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Starting Strength Progression Question


I just had a quick question to anyone else whos read SS. How does one properly balance the progression of ones squat and deadlift. If you, by default, squat 3 times a week every week, and only deadlift once to twice a week, wouldnt your squat and deadlift progress unevenly? Is this bad if they do? If this isnt the case, how would your standard SS progression workout?

What I'm going to do until I work it all out, or get an answer from someone else who has read SS or done the program with results, is to increase my squat with my deadlift only. So on the day that I dont deadlift, I will squat the same weight I did the workout before. I did look at the example Onus Wunsler program, and It didnt have deadlift work every other day as recommended, and it only therefore gave me a guess as to how it is supposed to work.

Thanks for the input.



What are you doing SS for? Powerlifting or just a workout to do?


I guess you could say that having a nice physique with a good total would be preferable end result. If I get a little asymmetrical, but end up stronger/bigger, Ill take it. I guess Id like to be 200 lbs from 175 in 4 months (Again, I dont mind fat as long as Im getting stronger/bigger). Yes I am a noob so theres no reason I can see that would prevent me from growing like a weed if I am able to do things correctly.

Also, Ive never been on a program based on squats/milk consumption. As a side note, I f'king love milk. And, Squatting consistently with good form, which Ive never done before, is supposed to make you grow. Ive always been a leg press guy who preferred to do 3 or 4 20 rep sets, which I'm told is nowhere near the same deal.

I am not afraid to humble myself and start very light either, as long as progress is made, Ill do it.

Thanks for your time.



the weight increase of the deadlift should be twice that of your squat... Eg- if your squat is progressing by 5 kg every time you squat, your deadlift should progress by 10 kg. that way you can balance them,, and it is quite possible.


This would be a good idea. But honestly, you're not going to be doing this for more than a couple months unless you change the loading. Which means, you cannot expect to linearly progress for a long period of time.

Eventually you may only want to increase those lifts by 5lbs/week. I would not worry about how relatively close they are in loading. Are you worried that your squat weight will catch up to your deadlift weight?

More advice. Do isolation work. No this is not SS, but you will thank me later.


deadlifts and squats seem to work similar muscles (glutes, hamstrings, etc) so really they should be helping one another when it comes to progression


Thanks for the post.



Im tryin to get a good strength base. Ill worry about gettin brolic later. The idea, I think, is to run out your newbie gains for as long as possible, in as simple a way as is possible.

I was actually worried that if I did it wrong, that my squat would be way higher than my deadlift, and due to strentgh rising on one, and being overall improved, kinda ruin the purpose/benefit of the lift by not lifting a weight adequate enough to induce stress.

I am not going to adjust anything on this program. What Rippetoe says, Im going to do. I started today all the way down at 155 for squat. I figure its better to start out unreasonably low than too high. Besiedes, you add 30 lbs a week to your squat, so if it is to low of a weight, eventually it wont be, and it will stress. Even if I feel like I can do more for the first few workouts, I will not add more than 15 lbs to my squat/deadlift. Ill get there eventually, and Ive got nothing but time as I have 3 months for summer. Plus I have to learn form. So theres a lot of pros.

Ill definately incorporate isolation when Ive exhausted this program. Do you have any suggestions for programs for when Im done with SS? I was thinking about GVT, as the starting phase is very similar to what I was doing before, and I did see progress on it. I just feel like the weights I was moving were too small.

Thanks for the input.



If you're trying to build a good base of size and strength then something like Madcow would be a fantastic place to go once you've milked out the beginner gains.

No program is perfect but if you've bought into the idea of getting as strong as you can before you move onto isolation and you're willing to really commit to these beginner programs then you will definitely see great results.



Did you see this post OP? Some people deadlift a few times a year and make good progress with it. Squats have decent carryover to pretty much anything that involves the lower body and back. Deadlifting once or twice a week is enough.


Have you started the program yet? If you havne't don't worry about compensating for what you think will happen. Hell even if you have started, don't worry about that.

When you first start your progression, your DL can increase by as much as 20lb a workout while your squat shouldn't go more than 15lbs, usually 10. This pace doesn't last for a long time. It will eventually get down to 15/10, 10/5 probably 5/5 for a while and then possible microloading.

