Front squatting and tricking don’t mix

  • The front squat is my #1 overall growth exercise.
    • The front squat is better for increasing the size of the legs than back squats.
    • The front squat is better for adding mass to the upper body than the back squat.
    • The front squat stimulates the appetite a lot which helps when trying to gain.
  • The front squat has been my best accessory exercise for increasing my deadlifting poundages.
  • The front squat is a fantastic flexibility development exercise.
    • The front squat develops a lot of wrist flexibility (if done with the Olympic grip).
    • The front squat develops hip and upper back flexibility.
    • The front squat encourages healthy posture which has carryover to everyday life.
  • The front squat can ruin your tricking.
Jujimufu front squatting, front squats and tricking

Jujimufu front squatting

How front squatting can ruin your tricking

If you’re doing a lot of heavy, hard fronts squatting it will cut into your tricking.  More so than deadlifts, conventional squats, etc.  Your body spends an insane amount of resources recovering from heavy front squats.  You’ll have nothing left when you want to trick.  What you need to do is cycle the front squat.

My recommendations for cycling the front squat

If you only trick a lot during 3 months of the year consecutively (summer), then drop the front squat altogether during this time and slash your lower body work volume and intensity down to 1/3 of what it usually is.  You won’t be at a loss.  Your tricking will excel.

If you trick for 6 months of the year consecutively, then continue front squatting for the first 3 months of your tricking season as you get back into tricking after your break.  Then after those three months, drop it and slash your lower body work volume and intensity down to 1/3 of what it usually it.

If you want to trick year round, even during the winter, identify those times of year you trick less frequently and increase your front squatting mindfully during those times.  Just use common sense: time your front squatting sessions so that they don’t kill your tricking sessions.

And finally, if you are mostly playing the physique enhancement game, but want to trick during an upcoming weekend, use common sense again: just take time off from all training before your upcoming tricking session.  Since it’s obviously not a regular thing you do, you’ll at least want to give yourself a chance to maximize your capabilities during that particular tricking session by taking time off before you go and rip it up.

Another thing: for those of us that are experienced with weight training and dieting, the front squat can cause so much growth in the quads and buttocks, that this size can hinder your tricking.  The sad truth is: the bigger your legs, the harder your tricks.  And the harder your tricks, the worse your tricks will be.  Just look at the best tricksters, they all have twiggy-skinny jeans legs. (btw, Skinny jeans are for fairy boys and girls who are assholes).

Jujimufu flexing quad

Nice quad, but is it going to help me trick?

So if you want to front squat and trick you gotta take special precautions.  But, overall, accidental muscle growth is kind of far-fetched for the majority, and so the more likely case is the former where our tricks simply get smashed from the stress front squatting puts on our bodies.

Front squatting is the best overall mass builder (in my opinion).  Because it stresses the body so much, it can stimulate appetite beyond belief.  You will never be so hungry as those weeks you are front squatting for high volume 3-5 days a week.  You will never want to stop eating, and will likely give into binge eating marathons frequently.  This is awesome for bulking, but detrimental to our tricking, because we want to stay light and lean so we can jump high and move quickly and eating a crazy amount of food is just going to cause us to walk around with more poop and water weight than usual (which is not helping our tricks).

So you shouldn’t try to make strength gains in the front squat during the times of year you are tricking more.  I’m a fan of seasonal periodization, so during the summer when you are tricking a lot and going to gatherings, drop the front squat from your routine altogether like I do, or simply do a few warmup sets with it here and there to keep the lift coded into your system.  Your tricks will thank you, because of all the exercises you can be doing hard in conjunction with your tricking, front squatting is one of the worst ones.  But for beginners in the mass building, physique enhancement game, and those tricksters finally wanting to beef up and to finally look like a man, then it’s hard to beat a recommendation of 3 months of almost daily front squatting and shit loads of clean food while you let your tricking take a back seat.

