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Front Squats or Bulgarian Split Squats for Quads?


#1

Hey guys,

I follow 5/3/1 and my split is basically two upper body days and two lower body days. One of the lower body days looks like this:
Tuesday
-5/3/1 Squat
- Walking Lunges (DB) 3-4 sets
- RDL or BB Hip Thrusts 3-4 sets
- Leg extensions with leg curls (superset)

While the other looks like this:
Friday
-5/3/1 Deadlift
-Front Squats or Bulgarian Split Squats?
- KB swings

What do you think of the layout for those two days? It has been effective so far, but I'm not sure if I should use front squats or split squats. Both are great exercises, so which ever one I pick, what should be my rep/set scheme for the exercise? I would like to add that my deadlift is quite a bit stronger than my squat. So which exercise would have greater carryover for the back squat? I feel like I should strengthen my quads for a better back squats?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated guys. Thanks!


#2

They are both fine choices. If I had to choose, I’d take the split squats since your lower back will be exhausted from deadlifting. Unless, of course, you feel like the squat pattern needs more practice. It’s a choice between focussing on a muscle or focussing on a movement. 3-4 sets of 8-12 would be my general recommendation.


#3

[quote]nighthawkz wrote:
They are both fine choices. If I had to choose, I’d take the split squats since your lower back will be exhausted from deadlifting. Unless, of course, you feel like the squat pattern needs more practice. It’s a choice between focussing on a muscle or focussing on a movement. 3-4 sets of 8-12 would be my general recommendation.[/quote]

Good post.

FS is heavier and more overall-taxing movement than bulgarian splits. You’ll get great quads with both.


#4

I’m going to go ahead and throw some kind of lunge in there.

I do clean grip reverse lunges after heavy pulls and my back is perfectly happy with that plus I feel lunges in my quads more than either front squats or split squats. Not to mention in my hand and glutes.


#5

Why so much extra shit? What’s the purpose of each of those movements and would you be better off just doing more deadlifts/squats and some ab work? I like single leg work when my hips are beat up, but I’d just pick one.


#6

FRONT SQUATS


#7

I’m basically looking to use which ever one will strengthen my quads and add some size at the same time. I do agree, split squats would probably be easier on my lower back after doing deadlifts.


#8

[quote]Aches89 wrote:
I’m basically looking to use which ever one will strengthen my quads and add some size at the same time. I do agree, split squats would probably be easier on my lower back after doing deadlifts. [/quote]

Try clean grip reverse lunges. I’ve tried the split squats and they just pissed me off, and if you’re using dumbbells your grip comes into play - especially after pulling.

Lunges, on the other hand, leave your grip out of it; plus you can use straps to hold the clean grip if your wrists don’t let you bend them back so much. They’re also not really nasty on the lower back.

Of course, this is all my own experience, but I’d still recommend at least trying them. They don’t have to be heavy at all to get a massive pump in your legs as a whole even in the 6-8 rep range (154 lbs or a bit over is what I’m using right now).


#9

[quote]MarkKO wrote:

[quote]Aches89 wrote:
I’m basically looking to use which ever one will strengthen my quads and add some size at the same time. I do agree, split squats would probably be easier on my lower back after doing deadlifts. [/quote]

Try clean grip reverse lunges. I’ve tried the split squats and they just pissed me off, and if you’re using dumbbells your grip comes into play - especially after pulling.

Lunges, on the other hand, leave your grip out of it; plus you can use straps to hold the clean grip if your wrists don’t let you bend them back so much. They’re also not really nasty on the lower back.

Of course, this is all my own experience, but I’d still recommend at least trying them. They don’t have to be heavy at all to get a massive pump in your legs as a whole even in the 6-8 rep range (154 lbs or a bit over is what I’m using right now). [/quote]

Damn. Today I tried clean grip reverse lunges, and they felt awesome after doing deadlifts. The movement was slightly awkward for the first set, but then I got it down pretty good for the next three sets. It’s safe to say I’m a fan of this and will probably keep this in there for a couple of weeks to see how it goes. Thanks bro!


#10

[quote]MarkKO wrote:
and if you’re using dumbbells your grip comes into play - especially after pulling.

Lunges, on the other hand, leave your grip out of it; [/quote]

Dude. I think they’re both fine movements but the difference you’re trying to point out here is between barbell loading and dumbbell loading, not between lunges and split squats (both of which are basically variations of each other).


