The front squat is a lift we rarely — if ever — see tested under “competition” circumstances, but it makes up a big portion of strength training for athletes across disciplines. It’s a pillar of weightlifting, increasingly common for building strength and stability in powerlifting, and also used by strongman competitors to train heavy loading on the chest. Oh, and functional fitness athletes do a ton of them, often really fast and for time. (That sounds exhausting.)
But despite the front squat’s prevalence in training, there’s not really a standard “world record” for the heaviest lift — and people perform the lift differently depending on what they’re training for. Weightlifters take a standard, fingers-or-hands under front rack position, whereas many powerlifters do cross-arm style to support the massive loads.
In fact, there’s only one competition we can find where elite athletes worked to max out their front squats in a competition setting; more on that, along with some other historically heavy lifts caught on video, below. And if we missed anyone, we want to know.
The only verified front squats at or over 400 kilograms/882 pounds known to exist on video are those of Nauru’s Jezza Uepa, who also happens to have one of the heaviest raw (no wraps) back squats on film.
Uepa most recently front squatted 405kg: