I often see people asking online what the ATG standard is for a certain exercise, so I decided to create a full list of the standards that can be easily referenced.
These standards are set/rep/weight benchmarks you should be aiming for in order to have a solid foundational level of strength.
They’re designed to test your abilities across 20+ different areas and will highlight your strengths and weaknesses.
Regardless of where you’re at in your knees over toes journey, knowing what you’re working towards is really important for your growth as an athlete.
Remember that ATG is not a sport.
It’s not about who can do the most reps or lift the most weight.
It’s about perfecting your form and developing that fundamental strength over time.
The standards in this article come directly from Ben Patrick himself as well as his Standards program.
Note that these standards evolve over time and I’ve seen several different versions of these standards posted in different locations, so expect these to continue evolving over time.
Why These Standards Are Important
The objective of the ATG standards is to establish a foundational level of strength that will serve you regardless of where you’re heading athletically.
Becoming elite in any athletic endeavor is a long and difficult road and you simply cannot cut corners if you want to succeed.
A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
If your (kinetic) chain is lacking in any one area, you’re in for years of plateaus. frustration, and potentially injury.
If you, like me, strive for an elite vertical jump, you simply must have strong foundations.
You simply cannot build the lower body strength and power necessary for a 45+ inch vertical jump if you can’t at least hit these strength benchmarks.
And for those who manage it anyway, the risk of injury is always looming.
The ATG standards are a “first things first” stepping stone on your journey to elite athletic ability, whatever it is you’re aspiring to achieve.
Note that not all ATG exercises have standards, but the following exercises do.
ATG Lower Body Standards
We’ll start out with the lower body exercises and I’ll include the core exercises at the bottom of this list.
In the next section I’ve included the upper body standards.
If you’re unsure of how to perform any of these exercises, head on over to my full list of knees over toes/ATG exercises article where I’ve included clips and detailed instructions for ensuring your form is correct.
- Reverse Sled Pull – The ATG standard for the reverse sled pull is 50% bodyweight. Unfortunately we don’t have much more information than this – it wasn’t made clear whether that refers to total weight (including sled) or additional weight on the sled, and for what distance. In any case, Ben has said the objective of the reverse sled pull is to maximize the burn, which means finding the balance between weight, distance, and speed. If you’re able to get roughly 50% BW on the sled and can pull that with your feet in the right position, using a consistent rhythm, and with adequate speed over ~40meters or so, I’d say you’ve done a pretty solid job! If anyone is able to clarify the standard, let me know so I can update this post!
- Patrick Step – The ATG standard for the Patrick step is 25 consecutive reps to full ankle bend.
- Poliquin Step Up – The ATG standard for the Poliquin step up is 20 reps with 66% of your bodyweight on your back, using a 3-4″ box with your heels elevated at least to 45-degrees.
- Jefferson Curl – The ATG standard for the Jefferson curl is 10 reps with 25% bodyweight with your wrists going below your toes.
- Standing Tibialis Raise – The ATG standard for the standing tibialis raise is 25 consecutive reps, pausing at the top and bottom of the movement for 2 seconds.
- Tibialis Raise – The ATG standard for the tibialis raise (those done with a tib bar, not standing tib raises) is 25% bodyweight for 5 sets of 5 reps.
- Sissy Squat – The ATG standard for the sissy squat is to be able to perform 20 reps using just your bodyweight where your shins are parallel to the floor.
- ATG RDL – The ATG standard for the barbell Romanian deadlift is 100% bodyweight for 10 reps, but with your back parallel to the floor without rounding. Ben isn’t completely clear here as he says the standard is “lower back arch below parallel to the floor” but only ever mentions the back being parallel in the demonstration video. He also says in a later video that the ATG standard for the dumbbell RDL is 25% bodyweight per hand for 20 reps.
- ATG Split Squat – The ATG standard for the ATG split squat is 25% bodyweight per hand (dumbbells) on flat ground.
- Nordic Hamstring Curl – The ATG standard for the Nordic is 10 repetitions with a 4 second eccentric (lowering) with a 1 second pause at the bottom before exploding up.
