Converting Front Squat to Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat


We are having more and more interest in coaches switching from front or back squats to rear foot elevated split squats ( Bulgarian Lunges, a name you’ll recognize and I hate).

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The big question we get is the “how much weight to use question”. I just got an email from one of our former coaches asking just this question so. I thought Id share my answer.

 

” we found that the front squat ( 1 RM) and rear foot elevated split squat 1 RM with a bar in the back squat position were pretty close. ( +- 10 lbs). For front squats we did a 1 RM, for split squats we did a rep max and then calculated the 1 RM but, in any case they were close.

However I don’t like the back squat position for the rear foot elevated split squats. If you get in trouble and lose a bar it’s a disaster so we went to dumbbells.

We figure you can do 80% of what you can do with the bar with dumbbells. So, lets do the math.

Front Squat 1 RM = 190 therefore Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat =190
With dumbbells that would be 152 lbs ( .8 x 190) or, roughly 75 lb dumbbells for one rep.

We then calculate training loads from there. 80% x5 would be .8x 75 or 60’s x5

In other words, someone that could front squat 190 should use 60 lb db’s for sets of 5.

However there is a learning curve if they haven’t done the lift. I started with 50% x10 so in this case 35’s or 40’s x 10. “

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