20 Nov 2010 11:16
I have been avoiding the Back Squat for many months. But, I recently got back into Back Squatting. I follow a typical 4-day layout and it was very difficult to throw these in, but I found a way. I want to make a note that Back Squats are not a higher priority than Front Squats but they are important. I don’t want to choose between doing one and not the other. I have the freedom to do both. This topic has been discussed by Eric and Joe here. This is the way my template looks re-arranged:
Saturday – Deadlifts, Pistol Squats and Core work
Sunday – OHP, Weighted Pull-ups (will be changed to heavy rows and body weight pull-ups will be added in before the Cable Rows), Cable Rows, Facepulls and Core work
Monday – Off
Tuesday – Front Squats, Weighted Dips, Grip Training and Core work
Wednesday – Back Squats, Pull-ups (will be changed to Weighted Pull-ups at the new weight range) and Core work
Thursday – Off
Friday – Off
It may seem that Back Squats will be adversely affected by the Front Squat session before that but I have been able to manipulate the volume/load variables in such a way that there is a happy medium, which has been established. Add to that I have been very conservative in my approach to Back Squats. I don’t like throwing around numbers because it becomes a contest but I think numbers are relevant here.
My Front Squat 1RM has been 315 for a while. My Back Squat 1RM is 345.
On my Front Squat days, I have been playing in the 285-315 range for 1-5 reps. The total volume is usually between 11 and 17 reps. This method has just recently been implemented so volume is more towards the 13-15 rep range for now. As I progress, my tolerance to handle this weight will improve and the volume will increase.
Now the next day – Back Squat session, I only work up to 315 and I try to get 2-3 solid sets in. I have managed to work up to 315 for 3 sets of 5 reps but I have yet to build on that. I am using the SDT protocols so there is no “system” of doing this. Every single workout will build on the previous one.
I think most people forget that Front Squats and Back Squats are mutually beneficial to each other. This means that when one improves so does the other – there is no one way street. But this also means that when one improves it will drive the other as well!