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To deadlift or squat, that is the question.... I would love to hear everyones opinio


New member
I have done two days of training to recondition my body after my injury (which is completely healed, all pain gone). First day was light, second day was a bit heavier, and friday will be a bit heavier still. On monday I will begin training fairly hard, and continue ramping up the weights, in an effort to reach and then surpass my former bests.
The question for the forum is, should I concentrate on squatting (a weakness), or deadlifting (a strength).
I realize that working your weakness is a smart thing to do, but whats the harm in working my strength to the point of being a really good deadlifter?
I like both lifts, but like the deadlift a little more because I'm better at it. Then again, squatting really fills out my legs which are naturally quite thin.
I don't know.... I would love to hear everybody's opinion on the matter......


New member

I'm exactly the way you are. Strong puller, poor squatter(relatively speaking). I found that improving my squat has made me feel more athletic and its definitely necessary for my Olympic Lifting. I love deadlifting but its on the backburner now. I mainly perform stiff-legged deads(a personal favorite) and snatch- and clean-grip deads. My weights aren't even close to what they were when I focused strictly on deads.

You'll find its very easy to maintain your dead while improving the squat. Either way, they both help each other.



New member
How about...

Do the squat first in your workout, work it hard, then do the Romanian DL? I have been doing this combo and I don't feel that it is too taxing at all. Do this for a cycle, then focus on the regular DL and give squats a rest, or perhaps just do pistols to maintain leg strength.


New member

Why not do both? DL one workout and SQUAT the next. It has worked pretty well for me. Glad to hear you have recovered from your injury.


Tun Tavern 1775

New member
RDL's, again for what my Newbie two-cents is worth....

I've been doing these at Mike T Bear and Andrea's suggestion for just a couple of sessions now (after Andrea Du Cane said I needed to work on hamstring strength and flexibility, and Mike said it works great for back rehab). My hamstrings are fried! -Even though I'm just using 135# for sets of five. I really like this movement.

I'll bet this would be a nice compliment to heavy Squats, and a great program.

That being said, any of the above advice sounds good.

JIM (who hasn't done a BB Squat since the late 1980's) =)!

BJones RKC

New member
Well JMO...

Personally, Unless you have PL aspirations - DL and pistols will take care of you.

If you squat - maybe not quite so deep - more of a PL style rather than an OL style - just because you can doesn't mean you should.

Either way - glad your back to 100% and hoping to see you in March.


green ghost

New member
Same Problem Here -- ( Long )


I know what you mean!! Since there are alternatives
to everything, here are some of yours. You can work the
Squat on one day and 3 days later work on Deadlifting,
or Squat in 1 cycled program , and Deadlift in another,
or better yet , just scrap the Heavy Squat, and work on
Box Speed Squats ( I Do ) , and concentrate on the Deadlift
in itself. From reading your posts , I assume that you value
an Olympic Squatting stance over the Wide powerlifting one.
I do as well , I despise the wide one, it's of no use for me,
sorry Jack and Garm. The Olympic Squat can be done on the box
as well, no problem. I am sure that you will find that this
can be a fine compliment to your overall routine. Low Box
Squats, combined with heavy Deadlifts ( 3-5 range ) should
have a positive carryover to pistols and will address your
leg mass concern, provided adequate calories are taken in.
Also, Box Squats can be done heavy , with less detriment to
your other training concerns because they are less demanding
on your body. They also compare well to bottom up squats.
BTW, if you think your legs are thin , get this
When I was training years ago for mass I trained once in a
while in the same gym as Rich Gaspari BB Champion. I weighed
225 at the time and I asked him once how big his Bi's were,
and he replied , "About 3 inches bigger than your thighs"
True Story .. haha

Let me know if you have any questions!



New member

It appears that you can pull explosively very well (2 KB snatch) so, I would concentrate on the squat. Especially if it is an OL style squat.

I know some PLers might lay into me for that but, this is just my 2 cents.

Can not go wrong either way.


