bigger squats then deads

i have a problem. . . my squat is much stronger then my deadlift. i squat 385x5 yet only dead 315x5. i thought the norm was the reverse. i don’t assume my technique to be extraordinary, but i doubt my technique at squatting is that much better then deadlifting, so i don’t necesariyl thnik the problem is technique related. my hams and glutes are quite big in relation to my quads, and i’m long limbed which i thought would preferntially help the deadlifter, so i don’t think the problem is necesarily structural either. . . any ideas? any more info you guys could use? btw i’m 5’10, 185lbs, fairly lean.

That’s not a problem at all.

Typically, many people start out stronger in the dead lift, but eventually progress to being stronger in the squat. You’re doing good, buddy

Everyone I know squats more than they deadlift. I don’t think you should get overly worried about it. That being said here are a few points to consider:

  1. Strengthen your posterior chain (back, glutes, hams, calfs). They may be strong for you already but it never hurts to get them even stronger.

  2. Look for some videos of people with good deadlift form. You should be able to find plenty of free vids with a google search. Compare your form to theirs.

  3. I think that Dave Tate has an excellent deadlifting article here at t-mag. I forget what it’s called but you can just run a search for Dave Tate and I’m sure that you’ll find it.

how about the reverse…i pull 425 yet only squat 355 (Ass to grass, albeit)

meat72"how about the reverse…i pull 425 yet only squat 355 (Ass to grass, albeit)"

Well I haven’t seen your squat form but most people that squat “ass to grass” use a narrow stance to squat. Moving your squat stance out and going to just below parallel will probably help. Again, check out some vids of powerlifters squatting and strengthen your posterior chain. Read some of the Dave Tate articles.

I don’t know about squats since I rarely do them but my deadlift is about 460-70 right now but I can leg press like 860 for 7-8 reps. The 460 is one pull on the deadlift.

I would assume if I stopped pussing out on squats they would probably be ok; I have this “thing” with my knees and I don’t trust squats right now. I do, however, find it hard to believe that my squat would be 460 or higher. That just seems absurd to me right now.

nah, i dont use a narrow stance … i go shoulderwidth or a little wider with toes slighlty outward

Meat072-Shoulder width or a little bit wider is considered narrow by powerlifting standards. Take a look at some of Dave Tate’s articles on box squatting, they have picture which give you an idea of how wide a powerlifting squat stance is.

MY deadlift blows away my squat. IF you’re doing full squats, ass to grass you shouldn’t see a huge difference. Some but not huge.

k… but lets says for argument’s sake that I do use a PL stance and my dead is still heavier … what would you recommend?


One question, which have you been doing longer, squats or deads? The answer could be that you have simply been squatting longer than you have been deadlifting, so you have built up more strength in that exercise.

Dr D-Lo, How come you do not squat? Just curious.

i just posted another similiar question under the title “deads good. squats suck. please help”. i didnt want to take away from your squat questions/advice but i noticed a few guys here have the same “problem” as i d; deads are better than squats. check out my post if you would. thanks,
ryan b.

Quite honestly its because my form has always sucked and I have always needed to use “shims”. If I do squats, its gotta be on the Smith with a slightly forward stance. My body just doesn’t seem to “fold” the right way but its probably a question of balance and something I need to work on. I have only been serious with lifting for about 6 months and have been focused on deadlifts but since I’m close to my goal (515) I have been contemplating either moving to bench, cleans, or squats. I have lifted for years but this is the first time I have directed my energy to maxing out on a particular lift (powerlifting as opposed to the bodybuilding approach). Powerlifting style is so much more gratifying to me because you feel a sense of accomplishment everytime the bar weight goes up and you pull off a good lift. The leg presses have helped with leg strength relative to deadlifting so it sorta “does the trick”. To get my deadlift to where it is I initially focused on rack pulls until I cleared 515 and then started working on deadlifting form and then leg pressing. I really don’t have any excuses for not starting to squat as its a lift I do wish to get better with. My back strength and deadlift sucked when I started but with my focus (while still working the rest of my body), it has steadily increased and I think I’m probably ready to shift focus to something else. I like working deads and legs in general because I think the leg and “full body” effect of the deads has actually caused my bench to go up and has increased overall strength (perhaps just confidence relative to other lifts, I don’t know).

If anyone knows of a way to get my form inline on squats I’m listening because I really do need to work on them. Whenever I do them if I’m on the smith I always feel I need a forward stance or I have to “tippy toe” or shim my feet in the rear. Whenever I tried to do free front squats I always felt a tippy-toe motion instead of flat power on the floor.

If your deadlift is bigger than your squat then you need to gain weight.

Ceaze - can you explain why gaining weight will help one’s squat overcome one’s deadlift.

it might be due to perceived exertion.
i pull way more than i squat. i get mad at myself for it because i think it has to do with the weight on my shoulders physquing (spell check?) me out.
a heavy or failed dead is way less stressfull to me.

because a small torso isn’t conducive to squatting big weight

I hope it’s not too strange to pull more than you squat. I’ve been training 8 years and the most I’ve ever squatted is 495 deep. I deadlift about half as frequently as I squat but can pull 650. I always figured that it had something to do with my long arms, or maybe my hamstrings are disporportionately stronger than my weak little quads. This is all speculation of course.

At your level, squat deeper and both lifts would be closer.

Well the deadlift is a shorter ROM movement vs the squat, at least with full squats anyway :slight_smile: