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Ben Nadel at cf.Objective() 2014 (Bloomington, MN) with: Madeline Johnsen
Ben Nadel at cf.Objective() 2014 (Bloomington, MN) with: Madeline Johnsen ( @madjohnsen )

Project HUGE: Huge In A Hurry - Get Big - Phase 3 / Week 2

Published in , Comments (11)

I just entered the second week of Get Big - Phase 3 in Chad Waterbury's Huge In A Hurry program and was excited to put some more weight on my front squats. After what felt good at 225 last week (for sets of 3 reps), I thought I would try to up the weight to 245 lbs (20 lbs jump). I fear, however, that my eyes were a bit bigger than my muscles. To start with, I started to get shoulder discomfort. My left shoulder (the bad one) was not handling the cross-grip well on the first two sets. As such, I switched over to a traditional front squat grip for the remainder of the sets. This grip was more comfortable on my shoulder and on my back as well. But, as you will see in the following video, I have trouble keeping my elbows up.

Sorry that the video angle is so lame. You can't really see anything other than my gut, followed by the agony on my face (that is of course, if you are not distracted by Tricia's butt in the background).


I can't tell if I should drop the weight down and work on my technique more since my technique seems fine on lighter weight. I think the best move is to stick with this weight next week and just put super emphasis on my form and the neutrality of my back. Right now, my back and upper body strength is clearly the limiting factor on this lift. Walking away, I don't even feel that my legs were pushed all that hard; although, I do feel that this style squat does put extra stress on my knees which I am not totally enjoying. I have to concentrate on getting my ass back and driving through my heels while keeping my chest up and my back strong. Tough exercise!

Reader Comments


That looks awfully painful :( good luck with your goal of being like Arnie (Schwarzenegger) that is :)

Keep up the good work! I just have to admire your passion and determination when you set a goal, very cool.



So I tried out front squats for the first time at the gym last night. My first reaction was, OUCH!! That hurts!

Even with only 135 lbs, the bar dug into my shoulders and arms and it hurt like crazy. Moving up to 180 lbs made it hurt so bad that I could only get in two reps. I was using the crossed arm grip.

So my question is, do you get conditioned to the bar resting there after a while? Cause I had to resort to standard squats to get in the rest of my workout.

I did order those front squat straps that we talked about:

Maybe those will help.



I was first introduced to Front Squats like 6 years ago when I was working at Equinox Fitness. In 6 years, they have never felt "right". I continue to have problems with getting my hips back, keeping the best balance, and shoulder support. I think the cross grip might put the shoulders in an unstable (externally rotated) position. As such, I think I need to switch to the standard grip. I think I might order some of those straps immediately. For a few bucks, it has to be worth the experiment.



Front squat straps ordered!

This will be one of the few times I resisted using express shipping. It was like $22 for express shipping. Really?!?! Standard shipping will be fine for me, thanks.



Sweet! I ordered mine on Tuesday or Wednesday, but i have not heard if they shipped yet. I went with a different supplier because I wanted to pay with PayPal.

I'll look forward to hearing your report on them, I will post mine as well.

One thing I forgot to mention, though I am sure you experienced the same thing is that when I do standard squats, I can do a LOT more weight.



Yeah, my back squats are much better than any of the other forms. Where are my straps? Why have they not arrived yet?



Ronnie is a monster. I have the movie, "Ronnie The Unbelievable" (or something like that) and he's just a beast with power. In it, he deadlifts like 805 and front squats like 600. Does a t-bar row with like 12-45lb plates. A bent over row with 500lbs.

I like that he throws in:

Everybody wants to be a bodybuilder, but nobody wants to lift no heavy-ass weights!

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Ben Nadel