T Nation

Benchpress More than Squat


Hi T-Nation. Really enjoying all the fantastic info and articles. I'm 42 years old and started CrossFit about 18 months ago. I haven't been training for 10 years prior to that. My 1RM on the main lifts are unusual compared to other lifters and I was wondering whether this is due to a large "ape index" affecting my leverage and/or range of motion, and what advise you have to help me align the weight ratio between the main lifts to what is more normal.

My ape index (wingspan/height)=1.08. Benchpress=265# / squat=231# / deadlift=353# / Bodyweight= 172#. So, my benchpress is quite a bit heavier than my squat, despite CrossFit involving some form of squat about every day. I do no other sport and have never done any.


I have the same disparity with my lifts simply because the bench press is easier for me. If I squat to a box I can go heavier but not without that "crutch".


JK-47. Interesting stats !
Welcome to the average american male.
Not bashing your numbers, but the fact that most of my male clientelle can bench a lot more than they can Squat and Deadlift.

Remember being young and all you did was Bench and Curl ? Well, welcome to the typical american male !
If you take the time and program properly, you will be able to put on 30# on your squat and dead over the course of a year.
Use something like wendlers 5/3/1 , Rippatoes Starting Strength, Stronglifts 5x5 ...basically something to get you a bit more balance out.

Your body will thank you for that...

Good luck and much success !


If anything your large ape index should help your deadlift, hurt your bench and be neutral to your squat.


If you are looking for strength gains, I would use some type, any type, of programming instead of doing cf. The best way to get better at cf isn't even to do cf. Random is not a plan, and a plan will get you better results. There are plenty of plans in the articles section, and many discussions in the forums to get you off to a good start.


What progression model are you using? Just squatting randomly is unlikely to produce long term results.


That s exactly what I was thinking.


FYI.... having long arms doesn't impact your squats leverage. Torso length along with femur length does.


Just my opinion but doing Crossfit kind of squats will not improve or increase the poundage you can squat. Or maybe you will just get a little to nothing increase from Crossfit but plenty of endurance. If you want to have a bigger squat try a powerlifting routine for a change and eat a bunch of steak, that always helps me.


I definitely recommend the 5/3/1 Triumvirate. I just looked back through the first few pages of my training log and my squat and deadlift were downright embarrassing, now they're just sub par.


Following 5/3/1 and finally eating enough ( more than 2,000 calories for me) made a huge difference in my strength levels. Little did I know I was on on the downward slope of a thyroid and test level crash, but that's another story. If you haven't already I would also advise getting your hormone levels and thyroid function checked.


Wendlers 5/3/1/ is no joke. After decades of doing just pure powerlifting singles and maybe triples I switched over to Wendlers for a change because I wasn't progressing. The first couple weeks of Wendlers I spent time between sets winded and lying on the floor lol


Record your back squat and post.

If you want real advise then we need to see you squat.


Actually the guy ive been training on and and off has the same issue..


I started the Smolov 13 week squat cycle, that I found on stronglifts.com. I'll post the results after week 13, I'm expecting this to increase the squat 50# and hopefully indirectly also increase the deadlift.


appreciate the advise. I will report back after 13 weeks of stronglift's version of Smolov squat routine (in addition to CF, but replacing the CF squat EMOMs with Smolov)


I attached a video of the squat, any advise welcome.


Your squat form is excellent and you have great depth. You may want to find a lower groove on your back when increasing weight but nice work.


Agreed, only thing I would say is maybe widen your stance a little bit. Remember your triangle, shoulder blades squeeze together, forearms perpendicular to the floor, force your knees out, looked like your left was caving in a bit.



Read article and then watch the video series that Dave Tate did.


Thanks for the advise, you're right about the left leg caving in. I've since started focussing on pushing the knees out to fight that tendency.