T Nation

Alternating Heavy Squats and Deadlifts Weekly


#1

I've come to realize that from training the deadlift and squat heavy in the same week I'm not exactly able to recover well enough from session to session. I eat like a pig, On average I get a good amount of sleep (7-10 hours) I've drawn up some programs that generally follow something along the lines of

week 1
monday
heavy squat set + backoff sets
light deadlift

wednesday
squat variation for 5x6-8
deadlift variation for 5x6-8

week 2
monday
light squats
heavy deadlift top set + backoff sets

wednesday
squat variation for 5x6-8
deadlift variation for 5x6-8

The heavy top set is always 85%+. I've added in light variations on a different day so that I'm still getting in a fair amount of frequency, but am able to recover from week to week. I also just flat out enjoy lifting heavy. Lots of included posterior chain work (e.i GHRs, RDLs, Back Exts, good ol' leg curls)

Have any of you guys trained in a similar manner, or at least alternated heavy lower body movements? Any other suggestions are definitely welcomed guys. I appreciate any help.


#2

That seems like a good approach.

For myself, I’ve had good results training squats and dead lifts on back to back days too in the format of:

Day 1
Heavy squat (up to 95%)
Light dead lift variation (snatch grip usually)

Day 2
Heavy dead lift (up to 95%)
Light squat variation (usually pause front squat)

BUT I would take a three day rest after this. Other weeks I’d train the same days but day 1 at the start and day 2 at the end of the week.

These days I still train heavy squats and dead lifts on consecutive days, but with less work following the main sets. That works even better.


#3

Eric Lilliebridge only squats and deadlifts heavy every other week, alternating between the two.

Jim Wendler has also said he got the strongest on a 2 day a week program alternating squat and deadlift each week.


#4

[quote]MarkKO wrote:
That seems like a good approach.

For myself, I’ve had good results training squats and dead lifts on back to back days too in the format of:

Day 1
Heavy squat (up to 95%)
Light dead lift variation (snatch grip usually)

Day 2
Heavy dead lift (up to 95%)
Light squat variation (usually pause front squat)

BUT I would take a three day rest after this. Other weeks I’d train the same days but day 1 at the start and day 2 at the end of the week.

These days I still train heavy squats and dead lifts on consecutive days, but with less work following the main sets. That works even better. [/quote]

my bad, I mean’t monday/friday. but the idea to use lift variations for the light lifts is a good idea. I like that. Thanks for sharing!


#5

[quote]Discobolus wrote:
Eric Lilliebridge only squats and deadlifts heavy every other week, alternating between the two.

Jim Wendler has also said he got the strongest on a 2 day a week program alternating squat and deadlift each week.

[/quote]

two very respectable lifters. I was away that the lilliebridges trained like that; not Jim though.


#6

[quote]bmcinnis96 wrote:
I’ve come to realize that from training the deadlift and squat heavy in the same week I’m not exactly able to recover well enough from session to session. I eat like a pig, On average I get a good amount of sleep (7-10 hours) I’ve drawn up some programs that generally follow something along the lines of

week 1
monday
heavy squat set + backoff sets
light deadlift

wednesday
squat variation for 5x6-8
deadlift variation for 5x6-8

week 2
monday
light squats
heavy deadlift top set + backoff sets

wednesday
squat variation for 5x6-8
deadlift variation for 5x6-8

The heavy top set is always 85%+. I’ve added in light variations on a different day so that I’m still getting in a fair amount of frequency, but am able to recover from week to week. I also just flat out enjoy lifting heavy. Lots of included posterior chain work (e.i GHRs, RDLs, Back Exts, good ol’ leg curls)

Have any of you guys trained in a similar manner, or at least alternated heavy lower body movements? Any other suggestions are definitely welcomed guys. I appreciate any help.