Just do the program exactly as its written, especially during the first few weeks. People talk about potential squat imbalances squatting 3x/week, but I haven't once seen anyone finish SS as written with a higher squat than deadlift, including me, someone built for squatting but with horrifyingly bad deadlift leverages.


Ive tried all that make your own stuff. Ive done workouts that are hard as hell. But since Im not picking up heavy shit in the weight room, it kinda seems like im doing stuff backwards. For all the effort I put in, I should be a lot bigger in my opinion (granted my workouts were disrupted by finals week during college). I read about all these people making, especially compared to mine, huge gains in small amounts of time on this, and figured I was a prime candidate for it. If I dont gain well on it, Ill just go back to what I was doing, as I was making some progress albeit slower than what Ive heard about from people in the SS community. Ill get there one way or another, and at this point, Im willing to try anything to grow, even if this means humbling myself will smaller weights to learn form on a few new exercises and start a linear progression.

What Im thinking is that in my next workout, I may do things a bit differently than I previously stated. I may do my warmup, then two sets of five, then on the last set go up to ten reps. If I get all ten then im going to jump my weight a bit more than the initial 10 on squat and 5 on bench. Or maybe Ill just stick to the written program as to not totally fuck it all up. Any opinions? Im a student at this point.

I am very pleased with how my back feels after doing deadlifts. Better than I thought it would.



Thedudeabides had a good (and successful) run with this program, or similar, if I recall, might want to check that out. It's worked, whatever it was. 'Success leaves footprints' and X2 on the advice "do lifts such as squats heavy and often, but add in more isolation work".

I think the 'stronglifts' kids have popularised the idea that squats: good and muscularity developed from doing some sets of isolation movements in the traditional hypertrophy range of 6-12 reps at the end of the workout: bad. That is false. There is absolutely nothing to gain by avoiding all exercises besides the 6 or so outlined in starting strength. I have done it and IMO that program just doesn't have enough volume (or frequency).

You can use isolation movements intelligently, such as by identifying your weak points in the key lifts (such as triceps, or back, or whatever) and then doing some isolation exercises to improve that bodypart, which will actually benefit your compound exercises.


Ill look into it later on. Right now Im just going to focus on SS. Thanks for the advice.



Today is my first off day, and truthfully, its really hard to not go back and add a shitload more to the bar (Im used to 4 consecutive days a week. Again, it was a shitty meathead program). I guess im going to have to try to fight that urge. I am having a bit of trouble with my deadlift though. I feel like my knees/shins are getting in the way (bar rides my shins up and knocks off my knees). Is this bad? Ive always thought it would be worse to have the other extreme. Does it need corrected, or will it sort itself out when I get to heavier weights? Deadlift is by far my new favorite. My upper back/wings area feel fucking awesome.


Thanks. I did pretty good for only eight weeks. Towards the end I was adding only 5lbs every other workout, then only once a week.

Very true. I wondered why I was starting to have joint problems. I also thought that ONLY doing chins and dips was enough "isolation". Wrong. Started having shoulder and elbow pain, which did start to affect my lifts.

It does not take very long and prevents future training problems.


Scraping the shins is fairly common. Hitting your knees does not seem right. Is there a way to video? I would get your form sorted out before the weight gets heavier.

TBH, you will eventually go back to a 4 day/week program because it will become very difficult to continue progressing linearly.


Thinking about it out of context, it's really strange, the guys promoting that way of training (like the guy 'mehdi') must be, I assume, all about being strong realtive to your weight, like kind of quasi-gymnasts.

IMO being strong > 'relatively strong' (not to say being fat is cool).
Obviously, doing tricep kickbacks will not increase your squat. What it WILL DO however is increase mind-muscle connection with triceps, as you cannot fail but contract triceps using that movement, but you can make CGBP all 'shoulder-y' for example. This will then lead to greater gains in the bench and overhead press.

Rear delt flyes/similar is another type of movement which, although targeting small muscles, is absolutely vital for shoulder health, to allow you to continue pressing and pulling hard.

But for the OP, good luck mate, I hope that SS works very well for you.


How did you determine your starting weights? I may have picked ones that are going to take a while to get up into anything near even my 10 rep max. I want to start light, but I dont want to spin my wheels again if it can be avoided. What did your final numbers look like compared to your starting numbers? Is there a way to do any isolation work that wont interfere with any of the lifts? I dont mind shoulder/elbow pain as long as its reversible and the numbers are going up.