T Nation

HFT is Unpopular


So most of you squat once or twice a week. Three times a week?! Now that's high frequency training! I mean come on, we are powerlifters, we all do 5/3/1, or WS or something in between. Occasionally one of us might pick up Smolov for a hard hitting few weeks, or I know a dilute handful of you practice Sheiko...

Ooops, I just fell into the Olympic Lifting forum... lets see... Hmmm most of these guys don't even do Weightlifting, in fact there is so little exposure to Weightlifting training styles here at T-Nation, yea, the internet, when a weightlifting program that resembles or is based off weightlifting comes along is is 'special' or 'one of those wacky new age fad training systems'.

No? You don't even call Weightlifting "Weightlifting", you call it Olympic Lifting as if the two terms are completely separated from each other. Ah, I think I am beginning to rant now, lets move on to the real discussion:

Weightlifters have big squats, and Powerlifters have big squats, but very few Powerlifters life like Weightlifters. Lets look at the amount of squatting an average elite level olympic lifter does each week and call every other lift Other.
Front Squat 25 reps
5 Other exercises
Back Squat 25 reps
5 Other exercises
3-4 Other exercises
Front Squat 25 reps
5 Other exercises
Back Squat 25 reps
5 Other exercises
Sat: 3-4 Other exercises

Wow, that is 100 reps of Squat Variants alone, and they don't even train for squat. Then that is another 200-300 reps of other lower body exercises. Some Olympic lifters will train 2 a day, even, which amounts to even more squatting and total reps.

They see squat as an assistance exercise, but you could easily turn that around so that all the other exercises are assistance exercises and Squat is the main lift. Your selection of exercises for the Other category would differ greatly to the snatch clean and jerk variants, of course.
Sheiko comes close to this, but not as close as some weightlifting coaches would like.

Anyway, this whole thing isn't to try convince you that you should lift more often, it is not to convince you to of anything really. It is not even to complain about anything (yes I did have a little rant though). I personally Squat twice a week, and that won't change for now. I just think there is a little stigma placed on HFT, and I would like to express my opinion that it is just as good a system as any.

The format concentrates on one to two different lifts. The weightlifter's program format could be implemented into powerlifting as a squat/deadlift concentration program without someone having to shout "just do Sheiko" in a really whiny voice.

That's about it.


At least in the US, weightlifters don't squat anywhere near as much as powerlifters.


Most powerlifters do squat twice/week. ME and DE. duh..



Weightlifters squat so differently from PL'ers it's not even funny. They do NOT do grind-out maximal weights. Sure some of 'em will go damn heavy, but it's apples and oranges. Like you said, they use it as assistance. If you use GM's for assistance every day you'll be okay, but try going balls-out on it five days a week and come back to us with the "results".


What is your definition of 'going balls-out'? Probably referring to high force, right? Which means only medium velocity.
Change your definition to high velocity, and you only have to worry about doing medium force. That way you might do squats five days a week and come back to us with the results.


But that's just it. If my goal is the highest squat I can handle, altering my squat training to Oly style won't get me there. Simple as that. Watch any Oly lifter squatting. They're quick, explosive dive bombs, and they don't go particularly close to maximal weights. The heaviest squat I ever saw Hossein do on video was somewhere in the 600s. For a 400lb man holding Olympic records, that's pretty dang low.

They're completely different training styles, man. You can bet your ass that if squatting 5 days a week was the best way to make your squat max go up, someone would have figured that out by now. Not to mention that even if that DID work, it'd be sacrificing the other two lifts.


If your squat goes up, it is kind of given that your deadlift goes up. I have gained kgs on my deadlift and not deadlifted for 4 weeks.


Hmmm. I think the most depressing thing is when they call it a 'radical training method'.


That's just it, though. It's not a radical method, and it's not the best method either. That's a DAMN impressive squat for Mendes, and no doubt it works for OLYMPIC lifters, but for those of us trying to improve our three lifts (squat/bench/deadlift) there's just no reason to be squatting five days a week. End of transaction.

Yes, you can find a couple top-tier Oly lifters who also have enormous squats, but that's no different than the fact that top-tier powerlifters also happen to have great Oly lifts. For example, Mikhail Koklyaev.

This is just an example of an "idea" that has some basic merit but doesn't make a whole hell of a lot of sense in full context. Fantastic, Olympic lifters also have some big squats and they use it a lot as assistance work. Are they squatting as much as their counterparts in the powerlifting world? No? Well then why are we following THEM?

Far as I'm concerned, this is like looking at a Crossfitter with a 600 pound deadlift and deciding that CF is a great protocol for pulling, or the fact that top-level gymnasts tend to be able to raw bench 2x their bodyweight, so if we want our bench to go up let's do gymnastics.


