T Nation

Deadlift/Squat Unbalanced

Well, let me start by explaining my body type a little bit since I feel it could have something to do with the major difference in squat/deadlift weight.

I’m pretty long and lean. Long limbs (72’ wingspan at 5’9). My legs are long and lean… if I were to not work them out they would be pretty damn thin. I have a small waste and core as well. I’m about 156lbs.

I started with squats today and my best was 200lbs for 3 reps, and that was difficult. I then went on to lunges.

I did Romanian Deadlifts after this with 225lbs for 8 reps without much trouble at all. I’ve deadlifted 315lbs before as well… and that was AFTER a 5x5 workout.

I can even bench more than I squat with a best of 230lbs for 4 reps.

I work my squat more than my deadlift. I had just done 12 weeks of Starr’s 5x5, which calls for squatting 3x a week. I am now doing WS4SB 3.

Anyone else have this problem? Is it even a problem to be so uneven? Should this even out in time?

The reason I’m concerned is I want to some powerlifting competitions in the future. If my squat continues to blow, I’ll never make good totals.

Thanks :slight_smile:

Your deadlift should be a good amount higher then your squat.
exrx.net/Testing/WeightLifting/StrengthStandards.html

That list isn’t perfect, but it is good for knowing if one of your lifts is behind. Of course, due to your own build you will always be stronger in one lift over another, which isn’t always a problem.

Its pretty normal for your squat to be lower than your deadlift, although I’m not sure how much lower. For reference theres about an 80 pound difference between mine. This seems to be a case of your bench being high rather than your squat being low (in relation to your deadlift) I was looking for an article that had you multiply our different lifts by a percentage to let you see roughly where the other ones are but I couldn’t find it. Ill keep looking though

[quote]Defekt wrote:
Its pretty normal for your squat to be lower than your deadlift, although I’m not sure how much lower. For reference theres about an 80 pound difference between mine. This seems to be a case of your bench being high rather than your squat being low (in relation to your deadlift) I was looking for an article that had you multiply our different lifts by a percentage to let you see roughly where the other ones are but I couldn’t find it. Ill keep looking though[/quote]

Yeah benching and deadlifting have always felt natural to me… especially benching.

I remember reading a long while back that shoes can have an affect on your bench and deadlift. I currently am wearing some Asics with a custom insole… done by the chiropractor.

If shoes do indeed have an affect on lifts, what would be a good shoe to buy if I were to only buy one kind? Something that would benefit my deadlift and squat (if that’s possible).

Thanks :slight_smile:

[quote]JFG12 wrote:
Defekt wrote:
Its pretty normal for your squat to be lower than your deadlift, although I’m not sure how much lower. For reference theres about an 80 pound difference between mine. This seems to be a case of your bench being high rather than your squat being low (in relation to your deadlift) I was looking for an article that had you multiply our different lifts by a percentage to let you see roughly where the other ones are but I couldn’t find it. Ill keep looking though

Yeah benching and deadlifting have always felt natural to me… especially benching.

I remember reading a long while back that shoes can have an affect on your bench and deadlift. I currently am wearing some Asics with a custom insole… done by the chiropractor.

If shoes do indeed have an affect on lifts, what would be a good shoe to buy if I were to only buy one kind? Something that would benefit my deadlift and squat (if that’s possible).

Thanks :)[/quote]

Anything flat is best. I personally squat and deadlift barefoot/in socks. I’ve never tried, but from what people reccomend converse and nike frees are good shoes to lift in. Personally I havn’t had much of a problem with socks at all, especially not enough to warrant buying shoes over. The only bad this is my socks get kinda dirty really fast so I try to wear the same 2-3 pairs of cheap ones when ever its lowerbody days.

[quote]Defekt wrote:
JFG12 wrote:
Defekt wrote:
Its pretty normal for your squat to be lower than your deadlift, although I’m not sure how much lower. For reference theres about an 80 pound difference between mine. This seems to be a case of your bench being high rather than your squat being low (in relation to your deadlift) I was looking for an article that had you multiply our different lifts by a percentage to let you see roughly where the other ones are but I couldn’t find it. Ill keep looking though

Yeah benching and deadlifting have always felt natural to me… especially benching.

I remember reading a long while back that shoes can have an affect on your bench and deadlift. I currently am wearing some Asics with a custom insole… done by the chiropractor.

