T Nation

Squat + FSL and Deadlift + Front Squats Assistance


I am currently doing FSL with every lift but Squat and Deadlift. On Deadlift day I add Front Squat 5 PRO for 3 sets as assistance lift.

Will adding FSL 5x5 on Squat day be too much? I am not entirely sure if FSL Squats and Front Squats assistance lift were meant to be practiced concurrently.



I’d say just use front squats as an assistance excersise and don’t treat them like a main excersise.

So go with this:

Main lift 5/3/1
Main lift FSL@5x5
Push assistance
Pull assistance
Core/legs assistance

This means front squats will be in the core/legs category, so it’s kinds up to you if you want to do them on the day you already squat 8 sets (if you do the same lift for both 5/3/1 and FSL@5x5)


Yes if its not one of the 4 main lifts don’t do 5/3/1 progression on any of the assistance just do some other set/rep scheme.


In the 531 program, and with the current terminology, the front squat is NOT an assistance exercise; it’s a supplemental lift & should be programmed (as far as 531 is concerned). it’ll take much more out of you than what is normally perscribed for assistance work (lunges, leg raises, GHR, etc.)

You could go with what you posted or do something as simple as:

Leader (2 cycles) -
Deadlift: 5s pro, front squat: 5x5 (using FSL %)
Squat: 5s pro, 5x5 FSL

Anchor (1 cycle)
Deadlift: 531, front squat 3x5 fsl
Squat: 531, 3x5 FSL


I quite like light paused Front Squats as an assistance lift for extra quad work.
Doesn’t take anymore out of me than Leg Press.

FSL 5x5 on Squat day is perfectly fine. I like SSL for Deads personally


If you keep them light i agree, but i imagined the op intention was to go heavier, since he was already looking to do 5s pro with them


That’s true, In which case I prefer your set up to OPs if he wants to go heavy.
Just offering an alternative, for me I wouldn’t sacrifice the extra deadlift sets for anything :smiley: (cuz I need practice)


My current program was based on this thread: How to Integrate Front Squats? where Jim suggests to do Front Squats using any combo.

I used 5 PRO for this reason:

“With front squats, your ability to keep the bar racked will be the limiting factor in an attempt at a long, heavy set–in other words, your legs aren’t really going to get worked that well. IMO, front squats should be done either in heavy sets of 5 or less reps (maybe even 3 or less), or much lighter sets into the teens/twenties for finishers/conditioning. In that middle ground (5-10 reps or so), you’re simply going to lose the bar before your legs are really fatigued.”

I used them mainly for core strength and additional quad work. 5 PRO worked great up to this point. Usually, I do not Front Squat more than my current body weight, so to call them heavy in comparison to low bar back squats would be a mistake. Heavy on core - yes.

I am not familiar with anchor/leader termenology, but will do more reasearch on that.

Currently I am doing

Squat 531 + FSL 3x5
Bench 531 + FSL 5x5
Rows (supersetted with main lifts)

Deadlift 531
Press 531 + FSL 5x5
Front Squats 5 PRO
Pullups (supersetted with main lifts)

I want to try (just to clarify):

Squat 531 + FSL 3x5
Bench 531 + FSL 5x5
Rows (supersetted with main lifts)

Deadlift 531
Press 531 + FSL 5x5
Front Squats 5 PRO
Pullups (supersetted with main lifts)


I prefer “heavy” goblet squats as assistance work. Front Squats, I’d either keep them as main squat exercise or as supplemental - as main, 5’s Pro (+Jokers eventually) has worked best, keeping the reps heavier and <5, I’ve done PR sets for a while and form breaks down too easily; as supplemental, SSL keeps the reps at 5 and the weight decent while allowing for good form.

I’d wait for Jim to chime in again, the link you posted is from 2013 and things have changed a bit.