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Squats or Deadlifts? Which is The King of Lifts?

So I know that these two are by far the best lifts you can do for your whole body (excluding olympic lifts). But which one of them would win the title of king of lifts? I’m thinking Squats may be a tad more beneficial overall, but close.

All things being equal, I think the deadlift is more enjoyable since you can usual lift more weight than the squat. It just feels badass. However, I’d say other than that, they are pretty much equal.

Both work the posterior chain and can’t be done properly without using the glutes and moving from the hips. Deadlift may develop more power though.

I love the DL because of how much it’s changed the way I look.

And I love the SQ because mine’s still trash and that makes my progress that much more rewarding.

They both have advantages, and they are both different exercises. The deadlift is basically a back exercise (due to the ROM over which the legs are used) while the squat is predominantly a gluteal exercise (with the spinal erects worked isometrically).

(yeah posterior chain and what not) I always view a deadlift more as a TEST of overall strength rather than a mass-and strength builder (not that it does not) For building overall mass, you can’t beat the squat.

Doing heavy deads will widen your back over time (till you break something lol) and heavy squats will build up your glutes and hams (and quads depending on how you do em) but from an overall body mass perspective, nothing can match the mass building effects of the squat.

Even Pavel asks the wiry strength practitioners (who want to avoid hypertrophy) to choose the deadlift over the squat because of the squats tendency to add mass. Food for thought. His “bear protocol” for adding mass involves heavy squatting twice a week.
Given a choice (as in do just one) most bbers would go with the squat. The very idea of being crushed by a heavy-ass weight seems to trigger growth in the body.

that said, adding the leg press to a proepr routine with squats, rather than simply doing squats will elicit much more leg hypertrophy than just doing squats.

I vote Deadlift

It arguably works more muscles than the squat.

I also like it because it carries no excuses. Big benchers are often accused of having “short levers” (mostly by tall guys, like me). I don’t know the exact reason why, but the deadlift seems to be the “biomechanical equalizer” of exercises. Short or tall, you have no excuse. Therefore I feel its an excellent indicator of overall strength

Not really. Big benchers usually have less than stellar deadlifts, short arms = big bench, long arms and short legs = big deadlift (like an orangoutan) and short femurs = big squat.

But I agree that he deadlift is the cleanest test of overall strength simply because there is no way to “flake’ on the lift. if thats what is meant by 'king of exercises” I agree.
From a mass-building standpoint, there are several pro-and amateur bbers who switched out the deadlift entirely in favor of T-bar rows and barbell rows, but very very few who eschew the squat.

[quote]PimpBot5000 wrote:
the deadlift seems to be the “biomechanical equalizer” of exercises. Short or tall, you have no excuse. Therefore I feel its an excellent indicator of overall strength[/quote]

In my opinion, its just a pissing contest between the two really. They both kick my ass and I don’t think I would want to give up one for the other even if we agreed that one was “superior”.

Also, increasing your DL will increase your squat. For example, I hit a new PR the other day and my quads and glutes handled it well. MY erectors were hanging by a thread, so clearly my squat is being limited by my back strength.

By doing DLs and increasing overall posterior chain integrity, I can guarantee bigger squat numbers. Likewise, doing squats to build gluteal muscle and balance can help with the hip extension motion of the DL. Just my two.

[quote]tribunaldude wrote:
Not really. Big benchers usually have less than stellar deadlifts, short arms = big bench, long arms and short legs = big deadlift (like an orangoutan) and short femurs = big squat.

But I agree that he deadlift is the cleanest test of overall strength simply because there is no way to “flake’ on the lift. if thats what is meant by 'king of exercises” I agree.
From a mass-building standpoint, there are several pro-and amateur bbers who switched out the deadlift entirely in favor of T-bar rows and barbell rows, but very very few who eschew the squat.
[/quote]

I agree that most huge benchers have comparatively short humerus, and huge squatters have comparatively short femurs, but I’m not so sure about the “long arms and short legs = big deadlift” equation.

I’m about 6`4" and have long femurs with average length arms, and my deadlift is proportionally MUCH higher than my squat and bench. Its almost like I was born to deadlift.

I seem to recall that some previous deadlift world record holders were of similar bone structure to mine.

[quote]tribunaldude wrote:
They both have advantages, and they are both different exercises. The deadlift is basically a back exercise (due to the ROM over which the legs are used) while the squat is predominantly a gluteal exercise (with the spinal erects worked isometrically).

(yeah posterior chain and what not) I always view a deadlift more as a TEST of overall strength rather than a mass-and strength builder (not that it does not) For building overall mass, you can’t beat the squat.

Doing heavy deads will widen your back over time (till you break something lol) and heavy squats will build up your glutes and hams (and quads depending on how you do em) but from an overall body mass perspective, nothing can match the mass building effects of the squat.