#11

[quote]nighthawkz wrote:

[quote]MarkKO wrote:
and if you’re using dumbbells your grip comes into play - especially after pulling.

Lunges, on the other hand, leave your grip out of it; [/quote]

Dude. I think they’re both fine movements but the difference you’re trying to point out here is between barbell loading and dumbbell loading, not between lunges and split squats (both of which are basically variations of each other).[/quote]

True. Not my finest moment.

I think what I should have specified more was that I just find split squats more a pain in the backside to do compared to lunges when the results are pretty much the same. The whole getting one foot up on a bench just messes my balance up (yes, I know, it probably means I should do it).

Also, I will say I’ve found split squats hit my quads mostly, but lunges hit glutes/hams too - so in that respect I’ve found they’re more beneficial to me, not to mention its easier to use a heavier load with a barbell, but that again is dumbell vs barbell loading, not a movement thing.


#12

[quote]Aches89 wrote:

[quote]MarkKO wrote:

[quote]Aches89 wrote:
I’m basically looking to use which ever one will strengthen my quads and add some size at the same time. I do agree, split squats would probably be easier on my lower back after doing deadlifts. [/quote]

Try clean grip reverse lunges. I’ve tried the split squats and they just pissed me off, and if you’re using dumbbells your grip comes into play - especially after pulling.

Lunges, on the other hand, leave your grip out of it; plus you can use straps to hold the clean grip if your wrists don’t let you bend them back so much. They’re also not really nasty on the lower back.

Of course, this is all my own experience, but I’d still recommend at least trying them. They don’t have to be heavy at all to get a massive pump in your legs as a whole even in the 6-8 rep range (154 lbs or a bit over is what I’m using right now). [/quote]

Damn. Today I tried clean grip reverse lunges, and they felt awesome after doing deadlifts. The movement was slightly awkward for the first set, but then I got it down pretty good for the next three sets. It’s safe to say I’m a fan of this and will probably keep this in there for a couple of weeks to see how it goes. Thanks bro![/quote]

Glad you like them. If you’re anything like me you’re going to feel them for a couple of days


#13

Reverse sled drags?


#14

[quote]flch95 wrote:
Reverse sled drags?[/quote]

If you’ve got the room. They’re brutal.


#15

[quote]MarkKO wrote:

[quote]flch95 wrote:
Reverse sled drags?[/quote]

If you’ve got the room. They’re brutal. [/quote]
They are. They’re my new favourite.


#16

Have you considered posting in the 531 forum?

Anyway, as mentioned, I think you can clean this up:

Squat 531
RDL or Hip Thrust 5x5
Back extensions
KB swings*

DL 531
Front Squat or Split Squat 5x3 or 5x8
Abs
KB Swing*

*Can be done on a separate day

Make the decision on exercises based upon what happens to your squat as you approach failure. FS if you lean forward or round your upper back, Split Squat if knees collapse in or getting out of the hole is a Herculean effort.

FS is going to be a superior quad builder IMO.


#17

You could always alternate.

Swap over every 2-3 weeks.

tweet


#18

[quote]tsantos wrote:
FS is going to be a superior quad builder IMO.[/quote]

For some people yes, some not. I’m one of the not. I feel lunges in my quads much more than front squats.


#19

[quote]tsantos wrote:
Have you considered posting in the 531 forum?

Anyway, as mentioned, I think you can clean this up:

Squat 531
RDL or Hip Thrust 5x5
Back extensions
KB swings*

DL 531
Front Squat or Split Squat 5x3 or 5x8
Abs
KB Swing*

*Can be done on a separate day

Make the decision on exercises based upon what happens to your squat as you approach failure. FS if you lean forward or round your upper back, Split Squat if knees collapse in or getting out of the hole is a Herculean effort.

FS is going to be a superior quad builder IMO.[/quote]

I find I get a little bit of a forward lean as I approach failure. So maybe FS is something I should continue after deads. As mentioned above, my only concern might be if my lower back is fatigued after heavy pulling. He mentioned Clean Grip Reverse Lunges, which is a pretty effective exercise as well. I’ll be picking between these two at this point. I’ll take a break from split squats and try front squats or clean grip reverse lunges.


#20

With Bulgarian Split squats what are the benefits of higher/lower rear leg placement? For emphasis on the quad would it be more effective on say a low box (12inches) or standard bench (20-24 inches…I think) I’ve just started incorporating these into my lower body hypertrophy days. 2-3 sets of 8-12 using 1 dumbbell goblet style.