T Nation

Improving Squats & Deadlifts

How do you strong dudes improve both squat and dead lifts?

Do you hit one for a few months or both in a week, or alternating weeks, etc.

What’s worked the best for you?

Hi Mate,

I don’t know if I can be classed as a ‘strong dude’, my squat and deadlift are around the 100kg mark but I do squats and deadlifts on alternate days every week.

I spend a lot of time trying to make sure my form is perfect, squats and deadlifts are arguably the best exercises you can do for building muscle but are also the most dangerous if done wrong.

I would ask a qualified gym instructor to show you how to deadlift and squat properly, and have him / her watch you do several sets with a reasonbly light weight over a couple of weeks to see what mistakes you need to correct.

Once you’re sure you have your form down, start adding little bits of weight each week, I add 5lbs a week to my squat and deadlift, doesn’t sound like much but over a long period of time it makes a difference, plus you don’t really notice the extra weight that much.

Good Luck

Best fake poster ever.

You’re so rad.

[quote]ninearms wrote:
Best fake poster ever.[/quote]

who me?

I thought you were taking the piss also.

I don’t need help with my form, I was just curious as to how others make gains on the big lifts.

Poliquin once said he doest have his athletes doing dead lifts and bent over rows in the same training week if strength is the goal.

I considered experimenting with alternating weeks also. I used to squat and Romanian dead lift in the same session and that seemed ok, but I’m thinking Dead lifts and squats in the same week would be too much.

What a strange place these forums are.

[quote]CityGent wrote:
What a strange place these forums are.[/quote]

You’ll get used to it…

Your post was obviously well meaning, but you are something of a beginner compared to many of the people on this site (me too). It smacked a little of trollism, particularly given the current trolling climate around here.

I read you routine and diet thread in the beginner section and you seem to be getting things in order and have your head screwed on. Stick around you’ll like it here.

Cheers,

Stu.

[quote]Stuey wrote:
CityGent wrote:
What a strange place these forums are.

You’ll get used to it…

Your post was obviously well meaning, but you are something of a beginner compared to many of the people on this site (me too). It smacked a little of trollism, particularly given the current trolling climate around here.

I read you routine and diet thread in the beginner section and you seem to be getting things in order and have your head screwed on. Stick around you’ll like it here.

Cheers,

Stu.[/quote]

Thanks for the heads up Stu, appreciate it, been a member of the cough mens health cough forums for a long time now, but they’re a bit touchy feely for me, too many posts about guys and their johnsons you know?

Spent half an hour on these boards and read some really good stuff, routine is finally starting to come together after much debating and fretting, not too bothered about being huge, but am keen to lower the body fat.

Anyway, sorry to hijack the original posters thread, maybe I’ll stick around a while longer.

By far this is the best way to approach increasing strength on your deadlifts and squats.

First, let me say how great I feel using this method. How many people feel terrific and strong during their squat and deadlift workouts, or during their leg workouts in general. For me I would say I feel terrific 1 out of 12 to 15 workouts. Problem being, you have a schedule and you do legs on thursday and upper body on tuesday or whatever. Let me tell you, especially if you are trying to get stronger this method is shit, at least for me.

I read about Poliquin setting up leg days with an emphasis placed on a certain lift. He talks about 1 day working on sled drags, 1 day lunges or split squats, and one day squats. He suggests a 5 day rest being optimal for many athletes. I changed it up a bit and Squat, then split squat, then deadlift.

So you will have between10-14 days between lifts. I have never felt more rested and explosive. I especially feel my lower back is extremely strong from the long rest. I will do RDL’s on the split squat day but not regular deads. Give this a try and you will appreciate how much rest your body really needs.

[quote]Andrew Dixon wrote:
How do you strong dudes improve both squat and dead lifts?

Do you hit one for a few months or both in a week, or alternating weeks, etc.

What’s worked the best for you?[/quote]

I’ve been doing regular back squats at least once a week and some lighter variation (front, pause, band, etc) once a week as well. I also do some type of pull twice a week alternating between deads, rack pulls, band pulls, reverse band, romanians etc.). 1 of the pull days is the same as 1 of the squat days. good mornings get supplemented in about every three weeks for 2 times a week over a 2 week cycle) in place of the pulls.

