T Nation

Building My Squat and Deadlift


#1

I've been avoiding squats and deadlifts for the past several years. Now that I have more time to train,I am starting to do them again. I am trying to be humble with the weight and use good technique. My goal is to get strong on them and see if the idea about them making the whole body bigger because of the hormone release will work for me. I train 4-5 days a week,with a bodybuilder type split, working the major muscle groups about once a week.

Does anyone have some tried and true advice regarding these exercises? For example,deadlifts on back day and the first exercise of the workout or last exercise etc? I did them for the first time in quite a while the other day and squated 140 kilo for one rep and deadlifted 210 for one rep. Obviously ,these are very poor numbers and I sure do intend to get better. I want to train smart and not have fatigue from the one exercise interfere with the performance of the other,etc...I usually get DOMS pretty bad from my workouts that last at least a couple days. Thanks for any help. Confusion


#2

Definitely do them as your first exercise, unless you have Olympic lifts in your programming.

Not that you have to, or can right now, but at some point I believe it is crucial to squat multiple days a week-- at a minimum two. I would DL once a week. I have even experimented with every other week and have gotten good results with DLs.

None of it is law, it just has just been my personal experience and conducive to my goals.


#3

It really depends how you’ve structured the rest of your training. You can make good progress for a long time squatting once a week and deadlifting once a week. You can also make good progress with higher frequency and more complex loading / progression.

If you’re doing a body part split, squat on leg day (first exercise) and deadlift on back day, and try not to do them on consecutive days. Personally, I prefer to do deadlifts at the end of a workout, unless I have a specific reason to do them “fresh” (e.g. testing max).

I wouldn’t put too much stock in the hormone release thing. They are good lifts because they use a large amount of muscle through a natural range of motion.


#4

How is your current training plan structured? This will matter for any advice that will come.

I agree with above posters that you should squat on leg day and DL on back day, and to not have them in consecutive days. If you are going for size do higher reps on the squat (5-12), but personally I never go above 5 on deadlift, and always take about a 2 second pause at the bottom before attempting the next rep. Given that you haven’t done them in years, your starting weights aren’t bad.


#5

An example of my training week=
chest day,DB bench press 4x8,DB flies 4x8,cable crossover bending over at the waist and pulling down 4x8, dips 4 sets of as many as possible. The last set on all exercises is to muscular failure,might have some assisted reps and may be more than 8 reps or less.
back,chinups 3-4 sets,Lat pulldown shoulder width grip 4x8, close neutral grip pulldown 4x8, seated row 4x8,Wide grip behind neck pulldowns 4x8
legs,leg press(but will be squats )4x8,hamstring curl4x8,leg extension 4x8,calf raise 4x8
arms,similar to above
shoulders similar to above

All sets after the first are done with.as heavy a weight as possible. Sometimes on the last set I will use a weight that is a bit too heavy and not get 8 reps. If there is still gas in the tank on the last set we go past 8 reps and might fail at 12 or more. We usually train for 2-3 days in a row and then have a rest day. Sometimes we do some heavy negatives on the last set or intense drop sets,occasionally super sets.


#6

If you want to focus on a consistent, gradual and sustained increase of your TM #s on the squat and deadlift, give Wendler’s 5/3/1 program a look. It’s certainly not the only program out there, and it’s not going to be everyone’s forte, but it’s structured to allow you to begin with a very reasonable TM and gradually work your way up to new goals. It’s helped a lot of lifters just focus on a measurable goal and work towards those numbers over the long-term.

I’ve never done them on the same day. Even when I wasn’t doing 5/3/1, I kept the core lifts all partitioned on their individual days, and then tailored assistance work to suit the appropriate body parts accordingly.


#7

Since you’re just starting the lifts again I would do something simple. 4x8 for squats with double progression method (adding weight when you get all 32 reps) would work.

For deadlift I agree with Ecchastang about sets of 5. I would do 5 sets of 5 ramping up to a top set and increase every week. For example, if your top set is 405:

(a couple light warmups, then:) 225x5, 275x5, 315x5, 365x5, 405x5.