If shoes do indeed have an affect on lifts, what would be a good shoe to buy if I were to only buy one kind? Something that would benefit my deadlift and squat (if that’s possible).

Thanks :slight_smile:

Anything flat is best. I personally squat and deadlift barefoot/in socks. I’ve never tried, but from what people reccomend converse and nike frees are good shoes to lift in. Personally I havn’t had much of a problem with socks at all, especially not enough to warrant buying shoes over. The only bad this is my socks get kinda dirty really fast so I try to wear the same 2-3 pairs of cheap ones when ever its lowerbody days.[/quote]

My gym won’t allow socks or barefeet unfortunately. I use to do my sprints in socks in Track and Field haha. So I guess for my situation the nike frees would be best.

Thanks

Con’s are probably your best bet. I’ve had a pair that I wear at least 3x a week to training every week for the last 3 years and they’re only now staritng to fall apart.

To the OP, maybe your squat technique isnt good, make sure you stabilize your core and upper back and try to really explode out of the bottom of the squat. I would say try box squats to supplement

I have a similar body type.

My problem is falling forward when I do heavy squats. Seems to make sense if you think about it, because the barbell is best positioned right over your feet when viewed from the side, which makes leaning forward a problem to compensate for our long ass femurs.

i have read an article on this site about lifting percentages , unfortunately i cannot find the article off hand, fortunately i made a copy of a bench press based work out , now this is only a guide line but may help you figure out how far off you are from being balanced. Bench press �?? 100 %

�?� Front squat and close-grip bench press �?? 90 %

�?� Hang clean �?? 81 %

�?� Dumbbell bench press (two dumbbell total) and one-arm row (two dumbbell total) �?? 77.3 %

�?� Push press, jerk, and dumbbell incline bench press (two dumbbell total) �?? 72 %

�?� Dumbbell overhead press (two dumbbell total) �?? 58.4 %

�?� Hammer curl (two dumbbell total) �?? 56.6 %

�?� Dumbbell curl (two dumbbell total), barbell curl, and dumbbell overhead triceps extension (two dumbbell total) �?? 54 %

�?� Bulgarian squat (weighted) �?? 49.4 %

�?� Lunge (weighted), split squat (weighted), and press-down �?? 45 %

�?� E-Z bar skull crusher �?? 43 %

�?� Dumbbell skull crusher (two dumbbell total), preacher curl, and concentration curl (two dumbbell total) �?? 39.5 %

�?� Seated calf raise and pec fly (two dumbbell total) �?? 36 %

�?� Single-leg Romanian deadlift (one dumbbell) and standing calf raise (one dumbbell) �?? 23.3 %

�?� Back squat �?? 128 %

�?� Deadlift �?? 179 %

You sound fine, unless you’ve been training for years and years, although it doesn’t appear that way. This is not uncommon for someone starting out. My squat has always lagged behind my deadlift until the last year. I’ve been training for about 9 years.

I would not worry about relationships between lifts. If you are not happy w/ your squat, get it stronger. Its that simple. You aren’t going to get thrown out of your meet b/c your deadlift is much stronger. My first meet, I had a total of 745 via 240 - 175 - 330 @ 132. Clearly, my deadlift was a lot better than my squat.

Now I am finally over 500 on squat and I’m still struggling to get passed 450 on deadlift.

Btw, you sound built for deadlift more so than squat. Don’t let that hold you back though. I’ve just seen a lot of long limbed guys pull huge weights while they didn’t break squat records, those deadlifts more than made up for it in the end.

[quote]Flow wrote:
I have a similar body type.

My problem is falling forward when I do heavy squats. Seems to make sense if you think about it, because the barbell is best positioned right over your feet when viewed from the side, which makes leaning forward a problem to compensate for our long ass femurs.

[/quote]

no thats caused by bad form, which is usually due to flexibility issues or the weight is too heavy for you to do good squats with. Just like curling huge weight with your back, same with squats doing lots of weight with bad form. In the end no one really cares how much your doing, but its you who will suffer with an injury using bad form.

Actually, tall lifters can have serious issues squatting. If they have particularly long longs, it can be next to impossible for them not to significantly lean forward. Form doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with it.

[quote]rmccart1 wrote:
Actually, tall lifters can have serious issues squatting. If they have particularly long longs, it can be next to impossible for them not to significantly lean forward. Form doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with it.[/quote]

wrong its just that tall people have much more trouble, and on average are much less flexible. It just takes work, also using elevated lifting shoes or plates can help tremendously.