- Seated Good Morning – The ATG standard for the seated good morning is 50% bodyweight on your back with abs touching the bench and no rounding of the lower back (your thighs should be parallel to the floor also).
- Back Extension – The ATG standard for the back extension is the single leg variation with 100% of your bodyweight on your back. You must hold the top position for 2 seconds and aren’t allowed to bounce the weights off the floor.
- ATG Squat – The ATG standard for the ATG squat is 25% of your bodyweight for 20 repetitions. Note that this squat variation is not to be confused with a normal ‘ass to grass’ squat and is actually a unique variation of the goblet squat. To perform this exercise make sure your heels are elevated, hold a dumbbell under your chin, and make sure your elbows must stay in front of your body (not flared outwards) and don’t touch your thighs. Your knees must also track forward over your toes.
- Single Leg Calf Raise -The ATG standard for the single leg calf raise is 25% bodyweight (dumbbell) for 10 repetitions.
- MonkeyFeet Knee Raise – The ATG standard for the MonkeyFeet knee raise is 10% of your bodyweight for 20 reps.
- Reverse Squat (Low Cable Pull-In) – The ATG standard for the reverse squat (formerly referred to as low cable pull in) is 50% bodyweight for 20 reps.
- Hanging Leg Raise – The ATG standard for the hanging leg raise is to be able to get your toes to the bar for 10 reps. You also have to be able to control the movement for 2 seconds on the eccentric before exploding upwards.
- Garhammer Raise – The ATG standard for the Garhammer raise is 10 reps at level 2, which is a bent knee concentric followed by straight leg eccentric.
- L-Sit – The ATG standard for the L-Sit is 15 seconds on flat ground.
If you’re unsure what any of that looks like, have a look at my ATG exercise list for video demonstrations.
ATG Upper Body Standards
There’s also 8 upper body standards you should think about aiming for as well.
- 45 Degree Incline Dumbbell Press – The ATG standard for the incline dumbbell press is 66% bodyweight for 10 reps (33% each hand).
- Face Pull – The ATG standard for the face pull is 33% bodyweight for 10 reps.
- Trap 3 Raise – The ATG standard for the trap 3 raise is to be able to hold 10% of bodyweight in each hand with arms extended at a 45° angle to the ground.
- ATG Dip – The ATG standard for the ATG dip is 12 reps.
- ATG Shoulder Press – The ATG standard for the ATG shoulder press is 50% bodyweight for 10 reps (25% each hand).
- ATG Chin Up – The ATG standard for the ATG chin up is 10 reps. This chin up variation requires fully extended arms at the bottom of the movement and shoulders must touch the bar at the top.
- External Rotation – The “ATG elite athlete standard” for the external rotation is 10% bodyweight for 10 reps. Ben however mentions that 5% bodyweight is excellent for the vast majority of people.
- Cross Bench Pullover – The ATG standard for the cross bench pullover is 25% bodyweight for 10 repetitions.
- QL Extension – The “ATG athlete standard” for the QL extension is 25% bodyweight for 10 explosive repetitions.
If I’ve missed any standards, especially the ones not listed in the Standards program, please contact me so I can add them into the article!
Do I Need To Hit All Of These Standards?
You definitely don’t need to be able to do every standard on this list, but it largely comes down to what your goals are.
If you want to achieve any elite level of athleticism in any domain, being able to hit each of these benchmarks means you’ve got a super solid foundation on which you can start building specialized strength.
It is possible to get a 50″ vertical jump without a large number of these standards, but the safest and smartest road there involves working your way through them.
I see these foundational abilities as a ‘soft’ requirement for elite athletic performance, particularly when it comes to jumping, which is why I’m working through these standards on my own vertical jump journey!
Why You Need The ATG Standards Program…
Knowing what the ATG standards are is one thing, but knowing how to efficiently program these exercises into your routine, to the point where you can start checking them off one by one, is a whole nother story.
The Standards program is a 4 day program but there is also 3 and 5 day variations you can choose depending on your schedule.
I highly recommend signing up for the ATG Online Coaching where you’ll get access to the full workout program used to guide you through the completion of each of these standards.
