Last week, you had the opportunity to test out your 2RM Back Squat. Today, we get to do the same with the front squat. What should we expect? Is there a relationship between the two? How do I set my expectations for today?
First, yes, there typically is a relationship between the two, however it is not like to like. Very rarely (if ever) do you see comparable numbers in the back and the front squat, especially in experienced lifters. The traditionally accepted norm is that one’s front squat will be roughly 70-85% of ones back squat . The variables that factor into this are things like training age (experience with weightlifting), top end range for squatting (the lower your max is the more likely the two will be closer together), and certain anatomical differences (shin to femur ratios; femur to torso ratios; etc.). Remember that this is not a hard an fast rule - it’s an observation over years of training and studying a variety of lifters.
So how can we use this information to set our expectations? Well, first let’s do the math. Take whatever you hit for your back squat last week and multiply by .80 (we’ll take a rough average of the range listed above). Now we’ve set a goal and can make our weight jumps based off of our assumption that our final weight should be somewhere close to this number.
Why are they different? While we are squatting in both, you know that a front squat feels markedly different than a back squat. Primarily, the main muscle groups used are slightly different. The front squat puts far more demand on the quadriceps muscles (the front of your thighs, the upper back and your midline. The back squat, conversely, recruits more of the posterior chain - the glutes, low back, and hip extensors. This is a direct result of the load placement. The back squat shifts the load further behind our center of pressure (the localized zone where we apply force through the floor - for us, the ball of the foot). So it makes sense that we’d require more engagement from our back side to complete the movement. The same but opposite could be said of the front squat.
Hopefully this information will help you navigate the squatting today. As we said last week, this is a day to lean into your coaches too. They are great resources with a lot of experience with these lifts - use their guidance.
Finally, after you do the math on your predicted 2RM based on our numbers above, don’t do any more math. Let your coaches help you build towards the top. When it comes to heavy lifting, sometimes it’s better not to know ;)
Strength - Front squat - 20 minutes to establish a 2RM
The focus of today is to use the technique we have been working on and find a new 2 rep max weight!! Athletes should use their coaches today and let them know IF THEY NEED A SPOT OR WOULD LIKE HELP ON DETERMINING WHAT WEIGHT JUMPS TO MAKE!!
Metcon - Every 3 minutes for 12 minutes (4 total rounds):
200 ft. Shuttle sprint
100 ft. Sandbag carry @ moderate