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  1. #1
    Registered User North5evil's Avatar
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    Front-Squat Vs. High-Bar for biggest deadlift

    If your number one goal is building as big a deadlift as possible then would it be a mistake to replace high-bar squats with front-squats as your other main-lift?

    In other words, I use high bar and deadlift as my main lower-body lifts. I'm wondering if Front-Squat would be a better main lift in order to specialize in the deadlift?

    I'm also slightly worried that my body composition will be negatively impacted by replacing the back squat with the front-squat.

    I do Deadlifts, Zercher-squats, and RDLs one day and then Back Squats, Good-Mornings, and raised-handle Trap-Bar DLs the other. I'm thinking of doing Front-squats as the main lift, and then following it up with moderate volume low-bar good mornings, and then high volume Trap-Bar pulls.

    I'd add that while I can deadlift in the low 500s, I'm not even sure if I could back squat 400# for a single right now. So, I'm trying to switch to working on a strength instead of prioritizing only weaknesses. Any advice would be appreciated.
    Last edited by North5evil; 03-02-2021 at 05:39 AM.
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  2. #2
    Registered User NorwichGrad's Avatar
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    Front squats, high bar, zecher, RDLs, GM, rack pulls, etc... these are all tools.

    Look for the weakest link. Then strengthen it using the right tool.

    That's what programming is essentially. Maintain the strength while looking for the most glaring issue / weak link and then strengthen it.

    I'm a weightlifting coach, so high bar and front squats are a staple for my lifters. But these are also great accessories for PL. Do both.
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  3. #3
    Registered User PhDPepper1111's Avatar
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    ^ this.
    On spread.
    Why NOT?

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  4. #4
    Registered User NotThatUgly's Avatar
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    depends on a lot of things. Sounds like you're doing too much already.
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  5. #5
    Registered User North5evil's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by NotThatUgly View Post
    depends on a lot of things. Sounds like you're doing too much already.
    No, I nailed it (for me). Low rep Front-Squats, high rep High Bar, and then higher rep p-chain stuff. Great squat day, but definitely can't ditch the back-squat.
    Last edited by North5evil; 03-28-2021 at 10:10 PM.
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  6. #6
    Registered User PhDPepper1111's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by North5evil View Post
    No, I nailed it (for me). Low rep Front-Squats, high rep High Bar, and then higher rep p-chain stuff. Great squat day, but definitely can't ditch the back-squat.
    sounds good, and makes sense. it's very individual specific, but not doing back squats is taking a tool out of your arsenal. Some people can't do them due to physical/mechanical issues, but for everyone else, still very highly recommended
    Why NOT?

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  7. #7
    MS,CSCS,CF-L1,USAW,WBB HamburgerTrain's Avatar
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    Realistically, when you compare muscle activity between front squats, high bar, and low bar, you really don't see any significant differences besides contribution from the adductors. Just do what you like.

    From a specificity standpoint, you might want to use front squats more often as the meet/test day approaches.
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    Registered User golli1982's Avatar
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    I loved using the SSB Squats on deadlift day
    Best lifts
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    425/305/480 raw
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  9. #9
    Registered User Garage Rat's Avatar
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    Rotating exercises is something Louie Simmons of westside barbell recommends.
    Similar but different.
    I personally have used front squats to help my DL and liked them.
    Front squats are quad intensive so they could help your drive right at the beginning of your pull.
    They also require you to stay upright which is also a good upper back builder.
    I don't think you would be wrong putting them in a cycle.
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  10. #10
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    Originally Posted by HamburgerTrain View Post
    Realistically, when you compare muscle activity between front squats, high bar, and low bar, you really don't see any significant differences besides contribution from the adductors. Just do what you like.

    From a specificity standpoint, you might want to use front squats more often as the meet/test day approaches.
    Are there any caveats to this? For example, if you have awful motor patterns or you're naturally more inclined to do squat mornings (which I believe I am), would alternative (non-comp) squats possibly better enforce more ideal activation or recruitment?

    Another question, could alternative squats offer better stimulus to fatigue ratios?
    Don't you think it's weird that some accounts average over 200 reps per day, every single day, for years on end?
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