Life Changing Front Squat Routine! Just ask Eze!

Below is another excerpt from my upcoming book, Preparing For Battle. This section provides you with the best front squat program for strength and stability that I have ever used. It is also very transferable to the snatch and especially the clean & jerk. It literally transformed my adopted son, Eze from a chump to a contender is nine weeks. Enjoy!

Life Changing Front Squat Routine

This book would not be complete without a section on a Front Squat Routine that has literally changed people’s lives or at least their leg strength. Eze Onwurah “Mash”, basically my son, is an athlete and employee at the Mash Mafia Compound. When he started with me in 2010, he was the weakest athlete that I trained out of high school. He couldn’t budge a 315 pound deadlift off the floor. Three years later, Eze could clean and jerk 330 pounds. It was one of the most dramatic transformations that I have ever witnessed.

For the longest time, Eze’s upper body was surging forwards, but his lower body was significantly behind the other athletes. At the end of 2012, we put Eze on a front squat program that would literally change the game for him. After a nine week program, Eze’s leg strength and stability roared light years ahead. Eze went from being the team’s worst weightlifter to the best on the team, and this program was the catalyst of the whole thing.

It is centered on time under tension and stabilization. All the reps are pause a certain amount of time in the bottom position and a certain amount of time in the top position. Not only did Eze get stronger, but his stabilization also improved significantly. Eze has always had perfect mobility, and with a 42 inch vertical leap, no one produces more force. His problem was catching the weight with a vertical back and not getting bent over. It was also standing up with the weight, and with this one program both issues were improved. Below is the plan:

Front Squat Time Paused in Bottom and Top Reps and Sets
week 1 7 seconds in bottom, 15 seconds in top Max, then 80% 3×3
week 2 7 seconds in bottom, 15 seconds in top Max, then 83% 3×3
Week 3 7 seconds in bottom, 15 seconds in top Max, then 85% 3×3
week 4 5 seconds in bottom, 12 second in top Max, then 80% 3×3
Week 5 5 seconds in bottom, 12 second in top Max, then 83% 3×3
week 6 5 seconds in bottom, 12 second in top Max, then 85% 3×3
week 7 3 seconds in bottom, 10 seconds in top Max, then 80% 3×3
week 8 3 seconds in bottom, 10 seconds in top Max, then 83% 3×3
week 9 3 seconds in bottom, 10 seconds in top Max, then 85% 3×3

The workout consists of a determining a max with the prescribed pause time, and then there will be three down sets also performed with the prescribed pause times. Three reps will take around 75 seconds, so it’s not your typical three reps. The plan is tough, but see it through and the results will be amazing.

We are still accepting athletes on our online team. We are taking new teammates for the next five weeks, and then we will be capping the team out for right now. We will all be preparing for an August 30th Attitude Nation Weightlifting Competition that we are partnering with the Garage Games to bring you all the most exciting weightlifting competition of all-time. Get ready for greatness! To find out more about the team, go to

I just got back from CrossFit Broken Chains in Orlando Florida teaching a Learn 2 Lift Seminar. Nate and his wife Annette are two of the most amazing people that I have ever met. The people that I meet are always the most exciting part of the seminars. To find out about a seminar near you, go to


  1. juan says

    So a trainee would do this just once a week, any day of the week?
    Also my condolences to you and all the Mash Mafia family.

  2. Jake says

    Do you pause at the top for the time and then the bottom or do you hold the pause at the top after the squat has been completed?

  3. Jake says

    Also would this be a good program for someone who is competing at nationals in July? My clean is held back by my front squat. We are 11 weeks out from nationals so I’m wondering if this 9 week program would be good now or better after?

  4. says

    I’m very happy to discover this great site. I want to to thank you for your time for this wonderful read!!
    I definitely liked every little bit of it and i also have you
    book-marked to check out new things on your web site.

  5. Ashley says

    This looks like just the program I need for my clean and jerk, As I get stuck in the bottom. A few questions though: Where do we do the pause at the top? Is it just above parallel? And do we do all three reps and sets at 80% (for week 1)?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *