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Westside Barbell Squat Workout: Squat 700 Pounds!

MusclePharm President Cory Gregory learned to squat 700 pounds at a bodyweight of 208 pounds. How'd he do it? Simple: He followed this workout from the legendary Westside Barbell.

A Google search for "squat routine" will return a flood of results. Most of these are from Internet "experts" and paper pushers who have never properly squatted their own body weight. I chose to ignore the advice of those who have never been there, and instead opted for a route that led to me to a 700-pound squat. Boom, son!

How did I do it? Plain and simple: If you want to be really strong, and if you want the kind of muscle density that would make "The Situation" cower in fear, then you need to study and learn all you can about Westside Barbell and Louie Simmons.

Louie is a legend in the strength game. He coached the best, he's been the best, and is revered by everyone who ever stepped foot on a powerlifting platform. If there's anyone who knows strength, it's Louie Simmons. Naturally, when I wanted my own Herculean squat, I sought him out in his legendary gym: Westside Barbell.

Win the Westside Way

Westside is the Mecca of powerlifting gyms. In a world where 400-pound squats to depth are rarely seen, Louie has filled Westside with behemoths regularly squatting 1000-plus, benching 900, and deadlifting more than 850. This is an exclusive group of strength athletes, and it is not the type of club where you can walk through the front door and pay your $10 monthly fee to use treadmills with televisions on them. There are no signs or advertisements. You train by invitation only.

When I strolled through the door, I was fresh off a photo shoot. Lean, tan, and a mean 185 pounds, I entered the trenches of grizzled barbell warriors. Believe me, it was as intimidating as any situation I've been in.

I knew Louie, so he said he would help me out, as he does with most anyone who wants to get strong. Still, it didn't stop me from being ambitious.

Me: "I want to get into powerlifting! I want to squat at Westside."

Louie, smirking: "Skinny Cory wants to squat at Westside?"

Yes, skinny Cory wanted to squat at Westside. I wasn't ready yet, but the journey started. I studied, researched, and read everything I could regarding Louie and the Westside Method. I immediately started eating more and my diet looked a lot more like the "Get Swoll Diet," plus some weekend cheating. I ballooned up to 210 pounds and my strength skyrocketed.

My training focused on building fundamental speed, technique, and strength in my squatting. I would do 8 sets of 2 reps, followed by speed deadlifts against bands (6 sets of 1 rep), again focusing on speed. This workout was always finished with sled drags, a great conditioning tool to end the training day.

Westside Squat Workout

(Try to have two training partners to be safe)

  • Box Squat Box Squat

    Box Squat

    8 sets of 2 reps
  • Add chains and/or bands to your working sets. Add additional chains/bands
    each week.
  • Speed Deadlift Speed Deadlift

    Speed Deadlift

    6 sets of 1 rep
  • Focus on exploding off the floor with these deadlifts. Add chains and/or bands to these and keep the rest periods short. Your focus should be on speed off the floor.
  • Sled Drags Sled Drags

    Sled Drags

    4 drags of 200 feet
  • Load the sled with heavy weight. This is a great knee stabilizer, which will help lead to big squats.


Note: You can add other assistance work (leg curls, reverse hyper, lunges, etc.) if desired. Add these moves before the sled drags. This is a great beginner workout for people starting on the Westside program.

Ready to Rock

After plenty of hours under the bar, Louie finally thought I was ready to train at Westside. I remember that day clearly; it was an incredible honor. On my first day, I squatted 410 pounds of bar weight with 220 pounds of band pressure off a box. It looked like a train wreck, but at the top it was more than 600 pounds!

It was amazing. I felt like I had arrived and it simply made me even more hungry, figuratively and literally. I kept training at Westside occasionally and continued to learn from Louie, officially squatting 610 pounds at a meet weighing 210. A year later, I got my 700-pound squat, weighing just 208 pounds. That day I also benched 480 pounds and had a 575-pound deadlift for a 1,755-pound total.

In two short years, I had gone from a photo shoot weighing 185 pounds to squatting 700 and pulling nearly 600 pounds. It was an incredible ride and I learned a great deal, getting very strong in the process.

Cory Gregory Squats 700 Pounds

Watch The Video - 01:08




Brass Tacks, Iron Gains

Don't waste your time looking aimlessly for ways to get strong. Keep it simple and make it easy on yourself. Use the workout above and slowly add resistance. Get the Westside Barbell Book of Methods and learn all you can, unless, of course, you don't want to get strong.

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About The Author

Cory Gregory co-founded MusclePharm. As Executive Vice President of Business Development, Gregory works closely with all of the world-class athletes.

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jpopp23

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jpopp23

wow those gotta be the worst looking squat i ever seen big *** potbelly.. get this **** off of here

Jun 30, 2012 10:02am | report
TenaciousTy

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TenaciousTy

You're talking about an individual who has 20 years experience, is a very successful business man and obviously the squat was legit, I don't know if you've ever heard of Westside Barbell or anything, but the dudes in there compete for a living, and I am sure he will out squat you, out bench you... if its such bad form, lets see your squat video, we will compare it to Cory's...

Jun 30, 2012 3:09pm | report
pintobeene

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pintobeene

Don't hate there big fella. . .this is impressive no matter how you slice it.

Jul 1, 2012 8:10pm | report
Joshua15

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Joshua15

You fail bro

Dec 14, 2012 10:42am | report
uriahsboy

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uriahsboy

BEAST MODE! #MPNATION!

