by Bret Contreras April 08, 2014
Yesterday, I front squatted 295 lbs, which was a personal record (PR) for me. I was very happy about this.
I know of high school athletes who can front squat 315 lbs x 10 reps. That doesn’t concern me. I don’t care what anyone else is doing; I care what I’m doing.
Some lifts will come very easy for you. For me, these include variations of deadlifts, chins, pulldowns, rows, hip thrusts, back extensions, swings, and curls.
Other lifts will not come very easy for you. For me, these include variations of squats and presses.
In the gym, I’m a posterior chain badass and an anterior chain sissy. This doesn’t stop me from pushing myself as hard as possible on my squats and presses. Slowly but surely, they’re creeping up.
Much of this has to do with height, anthropometry/body segment length proportions, and tendon insertion points. It also has to do with genetic variability in muscle mass potential. I could deadlift 405 x 5 reps in my first 6 months of deadlifting at 21 years of age. Granted, they were round-backed, but that’s not the point.
A short, bulky lifter with short femurs and big quads will ALWAYS squat the house. A tall, slender lifter with long femurs and smaller quads will want tend to squat morning the weight up and will never feel like a natural at squats unless he balloons up in weight.
Moreover, most lifters have a particular muscle that doesn’t grow like the others. No matter what they seem to do, the muscle doesn’t budge in size to much of a degree, and it won’t grow like the other muscles. For me, these are my quads and triceps – hence the difficulty with squats and bench. Pecs, biceps, delts, back, traps, adductors, glutes, abs, and calves grow just fine.
My current front squat goal is 315 lbs. When I get there, I’ll definitely be doing a happy dance. What’s that – you can front squat 315 lbs for 10 reps and 455 lbs for a max? Good for you! Those are your PR’s.
But this is my PR, and I’m damn proud of it.
Lift for you and don’t pay attention to what others are doing.
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