If you are looking for the best repetition scheme in the Back Squat, make sure you have identified your training goal to ensure you end up with the training adaptations you desire.
How Many Reps in a Back Squat is highly dependent on the training goal
The first step in the training process is to determine what is your strength training goal? Do you want to become stronger? Do you want to build muscle size? Do you want to be more powerful? Do you want to endure longer?
Depending on the answer to this question you chose the repetition range, amongst other variables such as strength training intensity, strength training frequency, etc. I have written how you can start this process in the article The Ultimate Guide to Strength Training for Beginners
Why you can do unlimited repetitions in a Back Squat
First and foremost it’s worth mentioning, that the Back Squat is what I call a ‘robust’ exercise.
Let me explain.
As opposed to the Overhead Squat or the Front Squat, the Back Squat can be used across a wide range of repetitions, whilst the Overhead Squat and the Front Squat are simply not made for high repetitions.
Why is the Overhead Squat not made for high repetitions?
Having the bar overhead, the weakest link in the Overhead Squat is the strength of the upper body to support the weight. In most cases, the lower body can squat much more weight, than the upper body can support.
The bar position is difficult to hold for an extended period of time, your wrists will feel quite uncomfortable, the bar slides in your hands and you lose the grip and the elbows will start to bend.
That doesn’t mean the Overhead Squat is useless, it just means if you want to really overload the lower body, the Overhead Squat is not the right exercise to do that.
However, there are various benefits the Overhead Squat has, which I have explained in the article 9 Benefits of the Overhead Squat and counting…
We won’t do more than 3 repetitions in the Overhead Squat and focus more on proper execution of the Overhead Squat technique in order to improve the Back Squat technique and Front Squat technique.
Have a look at this video from Janne Tiktak Junior Track Cyclist, you can see how much effort is required to balance and stabilize the weight overhead.