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Good Mornings - how much weight compared to squat

After being convinced by you guys to finally start working my legs as hard as my upper body, I have finally started squats, deadlifts, goodmornings, and calf raises. The weight went up quickly until I reached the 225 mark, but since I have just started training them I am still pleased even with that low number (much better than the 55 lbs dumbells I was using to squat before!). The good mornings and squats have alleviated (knock on wood) the lower back pain I have had since my college pitching days.

Finally, my question is how much weight do you use on GM in comparison to your squat. I was scared of GMs and started out very light and have worked my way up to 145 310. I am now comfortable enough with them to start using my 55 and 54322 workouts.

I have heard conflicting information from guys I consider "experienced". One camp says you should GM fairly close to what you squat in because your back must be prepared for the loss of angle in your back when you squat heavy (for me :)). Another camp says that the weight should not be that heavy and that you should just hit your lower back with moderate weight and perhaps high reps.

My “getting less sissy” squat workout tomorrow will be a 54322 starting at 2355 and going up in 5 lb increments. I was thinking of going 175 for 35 on GM - up from 145 3*10. What do you guys think is the appropriate philosophy on GMs and what should my weight be. I love what it’s doing for my lower back and want to maximize the results.


Whoever told you that your GM weight should be about the same as your squat weight is a true idiot, and should not be listened to anymore. Ever. (The next time you see him, ask what his max squat is and then ask him to do a Good Morning with the same amount of weight. Should be good for entertainment…just don’t stand directly in back of him because the discs and vertebrae exploding from his spinal column might hit you in the eye.)

Since you have been training GMs and Squats hard for about the same number of time, your GM and Squat will be much closer. I think that the two camps differ on GM poundages due to the frequency of the lift. If you are training GMs year round as a staple in your leg training plan, the poundages will be high. If you train GMs for a couple of weeks out of the year, you can’t expect that they will be anywhere near your squat. Your plan looks very reasonable. Just make sure that you have the power rack set in a way so that you can drop the weight at the bottom of the movement if you hit failure with heavy weights.

it all depends. i follow the westside routine and use good mornings as a max effort exercise. i spoke with dave tate and he said that you should be doing a single good morning with at least 60% of your max squat single. however, if you don’t use equipment for your squat, that means you should be doing about 70% or so. maybe even more. if you are going to do sets of 5, i would guess that you should be doing about the same 70-% figure give or take some. if you are doing them after squatting, then i would imagine the weights would be a little less.

however, there are times when i do lighter weight goodmornings for reps as a recuperative exercise to get blood flowing into the back and speed recovery and general gpp work.

when i first started doing them i was about 30 % and now approach 70% of my equipped squat. enjoy them.

The guys at Westside have a minimum good morning of 60% of their max squat.

Thanks for the feed back. Started slow and did 165*5. Felt ok so bumped it to 175 for the next two sets. I will definitely take the poundages up slow and will smack my buddy when I see him (he is a big bastard though).

One more point… I can’t imagine squatting 350 or so right now even though I weigh over 250 lbs. Being 6’4" it’s a long way to a full squat and the 245-250 I did tonight felt nice and heavy.

I applaud the courage you beast have that squat 350 to 1000 lbs and hope to get there. Since the gains have started to come slow, being tall, and are a long way from 350 lb goal, do you have any advice other than shut up and stick with it? Thanks for help!

I don’t buy the “I’m 6’4 and that’s a long way to squat 350LB” whining. There are lot’s of tall guys who squat big weights brother. My training partner is 6’6 and squats 405 for 8-9 rock bottom reps with excellent form. I don’t think you’ll find much sympathy on this forum. Sorry if this sounds harsh, just tellin it like it is.

I am very happy for you and your “buddy”. I did not ask for sympathy - I asked for tips. I am very certain there are tall people who squat quite a bit (probably a whole lot more than 405) but since I started squatting about 2 months ago the 250 I am up to feels heavy and adding 100+ pounds to that sounds like my a-hole is going to get stuck to the floor.

A tip might be construed as “As long as you take the increases slow your body will acclimate itself to the weight. Use good form and go up in small increments, etc.” That’s what I want to hear, but thanks for patting your buddy on the back.

 Easy big fella, don't get so defensive. I think it's great that you've made the comittment to squat and that your working hard to do more than 250lbs.I also think it's great that your incorporating heavy GM's into your routine. These are two exercises most people in the gym avoid. I'm simply responding to your statement that " being 6'4 is a long way to full squat ". Since your relatively new to squatting, you might as well start off right and work on full squats with proper form and worry about increasing up from 250lbs later. Reread some of Dave Tate's articles on squatting in T-mag, incorporate his tips into your training and you'll get strong fast. As for my training partner, your right there are lots of tall guys who can squat more than he does. I was simply trying to give an example of how tall people are not limited to the weight they can squat due to there height. Oh, and don't think I was trying to give him a pat on the back, I rarely do and he never asks for one . Like most training partners we have alot of fun carving each other. But then he's got thick skin, perhaps it's something you should consider developing. Good luck with the training.

it really depends on a lot of things. Dave Tates assistant lifter in the WSB seminar tapes goodmornings up to 700lbs and he only squats 800 something. Tate GMs considerably less but squats in the 900s

My skin is alright. How about telling me some of his tips. How wide is his feet? Pointed where? How did he progress? How long to 405. What does he think at the bottom of squat? Etc.