Before you make fun of my username, I am a Shawnee Indian, and that is my name. I also have a western, legal name, but I use this one as an internet alias. I’ve run into lots of problems using it, though, so if any admins read this, if possible, please change it to the initials W.H., my new pseudonym.
My background: I am an All-Rounder. I hold 5 IAWA World’s Records. Thats all you need to know for now.
Back to the subject at hand–Many people use these terms interchangeably, but in fact they are different lifts. Here are the official regulations for the Hack (Dead) Lift as per the International All-Round Weightlifting Association:
C10. Hack Lift
IAWA rules for the Deadlift apply, except that the bar will be placed behind the lifter. The bar may touch the calves and the rear of the upper legs as it rises. Should it bind against the upper legs, the bar may be stopped momentarily while a hip adjustment is made. The bar may not, however, be lowered during the movement.
The Hack Squat, the Lift that Hackenschmidt is so famous for performing, is an entirely different lift with much worse leverages. The bar must be held with the hands together at the lower back, and the lifter must then rise onto the toes as he descends until his butt almost rests on his heels (with the hamstrings resting on the calves), keeping the spine upright. As far as I am aware, there is no governing body for this lift.
As an example of the different poundages for the lifts, I can Hack (Dead) lift 450 pretty comfortably (my present max, but done in training), but can only Hack Squat about 115.
The all time record in the hack squat proper is Hackenschmidt’s 187 lb, whereas some people have performed hack lifts of over 700 lb.
Hope that helps clear some things up. The proper Hack Squat is an extremely difficult and dangerous lift, so I would advise against its practice unless you already have very strong, healthy knees.
Stick with the Hack (Dead) Lift instead.