Even Pavel asks the wiry strength practitioners (who want to avoid hypertrophy) to choose the deadlift over the squat because of the squats tendency to add mass. Food for thought. His “bear protocol” for adding mass involves heavy squatting twice a week.

Given a choice (as in do just one) most bbers would go with the squat. The very idea of being crushed by a heavy-ass weight seems to trigger growth in the body.

that said, adding the leg press to a proepr routine with squats, rather than simply doing squats will elicit much more leg hypertrophy than just doing squats.[/quote]

No kidding, Im about done with the Smolov and wowza, its definetely added some upper thigh mass like nothing else.

[quote]tribunaldude wrote:
Not really. Big benchers usually have less than stellar deadlifts, short arms = big bench, long arms and short legs = big deadlift (like an orangoutan) and short femurs = big squat.

But I agree that he deadlift is the cleanest test of overall strength simply because there is no way to “flake’ on the lift. if thats what is meant by 'king of exercises” I agree.
From a mass-building standpoint, there are several pro-and amateur bbers who switched out the deadlift entirely in favor of T-bar rows and barbell rows, but very very few who eschew the squat.

PimpBot5000 wrote:
the deadlift seems to be the “biomechanical equalizer” of exercises. Short or tall, you have no excuse. Therefore I feel its an excellent indicator of overall strength
[/quote]

Another great way to truly test your strength on the squat is bottom-posistion/rack squats.

Do both.

Both are great exercises, but if I had to choose one I would go with the Squat.

Deadlifts are a great measure of strength, and as Dan John’s article says its a great measure of progress as well.

However, the deadlift seems to fail for at least my body type when it comes to making progress. I can Squat 2-3 times a week and feel fine, but I can barely handle deadlifting once a week. For hamstrings, I prefer Romanian Deadlifts and Good Mornings and to build a bigger pull, I do tons of chin ups.

As I keep getting stronger in all of my other lifts, my deadlift 1RM continues to increase. Yes, there are lots of benefits for the deadlift, but in terms of building mass and strength, my vote goes to the Squat + assistance exercises.

The squat is the undisputed king of all excercisis.the squats simpleton cousin, the deadlift, has merrits of its own. the deadlift is a wonderfull tool in that as mentioned in posts above, there is no cheating.

You either lift the wieght off the floor and conqure it or not.simple. address bar,lift bar off floor to lockout,place bar back on floor. although I would undoubtedly need to make some alterations due to her lack of opposable thumbs, I may just be able to teach my dog to deadlift.

Ah,but the squat, that mightist lift of lifts, that noble,unforgiving king, is an entirerly different story. the squat can take years,sometimes a life time, to master.it is simulatneosly an art,a test of courage and mental fortitude, and lastly, the supreme builder of raw unadaulterated power,stregth, and of a man.

Consider this discussion over,plebians

[quote]ghostreiter wrote:
The MACHINE SMITH squat is the undisputed king of all excercisis.the squats simpleton cousin, the deadlift, has merrits of its own. the deadlift is a wonderfull tool in that as mentioned in posts above, there is no cheating.

You either lift the wieght off the floor and conqure it or not.simple. address bar,lift bar off floor to lockout,place bar back on floor. although I would undoubtedly need to make some alterations due to her lack of opposable thumbs, I may just be able to teach my dog to deadlift.

Ah,but the squat, that mightist lift of lifts, that noble,unforgiving king, is an entirerly different story. the squat can take years,sometimes a life time, to master.it is simulatneosly an art,a test of courage and mental fortitude, and lastly, the supreme builder of raw unadaulterated power,stregth, and of a man.

Consider this discussion over,plebians[/quote]

Fixed :slight_smile:

[quote]LiftSmart wrote:
Do both.[/quote]

Yeah why not…

But as for best… well that is up to you and how well you do them…

[quote]ghostreiter wrote:
Ah,but the squat, that mightist lift of lifts, that noble,unforgiving king, is an entirerly different story. the squat can take years,sometimes a life time, to master.it is simulatneosly an art,a test of courage and mental fortitude, and lastly, the supreme builder of raw unadaulterated power,stregth, and of a man.

Consider this discussion over,plebians[/quote]

Did you wander over here from the Animalpak forums?

Squat to get big and strong. Test your strength on the deadlift.

deadlift, how many times in life do you have to pick things up from the ground?

I would say squats but only if you drink milk…

[quote]jtg987 wrote:
deadlift, how many times in life do you have to pick things up from the ground?[/quote]

my sentiments exactly.

I thing to note, many people don’t build mass with this because they don’t do them with alot of volume, and just go heavy ALL the time.

In a year you can bring up your 10 rep max deadlift up by a 100lbs, and your body will look tremendously different.