T Nation

Switching to Exercises with Decreased Loads?


#1

Well I was thinking about this the other day...

I had switched to front squats from back squats for awhile because I had injured my back. I ended up increasing my front squat by 60lbs, However, my legs remained the same size.

I think the reason I didn't gain muscle size is that my best back squat was about 80lbs over my initial starting front squat. So, my legs had already experienced loads way greater than what I gained on my front squat.

I assume the same thing could apply to someone doing a high incline press for shoulders who then switches to standing military....Their shoulders already experienced loads greater than they can handle on the military press, so they probably wouldn't get much growth until they surpassed or got very close to their high inclines...

These are just random thoughts I had...Maybe, this is just common sense, but I wanted to hear what you guys thought about this...


#2

When you switch exercises, a lot of the initial progress you make is just getting better at the specific lift that you haven't been doing before, so it's expected that the weight will go up.

However, just because you can do more weight on a different exercise working the same muscle doesn't make the new exercise useless. I can leg press way more than I can squat, but that doesn't make squatting a useless exercise.

Using your example, many lifters feel the quads working more in front squats than back squat even though they can usually use more weight with back squats.

In the end, pick whichever exercise is going to allow for more growth without unnecessary risks of injury.


#3

good points...

It's possible that I just sucked at front squats and most of my gains were just catching up to were I should be...that could definitely be the case...

i guess this is pretty much an end to this thread then...


#4

I think you want to tell us whether you added 60 lbs to your front squat doing 1-5 reps or 5-20 reps... And if you ate a lot.

If you just did some low-rep set(s) all the time, don't expect any real quad-growth.

Set(s) were you take your 8-10 RM and grind out reps until you've done 15-20 are where it's at for quad growth IME... Hamstrings are a different story.


#5

(of course doing front-squat widowmakers is kind of difficult, but I think you realize what I'm getting at)


#6

another good point CC...

I did mainly 3-5 rep region...

Although, I do think it had more to do with the fact that I probably just sucked at front squats compared to back squats...

Regardless, I'm doing back squats now...one heavy set and then a widowmaker...so yeh I should get some growth now...


#7

If you ever switch to front-squats again, either do 1-2 heavy sets on them and then do a leg-press (or whatever) widow... Or do just front-squats but use fattyfat's cluster method for 25-50 or howevermany total reps. That should allow for some quad growth...