T Nation

Front Squat Strength. Imbalances or Not?


So suddenly, as I'm in the middle of a good front-squatting groove I begin to have doubts; How should my front squat be in comparison to my bench and deadlift?

I can bench 105 lb for reps without any problem and I can easily deadlift it but load that up for my front squats and by 8 reps I'm pretty damn spent.
My back squat though is normally 130 lb x 8 and that is not to failure.

So how heavy should my front squat, make that back squats too, be in comparison to my bench and deadlift?


How long have you been lifting?

Those numbers make it sound like you just started, and the ratios aren't terribly important right now.

Are you on any programs at the moment?




i have to agree with Dissonance. with numbers like that i can think of three possible scenarios:

a) you're 6 years old
b) you're 90 years old
c) you just started lifting

now, there's no problem with any of those being true, but i'm going to assume that it's most likely option c. if that's the case then just worry about getting your lifts up and not the poundage ratios. it's really not that important at that stage.

what are you doing now? what are your goals?


I'm 18 and I'm currently on the Power Training program, more specifically the hypertrophy part, by Robert Dos Remedios (Yes, the Men's Health doo-hickey, don't hate me please).

I started it 8 weeks ago and it's my first real program. Before that we were talking a week were I might lift 3 days and then two-three weeks without anything.

My main goal is to improve my rugby and athletic ability, but I sure as hell don't mind getting big and ripped in the process.


I can front squat about as much as I can bench. Although, my front squats are progressing faster - my bench press progress is VERY slow. I can deadlift damn near double what I can front squat, though! :smiley:


Yeah same thing here with the deads. Last time I tried I did 218 x 3, strict form so I'm not worried about that. But my bench and front squats keep pretty close with my bench being a bit heavier, but I'll just give it time and see what happens.


At least you are on a program. Stick with it, but remember to change it when you feel the time is right. Start looking ahead now.

As for your original question about ratios, it doesn't matter.

Have you determined your 1 rep max for major lifts yet? If so you should be incorporating those numbers into your rep weight.

It's good you are noticing imbalances, but really, there is nothing you can do right now other than prioritize any split days with the lacking muscle groups.

For the next 4-6 months, just lift as hard as you can. Tweak your weak links along the way, but don't worry about major surgery just yet. You'll find that form and muscle stabilization is the most likely culprit right now for your imbalanced ratios.

Never ever ever skip a muscle group because you feel it is stronger than the opposing groups. In 4-6 months if you still see bad imbalances, you'll have more clear cut options then.


I actually think it's a pretty decent program. I just know how the attitude towards Mens Health is throughout most of the forum.

Haven't gotten my 1 rep max yet, doing it next week. About time.

My legs are ironically enough probably the last muscle group to be lacking in strength. I bike all the time and sprint a lot in rugby and my workload is generally much bigger in my lower body. But then again, look at the legs of the Tour de France riders. Ain't exactly huge.

Thanks for the advice, I'm always willing to learn.


Squats (front and back) have more to them just leg strength. If your core is weak, it will limit your squat ability.


People in Denmark don't play rugby...


Some of us do.
But we aren't that many.


It's a shame, because there are plenty of tall strong Danes who could do well in rugby. I guess it's like handball in the UK, except that it's almost been non-existent until we've decided that we need a team for the 2012 olympics.


Yeah, that's pretty much the situation here.
And we do have some really capable players true, but when the sport can't flourish.
And please start demonstrating in the thousands against the creation of a handball team. It's a disgrace to all that is sport. You already have rugby union and league, who needs a semi-contact sport?


I thought handball was pretty cool in the Olympics, but I've no interest in watching men play it.

I've noticed a bit of a pattern with my Front Squat, what I can do for 15 agonising reps is exactly half what my back squat 1RM is.

But forget about ratios. So long as you can bench more than you can curl, and squat more than you can bench.