I know the immediate reaction to a post like this will be to “do both!” and this may be the wrong place to ask this, but I’ll give it a shot.
I was wondering if there were any long-limbed, short-torsoed folks like me who have a devil of a time benching or squatting like the favorably proportioned folk and who have instead thrived on a diet of overhead presses or dips and deadlifts. I gave up trying to move more weight on the bench press years ago because my build is not suited to bench pressing safely and efficiently (i.e. getting stronger quickly). I have made much better gains in chest/tricep strength when doing weighted dips.
In a similar manner, squats have always been a bit awkward for me and I could never progress very quickly with them while my deadlift numbers just keep climbing. Despite this, I’ve favored the squat, but after a decade of poor returns I’ve decided to work solely on the deadlift and make my glutes/hams/erectors all they can be and screw having bulbous quads.
I know a lot of people consider the back squat the key to performance for ALL athletes, but there is a small minority who believe that the deadlift may be more widely suited to accomodate increasing hip/knee muscle strength for the typical person without ideal bench/squat proportions (barrel chest, long spine, short limbs).
Has anyone built a nice set of powerful legs and hips by favoring the deadlift? I know many of you reading this will feel compelled to write in to tell me stop being lazy and to do both. What I really want to know is how effective favoring the deadlift can be. I deadlift frequently and I’m “just” 100 lbs away from a triple-bodyweight deadlift and at my rate of progress I’ll have that well before the end of the year, so I’m not being lazy; I train the lift intensely and with passion. I wonder if there will be a carryover to my squat strength and if I’d be short-changing myself in terms of athletic performance.