ATG Upper Body Standards
Face Pull – The ATG standard for the face pull is 33% bodyweight for 10 reps. Trap 3 Raise – The ATG standard for the trap 3 raise is to be able to hold 10% of bodyweight in each hand with arms extended at a 45° angle to the ground. ATG Dip – The ATG standard for the ATG dip is 12 reps.
We have 7 Main Programs: Knee Ability Zero, Back Ability Zero, ATG Basics, Dense Strength, Female Standards, Male Standards and ATG Pro.What are the 10 ATG exercises? ›
- Sled Pull/Push.
- Tibialis Raise.
- Patrick Step.
- Knees Over Toes Calf Raise.
- ATG Split Squat.
- Monkey Feet Knee Raise.
ATG squats are most useful for Olympic lifters, but if you find yourself in need of lower body mobility or stronger quads, ATG squatting is essential. However, steer clear of ATG squatting if you fear they are bad for your knees!How much do ATG coaches make? ›
|Annual Salary||Monthly Pay|
Parallel or 90 degree squats require markedly greater activation, muscular tension, concentration, mental fortitude, intensity and overall strength. ATG squats are the antithesis of this involving reduced muscle activation, and neuromuscular relaxation.Does ATG build more muscle? ›
Increased quads activation – deep ATG squats take your quadriceps through a larger range of motion, which may help increase muscle mass and strength more than parallel squats.What is the difference between GHR exercise and Nordic curl? ›
The main difference between the Nordic hamstring curl and the GHR hamstring curl is where the knee is placed. During the Nordic hamstring curl, the knee is directly on the ground. During the GHR hamstring curl the knee is placed before the pad.How many times a week should I do Nordic curls? ›
How Many Days A Week Should I Do Nordic Curls? Regardless of where you're at in terms of Nordic ability, training frequency will vary slightly depending on a few factors. Generally speaking you'll want to do Nordics twice per week if possible, but once a week may be a better fit.Is a Nordic hamstring curl impressive? ›
One of the most impressive feats of strength in the gym is a fully controlled Nordic hamstring curl where the body is parallel to the floor. Having brutally strong and huge hamstrings aren't the only benefits of this exercise.
It's just rare. People(Some) Squat more than 4 plates…for reps, as naturals, but they're genetic phenoms and a rare part of the population.Does the ATG split squat strengthen hip flexors? ›
The ATG split squat will strengthen your quads, stretch your hip flexors, and keep all the connective tissue around your knee joint healthy. If you struggle with knee pain, practicing this movement will thicken up those weaker ligaments and tendons for healthier and more stable knees.How common is a 225 squat? ›
|Odds of being able to perform the lift||Bench Press||Squat|
ATG stands for Athletics Truth Group and was developed by Ben Patrick (famously known as “Knees Over Toes Guy”). ATG training focuses on building strength and conditioning while simultaneously bulletproofing the body from injury! It is also a training method that develops incredible athletic ability.What are the golden 6 exercises? ›
Overview: Arnold Schwarzenegger Golden Six Workout Program
By completing the squat, a horizontal pressing movement, a vertical pressing movement, chins, curls, and sit ups, the athlete is effectively training the entire body.
Ray Orlando Williams (born 1986) is an American powerlifter, who currently holds the world record for the heaviest drug-tested, raw (unassisted/assisted) squat at 490 kg (1,080 lb).What squats are best for testosterone? ›
Barbell back squats are a must if you want to increase your testosterone through weight training. They allow you to lift very heavy weights with the largest muscle groups in your body, which is typically the best way to get post-exercise testosterone serum elevation.What is the best squat rep range for testosterone? ›
Research out of the University of Connecticut focused on finding the ideal sets and reps. The study concluded that both 10 sets of 10 reps and 6 sets of 10 reps were ideal for significantly increases blood testosterone levels.Is ATG online coaching legit? ›
ATG has been a game changer for me! I've had knee problems for years but after a few weeks doing ZERO, my knees are significantly improved. This app is a wonderful way to access the unique workouts and get timely feedback from coaches. Truth be told, my sons are the developers of this app.What is the highest salary for a sports coach? ›
Athletic coach salaries typically range between $29,000 and $71,000 a year.
