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Density Training & the Juarez Valley Method

posted on July 29, 2021

August is almost upon us, and everyone is squeezing in those last minute trips and vacations while the weather is still nice. During vacation, there always seems to be that urge to fit in a few workouts in order to stay on track with the progress we have made over the previous months. Although it is never a bad thing to take a week off from training when traveling, it also isn’t a bad idea to squeeze in a few short workouts if you have the intentions to do so. For this, my advice is to keep them short, simple, and effective through a density training. Specifically, bodyweight density training. Density training takes into account the two variables of volume and duration. In short, this is how much work you can get done in a particular amount of time. This can ultimately help to increase your work capacity, which we know has many benefits within our overall strength, conditioning, physique, and health.


When it comes to bodyweight density training, one of my favorite routines is the Juarez Valley method. This method stems from the Juarez Valley prison in Mexico, where inmates would do a specific bodyweight workout using the length of their 8 foot cell. The individual would pick a number, either 10, 15, or 20. That number would represent the number of sets that would be completed. The repetitions go in ascending order on the even numbered sets and descending order on the odd numbered sets alternatively forming a valley structure. In the middle, they meet. For example, in Juarez valley 10, Set 1 has 10 reps (descending order) and Set 2 has 1 rep (ascending order). This method is typically performed with squats or push-ups, but can be used with other bodyweight exercises as well. Below is a full example of the Juarez Valley 20 for squats.


Set 1: 20 reps

Set 2: 1 rep

Set 3: 19 reps

Set 4: 2 reps

Set 5: 18 reps

Set 6: 3 reps

Set 7: 17 reps

Set 8: 4 reps

Set 9: 16 reps

Set 10: 5 reps

Set 11: 15 reps

Set 12: 6 reps

Set 13: 14 reps

Set 14: 7 reps

Set 15: 13 reps

Set 16: 8 reps

Set 17: 12 reps

Set 18: 9 reps

Set 19: 11 reps

Set 20: 10 reps


That’s a total of 210 bodyweight squats. Keep in mind, the goal is to complete all of the reps and sets in the shortest amount of time possible, aka density training. Record your time and try to beat it on your next workout. Incorporate these into your weekly routine and see the benefits.


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