T Nation

Deadlift-Squat Discrepancy

6’0, 191 lbs, 18 years old…
Squat: 275 3RM
Deadlift: 335 5RM

I was wondering if anyone could tell me why there’s such a gap between those two lifts. I know my body type is probably conducive to deadlifting (long arms/legs), but I sorta think my squat should be up a little closer to my deadlift.

Like could you tell me what specifically might be holding my squat back? I just seems to better able to activate my glutes and hamstrings out of the deadlift. Maybe a problem of squat form?

Also, oddly enough, until a few months ago, I hadn’t deadlifted since late in my freshman year of high school (3 years ago).

also, any supplemental exercise recommendations to help bring my squat up to par?

Any help/suggestions would be appreciated.

Actually, that’s really not that ridiculous. I would say that’s a normal difference.

I don’t know what I max at in a straight-bar deadlift, but I’ve pulled 420 with a trap-bar and my PB for oly squat is 275 x 5.

So if I had to guess my 1RM with a straight-bar for deadlift is 365-385 and my 1RM for a powerlifting squat would be 315-335.

I know one thing that I’ve been focusing on to help build my squat is my “core” strength. By this I mean getting stronger in the upper and lower back and the abdominals. I have a tendency to let the bar fold me over when going for squat maxes. I’ve been really focusing on core strength, which has helped me be able to sit back more, which has helped my squat slowly start to climb. I dunno if that will help you or not.

I deadlift more and squat less.

You don’t have that big of a difference between the two.

It’s normal to deadlift more than you squat.

It’s only the obese guys that hit almost parallel with their cement squat suits that can squat more than they can deadlift.

Not that there’s anything really wrong with that, but it can skew people’s view of what’s normal.

I squat more than I deadlift, for a powersquat. I haven’t spent enough time on my Oly squat but am working on it. Of course, I am a short stubby dude. Don’t sweat the difference. Work on it, but don’t let it keep you up at night.

There are tons of things that could account for the difference. I would focus on making you squat the best squat you can and you deadlift the best deadlift you can and if they are forever different who cares? It soesn’t have the same asthetic on you workout log but it’s really not important.

[quote]kudos04 wrote:
6’0, 191 lbs, 18 years old…
Squat: 275 3RM
Deadlift: 335 5RM[/quote]

So your 1RMs are:

Squat: 291 lbs
Deadlift: 377 lbs

Which means your deadlift is 1.3 times your squat.

I’m going to one-up you with my numbers:

Squat: 198 lbs
Deadlift: 372 lbs

Which means my deadlift is 1.9 times my squat. I squat ATG, but it’s still a huge discrepancy (I don’t know how I get to sleep at night…).

Dude, don’t worry, you’re fine. Are both lifts going up at the same rate? If so, you don’t have a problem.

Redundancy here, but it’s normal to dead more than squat. Look at where your center of gravity is in a squat versus dead. With a squat, the weight is high on your shoulders and you have to balance it with your whole body. With a deadlift, you pull the weight up from the floor to crotch height. You’re not balancing like in the squat.

[quote]bikemike wrote:
Redundancy here, but it’s normal to dead more than squat. Look at where your center of gravity is in a squat versus dead. With a squat, the weight is high on your shoulders and you have to balance it with your whole body. With a deadlift, you pull the weight up from the floor to crotch height. You’re not balancing like in the squat.[/quote]

I agree completely. Deadlifting comes easy and naturally for me, while the squat requires more “thinking”.

Like somebody mentioned earlier, modern, geared powerlifting is skewing people’s views. A squat suit helps greatly with squatting, but little with deadlifting, so you have many powerlifters squatting more than they deadlift. I haven’t looked it up, but this probably doesn’t happen in the raw federations.

My deadlift-squat discepency is greater than yours, too. 355 deadlift to 245 back squat. (Jeez, Miserere!!)

Here is a list of poundage disparities between the squat and deadlift at the first national powerlifting tournament in the USA, 1964, from the article “The Other Unparalleled Exercise, Part I” by Jan Dellinger. The author went back to 1964 because these results are without the outside aid of suits or drugs.

Middleweight winner, Nathan Harris: 180-lb spread, 445 squat vs. a 625 deadlift)
Heavyweight winner, Terry Todd: 110-lb spread, 600 squat vs. 710 deadlift
Wilbur Miller, runner-up to Todd: 200-lb spread, 515 squat vs. 715 deadlift.
Featherweight (132 lbs) winner, Hal Raker: 240-lb spread, 235 squat vs. 475 deadlift.

[quote]snatchcleanjerk wrote:
My deadlift-squat discepency is greater than yours, too. 355 deadlift to 245 back squat.

Here is a list of poundage disparities between the squat and deadlift at the first national powerlifting tournament in the USA, 1964, from the article “The Other Unparalleled Exercise, Part I” by Jan Dellinger. The author went back to 1964 because these results are without the outside aid of suits or drugs.

Middleweight winner, Nathan Harris: 180-lb spread, 445 squat vs. a 625 deadlift)
Heavyweight winner, Terry Todd: 110-lb spread, 600 squat vs. 710 deadlift
Wilbur Miller, runner-up to Todd: 200-lb spread, 515 squat vs. 715 deadlift.
Featherweight (132 lbs) winner, Hal Raker: 240-lb spread, 235 squat vs. 475 deadlift. [/quote]

A side note, that’s exactly what Dave Tate said about little skinny devils, they might be able to pull but they won’t have the torso to squat. I think that featherlight probably fits the hypothesis.

And, for the record, I can squat 315 but I can pull 455.

My pull’s always been stronger. I’ve found that developing more speed/starting strength via the box squat is helping my pull as much as my squat. So think about that. If your squat is alot weaker, and your weakest off the bottom of a deadlift, maybe more strength off the bottom of a squat would also help you break the floor with your pull. Just a thought.