22 Replies to “Front squatting and tricking don’t mix”

  1. Christina says:

    I love front squats…and wear the shit out of skinny jeans too! lol

    1. Jon Call says:

      But do you wear the shit out of skinny jeans while you front squat?

  2. Josiah says:

    Hahaha, so true. Front squats make me feel stronger than super man and so hungry I could eat a horse….. I wonder how a horse tastes like.

    1. Jon Call says:

      Go to Canada they sell horse meat at almost every super market. It tastes good! 🙂

  3. David says:

    To which page in the Acrobolix canon do you refer when implying a 3-month 3-5x/week front squat bulk? Are there macrocycle details available?

    1. Jon Call says:

      What details do you want to know? Do you want to bulk?

  4. Chris says:

    I bent over to pick something off the floor and split my pants so…sadly, no 🙁 haha

  5. David says:

    Not right at the moment but later this year, yes, bulk. I could see doing them that often with your deadlifting methodology, but I’m wonder what loading scheme you employed with that frequency. (current front squat 1RM=315)

  6. Amy says:

    My argument is front squat are great for developing leg strength which will help with high jumps thus giving you more time to do things like front tucks etc. As long front squats are done for strength gains rather than size/bulking it should be fine. Size gain or bulk will add unnecessary ballast on your body. After front squatting give it a few days off then return to tricking so the legs will be at full power again.

    If squatting is detrimental to tricking then how come basketball players and NFL players had to do squats? Apparently it’ll help with their vertical jumps. Does squatting weights not ruin their vert jumps?

    1. Jon Call says:

      Hi Amy,

      This article is about periodization and prioritization. It is not a piece against front squatting in the absolute.

  7. Valvolt says:

    what do you mean by “The front squat is better for adding mass to the upper body than the back squat.” ?
    What is the scientific principle behind this? Please, help me grasp it. Thanks.

    1. Jon Call says:

      On front squat you have to support the bar using your upper body more than backsquat, otherwise the bar will just fall, you have to keep it cradled there: that means you need to use your upper back and shoulders and core more. It doesn’t take science to grasp the concept, just experience it yourself. 🙂

  8. Armando says:

    Noob question about technique.
    does the bar is supposed to sit in the bones in the shoulder area?
    My delts are not well developed, i did front squat singles today (never really gave them an honest try besides for shits and giggles) after doing some research about technique i maxed at 100kg, it just causes a little discomfort in the bony area but nothing too harsh, is this normal or am doing something wrong?

    1. Jon Call says:

      It’s normal, it goes away with practice.

  9. Valvolt Nova says:

    Yeah thanks, of course it makes sense. I’m definitely gonna try it when I’ll be in a masochistic mood ^^… and not in my tricking macrocycle, that is. ( flagged the quest “Start Periodization Training” on my HabitRPG too 🙂 )
    The true question was like: “Can you consider front squatting an upper body workout per se? An upper body isometric workout which adds mass (by virtue of increased frequency) to upper body training?”
    Thanks again, Juji. ^^

    1. Jon Call says:

      Front squat is not a replacement for upper body work, absolutely not. Ah, and HabitRPG. Loving it! 🙂

  10. Larry says:

    Front squats are the best ab exercise in the world. I have no idea why, but my abs feel like they’re about to explode from the tension when doing heavy front squats.

  11. Josiah says:

    Be careful with them please! Front squat or back squat, if I go (maybe for you too) too low my abdominal will pop out like I have a herniated abdominal. I’n not sure you should feel pressure on them.

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  13. Bence says:

    I don’t know man,whenever I front squat I notice that my quads increase in size and that there is more meat over my kneecaps,if that makes sense.As for back squats,only low bar back squats work for me and every time I push the volume on back squats my butt gets bigger.Now I can barely fit into my jeans,LOL

  14. Bob H says:

    Thanks for the article. I’m not exactly a trickster, but have been dabbling with some bodyweight movements now and then. Also front squat is the movement I do a lot these days, I feel it’s better on lower back than back squat – when done correctly that is.

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