New member
Comrade, work on your SQ, for DL do a few singles with 75% to 85% two times a week. The SQ is very technical so you have to do a lot of training.
But start slowly.


Rob Lawrence

New member
Why I squat instead of DL

First let me state the obvious ... I *could* do both. But at the moment I just squat. Let me explain why.

1. As a "wiry" trainee, I am naturally better at the DL than the squat. But there is some wisdom to the idea "work on your weaknesses." The dirty secret of many wiry people is, contrary to what common sense might think, they are not always fast and not always particularly flexible. The squat helps develop speed and flexibility in ways that the DL does not. Look at the really fast people and the dudes in the NFL -- not a wiry one in the bunch. Whether they start with the ideal build for speed or not, they do a lot of squatting. As I've squatted, I've gotten more athletic -- a lot more athletic.

2. I do kettlebell lifting and the pulls are all the back training I need. I have not DLed seriously for a year, truth be told. A few months ago I did a DL in a PKC meeting and pulled 365, no problem. Nowhere near my potential, but that is a trained state achieved without training, while my squat gains have only come by concentrating seriously on squatting.

3. You have to squat to perform well in KB competition. Two words: the jerk! If you think it's an arm lift, your total is going nowhere.

John, I saw you manhandle that 200-lb sandbag at Maxercise and I seriously don't think you could have done it if you weren't a good squatter. You would have been too slow standing up with it and would have missed the lift. You also might have lacked the midsection strength to support the weight (supporting is a little different than pulling I'm sure you'll agree).

I certainly don't want to diss the DL, it's done wonders for me at times, but I think there is a reason the SQ is so well-esteemed.


chris m.

New member
athleticism of the squat

Rob, I know what you mean about the squat making you feel more athletic. It puts a spring in your legs in a way that the deadlift just doesn't. I usually squat over deadlift because jumping is crucial.

Here are my favourite leg exercises for sport: romanian deadlift, squat, natural glute-ham raise, single-leg calf raise. I usually do the romanian deadlift speed style for two sets of five. Usually do 4 sets of 3-5 reps on the squat (olympic stance), and two by five on everything else. It makes me feel like I have pneumatic legs that can pressurize very quickly.

Steve Freides

New member
Why I deadlift and don't squat

It all depends on what you're after.

1. I have to confess - for all my love of weightlifting in its various forms, the athletic endeavor that rocks my boat more than any other is riding a road bicycle up a long, steep hill. For that, strength to weight ratio matters and it matters alot. The steeper the hill, the more it matters. (I'll skip the science but you only have to look at the people who win bicycle races and compare their builds to the course profile to get all the evidence you need.) I like lifting enough that I'm willing to be a little bit bigger than I might absolutely need to be for the hills, but the size that squatting can bring is something I don't feel I want or need.

2. Squatting requires more equipment, it's potentially more of a problem for people with bad backs, and it's a more technical lift. I don't own a rack (or a bench, for that matter) and I don't need one to stay in great shape - I like that. For my bad back - can't speak to anyone else's - squatting is more of a problem; it has more potential to stretch me out in places where I'm overstretched already and need to stay tight in order to stay healthy. And squatting is just plain harder to learn.

3. I'm sure squatting can help jerking and vice versa, but I'm content to work on my jerks by working on my jerks, and I don't have plans to compete.

I agree that squats deserve the esteem they get in the weightlifting world but deadlifts are better for those of us who don't take our lifting, of and unto itself, as seriously and look at it more as a tool to help us be more fit for the rest of our lives and our other athletic endeavors.

Steve "counterpoint" Freides

Pavel Tsatsouline

Com. JP, a tough call. First, re your comment of addressing a weakness. By definition, a well rounded person w/o weaknesses is a generalist and will not have pronounced strength. That is not necessarily bad; right on for the military for instance; bad for a specific goal.

If you are interested in pushing your incredible pullup numbers even higher, go with the DL, no contest. The reason: it is hard not to gain weight from SQing.

Again, no reason not to do both. Why not do it the way Com. Garm alternates them every day?
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