The average coach salary ranges between $27,000 and $66,000 in the US. Hourly rates for coaches in the US typically range between $12 and $31 an hour.How much harder is an ATG squat? ›
A typical difference between parallel and ATG might be 10% in max weight. ATG is a longer range of motion, and often requires somewhat different positioning to hit depth, so it shouldn't be surprising you max weight will be reduced.Is squatting past 90 degrees bad? ›
Squatting deeper has not been shown by the research to cause any harm to the knees. The research has actually shown that squatting to 90 degrees puts the most stress and force on your knees, but when you go past 90, there is less force on the knees.Does ATG split squat build muscle? ›
The ATG split squat is a variation of the squat with a unilateral application and is performed as deep as a squat can go. It primarily targets the vastus medialis oblique muscle. Furthermore, aside from increasing muscle strength, ATG split squats are beneficial in improving ankle mobility, knee stability, and balance.What is the hardest muscle group to grow? ›
- Love handles, bingo wings, belly pouches. ...
- 1) Obliques. ...
- 2) Calves. ...
- 3) Forearms. ...
- 4) Triceps. ...
- 5) Lower stomach.
What muscles develop the fastest? Phasic muscles like the pectorals, rhomboid muscles, glutes, and the trapezius muscles.What is the highest muscle activation for glutes? ›
In general, the step-up exercise and its variations present the highest levels of GMax activation (>100% of MVIC) followed by several loaded exercises and its variations, such as deadlifts, hip thrusts, lunges, and squats, that presented a very high level of GMax activation (>60% of 1RM).Why do you reverse Nordic curls? ›
The reverse Nordic curl is a great exercise to help improve hip flexor and quadriceps strength, size, and mobility. Whilst it is relatively simple to perform, intent and positioning is crucial during the movement to ensure the stretch is felt and you are getting the most out of it.Why are Nordic Curls so good? ›
When it comes to athletic performance, Nordic Curls are a great way to improve balance, coordination and agility. In addition, they help you increase speed and strength. The combination of all these benefits makes this exercise an excellent choice for any athlete looking for a way to improve their game.Why are Nordic hamstring curls so good? ›
The Nordic hamstring curl is one of the best hamstring exercises for improving muscle hypertrophy on the backs of your legs. The Nordic hamstring curl activates all three muscles within the hamstring—the biceps femoris, semimembranosus, and semitendinosus. 2. Nordic hamstring curls can decrease your risk of injury.
How many reps of Nordic Hamstring Curl can the average lifter do? The average male lifter can do 11 reps of Nordic Hamstring Curl. This makes you Intermediate on Strength Level and is a very impressive achievement.Are Nordic Curls good for knees? ›
Nordic Curls are a great way to lessen the chances of injury. They work the knee flexor muscles. Because these muscles are strengthened, they are they much less likely to fall prey to injury. Another upside is that this can also enhance knee mobility whilst reducing any strains to the hamstrings.Are Nordic Curls good for hypertrophy? ›
The Nordic ham curl is currently enjoying a bout of phase-two popularity that's been spurred by a slew of studies that have shown they're great for hamstring hypertrophy, increase eccentric strength, and vastly decrease the odds of getting a hamstring injury. (This is in part because it lengthens the hamstring itself.)What is the heaviest Nordic curl? ›
The most strict Nordic hamstring curls in one minute is 24, and was achieved by Gregory Pignataro (USA), in Phoenix, Arizona, USA, on 16 December 2022.Can Nordic Curls replace deadlifts? ›
The results of this study hint that the Nordic hamstring exercise is more effective than the stiff-legged deadlift for increasing biceps femoris fascicle length, and maybe more effective for increasing biceps femoris muscle thickness and hamstrings eccentric strength.Should you go heavy on hamstring curls? ›
To properly execute a leg curl, always start with a lighter weight. You don't want to force your body to overcompensate by lifting the hips and flexing your lower back. This fails to isolate the calves and hamstrings and can cause injury to your back.How rare is a 315 bench? ›
Within numerous estimates, approximately 0.6-1% of the entire United States population is capable of performing a 315 pound bench press repetition, of which is only 5% of all resistance-trained individuals within the Western hemisphere. At a global scale, approximately only 0.3-0.5% are able to do so.What percentage of the population can bench 225? ›
Though we can safely say that – based on national statistics – less than 1% of the population can bench press 225 pounds, this figure becomes somewhat more dubious when changing the sample size to only individuals that visit the gym.What is the hardest squat to do? ›
Front squats are more difficult than back squats because of the mobility and technical demands in maintaining upper body stability. In addition, the front loaded position challenges muscle groups like the back and core and are often the limiting factor in front squatting as much as you back squat.What is the strongest hip flexor muscle? ›
The iliopsoas muscle is the strongest hip flexor and assists in external rotation of the femur, playing an important role in maintaining the strength and integrity of the hip joint. It is essential for correct standing or sitting lumbar posture, and during walking and running.
