Old-Time Wrestlers believed squats build insane endurance and muscular conditioning. There is a common variety of variations but since around 1999, the Hindu Squat has been the most popular and most decorated squat in Combat Sports. The only way you truly learned this exercise before it was written on paper or shown on video was by being a student at a Martial Arts Gym or a Pro Wrestling School. When it came to numbers, that was set by the late Karl Gotch that believed 500 Squats within a period of time was the gold standard for optimal conditioning. You can go higher or lower but overall 500 got you in the door and had to do that number consistently.
It's not easy building up to that number but like any progression, you get better and better until you can do them without stopping. I've been doing these numbers a couple times now for the first time in well over a decade and I was shocked how my body adapted to them really fast. The time to beat by Karl's standards was 15 minutes or less; others say 20 minutes or less, that's on average between 75-100 per 3 minutes so that's cruising. Some top level athletes have done under 13 minutes which is basically blasting through. Billy Robinson had students hit 500 in 10 minutes which on average is 50 per minute; that is FAST!!!
So far I have hit 500 Squats within 18 minutes which is great to me (520 in 20 min. overall). I don't just do the Hindu Squats, I also add in what's called the Hindu Jumper Squat. The first couple times I was doing 5 sets of 80 Squats & 20 Jumpers resting as little as possible and keeping solid form and the breathing pattern of inhaling first then exhaling as you went down while swooping the arms like rowing a boat. This motion utilized the whole body and puts you into a state where every rep is about quality. I'm not one to keep the same rep patterns and eventually one day I'll do 500 straight through but until then I rest when I need to since the lactic acid builds up and be able to pace myself. Yesterday and today I'm doing a countdown method of 100, 90, 80, 70, 60, 40(So it comes out to an even 500), 30, 20 & 10 so I'll be able to move at a bit of a quicker pace utilizing a few less reps to keep going.
Some people look at the number 500 and think it's crazy or only for elite athletes, that number can setup problems later on, bad for the knees, why not just use a cardio machine? There's more than one way to hit 500 without needing to believe it's for superhumans. You can do 500 in a day by doing them in sets of 50 throughout the day, straight through if you're in real good shape, pyramid reps, do half in the morning then another half at night either in a row or split into sets there are a lot of ways. I'm not a pro athlete, I don't have that pressure on my shoulders to be in that super condition but I do believe in the ability to train anywhere at any time plus I can rest when I need to. I was going to drop the squats and jumpers after making the goal of 500 in under 20 min. but they became addicting and as of late I have done them as a warm up or started out in the morning as a cardio playout to get the day rolling. I want to be in the best shape possible so I can do things the rest of the day with very little to no fatigue. I find them fun and exciting. Gets me into a state of mind where sweat and toxins rush out of my body, it creates an endorphin high, develops serious cardiovascular conditioning, muscular strength & endurance in the legs, builds lung power, strengthens the chest, powerful fat burning and especially for us guys creates an intense surge of Growth Hormone & testosterone. I love how it gives me a great shot of adrenaline and has greater sense of balance and coordination than being on a treadmill.
Not all exercises are for everybody but the majority of people in good health can do this exercise. It may take an adjustment to get a rhythm going yet it's very natural and it doesn't cost you anything. It is by far one of the best for cardio and strength training. Start at building up to 100 then move on from there. Get to a point where you can do them and still have a ton left in the tank. Max out only once a week or every couple weeks. Never reach the point of having sloppy form whether in the beginning or at the end; quantity is awesome but quality is greater. At first you might be a sore for a day or two but once you recover and get stronger you'll be able to go into the higher reps and before you know it, you'll be blasting through them pretty easily.