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Old 08-25-2008, 05:51 PM   #1
Tom Rawls
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Default Front Squat vs Zercher

Any major difference in training effect between the two?
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Old 08-25-2008, 06:11 PM   #2
Dave Van Skike
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Two of my favorites.

they're different. keep in mind I'm untainted by the abilty to squat clean or perform even rudimentary Oly lifts adn I use both as accessory lifts for PL and strongman stuff, at which I am still a novice.

zerchers build mega starting strength, and stress the anterior and posterior chain similar to a hip belt squat but with way more core forcus..I do zerchers for abs. zerchers translate to deadlifts for me..if my zercher is going up, my box squat will be going up and my deadlift will be going up....a zercher feels like you're prying something up off the ground..like a tire.

front squats. front squats stress thoracic stabilty more than zerchers, you can get sloppy with a zercher, not much with a front squat. lighter weights are still challenging with a front squat. front squats translate into raw jumping, vertical power. taking a weight from a very deep position and exploding upward is the provance of the front squat. when my front squat goes up so does my back squat

my theory on front squats...if you can front squat a weight..you own that weight flat out. I can front squat in the 300-400 range....I know that I can lift close to a 300 sandbag, a 300 keg and a 300 stone once I get it into position. it's just a matter of establishing leverage and then jumping with it....for me, front squats build acceleration, zerchers build starting strength. that may be just my leverages but that's how it works for me.

no time you spend building either lift will be wasted. right now I'm taking time off of back squatting of any kind to work my front squat becuase I know it will pay off.
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Old 08-25-2008, 08:13 PM   #3
Paul McKirdy
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Do you use a Zercher harness by chance? I'm currently in a paralysis by analysis mode of adding in Zerchers. The gym I lift at has the harness, so I'll just dive into the pool on Wednesday.
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Old 08-25-2008, 11:01 PM   #4
Dave Van Skike
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul McKirdy View Post
Do you use a Zercher harness by chance? I'm currently in a paralysis by analysis mode of adding in Zerchers. The gym I lift at has the harness, so I'll just dive into the pool on Wednesday.
no. i tried a front squat harness once...it was stoooopit.
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Old 08-26-2008, 07:00 AM   #5
Tom Rawls
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thanks Dave.

No harness. Been trying zercher since my rack position on the front squat is poor and uncomfortable.
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Old 08-26-2008, 10:44 AM   #6
Dave Van Skike
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another thing I just started doing is front squats with chains, if you have access to chains I think it works really well.

last night's front squat work was about 10 sets of 2 with straight weight, then 3 back off sets of 5 with chain adding anothe 160# at the top. it's one way to hit higher reps with front squats. usually I stay below 3 reps but chains delaod the most compromised position for the upper back and really let you accelerate the bar upward.
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Old 08-26-2008, 11:02 AM   #7
Jacob Rowell
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Dave, nice front squat/zercher analysis. I've never done zerchers seriously, but may give it a try. I can be somewhat inconsistent loading heavy stones, and got owned by a heavy tire (780#) at my last competition. The end result was me flailing about under the tire and a sprained ankle. I hope I never find a youtube video of it.

Anyways, sounds like the zercher squat may help a bit.
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Old 08-26-2008, 11:15 AM   #8
Dave Van Skike
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Give them a try...I love them adn alwasy feel confident that once I get a stone in my lap it will go up, I just have mega problems with the pick.(any tips?)


I got owned by a wee little 720 tire in my last competition that was just different enough from the 750 I was used to to not turn over, again, off the ground it's easy...
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Old 08-26-2008, 02:09 PM   #9
Jacob Rowell
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I'm a bit of a novice with all things strongman. My pick is better than my ability to get it up to the platform. I've lapped 315+ with tacky, but wasn't able to get it up very far, just don't have the hip drive in me yet. I was also 175# myself last time I was on stones (I'm busy geting fat now). I've learned everything I know from "TWR" over on p&b. I train at his place semi-regularly.

How low do you go when doing zerchers? About to where the bar would hit your knees? Thinking back, I did a little deadlift/zercher combo to get up an axle recently. Worked great.
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Old 08-26-2008, 02:22 PM   #10
Dave Van Skike
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacob Rowell View Post
I'm a bit of a novice with all things strongman. My pick is better than my ability to get it up to the platform. I've lapped 315+ with tacky, but wasn't able to get it up very far, just don't have the hip drive in me yet. I was also 175# myself last time I was on stones (I'm busy geting fat now). I've learned everything I know from "TWR" over on p&b. I train at his place semi-regularly.

How low do you go when doing zerchers? About to where the bar would hit your knees? Thinking back, I did a little deadlift/zercher combo to get up an axle recently. Worked great.

I take the zercher down to a deadstop at the knee. you shoudl see my shitty axle clean/ zercher for heavy axles...it's really ugly. Saw in your blog you migth run a smolov to get a 400 back squat? post your results if you do. I'm tempted to run one of Pavel's "smolov lite" programs once I reach my current front squat goal
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