T Nation

GM vs Squat vs Deads

this may have been done before… but i searched and couldnt find it

just wiondering what everyones Squat vs Dead vs GM poundages are?

i can

zercher 500lbs
parralel box squat 640lbs
sumo dead 600lbs

but my GM is around 220lbs???

im guessing this is way off what it ‘should’ be. but i seem to lack confidence when performing it.

also i hold the bar in an ‘olympic position’ - high on the traps, it feels more stable here than lower down my back were my rear delts/rohmboids tend to make positioning difficult. I know however its increasing teh movement arm and screwing up my leverage.

in the lower postion it feels as though is/will roll out of position (towards my head) as i lean forward…

is this common? and does anyone have any tips for setting up the bar? ive read everything over at EFS 20x but i still cant pull it off

any help on any of this will be much appreciated

thank you


From the Powerlifting-USA Magazine “Top 100” in each weight class, some trends emerge over the years. At the bottom of each list, the deadlifts tend to be as good as the squats or better. However, in all of the weight classes over 67.5 kg, the best squats are heavier than the best deadlifts–about 200# heavier, in the superheavyweight (over 140 Kg.) class. This trend has been more obvious since about 1984, as better-than-bulletproof lifting suits tend to help the squat more than the deadlift.
Now, I’m gonna reveal all of my ignorance at once: whatsa “GM?” (If I found a GM floating in my coffee, would I recognize it?)
We could talk about squat and deadlift form another time, but, first, I gotta know your height/weight, how long you’ve been training consistently, and some idea of your skeletal “leverages.” Is your torso relatively long or short for your height? (I.e, if you sit on a bench or on equal-height chairs with a dozen other people who are exactly your height, will your eye level be above or below most of theirs?) What is your best squat stance (distance between the heels)? If it’s a relatively wide stance, do your hips tend to “lock” before you reach no-shit parallel? (If your training partners judge what’s parallel, are any of them experienced PL referees, with eyeballs that have been calibrated by an angel of God?) Are you 100.01% positive that you can’t deadlift as much in “conventional style” as you do in sumo style?
Strength & courage,
Coach Joe

you are probably not sitting back far enough and you need to carry the bar lower. My numbers are very close to yours in the box squat and sumo pull and my best good morning is over 400lbs. And my good morning is very weak. So you are doing something wrong.

thanks for the advice goldberg, gonna give it a shot today see how i go.

and i already had that little clip johnny, but it does really show how he sets the bar up.

Coach Joe:

GM = good morning, sorry bout the confusion.

29 years old
height 180cm
weight 220lbs
around 12% bf (i think/i hope)
training for 14 years, consistently in power training for last 3
(westside) but have trained other systems sheiko, olympic lifting etc

i can give you limb lengths if you like…

arms 30inches (finger tip to acrinom process)
legs 42.5inches (base of foot to illiac crest)
torso 26 inches (pubis to cavicle)

best squat stance is med wide (around 24-25 inches) my hips never lock, i was a thai boxer so dynamic flexibilty of my hips is not a problem, but static flexibilty is (same with hamstrings)

as far as experienced powerlifting refs around these parts a big LOL as far as i know im the only one powerlifting within about 2000km (well me and some of the younger guys who take a liking to the way i train and i show them a few things). i know its parralel, because im using a bench set just below parallel for me.

sumo vs conventional… they are both about the same, sumo maybe 20lbs more, depends on the day. i have an easier time getting into position with the sumo, because i lack the flexibilty to set myself in the conventional.

oh and thanks for asking me these questions, and thanks for your help.
on a side note im a physiotherapy student, and while ive understood the need to know anatomy/biomech
for training, it never really hit me how important it was until i started cadaver studies and began to see
just how everything works together.

so message for the day kiddies, do a littel cadavar research to compliment your training


Coach Joe,
If your really a coach and read PLUSA and don’t know what a G.M.(good morning exercise)is but know what a squat and deadlift is how can you advise Davidian when your still learning yourself?

Davidian, if you are capable of a 600 sumo deadlift and nearly as much in conventional style, the major malfunction is not a weak back. I’m going to guess that your knees are absolutely locked when you do good morning’s. That makes the lift much harder and, in my estimation, makes a relatively dangerous lift more dangerous. Done that way, a deep good morning with your own bodyweight is a hard lift.
If I’m wrong about the form that you’re using, I apologize for the bad information. If I’m right, PLEASE either unlock your knees or quit doing high-intensity (low-rep, max. effort) good mornings. (I had a badly broken back, 28 years ago. I don’t recommend the experience to my trainees.)
Strength & courage,
Coach Joe

coach joe : yeah I do it with bent legs.

i did GMs today for max effort and managed to work up to 330lbs for a single…

held teh bar lower down my back and really concentrated on pushing my ass backwards as far as possible.

bar position still felt very akward, and as though the slitest dip of my head would send it over teh top of me.

and when i unrack it im awfully hunched up (head pushed forwards alot)

does this sound wrong?

Good mornings are a strange animal for some people, and I am more or less unwilling to give you advice w/out training with you to see it firsthand.

Having said that, I train a 17 year old who is a human crane (6’1, @ 160#). He has a great pull but really struggles with bar placement and general comfort relative to GM’s.

We have found that a Buffalo Bar makes a big difference in his comfort and confidence. Unfortunately, this does not do you alot of good if you do not have access to one.

Congrats!! Allofasudden, you have added 50% to your best good morning, and a 1.5 X Bodyweight good morning is a damn-good lift! I don’t do good mornings often and haven’t for 30+ years, as I prefer to combine erector, lat and trap work in various forms of pulling from the floor. When I do good mornings, I have a problem similar to yours. As a result of a 1978 plane crash, broken back, and 9+ months in a torso cast, I have a lump over my king vertabra. It prevents me from racking either squats or good mornings where a normal powerlifter would. (I have to do 'em “olympic/high-bar” style.) At the bottom of a really low good morning, I pull the bar hard against my upper traps/lower neck, to keep it from lurching forward. I also do 'em in a power rack–The World’s Best Spotter–and set the pins as close as possible to the bottom position of the lift.
Steve B,
Be mellow, my man! The confusion was not over “what is a good morning.” It was over the use of “GM” as an abbreviation for good mornings, an abbreviation that ain’t exactly recognized worldwide. I think I started doing good mornings, around 1963. (As a courtesy to a fellow ironhead, I won’t ask where you were in 1963…)
Strength & courage, Y’all,
Coach Joe

I’m gonna say upfront, im a dumbass when it comes to good mornings. my first time doing it ever was last 2 weeks ago. Now that ive confessed my ignorance, take pity on me and please explain: DONT lock your knees? I can see the point about making it more dangerous, but but i thought that a gm was basically supposed to be a stiff legged dl with the bar in squat position. when i watched the mpg clip above i thought he was doing some kind of weird squat/gm hybrid. whats the deal? what the minimum bend int he knee is advisable and whats the maximum acceptable?

Holy shit i agree with KBC. I found that keeping my knees locked put a lot of strain on them so I intuitively started bending them slightly but not as much as the guy in the clip. My GM is only 200lb at the mo’, my squat is 360lb but i think I could GM 250lb using that amount of knee bend.

The knee bend has something to do with optimum tension in the glutes and hamstrings; allows for greater power production. There was article an comparing stiff legged to romanian deadlifts that explained this in a bit more detail; albeit not alot more.