T Nation

Front Squat Program


Do you have a sure fire program to increase your front squat in 4 to 6 weeks?

Thank you


Honestly I don’t like those “squat programs”.

Not that they are not effective, they are.

My issue with things like Smolov, Russian squat routine, etc is that people seem them as magical. In my opinion the only reason they work is that you are training on the focus lift 3x a week while being advised to reduce the work on other lifts to a minimum.

So you combine a high (it’s not only high frequency, it’s high volume) training stress on ONE lift with a reduced demand on everything else. This direct most of the body’s adaptive energy to that one lift and obviously it progresses fast.

I’ve had tons of people around me “do Smolov” (which is squatting 3x a week with different sets/reps scheme at every workout).

Some had solid progress, others had minimal progress and many lost a good portion of their gains once they dropped their squatting volume/frequency.

After further analysis, those who had good progress from the program REALLY dropped down their other work. Those who kept on doing their regular volume (or close to it) while doing Smolov made pretty much no progress.

I also noticed that those who were good technical squatters had much better results than those who were not.

This tells me that if you want to specialize on a squat for 6 weeks you must (1) drastically reduce the amount of work you do for other lifts (2) have solid squatting technique already.

NOW the front squat is even more of an issue because bad performance on it can be due to factors other than leg strength. For example you should normally front squat 80-85% of your back squat.

If your front squat is closer to 70-77% the issue might be bad technique or insufficient mobility to take good positions while doing the front squat.

If that is the case simply doing the front squat over and over might not give you the results you want.

For example a lot of people don’t have a good front rack. They can’t keep a full grip on the bar (yes I know some Olympic lifters front squat with an empty grip, but these are the exception)… heck a lot of people can’t take a proper front rack unless they have plenty of weight on the bar. If you must have weight on the bar to be able to place it on your shoulders it tells me that your rack will not be optimal for a front squat.

Then you need the thoracic mobility to be able to hold the bottom position with the chest up. Otherwise the bar will be too far forward relative to your balance point resulting in a weak squat.

If you can’t take a perfect bottom position with an empty barbell AND FEEL COMFORTABLE AND NOT FIGHTING/CONTRACTING TO STAY IN POSITION then focusing on a front squat specific program will be a waste of time.

So before thinking about doing a specific front squat program you must objectively assess your front squat mobility and technique to see if these need improvements first.


Your right. I finished my last week of the complete power look program and I can’t handle the 95 to 100% RM. I can squat it but the load gets dumped after 1 rep. I can back squat the weight easily. I feel my bicep at this weight being an issue as well.