T Nation

Front Squat Programming/High Frequency


Hey guys,

Im not competing in olympic lifting but I was thinking that this would be the place to ask about how to improve the front squat as the front squat is so important in weightlifting. Also, I have always found it interesting how weightlifters train.

A little personal info: I have always lifted because I play rugby but now can no longer play due to a serious shoulder injury. I now wish to continue getting stronger because I always found it fun. I have recently been focusing my training on the front squat because I enjoy the lift, cannot back squat due to lack or external rotation, and do not care much for barbell pressing exercises as they bother my shoulders. I front squat with straps as my mobility does not allow me to use a proper rack position. The other day I hit an easy 140kg front squat at a bodyweight of 81kg.

My long term goal for the front squat is 180kg which I realize will take quite some time. A closer goal of mine is 160kg. To reach this goal, I was considering using a high frequency approach in which I would perform the front squat 4-6 days per week. Although I have decided to use a high frequency approach, I have noticed that there are various approaches to implementing a lift with a high frequency. I read about Norwegian powerlifters performing lifts with moderate volume and high frequency between 50% and 80% of 1RM. I have also read extensively about working up to a daily minimum or maximum. The other forms of high frequency I have noticed include varying volume and intensity days, as well as simply performing the lift frequently while leaving a couple reps in the tank each set. After performing the front squat I would simply perform assistance exercises for the posterior chain or the upper body.

For those of you that have experience with high frequency squatting, what has worked for you and what could you recommend regarding programming?

Any advice, experience or information is greatly appreciated!


In my experience with high frequency training, discipline is key. With high frequency, you don’t need to max out. I’ve seen good results with ramping up to heavy set (I recommend a heavy 3, that way you’re less tempted to try for a 1RM), with an RPE of 7 or 8. Once you hit that, then hit some back off sets to get your volume. You’ll learn over time which setup works best for your back offs. I found 2 sets of 3-5 worked best for me. Obviously the amount of weight you take off will depend on the rep scheme you want to use.


If you are going to lift with high frequency the volume has to be low. Basically working up to a heavy single every day is the best way to do it. The best way to do this is pick a weight that you can hit everyday, even if you spent most of the day on the toilet with diarrhea! And that becomes your minimum weight. You must hit that weight every single day, on days you feel good, you may hit some more, some days you may hit your minimum weight for a double, but as pople said above, it’s not important to work to a max single everyday, just a heavy minimum single. Then you try to increase that minimum weight overtime. Maybe for 2 weeks you hit a minimum weight before moving up. Again some days you may hit heavier than that, but you almost always want to leave some in the tank unless you are testing your squat that day. I would recommend no more than 3-5 singles each day, working up to your minimum weight, then a few singles above or below that, that’s it.