T Nation

Building the Front Squat


hi CT or anyone that has any input in the matter.
im a new comer to olympic lifting and have been hammering in form for the majority of my training.

now im at the point were i feel as though my front squat is holding me back.
my question is what is the quickest way humanly possible to build up the front squat?
i realize i must front squat more to build it up. but does anyone have any specific programing guidlines that may help.

i was thinking about possibly using a SMOLOV squat cycle.
my current max is 335lbs i would like to get to 405lbs as fast as possible.

thanks for any help or advice in advance.


The best way to get a big front squat is to front squat heavy, often!!!I Right now I'm focusing on bringing up my front squat and I'm front squatting 5-6 days a week. Only singles with perfect body position (a front squat where you round the upper back to make the lift has zero transfer to the clean). Only going for a true max if I feel in great shape but I normally work up to at least 85% and more often in the 90-95% zone. I also start every olympic lifting workout by the front squat, and also end by the front squat.

I had one of my Crossfit girl use Smolov on her front squat... got from 160 to 180 in 3 weeks. So it works. But personally it's not an approach I like... sets of 9 and 7 (and even 5) are grueling to hold in the rack when you are a guy... the girl I mentioned is a former gymnast and the rack position puts zero tension on her arms so it is fairly comfortable. If there is the slightest tension during the front rack then Smolov will not work because after 3-4 reps your rack position will suffer and you will round the back.


Thank you CT.
I will make sure i hit the front squat at least 6 days a week then.
thinking maybe 5 sets of triples with roughly 90% max so long as form holds up.
And does back squat have much carryover in your experience?


Honestly, if you are going to do it 5-6 days a week stick to singles (sets of 1 rep).

The back squat is correlated mostly to pulling strength in the olympic lifts. That's why I prefer to do front squats frequently, heavy and for sets of 1 and back squats explosive, less often (twice a week) and for sets of 2-3 reps (with about 10-20% more than your max clean and focusing on exploding just like you do when you clean).


Why is the back squat more correlated with pulling strength in the olympic lifts?

Thank you


The body positions and muscles involved in the back squat a similar to those in the pulling phase of the olympic lifts.


Hi CT. What do you think about hill bicycling for legs strenght and mass? Lets say 5-6 sprints with 3-4 minutes rest.


And that is related to this thread how?


Thanks CT i will follow your recommendations. im one of those people who sometimes get too caught up in chasing more work and the pump in my quads. so thats why i thought of smolov figured it would have to bring up strength as quickly as possible. but your approach sounds more sensible for Olifting strength and i trust and respect your guidance as a coach and Olympic Lifter.

thanks again coach


My front squat stop at 170 kg, and i cant increase more than 5 months(I can catch on clean 160 kg, so its very difficult stand up with that). I try everything, but my friend doing track cycling, and he told me i should try sprints on bike.