T Nation

Relationship Between Squats and Deads

In the thread, “my deadlift is a disaster”, I noticed that there were posters that questioned the OP’s squat numbers in relation to their deadlift numbers. Here are my numbers:

Back squat: 255
Front squat: 230
Deadlift: 405
Overhead press: 135
Bench press 200
Power Clean: 165
Clean: 175

I’ve been lifting for 6 months now and my starting numbers were:
Back squat: 115
Front squat: 135
Deadlift: 245
Overhead press: 85
Bench press: 115
Power Clean: 105
Clean 115

All of these are 3 sets of 5 reps except for the front squat, the power clean and the clean. Those are 5 sets of 3 reps. All of the numbers I posted are my working weights. I don’t have a 1RM since I’ve never tried for it. I add about 5 lbs to the bar everytime, except for the overhead press in which I can only add 2.5 lbs to the bar.

My workout is like this:
Monday: squats (1st week - front squat, next week - back squat)
Tuesday: deadlifts
Wednesday: rest
Thursday: press (1st week - bench press, next week - overhead press)
Friday: olympic lifts (1st week - cleans, next week - snatch)

My question is, should my squat numbers be higher because of my deadlift? Should I work on squats more? Or should I stay on my current path since I am putting more weight on the bar everytime I lift?

Thanka for all of the advice and critiques. Any help is greatly appreciated.


Hey Henry, congrats on the big improvements man, you went to man status in 6 months, that’s awesome!

First, no your squat numbers do not necessarily have to be higher because of your deadlift and vice versa. It has a lot to do with body type.

I’ll use an example of me and my friend Willie. I have short legs, a long torso, and short arms, I squat 525 and pull 585. Willie has long legs, short torso and long arms, he can squat 550 and pull 725.

So I’d say you simply have an athletic build of long legs and long arms making for a great deadlift, this doesn’t make your squat bad, it’s good, just your deadlift is really good. I also find the deadlift rises faster than squats in beginners, so your squat probably just needs to catch up a bit.

I really like the manner you train in, it’s very balanced, and will go a long way to reinforce great posture. One thing I noticed that you may really like, is that you squat monday, pull tuesday and take wednesday off, then do cleans on friday… I would switch that to squat monday, tuesday off, deadlift wednesday, press thursday, cleans friday.

The day off on tuesday will just let you be fresher, and shouldn’t affect your recovery for the Friday cleans.

As for your question about where to go, I would stay on the current path until progress stops, provided you’re using proper form, my one concern about linear progression is you’re constantly struggling, instead of having a few days where the weights aren’t killing you to work on form.

After this, the program would depend on your goals, for general strength I think 531 is great, for powerlifting the sheiko routines are great. But I would follow a well thought out routine and not just fly by the seat of your pants.

Also, if you get the chance, post some videos of your form dude, can’t hurt, and I’d be happy to let you know what you’re doing well, and what you can improve on to get better.

Whether or not you change your programming really depends on what your goals are. Do you want to be a powerlifter, or are you just interested in general fitness and overall strength? If its the former, then yeah, you’d benefit from a lot more specificity. Those training days where you do olympic lifts (and even front squats/presses; although there is carryover, its a less efficient use of time assuming your technique is up to par) would be better spent on the main lifts. If its the latter, then it doesn’t matter much, and the variety of lifts is probably fine.

As far as comparing your squat and deadlift, there’s no good metric that you can use to say “if you squat x, you should pull y.” Proficiency in either of those lifts can simply come from being better built for one versus the other. If you’ve got really short femurs, that’s highly beneficial for the squat; if those short femurs came with short arms (and commonly, a long torso), then you’re at a disadvantage for the deadlift. Despite using a lot of similar musculature, the carryover between the two lifts is limited, and simply comparing numbers doesn’t tell much of the story. Leverages and technique do a much better job of letting you know why a certain lift might not be where you want it to be.