Jun 30, 2012 10:08am | report
Jamesal23

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Jamesal23

Only weighing 208 pounds and doing that is impressive

Jun 30, 2012 11:10am | report
fluid1

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fluid1

hmmmmmm how did you do this while also doing the Bizzy diet? pssssht

Jun 30, 2012 12:15pm | report
JohnHardesty

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JohnHardesty

That's actually the awesome thing about Cory ... he can lift for strength or get cut up. He obviously doesn't do them both at the same time, but knows how to train for either goal.

Jul 2, 2012 1:51pm | report
dslxic

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dslxic

Was once a 500 pound squater...than later blew out L3/4 and now, 12 years later back in the gym after losing 55 pounds. I want to get back to the 500 area in the next couple years. 700 lbs is mad weight!

Jun 30, 2012 3:39pm | report
AJacks92

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AJacks92

I know I shouldn't judge, but that was a pansy squat. Realistically, he could probably only do 300 lbs if he used perfect form and dug deep in his squat, but he didn't. Anyone can put a bajillion pounds and slightly bend at the knees. Not that hard. Therefore, not that impressed.

Jun 30, 2012 9:58pm | report
Shea7073

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Shea7073

idk if you actually powerlift or just work on ur little six pack but a legal squat its just below parallel, which that looked to be. Wasnt the best technical squat ive ever seen but he got there. If anything his legs were bent at the so called original "step out" and final "lockout" giving him a less distance to squat down

Jul 2, 2012 1:28pm | report
TheFitnessDoc

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TheFitnessDoc

Have to admit I have never squatted more than 400....but then I have never attempted to...partly because I like to recruit my quads for more than 8 reps...also, I tend to squat with more of 'Romanian stance' ...hate the way power-lifters squat - I don't want to end up with a huge rear...the weight he has handled is impressive..however, as someone pointed out, form not all that great...he never looks in control...there was a VDO of some Chinese lifters at the Arnold Classic, 2008...way more impressive! I'd rather squat like them! But then, that's just me...some of you won't agree....
btw...here's the link
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_jxTc2ITA8

Jul 1, 2012 1:23am | report
  • Body Stats
  • ht: 13'11"
  • wt: 167.2 lbs
  • bf: 14.0%
lucia316

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lucia316

Now that video is impressive. No special gear or wraps, just getting it done with nice form.

Jul 3, 2012 12:35pm | report
jongraham90

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jongraham90

Thats impressive and by no means could I come anywhere close to doing that, but does anyone else feel like he wasn't going deep enough in that squat?

Jul 1, 2012 9:52am | report
TheFitnessDoc

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TheFitnessDoc

I do...

Jul 2, 2012 11:39pm | report
  • Body Stats
  • ht: 13'11"
  • wt: 167.2 lbs
  • bf: 14.0%
JustinLeeL91

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JustinLeeL91

I was disappointed to see that it was a geared lift.

Jul 1, 2012 11:32am | report
MusclepharmPres

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MusclepharmPres

First off Westside is a gym who does powerlifting meets in gear. If I wanted learn from the best I needed to learn how they do stuff. I have done over 20 powerlifting meets in the last 10 years but this was the strongest I had ever been. Just holding 700 lbs let alone taking it to a parallel squat for me was a big accomplishment. I apprecaite the positive responders and for any of you who wanna hate I back up what I do always. I live it everyday and have owned a gym since I was 20 years old and had nothing ever handed to me. My money came from working in a coal mine intially to start my first business. I grind in the Gym just like all of you . I ain't no different I love the iron game and challenge myself on either strength , conditioning or performance often then write articles to help people. I am passionate about what I do everyday and will have more stiff like this to come thanks Cory

Jul 1, 2012 12:44pm | report
dhornace

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dhornace

Mad props man. That was awesome.

And by the way, your bizzy diet really helped me trim up to where I can finally start a good habit and program to get me fit.

Thanks!

Jul 1, 2012 2:24pm | report
pintobeene

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pintobeene

700 lbs is SICK!!! Don't let the haters get you down. . .way to go!!

Jul 1, 2012 8:17pm | report
ncrowsey9

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ncrowsey9

Dude, you tha man! These ******* on here crack me up sometimes... Most of them are just keyboard warriors who want to talk ****. I loved the vid and I give you mad props! Oh yeah and by the way, i LOVE your product. I'm currently taking MP Assault and MP Creatine and it has given me great gains! Thanks alot man for posting this video and article for people like us that actually want to learn and be motivated, not just criticize every little thing in a ******* video.

Jul 2, 2012 11:18am | report
babie07

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babie07

Love the hate comments! You are truly amazing. These guys are probably mad because they're scared of squats :)

Jul 3, 2012 11:11am | report
dillensteeby

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dillensteeby

All these HATERS probably never had more than 225 on their backs to even know WTF they are talking about. I remeber the first time I went over 500 and could feel the vertabrate inmy spine grinding together. You gota have NADS to even try it.

Mar 26, 2013 9:55am | report
bgrimm

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bgrimm

Congrats on a great squat. Squat for building muscle mass is defintely different than a wide stance powerlifting squat. To my knowledge Dr. Fred Hatfield is the only guy to do 1000 with a "perfect form" squat. Name of the game is the most lifted in competition, and using a squat that incorporates hips, lower back, etc. will get you there. If anybody has had 900 on their back they definitely would appreciate the equipment. Powerlifting ain't bodybuilding

Mar 26, 2013 10:55am | report
Amurt102795

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Amurt102795

Huge accomplishment! Your hard work definitely paid off, congrats!

May 1, 2013 10:09am | report
savannahsimms

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savannahsimms

That's awesome that you got in at westside and that is a huge accomplishment alone..but, I do have to say..while it does take a considerable amount of strength to accomplish that task with that amount of weight, that was not a full squat..

Jul 1, 2012 2:05pm | report
Showing 1 - 25 of 43 Comments

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