T Nation

Front Squat Benchmark


I recently got back into front squatting after too long of neglect, after a humbling session yesterday I had reevaluated their level of important in my training.

What is a good relative strength level to shoot for? In relation to 1/3/5 rep or body weight marker or even just in comparison to back squat? I've seen a few things with statements like Front Squat should match bench/clean. Can anyone else comment here?


I think a 1.5xbw front squat is pretty good for most people, 2xbw or better is impressive, 2.5xbw or higher is outstanding. Obviously shorter/lighter dudes will have an easier time achieving those than taller/heavier people, those are just ballpark figures.


Sweet, now I have something to aim for!


If I ever achieve a 2.5X BW front squat. I will buy everyone here a case of beer of their choice.


Oh Lordy what's that around 800 pounds!


Haha yeah around that.


I always put it around 75% of the backsquat. So if you think a 2x BW squat is a good benchmark, then a 1.5x BW front squat would be comparable in my mind. Obviously, depending on peoples strengths and levers, that would fluctuate quite a bit, but it's more of a rule of thumb.


I don't think it should be even with a bench press. I could front squat 275 by around my 6th workout, maybe less. It took me 6 months to bench 275 and 1 year to hit 315. I think if you weigh around 200 lbs, you should shoot for 315 front squat within 6 months.

I think a 4 plate front squat would be impressive. Most people at my gym don't legitimately back squat that much (beyond parallel).


Something like this?!

140kg ok (3 plates)
160kg decent
180kg good (4 plates)
200kg very good
220kg+ badass (5 plates)
280kg+ demi-god
330kg+ god-mode


From Charles Poliquin's website:

"What is considered a good result in the front squat? I?ve read that top super heavyweight weightlifters such as Paul Anderson, Vladimir Marchuk, Alexander Kurlovich and Mark Henry front squatted at least 317.5 kilos (700 pounds!), and absolute clean and jerk world record holder Leonid Taranenko did 300 kilos for 3 reps.

Two other weightlifters who deserve mention are three-time Olympic champion Pyrros Dimas of Greece and Dursun Sevinc of Turkey; both weighed 85 kilos (187 pounds) and lifted more than 272 kilos (600 pounds) in the front squat. The all-time record appears to be Warrick Brant, who did 350 kilos using the technique with the arms crossed in front ? you can see a video of him doing 340 kilos on YouTube."

"Q. What is the ratio between the front squat and the back squat?
A. If you are going all the way down in both exercises, generally the ratio of front squat to back squat is about 85 percent. So if you can back squat 100 kilos, you should be able to front squat 85 kilos. One reason few athletes achieve this ratio is that they do not back squat all the way down, thus inflating the amount they can actually lift in this exercise."


H4M and ZJStrope, thanks.

Poliquin's answer at the bottom is interesting to me. I have and always have backsquatting almost excessively deep, i usually end most reps when my hams and calves touch. My front squats yesterday were no were near 85%, albiet that was my first front squat in maybe 2 years(yup.......) which i am hoping is the real culprit. Should be interesting to see the time it will take me to get to that mark. I also didnt realize until yesterday's session how comfortable the lift seemed to be from a mobility and load standpoint. Just felt natural, and for the life of me I do not know why i have neglected it so long.


I hear ya. I used to HATE the Front Squat, but now, I exclusively use it primarly b/c it's near impossible to "cheat" on it. I feel it more in more core, my quads, and my upper back. It also doesn't hurt my knees or lower back nearly as much.

I would guess that the 85% rule does not work for you b/c of how long it has been since you've done front squats. Strength is not just a function of muscle size/strength, but also how well those motor units work together. Although a strong back squat can aid your front squat, it's not a direct relationship.

You will see your front squat come up quickly though. I wouldn't be surprised if you see weekly 5-10lb gains over the first couple of months if it's very far off from your back squat.


thanks for the feedback. Ill chime back in this thread in a few months and see where it went.


How do you guys balance the bar when doing Front Squat? Do you lay it across your shoulders and then cross your arms over the bar, or do you do the elbow straight out in front with your hands back under the bar (that's tough to explain, but the "normal" method)?

Also, any input on where to find proper form? Like knee placement - can your knees track past your toes, etc.

I like Front Squats but I want to ensure I'm doing them properly. And my Front Squat is no where near my Back Squat former numbers, and my Back Squat was at or below parallel always.


where are you at right now? I'm at 205 trying to get to 275 lol. I think the next 40 or so pounds on it will come very quickly tbh


I prefer to use straps for a modified clean grip. But lost the straps I used for that so now just going cross armed. Been doing a set of front squats then immediately back squats for a nasty superset


Not to sound like a pussy, but doesnt 225lb+ kill your shoulders? I get mad bruises the next few days from it, hurts like hell during too.

How about knee tracking, back position, etc.? I really like how Rippetoe breaks down the back squat in his book, and how Captain Kirk explained the back squat in 10 steps. I haven't found similar information on front squat, I could "just do it" Nike style, but with me knees as they are I'm trying to ensure I am using proper form for longevity and health as well.


Just like when you first backed squatted heavy it didn't feel good your shoulders get used to it


Does that include lurkers?


This is one of the reasons why I started front squatting, because you have no choice but to keep your back straight, so I can't do some bastardized good morning.

For reference I've been front squatting for about 3 of my 6 months training and I hit 3x115kg at 70kg bw a few days ago.