[/quote]
If I was you, I would cut down on the assistance work and focus on the main lifts. That’s probably what is limiting your ability to recover. You could also do full body workouts with two days squatting, two days deadlifting, and bench or variations every day. I find that easier to recover from than a massive amount of lower body volume in one session.


#7

[quote]Discobolus wrote:
Eric Lilliebridge only squats and deadlifts heavy every other week, alternating between the two.

Jim Wendler has also said he got the strongest on a 2 day a week program alternating squat and deadlift each week.

[/quote]
Keep in mind that those guys use steroids too, for most natural lifters that is not enough volume to sustain progress. There was a study that found people taking steroids gained more muscle mass and strength - without even training - than natural lifters in the control group. They don’t need to worry about losing strength and every workout will make them even stronger. And as far as I know about Wendler, he started training two days a week after a motorcycle accident - not by choice.


#8

Try this…


#9

[quote]bmcinnis96 wrote:

[quote]MarkKO wrote:
That seems like a good approach.

For myself, I’ve had good results training squats and dead lifts on back to back days too in the format of:

Day 1
Heavy squat (up to 95%)
Light dead lift variation (snatch grip usually)

Day 2
Heavy dead lift (up to 95%)
Light squat variation (usually pause front squat)

BUT I would take a three day rest after this. Other weeks I’d train the same days but day 1 at the start and day 2 at the end of the week.

These days I still train heavy squats and dead lifts on consecutive days, but with less work following the main sets. That works even better. [/quote]

my bad, I mean’t monday/friday. but the idea to use lift variations for the light lifts is a good idea. I like that. Thanks for sharing!
[/quote]

Any time. I should also clarify, for the last five odd months now I’ve been training in two and three day blocks with breaks of two and three days (I work on a rotation and I’ve fit my training into my days off). I end up training seven days out of fourteen. What I’ve found is that I recover better and progress well and I think that is because having such long breaks allows me to train ata higher intensity while not wearing myself out.


#10

[quote]MarkKO wrote:

[quote]bmcinnis96 wrote:

[quote]MarkKO wrote:
That seems like a good approach.

For myself, I’ve had good results training squats and dead lifts on back to back days too in the format of:

Day 1
Heavy squat (up to 95%)
Light dead lift variation (snatch grip usually)

Day 2
Heavy dead lift (up to 95%)
Light squat variation (usually pause front squat)

BUT I would take a three day rest after this. Other weeks I’d train the same days but day 1 at the start and day 2 at the end of the week.

These days I still train heavy squats and dead lifts on consecutive days, but with less work following the main sets. That works even better. [/quote]

my bad, I mean’t monday/friday. but the idea to use lift variations for the light lifts is a good idea. I like that. Thanks for sharing!
[/quote]

Any time. I should also clarify, for the last five odd months now I’ve been training in two and three day blocks with breaks of two and three days (I work on a rotation and I’ve fit my training into my days off). I end up training seven days out of fourteen. What I’ve found is that I recover better and progress well and I think that is because having such long breaks allows me to train ata higher intensity while not wearing myself out. [/quote]

This is exactly why I was thinking about this style of training. I’ve always found that I make the best gains under heavy(er) loads due to the fact that I gain a lot of confidence under sub-max weights. The flip side, of course, is that it leaves me pretty drained on the lower body lifts. The bench and press can take a good weekly pounding in heavier ranges with a higher frequency but the opposite is true for the lower body lifts.


#11

[quote]bmcinnis96 wrote:

[quote]MarkKO wrote:

[quote]bmcinnis96 wrote:

[quote]MarkKO wrote:
That seems like a good approach.

For myself, I’ve had good results training squats and dead lifts on back to back days too in the format of:

Day 1
Heavy squat (up to 95%)
Light dead lift variation (snatch grip usually)

Day 2
Heavy dead lift (up to 95%)
Light squat variation (usually pause front squat)

BUT I would take a three day rest after this. Other weeks I’d train the same days but day 1 at the start and day 2 at the end of the week.

