing more. Thanks!

    1. i like to do tabatas in the morning and as a workout finisher (ie. doing it after lifting weights). If you’re new to fitness, it’s a good intro, but as your progress…you’ll need to add in more to keep improving.

  8. Okay Thanks will do. I have one quick question is it possible to get in really good shape like your in at home using free weights, exercise ball, and toning cords to strength train and doing some of your interval workouts at home or is it a must to go to the gym and use machines and lift really heavy weights

  9. Hi Brad, Really appreciate all the info you give out also really love your recipes keep them coming. I have a family of 7 and want to try some of the recipes for them . getting back to why I posted you this comment well its more of a question. will you be coming out with or have you already done a workout similar to this one only not gym based and also using free weights for people like myself who don’t have access to a gym .

  10. Definitely trying this one . . . . . prefer a front squat though . . . . . don’t like all that weight on my back spine. Assuming still the same 4-0-2-10 tempo?

  11. @TheOokamiSan in most cases 8-12 reps for 3-4 sets. If I had to pick 3 supplements for what you said, they’d be a whey protein isolate, fish oil, and BCAAs.

  12. @tamarahumphrey for your typical 45 min leg workouts, you don’t need to hold it for 10 sec at the top…this is just for this specific quick 1 set style of workout. By holding it at the top, it helps you fire up, engage, and use more muscles during the set.

  13. Dear Brad, I love your vids. You’re awesome and a real motivator. I do however have a question. What is the best amount of sets and reps to build up shoulders, arms and abs effectively for women? (strength, mass and toning) And what about supplements for women? (casein, whey, CLA,…) You’d be a great help, even more than you normal are! Love you!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

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