T Nation

Improving Squat and Deadlift


When trying to improve these two lifts, what is one of the most efficient ways to add them in your training?

My goal is to gain a lot of strength on these (as well as bench & m.press) over this year. I'm fairly weak right now, so it should be possible for me to almost double what I can lift on these. I'm just trying to find the smartest approach.

Now, should I squat every other week and deadlift every other week? Or focus on each one over 6 week blocks?

Also, how often should I work up to my 1RM?

Currently I'm doing a beginners strength program by dave tate, however, it only focuses on squat & bench (no deadlift). Which kinda blows since deadlift is my favourite lift.

I know I can just do starting strength, but I'd like to know how to set up my own training.


Do some research on Jim Wendler's 5-3-1 program (or better yet buy the 3 day manual ebook that describes on elitefts.com).

You can do it 4 days a week (squat, bench, deadlift, military press) and it completely answers most of your requests. In a nutshell you work up to a ~5RM on week 1, ~3rm on week 2, ~1rm on week 3 and deload on week 4. (On all 4 lifts.) That is not all there is to the program, of course, but just to give you an idea...


I will look into it after I finished my 12 week program, I don't want to chop and change programs right now.

If anything I was seeing if I could add deadlifting into what I'm doing now. I suppose I could just use the split and exercises along with a 5/3/1 set up.


Ah man. Beat me to it. This could be about as simple as it gets. It's great because you can literally plan your entire year using it. So ideally at the end of the year (or at least a good 6 months) you will an idea of what you will be lifting.

If you take a conservative approach and only add 5 lbs to each lift, each cycle, then you could probably milk it even longer.


pm me if you would like the spreadsheet


I am going to order the book next week when I get paid then. I don't really want to a 3rd program in 3 weeks, but this does sound what I'm looking for.

Shouldn't make that much of a difference if i switch to it now and stick with it. I've been doing good with eating & put on half an inch on my arms already. Hoorah for muscle memory.