Larry10 and TB284,
Thanks for the explanations and advice. I really appreciate it. As for my goals, I’m just looking for general fitness. I’m 37 years old, 6 ft tall and 203 lbs. I work in an office all day and before I started, I could only do one pull up and one dip. Now I’m up to 12 pull ups and 10 dips. I just want to get stronger so I read forums, follow Crossfit pages, read books, etc.

Would I get stronger if I doubled up on everything? I noitced that everytime I workout, I can add 5 pounds to the bar. What if I squat twice a week, deadlift twice a week and press twice a week. Would I still be able ot add wieght to the bar everytime? For example, I back squat every other week and add 5 to the bar (When I tried to add more, I’d fail. It seems like 5 pounds is my limit). Would a 3x5 back squat on Monday and then again on Thursday get my numbers up faster?

For example, would this schedule be better:
Monday: Squat and press
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: Deadlift
Thursday: Squat and press
Friday: Olympic lift
Saturday: Deadlift


I would just switch your deadlift day to wednesday, and leave the rest as is. Doubling up will just tax your recovery and you’ll likely get worse.

You’re making great progress, why mess with it?

When progress stops, PM me or make a thread and we’ll figure out where to go from there.

I don’t think you need to double up, either. Doing big movements multiple days/week is usually best reserved for people that want to actively compete in powerlifting and have exhausted their “easy” gains. The movements are generally done with submaximal loads, as well, so you probably wouldn’t be able to use a linear progression like you are now.

Keep milking the 5lbs/cycle increase you’ve been seeing and make reliable progress. For general fitness and to just enjoy training, its your best bet.

Thanks again for the great advice. I really appreciate it.


Thanks also. I really appreciate the help that you’ve provided.


Wendler I believe mentioned in an article on T-Nation that he would expect most Raw lifters to DL ~100# more than their back squat.

That’s what I try to use as a guideline but my squat is closing in on my DL.

I squat as much as I pull. It’s mostly due to the fact that I neglected deadlifting when I started. Whenever my squat went up, my deadlift went up as well. If my squat goes from 315–>365, the deadlift went from 315–>365.

And as for your questions, no it doesn’t necessarily have to be higher. Some people are just better pullers than they are squatters, vice-versa and same for benching. But you should post videos and ask for some form critique. I’ve seen two of my friends pull 500 but they can’t squat 275 to depth. I’m sure they’re strong enough, but there are underlying issues.

You should def. work on squats more. Just because I love squatting, and its a kick to the balls when I don’t squat 3x’s a week. Seriously though, since you’re making progress, there’s no need to drastically change things. When you hit a wall, maybe then consider upping the frequency on squats if you’re not happy with it.

Good luck, and don’t over think the simple stuff . I know where you’re coming from, hell I bench half what I squat. The frustration when one lift is not where you’d like it to be in comparison to your others.

This is a vidoe of my deadlift:

Here is my back squat:

Here is my front squat:

Thanks again everyone for offering to critique my form and help me out.

I really appreciate it.


I noticed you appear to have your thumbs wrapped; you’re using a hook grip on your deadlifts then?

[quote]csulli wrote:
I noticed you appear to have your thumbs wrapped; you’re using a hook grip on your deadlifts then?[/quote]

Yes I use a hook grip.


[quote]HPLouis wrote:
Here is my front squat:

Elbows high and out, helps a ton coming out of the hole.

Thanks for the advice. I’ve been told that before also. Lead with my elbows and that’ll help me come out of the hole. I was also told that when I squat, I crash down and lose lumbar at the bottom.


Keep the knees out on those squats. Pretend as if you’re pulling the floor apart with your feet or showing off your crotch. It’ll help get a better pop off the hole and will improve it significantly.

I’m glad you posted videos, most people don’t

Try a little wider of a stance, point your toes a little more and as said earlier pull the floor the apart, ie knees out. Im sure you are aware of them coming inwards in that video. Definitely the most noticeable thing to work on. Also try and use less footwork getting into your stance, take 1 step back into your stance and let the other leg follow. Best of luck.