Fitolution Day #21 – Front Squat & Squat and DB Press

Hello Friend,

The good news . . . this is the last day of The Fitolution Challenge.

The bad news . . . this is the last day of The Fitolution Challenge.

You’ve done some amazing work so let’s finish strong!

EXERCISE:

Tuesday, Thursday and Saturdays are cardio days so stick to your cardio routine. Make sure it’s at least 30 minutes of walking, running, elliptical, biking, rowing, dancing, etc.  Make sure to warm-up properly.

BONUS EXERCISE:

Repeat after me . . . Do Front Squats First. 

Want bigger quads? Do this quick front-squat ramp before you do anything else on leg day.

Many taller lifters and those with a background in running-based sports (particularly track) tend to be posterior-chain dominant squatters, meaning their glutes and hams will activate much more easily than their quads when squatting.

If you have trouble feeling it in your quads during back squats, and feel it much more in your hips and lower back, try this simple tip: do front squats first. For those whose primary focus is raw poundage, this may seem like heresy. For the lifter looking for quad hypertrophy, however, this can be pure magic.

Front squats shift the focus to the quads and allow most lifters to be more comfortable squatting to depth compared to back squats. By starting your leg workout with front squats, you pre-exhaust the quads and grease the groove for the movement pattern. Yes, you’ll be forced to go a little lighter on your back squats afterwards, but the long-term benefits in quad strength and size make it worthwhile.


Ramp it up Instructions – Following your normal warm-up, do 1 set of 12-15 reps of front squats with just the bar. After that, the load will be based on your front squat strength. If you’re not sure what your 12, 10 and 8 RMs are, give it your best guess and adjust as necessary in subsequent workouts. The goal is for the load to be challenging, but you should be nowhere near failure.

Over 4 sets, ramp up the weight as follows:

  • Set 1: 8 reps (Weight you can perform 12-15 reps without trouble – RM.)
  • Set 2: 8 reps with your 12 RM
  • Set 3: 5 reps with your 10 RM
  • Set 4: 5 reps with your 8 RM

Modification – DB Front Squats with less weight.

  • Set 1: 8 reps (weight you can perform 12-15 reps without trouble)
  • Set 2: 8 reps with 3-5 pounds more
  • Set 3: 5 reps with 3-5 pounds more
  • Set 4: 5 reps with 3-5 pounds more
If at any point you can’t get through the reps, adjust your weight.

Follow up with your back squat workout.

NUTRITION:

Asparagus

Benefits –

  • Asparagus has 288mg of potassium per cup.  That’s 70% of your daily needs.
  • High in glutathione.  Glutathione (GSH) is an amino-acid that works as
    an antioxidant protecting cells from toxins.
  • 20% of your daily intake of Vitamin A in single serving.
  • Good source of . . .

    Iron, Magnesium, Zinc, Fiber, Protein, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Folate, Phosphorus, Copper, Manganese, Selenium

I personally didn’t try asparagus until my 30’s. Now, if ever they are offered or available, I take full advantage.  With a little olive oil, garlic, and pepper, they are Delish!

TIP:

You probably noticed a lot of squats in this Fitolution Challenge.  So why did I choose front squats for Day #21?  Because I’m 5’ 1” and I wanted to improve my vertical jump so I could slam dunk.  Not really but one benefit of a front squat is that it strengthens your quads and improves your vertical jump.

If you’re an athlete, you need strong quads. Quads are critical not only for improving your vertical jump, but your ability to decelerate, plant, and cut as well.

However, quads are just the starting point. The front squat is an amazing anterior core exercise. You know how you can get totally caved over and still manage to finish a back squat? You can’t do that with a front squat.

If your abs are weak, do a 2-3 month front squat cycle and you should walk away impressed with how much stronger and more stable your core and trunk are as a result.

The front squat also helps mobility. Front squatting ensures that you maintain ankle, knee, hip, and thoracic spine mobility. Make it a mainstay in your programs.
I’ll check back with you in a couple days to see how you did, which I’m sure will be awesome.

As always, any questions or concerns I’m just one click away. [email]

Jessica Beardsell
Certified Nutritionist, Fitness 54 (770) 487-5454

Certified Personal Trainer, 180 Training

References:
ACE Certified
Pinterest
T Nation