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Train To Gain: Frontal Assault

The front-squat-vs.-back-squat question.

Q: I recently tried front squats, and I loved them, but a pretty experienced guy at my gym said I’d never get much benefit from them. He said only standard back squats will build me up. Is that true?

A: No, it isn’t. I personally don’t find front squats practical. I detest them. Most trainees find that standard back squats’onerous as they are’are much more compatible with their needs. That doesn’t mean that front squats aren’t fabulous for you, though. The few trainees who enjoy using front squats reap great rewards from them.

I suspect the fellow at your gym is simply trying to help you, albeit ineffectively. I’d guess that, for him, front squats are more a pain in the glutes than a quad builder. That has nothing to do with you. If you find the exercise both enjoyable and productive, don’t let anyone talk you out of doing it.

One caution: Should you find that you must severely curtail your training poundages in order to do front squats, be sure to include one good set of heavy regular squats. Remember, squatting should be a heavy exercise. IM

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