The following week add 5 or 10 lbs to EVERY set. This allows you to get some extra volume in without the recovery drain of multiple heavy sets across. For a long time this is all I did to train deadlift and made steady progress.

When progress slows you could do this: http://www.T-Nation.com/training/simple-deadlift-program


#8

good stuff. Thank you


#9

I personally would do Legs, chest, back, shoulders in that order. By doing back the day before legs, you are fatiguing muscles that are used in stabilization. Also, since most of your work is more isolation in nature, play around with different rep ranges. Do the heavy sets of 5-8, but also do more in the 12-15 range. Expecially things like leg curls and extensions, shoulder work, and bi and tri work.

Why no barbell bench work, and only DB’s? I personally treat DB’s as an accessory not a main movement as it is harder to overload with them. So most of my DB work with chest, such as DB incline is in the 10-12 rep range, and after plenty of barbell work.


#10

thanks eccha. several years ago,I hired a guy who is now an Olympia competitor to take me thru some workouts. He told me that he never barbell bench presses,only dumbells because they go thru a longer range of motion. He said that he used to,but didn’t anymore. My training partner only uses DB also and I have just been following his lead. I have talked to him and told him that I am going to change some of the exercises I do but will still spot him on his and vice versa,so changing a few things will work just fine. So,after that long pre amble,I will say your chest is awesome and mine sucks. What.would you recommend I do? I just did chest today,but will make some changes for my next chest workout…Confusion


#11

[quote]confusion wrote:
thanks eccha. several years ago,I hired a guy who is now an Olympia competitor to take me thru some workouts. He told me that he never barbell bench presses,only dumbells because they go thru a longer range of motion. He said that he used to,but didn’t anymore. My training partner only uses DB also and I have just been following his lead. I have talked to him and told him that I am going to change some of the exercises I do but will still spot him on his and vice versa,so changing a few things will work just fine. So,after that long pre amble,I will say your chest is awesome and mine sucks. What.would you recommend I do? I just did chest today,but will make some changes for my next chest workout…Confusion[/quote]

The problem with DB only is that it is harder to progress with them, and actually get much stronger. Your friend probably built a pretty good base before switching to DB. You can overload the muscles more with a barbell, until which time you have build a better foundation. Plus you can still do some higher rep DB work. Most of my DB work is incline. Without a spotter on each side to load DB’s I can’t get enough weight on them to feel without doing a ton of reps.

My suggestions would be doing some Barbell press in something like a 3x5 or 5x5 and then do your DB work. You will build strength faster, and then be able to handle heavier weights on the DB’s and will get the best of both worlds. You also get the benefit of potentiation of the muscle. After doing a heavy compound lift, the muscles and CNS are firing and it makes the isolation work easier. I also really like weighted dips, extra wide paused press, close grip press. All work the chest arms and shoulders quite well.


#12

I really appreciate that.Eccha. I will start the workout with barbell bench and add the exercises you suggested. P.s. I hope your babydoll’s ankle is on the mend. Confusion


#13

[quote]Ecchastang wrote:
Without a spotter on each side to load DB’s I can’t get enough weight on them to feel without doing a ton of reps.

[/quote]

I always found this to be an issue, but Pwnisher seems to have found a partial solution on his log.


#14

How’s the training going? You were crazy active for a brief spell.


#15

[quote]Ecchastang wrote:
How’s the training going? You were crazy active for a brief spell.[/quote]

Hey guy! I have decided To stop posting for a while. I had a few things I thought I could contribute to beginners, but was prettty much laughed out of town, by the regular s. I have been reminded I am a beginner amd should leave suchs things to experienced posters. I have been called an average middle aged fat man, my ideas are fucking retarded(hence the lack of love for Chris)stupid,my chest tats look like cocks,look like I never ever lifted, look like a rapist. I Obviously I dont fit in here and am on mY way out the door, gOod lucK with you training climbing and Being awesome(I do think you are). Confusion

Edit:I was drunk when I posted this, so will edit for clarity and maybe even add something