These days I still train heavy squats and dead lifts on consecutive days, but with less work following the main sets. That works even better. [/quote]

my bad, I mean’t monday/friday. but the idea to use lift variations for the light lifts is a good idea. I like that. Thanks for sharing!
[/quote]

Any time. I should also clarify, for the last five odd months now I’ve been training in two and three day blocks with breaks of two and three days (I work on a rotation and I’ve fit my training into my days off). I end up training seven days out of fourteen. What I’ve found is that I recover better and progress well and I think that is because having such long breaks allows me to train ata higher intensity while not wearing myself out. [/quote]

This is exactly why I was thinking about this style of training. I’ve always found that I make the best gains under heavy(er) loads due to the fact that I gain a lot of confidence under sub-max weights. The flip side, of course, is that it leaves me pretty drained on the lower body lifts. The bench and press can take a good weekly pounding in heavier ranges with a higher frequency but the opposite is true for the lower body lifts.
[/quote]

I don’t know, I find squats and dead lifts pretty kind to me even in the heavier rep ranges. But then, I’m a really crap bencher. I think I’m going to need to up my bench volume if only to get the set up and technique work in.


#12

[quote]chris_ottawa wrote:

[quote]Discobolus wrote:
Eric Lilliebridge only squats and deadlifts heavy every other week, alternating between the two.

Jim Wendler has also said he got the strongest on a 2 day a week program alternating squat and deadlift each week.

[/quote]
Keep in mind that those guys use steroids too, for most natural lifters that is not enough volume to sustain progress. There was a study that found people taking steroids gained more muscle mass and strength - without even training - than natural lifters in the control group. They don’t need to worry about losing strength and every workout will make them even stronger. And as far as I know about Wendler, he started training two days a week after a motorcycle accident - not by choice.[/quote]

No, he started training that way because he couldn’t recover well enough from working out 4 days a week anymore. He details it in the chapter “Old Man Winter: Training for Mr. Gray Pubes” of his 5/3/1 for powerlifting book. Fair points about enhanced lifters and this may be a situation where the OP isn’t so much best going off of a weekly schedule but just by a certain minimum number of days in between.


#13

What about making it so that the variation opposite to whatever exercise im going heavy one that week on the second lower body day is of a moderate intensity?

Eg.

Monday
Heavy squats

Friday
Moderate intensity RDLs or SGDL

Would this have a better effect?


#14

I kind of like your second plan a little better. Squat heavy 1 day, light dead lift variations later in the week.

But I guess it really depends on you, and your “style.”
-Can you build your squat with assistance moves, or do you need to actually squat to improve?
-Can you build your dead lift with assistance moves, or do you actually need to dead lift to get better at it?
-Can you maintain your technique or “skill” in the squat and dead lift doing them once every two weeks, or do you need lots of weekly practice?

For example, I know that if I increase my partial deadlifts from just below my knees against bands, my conventional dead will go up. Also, I feel pretty comfortable with the dead lift, so I’m confident that it I go a week or 2 without pulling from the floor I won’t forget how to do it. And the partial deads against the bands allow me to use less “real” weight so I feel like I recover faster.

The squat is different for me. If I don’t do it often, my squat goes all to hell. I can’t remember where to put my feet, the bar doesn’t feel comfortable on my shoulders, my belt is too low/high, etc. I need to squat fairly often to build my strength, and again to practice the skill of squatting. I don’t get great carryover from front squats or cambered/yoke bar squats, they just feel too different.

I need to squat often, but I can do alright on the dead with variations and assistance. So a plan may look like…

Week 1

Session 1
Medium Squat (up to 85%x5)
Partial Dead lift of Speed Dead lift
Assistance

Session 2
Light Squat
Assistance

Week 2

Session 1
Heavy Squat (90%x3)
Partial Dead or Speed Dead
Assistance

Session 2
Light Squat
Assistance

Week 3

Session 1
Dead Lift Heavy ( a few singles around 90%)
Assistance

Session 2
Light Squat
Assistance


#15

You can adapt to training heavy more often than you think. I do full body workouts 6 days a week.