The iliopsoas is the prime mover of hip flexion, and is the strongest of the hip flexors (others are rectus femoris, sartorius, and tensor fasciae latae). The iliopsoas is important for standing, walking, and running.Can you bench 315 naturally? ›
Yes, but maybe not for you. Only 1% of the male population can bench 315… and less than half that population has what it takes to get to 4 plates. 405 is about training hard, understanding biomechanics, periodization and nutrition.What percent of the world can squat 315? ›
Less than 2% of those can bench 315.How much should a 200 pound man squat? ›
ATG stands for Athletics Truth Group and was developed by Ben Patrick (famously known as “Knees Over Toes Guy”). ATG training focuses on building strength and conditioning while simultaneously bulletproofing the body from injury! It is also a training method that develops incredible athletic ability.What is the difference between ATG and 90 degree squat? ›
Parallel or 90 degree squats require markedly greater activation, muscular tension, concentration, mental fortitude, intensity and overall strength. ATG squats are the antithesis of this involving reduced muscle activation, and neuromuscular relaxation.What does ATG mean in the ATG split squat? ›
Ben Patrick (From Knees Over Toes) has popularized an exercise called the ATG Split Squat or ATG Lunge. "ATG" stands "ass-to-grass" and it implies you should go as low and deep as possible.What is benefit of ATG? ›
The ATG split squat is a variation of the squat with a unilateral application and is performed as deep as a squat can go. It primarily targets the vastus medialis oblique muscle. Furthermore, aside from increasing muscle strength, ATG split squats are beneficial in improving ankle mobility, knee stability, and balance.Is military press same as shoulder press? ›
The difference between a military press and shoulder press
The military press focuses more on the shoulders and triceps than the shoulder press because there is no movement from the legs. Bodybuilders will usually practice the military press in order to produce more muscle-building tension.
- Dumbbell Shoulder Press.
- Kettlebell Shoulder Press.
- Barbell Shoulder Press.
- Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press.
- Dumbbell Lateral Raise.
- Overhead Dumbbell Triceps Extension.
- Barbell Front Raise.
- Dumbbell Rear Lateral Raise.
The short and simple answer is as low as possible. Squatting deeper has not been shown by the research to cause any harm to the knees. The research has actually shown that squatting to 90 degrees puts the most stress and force on your knees, but when you go past 90, there is less force on the knees.What squat version is best for glutes? ›
A sumo squat is excellent for targeting your glutes. A wider stance keeps your hips externally rotated to promote greater glute activation. Stand with your feet wider than shoulder width, your toes pointed slightly outward, and your hands out in front of you.What is the most advanced squat? ›
The pistol squat is the most advanced progression because it is a unilateral movement that requires adequate mobility and stability of the lower body. In addition to this, a pistol squat is more challenging because we must hold one leg up in front of us, as we squat loading the opposing leg.Are split squats safe for knees? ›
A study comparing the biomechanics of a back squat and a split squat found that the latter involves significantly less displacement of the knee joint. This means that if you or a client struggles to do squats because of knee issues, you may be able to do the Bulgarian split squat without pain or risk of injury.