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French Powerlifting Ratio Sonny Bill Williams

French Powerlifting Ratio

French Powerlifting Ratio is going viral. French Powerlifting Ratio (FPR) is one way to stay accountable to improving your big 3 lifts without having to become “a powerlifter.” This system is for those that love the barbell but want to incorporate it into a bigger picture of performance.

Champion Weightlifter and Bodybuilder John Grimek

Champion Weightlifter and Bodybuilder John Grimek

During the golden age of performance from the last 1800’s to the middle of last century, there was an integration of all aspects of physical development together with the concept of building health and vitality. Leaders of this movement included: Eugene Sandow (bodybuilder, strongman performer, educator and could do a standing back flip holding 15kg dumbells in each hand), John Grimek (competed at the olympics in weightlifting, won many bodybuilding titles and could do the splits both ways), Tommy Kono (weightlifting and bodybuilding champion) and even Doug Hepburn (could do free-standing handstand push-ups at over 120kg bodyweight, bench press 500lb and won many weightlifting titles).

Gradually during the last century a split happened. Strength competitions split into fast and slow lifts, the single arm lifts were lost and bodybuilding also separated from performance.

What would become “Powerlifting” was born from the frustration that the “fast” lifts required too much skill and mobility.


Simple slow lifts where Real Strength could be measured! Initially the test format was similar to weightlifting where a lifter could follow himself if he failed a lift or if nobody else was competing on similar weights.

Powerlifting Roots - Doug Hepburn

Doug Hepburn

Now the format of powerlifting meets is a full day of chest beating and bar bending. Some people love it, many don’t. And so people don’t develop the 3 key lifts optimally because of the lack of accountability. They don’t want to invest the time or experience the environment.

John Grimek – Splits

And the world is WEAKER for it.

What we test gets better.

So you don’t want to be the next Ed Coan but you want a big base. So how can we be accountable to have a massive base of slow, low skill strength?

Some people get super strong just doing weightlifting, CrossFit or bodyweight training. Most massively under-achieve because they LACK A BASE in strength.

When I step away from bending bars all my movements and physique suffer.

I snatched 100kg after a high frequency deadlift cycle and a Dense Strength phase of squats. My slow strength was as good as it has ever been and so the fast lifts were better than I even thought I was capable of.

Why Is It French?

French Powerlifting was born from the protocol of Fred Marcerou. I selected Fred as my assistant in 2012 at the Catalan Dragons, he’s now the French national rugby league and Catalan Dragons Head of Performance. It is genius and so we have applied it across the RealMOVEMENT community with amazing results. Standards of slow strength are on the rise feeding gains in gymnastics and weightlifting results!

Fred is French and so it’s French Powerlifting Ratio. Fred is a very innovative coach who I have learned a lot from and will continue to work with. If you read French or just want to check it out here is the original article with some of the current francophone records.



1. Complete all reps with technical excellence.

– Less than 3 second concentric phase

– No asymmetry of movement

– Belts are ok

– Lifting shoes OR no shoes are fine.

– No wraps, straps or lifting suits.

– You can have a spotter but if they TOUCH the bar then the lift doesn’t count. Stay safe.

– If testing alone please do the bench press in a power rack or with spotters arms. People die every year bench pressing, this is not our goal.

2. Procedure

– When you touch the bar time starts.

– You have 60 seconds to make 3 lifts. As long as the deadlift is locked at the top before 60 seconds you have completed the protocol within the time.

3. Sequence

1. Squat (olympic style high bar squat)

2. Bench (medium grip, pinky’s to powerlfting rings is the outer limit)

3. Deadlift (conventional no sumo, mixed, hook or double overhand with no hook are all acceptable.)


FPR = (Squat + Bench + Deadlift) / Bodyweight

Light weight lifters – If you weigh less than 75kg you must use 75kg as your weight. I don’t make the rules, I just stick to them. (Actually I did make this rule.)

Heavy weights lifters – functional mass is the key to your French Powerlifting Ratio no mercy for the big boys.

When sharing your French Powerlifting Ratio please share 6 numbers:

1. Bodyweight

2. Squat

3. Bench

4. Deadlift

5. Total Weight

6. French Powerlifting Ratio (Total weight / Bodyweight).

Beginner < 4.5

Intermediate = 4.5-5.5

Advanced = 5.5-6.5

World-Class >6.5

Nathan Gould

Jérémy Mialhe (Athlète Strongman – PP équipe de France de ski de vitesse)

Pdc : 86.1kg – BS : 210 – DC : 150 – SDT : 200 – Total : 560 – Ratio : 6.50

My own total. I’ve done 140/120/200 since then but the bench press wasn’t smooth. I plan on 150/125/210 = 485 / 83 for 5.84 within the current 3 month testing block.


The FPR Hall Of Fame:

2 x Bodyweight Squat (high bar, weightlifting style)

1.66 x Bodyweight Bench (pinkies to the rings or closer)

3 x Bodyweight Deadlift  (Go, Go, Go, 3 sec or less concentric!)

This gives you a French POWERLIFTING Ratio = 6.66 x bodyweight.

Please send your video when you total 6.66.

For me at 83kg this will mean 165kg / 137.5kg / 250kg. These numbers look beautiful with to me if I can reach them together with gymnastics, skills, power etc.

6 is a requirement of the RealMOVEMENT Mentorship Level 2 Coaches.

Nathan Gould is the only one to do this so far with a total of 6.83 (200/150/210 // 82kg) completed after the video above.

Jacky Brazier is on 6.60 (75kg)

Bladen Baird 6.13 (94kg)

Brent Coglan 6.10 (86kg)

Mitch Pike is yet to register a total but will be in the top 3 when he does despite weighing in at around 112kg!

Mitch - muscle shot

Sleeping Giant – Mitch Pike.

4.76 is the average of the 80 scores we’ve collected so far with 127 / 103 / 165 as the average lifts. Many of this group collected these numbers as initial testing at the start of their Special Force journey. There is a lot of work to be done.


Post it with #realMOVEMENT Project or tag @RealMOVEMENTProject so that I can see it.

Social media accountability works. I want to see where you got to with this and you’re contributing positively to world lifting standards by sharing.

If you’re strong, great. Someone is stronger. If you’re weak, great. Someone is weaker. All that matters is that you’re living your best and you’re expanding self-knowledge.

How Do You Improve It?

The program that you can put passion into and adapt to is the program that you should be using. I run a program (RealMOVEMENT SpecialFORCE) that has helped lots of guys to PB and hit numbers they never thought were possible while improving, skills, mobility, rate of force development and endurance.

If you want accountability and support to get where you want to be check out Special Forces program here.


Barbell strength matters for athletes, bodybuilders and humans. You don’t need to become a powerlifter to put this to the test. Testing will help you build a big base and as result movement in life will get better.

About Keegan Smith

Keegan Smith (Coach KEEGAN), founder of RealMOVEMENT Project and author of Performance Coach Success Blueprint, is a performance coach educator who's worked with Premiership winning Sydney Roosters.

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