#16

What exactly makes you think you aren’t recovering anyway? If you are still sore from the previous session you should feel better once you get warmed up. As long as you are getting stronger and not getting injured, everything else is pretty much irrelevant. I thought overtraining was out of style these days.


#17

What exactly makes you think you aren’t recovering anyway? If you are still sore from the previous session you should feel better once you get warmed up. As long as you are getting stronger and not getting injured, everything else is pretty much irrelevant. I thought overtraining was out of style these days.


#18

I’m don’t use steroids and I train twice a week alternating weeks like Lilliebridge does.

I had a meet on October 4th and have another one tomorrow. Between the two meets I’ve trained a total of 24 times.

I’ll report back actual numbers tomorrow but if I get all of my planned 3rd attempts I will improve my total by 125 pounds in 4 months and only 24 training sessions.

[quote]chris_ottawa wrote:

[quote]Discobolus wrote:
Eric Lilliebridge only squats and deadlifts heavy every other week, alternating between the two.

Jim Wendler has also said he got the strongest on a 2 day a week program alternating squat and deadlift each week.

[/quote]
Keep in mind that those guys use steroids too, for most natural lifters that is not enough volume to sustain progress. There was a study that found people taking steroids gained more muscle mass and strength - without even training - than natural lifters in the control group. They don’t need to worry about losing strength and every workout will make them even stronger. And as far as I know about Wendler, he started training two days a week after a motorcycle accident - not by choice.[/quote]


#19

[quote]Discobolus wrote:
I’m don’t use steroids and I train twice a week alternating weeks like Lilliebridge does.

I had a meet on October 4th and have another one tomorrow. Between the two meets I’ve trained a total of 24 times.

I’ll report back actual numbers tomorrow but if I get all of my planned 3rd attempts I will improve my total by 125 pounds in 4 months and only 24 training sessions.

[quote]chris_ottawa wrote:

[quote]Discobolus wrote:
Eric Lilliebridge only squats and deadlifts heavy every other week, alternating between the two.

Jim Wendler has also said he got the strongest on a 2 day a week program alternating squat and deadlift each week.

[/quote]
Keep in mind that those guys use steroids too, for most natural lifters that is not enough volume to sustain progress. There was a study that found people taking steroids gained more muscle mass and strength - without even training - than natural lifters in the control group. They don’t need to worry about losing strength and every workout will make them even stronger. And as far as I know about Wendler, he started training two days a week after a motorcycle accident - not by choice.[/quote]
[/quote]

Best of luck to you tomorrow my man! Kill it. I’m looking forward to hearing the results


#20

[quote]Discobolus wrote:
I’m don’t use steroids and I train twice a week alternating weeks like Lilliebridge does.

I had a meet on October 4th and have another one tomorrow. Between the two meets I’ve trained a total of 24 times.

I’ll report back actual numbers tomorrow but if I get all of my planned 3rd attempts I will improve my total by 125 pounds in 4 months and only 24 training sessions.

[quote]chris_ottawa wrote:

[quote]Discobolus wrote:
Eric Lilliebridge only squats and deadlifts heavy every other week, alternating between the two.

Jim Wendler has also said he got the strongest on a 2 day a week program alternating squat and deadlift each week.

[/quote]
Keep in mind that those guys use steroids too, for most natural lifters that is not enough volume to sustain progress. There was a study that found people taking steroids gained more muscle mass and strength - without even training - than natural lifters in the control group. They don’t need to worry about losing strength and every workout will make them even stronger. And as far as I know about Wendler, he started training two days a week after a motorcycle accident - not by choice.[/quote]
[/quote]

I think Chris meant people who don’t use any exogenous testosterone at all. Guys on TRT seem to do well on low frequency stuff.