To the shoes part of the discussion: I’ve found wrestling shoes work really well for me. Flat, thin sole. Great for lower work.

[quote]shizen wrote:
rmccart1 wrote:
Actually, tall lifters can have serious issues squatting. If they have particularly long longs, it can be next to impossible for them not to significantly lean forward. Form doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with it.

wrong its just that tall people have much more trouble, and on average are much less flexible. It just takes work, also using elevated lifting shoes or plates can help tremendously. [/quote]

That’s one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard. Tall people are less flexible? Why?

Take a physics class and rethink what you just said.

[quote]shizen wrote:
Flow wrote:
I have a similar body type.

My problem is falling forward when I do heavy squats. Seems to make sense if you think about it, because the barbell is best positioned right over your feet when viewed from the side, which makes leaning forward a problem to compensate for our long ass femurs.

no thats caused by bad form, which is usually due to flexibility issues or the weight is too heavy for you to do good squats with. Just like curling huge weight with your back, same with squats doing lots of weight with bad form. In the end no one really cares how much your doing, but its you who will suffer with an injury using bad form. [/quote]

I can squat hams to calves no prob and have a fairly strong back.

There’s quite a difference between my squat and deadlift (deadlift being higher), but I’m working on staying upright with heavier squats.

I catch your drift, though. When I try and max out on back squats falling forward is just about always the reason I ditch the lift. Really working on strengthening my lower back to avoid any injuries from this problem, but I suppose we all have to work with the body we have. Right?

Just a biomechanics thing that I have to deal with.

Back to the OP’s concerns though. . .

As mentioned earlier, some people are just better suited for certain lifts. Enjoy the fact that your deadlift is good.

BTW, I might give the elavating the heels thing a shot. I know Ahnuld used that same technique, and he had the same long-legs-falling-forward-in-the-squat problem.

To my knowledge his best squat was in the low 5s, but. . .

wait for it. . .

he deadlifted 754 lbs.

I guess his bad squat form and inflexibility didn’t hold him back too much, eh?

(sarcastic wink)

**I’ll correct myself, it was 710 lbs.

http://www.schwarzenegger.it/gallery/musclegallery11/ar394.jpg

[quote]Flow wrote:
shizen wrote:
Flow wrote:
I have a similar body type.

My problem is falling forward when I do heavy squats. Seems to make sense if you think about it, because the barbell is best positioned right over your feet when viewed from the side, which makes leaning forward a problem to compensate for our long ass femurs.

no thats caused by bad form, which is usually due to flexibility issues or the weight is too heavy for you to do good squats with. Just like curling huge weight with your back, same with squats doing lots of weight with bad form. In the end no one really cares how much your doing, but its you who will suffer with an injury using bad form.

I can squat hams to calves no prob and have a fairly strong back.

There’s quite a difference between my squat and deadlift (deadlift being higher), but I’m working on staying upright with heavier squats.

I catch your drift, though. When I try and max out on back squats falling forward is just about always the reason I ditch the lift. Really working on strengthening my lower back to avoid any injuries from this problem, but I suppose we all have to work with the body we have. Right?

Just a biomechanics thing that I have to deal with.

Back to the OP’s concerns though. . .

As mentioned earlier, some people are just better suited for certain lifts. Enjoy the fact that your deadlift is good.
[/quote]

Your right on maximum attempts form can be off. In fact most powerlifters lift like you do, prob reason your deadlift is strong also. I’m more ranting on people in gym doing reps of 10 with weight that is clearly too heavy for them.

[quote]rmccart1 wrote:
shizen wrote:
rmccart1 wrote:
Actually, tall lifters can have serious issues squatting. If they have particularly long longs, it can be next to impossible for them not to significantly lean forward. Form doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with it.

wrong its just that tall people have much more trouble, and on average are much less flexible. It just takes work, also using elevated lifting shoes or plates can help tremendously.

That’s one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard. Tall people are less flexible? Why?

Take a physics class and rethink what you just said.[/quote]

I have to say I do agree with rmccart here.

I train with a guy who’s 6’5. His inside legs around 38-40 inches I believe. If you’re trying to tell me that’s not the prime reason he leans forward so much when squatting I’d love to hear the alternate explanation…