I tend to agree with the original poster. Remember OLY lifters are using extremely heavy weight through a FULL ROM, not some subjectively judged "depth", typically 100% raw (maybe sometimes a belt), and usually not even "spotted". I've seen numerous videos of HWs squatting over 800, in the no-no-no fashion. How many "raw" competitions would that win...most of them.

Not to mentions they can actually hold on the bar without having their hands all the way to the sleeves because of lack of shoulder mobility (I'm sorry, adaptive upper extremity tightness due to benching).


600 really...I've seen videos of Hossein FRONT SQUATING 600 lbs.

What do you mean they don't go to maximal weights. The Bulgurians squat maximally at least once a day, 6 days a week.


As a powerlifter if I really wanted to focus on my squat isn't it obvious I would up the frequency? I don't think this is a "radical" training by any means.


What the hell is the point of this thread?


If you can show me a vid of Hossein handling over 600, I'd like to see it. And I'm serious. I'd LOVE to know what his best squat is. The guy's a GOLIATH.

My point is just that Oly lifters gear their squatting toward Oly lifting. If their method of squatting was the best for increasing the squat max, PL'ers would DEFINITELY do it. I have to say that, in my experience, even something like Sheiko was just shattering after four weeks. I'm on the 5/3/1 now and I feel better than ever.

However, I love threads like this, and kudos to the OP for sparking a good discussion! :slight_smile:


I don't think the power lifts can be compared to the olympic lifts. While technique, timing, and balance are important in the powerlifts, they are not nearly as important and varying of factors as in O-lifts. The powerlifts are more of a pure muscular strength movement, not as much an athletic one.

It should be obvious that if you are going for a max squat attempt, you will not fail it 20 times and then make it (like the guy in the interview described happening with a snatch). For an O-lift it is a max lift attempt but not really a max muscle attempt. You probably fail a snatch for many many reasons other than your muscle could not push it up


You asked...I delivered

Now lets think about this, 600+ for a double with just a belt. No wraps, no monolift, no spotters, and no suit of course. And much deeper than PLer "depth". How many powerlifters do you know can do that?


You can't just make extrapolations like that, though. You can't say "well if Powerlifter X can squat 800 raw and front squat 500, since Oly Lifter Y can front squat 600 obviously he can back squat more!" They're very different movements, and we have no idea if Hossein's got the kind of posterior chain strength to push 800+ in a back squat.

Meanwhile, there are oodles and oodles of videos of guys raw squatting in the 800s.


I squat to a max and then finish off with volume work everyday of the week as a power lifter, nothing has worked better to drive my dead lift up (as well as my squat.

in june I hit a 424 comp squat to my 415 gym squat(deeper touch and go)
went to sheiko to prep for an october meet, got a 430 comp depth squat, dead/bench went backwards
mid october i switched to high volume program and since then I hit 440 to my gym box and finished off with volume work with no taper/deload and I have squatted at least 425 everyday since then.


Olympic lifts are largely technique based. Because they need to maintain/refine their technique, they have to lift more frequently but with a lower % of their 1 rep max. If their already working on their snatch/clean and jerk why not do some squats as well.

I don't think I've ever seen a video of an O-lifter doing a true max effort squat. The video of Rezazadeh above looked like he was using maybe 85% of his 1 rep max. I'm not saying they don't do it (although I'm sure they don't do it every day like one poster above said), I've just never seen it - an O-lifter doing a real grinder for a single.


That's about it.

Oh dear. I do not think this 'depth and wraps and suit' argument has is a healthy emphasis.
Firstly, wraps are for healthy knees, he trains with wraps all the time, and probably just didn't have wraps at the time of the video. wraps increase your lifts because they prevent injury.
suits are made for the squatting style chosen, and suits have been changing over the years so as to get the most out of 'angular torque' through the hips, and thus squatting techniques have adapted to fit the suit, not the other way around. Do you understand what I mean by this?
Weightlifters squat ATG, bowlegged, and upright because that is the most convenient way to handle the clean and jerk, therefore their squat has adapted to the demand of the CLean technique.

The surefire 'biggest squat' technique will always be the Powerlifters technique, as long as people are using suits. For Raw, it may be somewhere in between the OL and PL technique. I know the Australian IPF Club has a technique somewhere in between, but that is bad example when their totals are sub par to the Americans, and they are singly ply anyway.

The whole point in comparing Weightlifters squat and Powerlifters squat is not to brag of one style's squatting technique, but to brag of the training format such as the dominance of frequency or load. I guess I am saying, in fantasy land, if a Bulgarian WL coach got into the PL scene and trained some young boys for a monolift suited squat, then you may be seeing higher squats in the PL scene then than now.