So after I did the review of Pins to Pillars I decided to give it a run myself. This really gave me some great perspective about other problems that others may run into. I also should mention that after 5 sessions I have to call it quits for right now because I am killing my hip flexors.
1. Work into Volume
If you are going to try this program (or any other high volume program) you need to take your current training volume into consideration. For the past year I very rarely did more then 10-15 reps TOTAL per squat session. I’ve also been box squatting just a touch high. I went from that to 150 reps in 1 week. Not smart. If your current training volume is pretty low (in the 10-30 reps per session, and less than 2 sessions per week) it’s a good idea to take a couple weeks and work with some higher volume/higher frequency squat sessions so your body can acclimate.
2. Don’t Change you Form
As I just mentioned I have been squatting just a touch high on the box squat for the last several months. I went from that to free squatting and trying to bury each rep as deep as I could which overloaded my hip flexors in a hurry. I will attempt this program again in the near future but I won’t be squatting wide like I do on the box squat. If I narrow up my stance a little it takes a lot of work off my hip flexors but still loads my hamstrings.
3. Warm Up is Crucial
The first week I didn’t put much into my warm ups because the weights were so light and it came back to bite me hard the second week. The last thing you want when you squatting this much is tight hips!
4. Put Time into Recovery/Restoration
I thought that as long as I didn’t do any overly taxing work on my off days and ate well I wouldn’t have any problem recovering. That was a huge mistake. You have have to be more active in your recovery methods. Stretch regularly, foam roll, drag the sled, push the prowler, and just get out and move for a bit on your off days. If you have access to a hot tub that’s even better.