The idea is I pair heavy low volume weeks of back squats with high volume lighter versions of pulls and vice versa. When im peaking for a meet the last 3 weeks leading up the meet is all good mornings, romanians and speed squats

When I first started powerlifting (about 1.5-2 years ago) I used the Starr 5X5 which had me squatting 3 days a week. My max at the time was around 350 or so on squat and deadlift. After 12 weeks of that I started lifting with other powerlifters (VERY strong) and learned the importance of varying the lifts and using appropriate assistance movements. Movements like Good mornings, rack pulls, box squats, pull throughs, etc. Picking up and moving very heavy weights.

So first, it’s about fnding the right movements, then it’s about intensity and pushing limits. The first time I did heavy rack pulls I almost passed out. I got a bad headache that recurred for 2-3 days anytime I thought of doing something intense…all because of the stress on my CNS.

Anyway, a couple months ago in my first full meet my raw squat was 505 (fairly easy) and dead was 500 (again fairly easy). Now, I know this is not very strong for my weight class (275),but I’m far from being done. I plan to hit 600 for both lifts in the next year. Having been lifting for the last 15 years and putting on 100 lbs of BW in that time, it has amazed me how much more I have accomplished in such a short time relative to my lifting age.

Ultimately it’s just about attitude. Being willing to do what it takes.

A fuckin 220 lb (100kg) deadlift? Do you weigh 110 lbs?

I’m a small guy. I weigh 168 lbs right now. I can deadlift 365 without seeing stars. How? Grab the bar with a mixed grip, keep the back in the proper position, head forward without looking down and start to pull til you feel resistance, then blast up.

I’ll give the 3 way split. Squats one day, dead lifts, then split squats on day 15.

Try putting the split squats in the middle, giving your back and CNS a break and you can really trash it on the days you dead and squat…

[quote]Shadowzz4 wrote:
Try putting the split squats in the middle, giving your back and CNS a break and you can really trash it on the days you dead and squat…[/quote]

Yeah, good idea. I’m building up on these slowly after knee issues, so noting is going to tax my CNS to much for a while yet.

Cheers

Thanks guys for your input.

I’m finding that in terms of having a ME lower body day, alternating ME movements every week (squat, deadlift, squat, deadlift) is working well. Also, hitting single leg work, GHR’s, Reverse Hypers, Ab work, and heavy leg pressing also helps.

[quote]novagreg wrote:
I’m finding that in terms of having a ME lower body day, alternating ME movements every week (squat, deadlift, squat, deadlift) is working well. Also, hitting single leg work, GHR’s, Reverse Hypers, Ab work, and heavy leg pressing also helps. [/quote]

Yeah, that could work. Week one squats and 1 legged squats and week 2 dead lifts and 1 leg Romanian deads.

[quote]roofus_5 wrote:
When I first started powerlifting (about 1.5-2 years ago) I used the Starr 5X5 which had me squatting 3 days a week. My max at the time was around 350 or so on squat and deadlift. After 12 weeks of that I started lifting with other powerlifters (VERY strong) and learned the importance of varying the lifts and using appropriate assistance movements. Movements like Good mornings, rack pulls, box squats, pull throughs, etc. Picking up and moving very heavy weights.

So first, it’s about fnding the right movements, then it’s about intensity and pushing limits. The first time I did heavy rack pulls I almost passed out. I got a bad headache that recurred for 2-3 days anytime I thought of doing something intense…all because of the stress on my CNS.

Anyway, a couple months ago in my first full meet my raw squat was 505 (fairly easy) and dead was 500 (again fairly easy). Now, I know this is not very strong for my weight class (275),but I’m far from being done. I plan to hit 600 for both lifts in the next year. Having been lifting for the last 15 years and putting on 100 lbs of BW in that time, it has amazed me how much more I have accomplished in such a short time relative to my lifting age.

Ultimately it’s just about attitude. Being willing to do what it takes.[/quote]

This is the best advice so far. It sounds like you follow the westside conjugate periodization method. I recently started using it and its phenomenal. For max strength the combination of max effort days and speed days as well as the constant rotation of exercises into and out of your training program work to give fast strength gains.

It makes perfect sense. If you want to be strong then model the best. And westside is the best when it comes to producing top class powerlifters