The front squat is dynamite for strengthening your core, quads, and upper back, all of which has direct carryover to improving your back squat as well — along with almost every other exercise.
This is something the 8-time USA Powerlifting (USAPL) National Champion and 6-time International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) World Championships medalist Mike Tuchscherer seems to know well. He routinely posts videos of himself performing extremely heavy front squats on his Instagram page.
Most recently he shared a monstrous 256kg/565lb front squat on a safety bar, which he followed up with a 238kg/525lb double — both personal records. Check them out below:
[Related: Learn the importance of variation and four benefits of using a safety bar.]
“This is the heaviest single I’ve ever done. I can smell the 600.”
Both of these PRs come right on the heels of Tuchscherer’s front squat PR of 252kg/555lb that he posted only a week prior:
Although this lift was successful, Tuchscherer went against his own advice by putting a load on the bar —252kg/555lb — that might have ended up too heavy for him, since he’d struggled in the last two weeks to squat 249kg/550lb.
“Normally this is a bad choice. You should take the weights you’ve earned. If you were in this situation and asked, I’d tell you to take 550 and smoke it.”
But hey, Mike Tuchscherer may be made of different materials than the average person — the guy’s a powerlifting machine.
According to Open Powerlifting, Tuchscherer made his competitive powerlifting debut in 2003 at the age of 18 at the USAPL’s Maryland state championships, where he placed second. Since then he has competed an additional thirty-two times and has fifteen first place finishes. (He is known to eat an entire loaf of bread’s worth of peanut butter and jellies during competition.)
His heaviest back squat in competition was 410kg/904lb at the IPF 2009 World Games in Taiwan, where he claimed gold. Tuchscherer has gone on to found Reactive Training Systems (RTS), a company that has helped over a dozen athletes set IPF world records.
We’re looking forward to that 600-pound front squat he’s cooking up.
Feature image from Mike Tuchscherer’s Instagram page: @miketuchscherer