Deadlift to squat ratio for the above athletes:

Nathan Harris: 1.4
Terry Todd: 1.2
Wilbur Miller: 1.4
Hal Raker: 2.0

Thanks for that info, snatchcleanjerk. The article you mention can be found here:

www.naturalstrength.com/weightroom/detail.asp?ArticleID=145

I’ll be sure to give it a read when I have some time.

yup im the same DL is a cut above my squat.

That said to work on it like anything.ID the weakness/sticking point and attack that make it a strong point. the reevaluate and fix the new weakness.

Where are you failing on your PR attempts??

[quote]Miserere wrote:
Deadlift to squat ratio for the above athletes:

Nathan Harris: 1.4
Terry Todd: 1.2
Wilbur Miller: 1.4
Hal Raker: 2.0

Thanks for that info, snatchcleanjerk. The article you mention can be found here:

www.naturalstrength.com/weightroom/detail.asp?ArticleID=145

I’ll be sure to give it a read when I have some time.[/quote]

How are you built? I imagine you have an extreme case of “deadlifter’s build.”

[quote]Miserere wrote:
bikemike wrote:
Redundancy here, but it’s normal to dead more than squat. Look at where your center of gravity is in a squat versus dead. With a squat, the weight is high on your shoulders and you have to balance it with your whole body. With a deadlift, you pull the weight up from the floor to crotch height. You’re not balancing like in the squat.

I agree completely. Deadlifting comes easy and naturally for me, while the squat requires more “thinking”.

Like somebody mentioned earlier, modern, geared powerlifting is skewing people’s views. A squat suit helps greatly with squatting, but little with deadlifting, so you have many powerlifters squatting more than they deadlift. I haven’t looked it up, but this probably doesn’t happen in the raw federations.[/quote]

Some guys are BENCHING more than they Deadlift.

[quote]snatchcleanjerk wrote:
How are you built? I imagine you have an extreme case of “deadlifter’s build.” [/quote]

“Deadlifter’s build”? Is that contagious? :slight_smile:

I’m 5’9", and I’d say I have slightly short legs for my torso; my arms are not excessively long. I thought “natural deadlifters” were tall, long-armed dudes.

How about you?

My main issue is how strong my lower back is; I mean, I can stiff-leg deadlift more than I can squat. That’s just wrong…

I think it has more to do with a safety issue. I think people are more inclined to go super heavy with deadlifts than with squats because they feel safer with a large amount of weight not on their backs. It’s also a lot easier to train deadlift by themselves than to train the squat. Ever since I started powerlifting, my raw squat has grown faster than my raw dl has.

[quote]Florida Titan wrote:
I think it has more to do with a safety issue. I think people are more inclined to go super heavy with deadlifts than with squats because they feel safer with a large amount of weight not on their backs. It’s also a lot easier to train deadlift by themselves than to train the squat. Ever since I started powerlifting, my raw squat has grown faster than my raw dl has. [/quote]

I agree totally. If I fail on a deadlift, I can drop the bar, and not risk any real injury (provided my feet are placed right) Now if I fail at parallel in a squat I am definitely risking injury. Also the weight on a squat is a lot more “real” than a deadlift, because it is on my back. The pulling motion of a deadlift does not feel as heavy…

[quote]Miserere wrote:
snatchcleanjerk wrote:
How are you built? I imagine you have an extreme case of “deadlifter’s build.”

“Deadlifter’s build”? Is that contagious? :slight_smile:

I’m 5’9", and I’d say I have slightly short legs for my torso; my arms are not excessively long. I thought “natural deadlifters” were tall, long-armed dudes.

How about you?

My main issue is how strong my lower back is; I mean, I can stiff-leg deadlift more than I can squat. That’s just wrong…[/quote]

“Contagious”? Good one.

I’m just a bit over 5’9", but I have a short torso, find a 33" length fits me perfectly but can go as long as 34", and I definitely have relatively long arms.

I think it’s actually better to be on the shorter side for deadlifting–you don’t have to pull the weight up as high. If you have fairly long arms and legs, then you have to angle your body and rely on the strength of your posterior chain instead of your quads; short-limbed dudes have to squat down to grasp the bar instead of leaning over so they’re essentially squatting the bar up and it’s no wonder then that certain people find that their squat and deadlift are so close. My arms hang so far down that the middle of my palms are just 27" off the ground when I stand erect. I don’t have an exact measurement available, but I believe the barbell is about 10 or 11" off the ground with 45-lb plates on. When I deadlift I just have to pull the weight about 16"; when I deep squat it’s more like 30".

Personally I find the deadlift a lot more frightening than the squat. When I go for new weight in the squat, I’m not scared at all and if I can’t get back up with it, I sill have enough eccentric or yielding strength to lower it to the stops of the squat rack, then just crawl out from under it. With the deadlift, I have to psyche myself up every time I get anywhere near my 1RM and I am scared as hell when I’m attempting a weight even 1 lb more than my personal best. Again, there is no worry at all facing the squat, but you should see me marching around and mumbling to myself when I face a heavy deadlift, even though I’m much better at it.

Stiff-leg deadlifting more than you squat? I guess that follows if your regular deadlift is almost twice your squat. I know that in my case my regular deadlift starting position looks very much like a stiff-legged deadlift. I haven’t tried an SLDL in years, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find myself in your boat and able to manage more weight in that than I could squat. Maybe I’ll try it today.

When I weighed 135, I could squat about 180 and deadlift 410. I had big forearms and lats, but was otherwise really skinny.

WTF! That’s amazing. What is your weight, squat and dl now, if I may ask?