T Nation

Front Squat Programming


#1

Christian -

I have a singular goal to Front Squat 2x my body weight. I weigh 153 and I’m 5’5 and I’m 28. My primary sport is bboying (breakdancing), so this is more of a personal goal for myself. I would like to FS 315lbs for reps while staying as light as possible.

I have the mobility to FS properly. I love that fact that it builds your posture, back, core, quads, glutes all in one exercise.

What would you advise I do to get to this goal. I currently can do 175lbs for 3 sets of 5 (tried them on Saturday for the first time).

I would love to hear your feedback. Thank you!


Building Front Squat Strength for Rugby Athlete
#2

Make small attainable goals, you are looking at putting around 100 pounds on front squat.
Depending on genetics and mental focus probably two years away, oh and if put a hundred pound on front squats look st a bodyweight gain of around 20 pounds.


#3

Can’t say I’ve heard that before! As for the goal, I think it’s great you’ve identified something to work towards. Doing 175 for reps at 153 lbs isn’t bad at all, considering it’s your first time doing them. That said, going up to 315 for reps is a long way from where you’re at.

To work towards it, you can use a progressive method where you add reps/weight systematically each week/workout. I would think you’d front squat 3X a week, and do other assistance work to help you get there. Like lunges, leg presses, leg extensions, etc…

You also say you want to stay as light as possible, and that is often at odds with adding huge amounts of pounds to your lifts. Depending on how important that is to you, you might try a skill/bodyweight target. Like 10 strict pistol squats, which to progress at you won’t add weight. Depends on your goals.


#4

So very, very much this


#5

Find a olympic lifting gym, if you make a living bboying you probably live in city.


#6

As it was said, if your goal is double bodyweight rather than a specific number you need to stay light. Which means that you should stick to neurological based training.

I also agree to set up gradual goals. You are doing 175 for 3 sets of 5 which puts your max at around 215-220lbs.

Here’s an approach I would recommend.

DAY 1 STRENGTH-SKILL (practicing being efficient at the front squat with fairly heavy, but not draining, weights)
Week 1: 8 x 2 @ 165
Week 2: 8 x 3 @ 165
Week 3: 8 x 2 @ 170
Week 4: 8 x 3 @ 170
Week 5: 8 x 2 @ 175
Week 6: 8 x 3 @ 175
Week 7: 8 x 2 @ 180
Week 8: 8 x 3 @ 180
Week 9: 8 x 2 @ 185
Week 10: 8 x 3 @ 185
Week 11: 8 x 2 @ 190
Week 12: 8 x 3 @ 190
DELOAD ONE WEEK WITH 5 X 1 @ 180 and start cycle over from 185

DAY 2 - NEUROLOGICAL CARRYOVER TRAINING (here you get used to handling the weight iof your next immediate goal)
*In a power rack, start the bar from pins. Reset the bar on pins on every rep, do not bounce.

Weeks 1, 2 & 3 = Quarter front squat (around 120 deg knee angle) … 245lbs x maximum reps you can. Focus on maintaining perfect posture… do 3 sets

Weeks 4, 5 & 6 = Around 100 degrees knee angle … 245lbs x maximum reps… do 3 sets

Weeks 7, 8 & 9 = Around 90 deg knee angle … 245lbs x maximum reps… do 3 sets

Weeks 10, 11 & 12 = Parallel … 245lbs x maximum reps… do 3 sets

Then start a new cycle from the top… if you got 0-1 rep with 245 from 90 deg use 250 for your next cycle ; if you did 2-4 reps use 255 ; if you did more than 4 reps use 260.

DAY 3 - POSTURAL STRENGTH (here you build rigidity in your body to avoid losing strength during heavy lifts)

Weeks 1&2: 185lbs x 6 sets of 1 rep going down in 6 seconds focusing on keeping body rigid and upright

Weeks 3&4: 185lbs x 6 sets of 1 rep holding a 4 seconds pause at the 90 deg. knee angle during the lowering phase (after the pause you continue going down and then stand up)

Weeks 5&6: 185lbs x 6 sets of 1 rep holding a 4 seconds pause at the 90 deg. angle during the standing up phase

Weeks 7&8: 195lbs x 6 sets of 1 rep going down in 6 seconds focusing on keeping body rigid and upright

Weeks 9&10: 195lbs x 6 sets of 1 rep holding a 4 seconds pause at the 90 deg. knee angle during the lowering phase (after the pause you continue going down and then stand up)

Weeks 11&12: 195lbs x 6 sets of 1 rep holding a 4 seconds pause at the 90 deg. angle during the standing up phase

Then deload for a week by doing 6 sets of 1 regular rep with 195 and start a new cycle with 200lbs.


Looking For a Program
#7

Coach,
how you estimate the perceived one RM with the weight for 3 sets for 5 reps ?


#9

Normally a 5RM is about 85% for most people. To do 3 sets of 5 with a weight you would need to use around 80%. There might be some individual differences, especially if you have not trained with heavy singles in the past, but it is pretty accurate and a good starting point.


#10

Thank you for the whole program!!!

What do you mean when you say neurological based training?

My only question is how would I program all the other lifts so I get overall strong? Thank you for the input I appreciate it so much!


#11

A program based on improving the neurological components of strength production more than the amount of muscle mass you carry.


#12

I can’t give out whole free programs to eveyrbody who asks, it would be unfair to my paying clients. But what I can tell you is that if you decide to focus on bringing up one lift, you need to spend less energy on the other lifts, especially of they work similar muscles otherwise you wont recover.


#13

I completely understand. Thank you for all your help, I’ll be putting it into action soon enough!


#14

I had one more question. In the layout your provided you said:

DAY 2 - NEUROLOGICAL CARRYOVER TRAINING (here you get used to handling the weight iof your next immediate goal)
*In a power rack, start the bar from pins. Reset the bar on pins on every rep, do not bounce

Where are the pins set? Am I starting low and pushing the weight up like this:


#15

The position of the bar is written in the plan…

Weeks 1, 2 & 3 = Quarter front squat (around 120 deg knee angle)
Weeks 4, 5 & 6 = Around 100 degrees knee angle
Weeks 7, 8 & 9 = Around 90 deg knee angle
Weeks 10, 11 & 12 = Parallel


#16

Ahhh thank you! I misunderstood what those degrees meant. I appreciate it! I’ll report back in 6 months with the results! Thank you!


#17

Thanks coach!