Strong Deadlift/Weak Squat

my deadlift seems to be far more stronger than my squat (in volume and 1rm). current max on deadlift is around 430lbs whereas squat is prob 260 something. anyone experience this? i was thinking it might be a weak core issue, or even upper back.
im 6’2" with legs for days, if that helps any. ass to grass always.

How much do you weigh? Its common for lean guys to be naturally good deadlifters who struggle with the squat. Being that you’re 6’2" im assuming you fall into that category. Get bigger and squat often and your squat will go up.

@max13 i’m currently 220lbs, just coming off a bulk. before that i was around 207, and yes, lean. im all arms and legs. my squat is prob my weakest lift, only a few pounds away from my bench. im squatting 3x a week currently now, 2 “light days” and 1 heavy.

I’m not a powerlifter, but am in a similar boat. Low 4’s deadlift low 3’s squat and I have a harder time with rep work on squat than deads. I am 5’9" fyi and high bar squat.

Just work on it I’m 6’2 255.

525 dead
405 squat
405 bench

My numbers are all over the place to lol been front squaring a lot lately seems to be helping

How much do you think you should be squatting?

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@T3hPwnisher I think if I have a 430 max deadlift, I should at least be squatting 75-100lbs away from that. unreasonable?

That wouldn’t be unreasonable for a powerlifting legal depth squat, but you are squatting way deeper than you need to. You gotta keep in mind that this is powerlifting; this is no 4th white light for extra depth.

If you just plain like squatting ATG, that’s cool, but don’t worry about comparing the numbers. It’s not a competition lift anywhere, so you aren’t going to be able to find any decent data comparing it to deadlift numbers, especially when you consider that the athletes that would be inclined to perform heavy ATG squats (weightlifters) in turn tend to deprioritize the deadlift.


@T3hPwnisher interesting, I had no idea. I’m fairly new to powerlifting, i had always thought a deeper squat was a better squat. as far as DL’s are concerned, i would literally deadlift every day if i could. i want to get my squat to that same place, hopefull altering my depth will get it there.

There is a good saying “If you got more than 2 whites, you went too deep”, haha.


Just at a guess: move your stance out wider if you’ve got the mobility. This could go a long way to helping you increase your squat.

“better” for what?

I’m being facetious, of course. Punisher has already nailed it for you:

I would also note that squat-to-deadlift ratios can be pretty variable, though, depending on the strengths and build of the individual lifter. I’d guess that most raw lifters are in the very general ballpark of squatting between 70 and 100 percent of their deadlift (equipped lifting changes that calculus quite a bit). Just from a “hey dude, does this make sense?” perspective - a 260 ATG squat and a 430 deadlift doesn’t seem that unreasonable for a tall guy (and @anon50325502, similarly, I don’t think a low 3’s squat and low 4’s deadlift is out of line; if anything that’s about what I would expect).

Ya, I agree. I meant my post to come across more as a “ya seems fine” sort of thing.

Got it, makes sense now.

@MarkKO will try that tonite. @ActivitiesGuy and everyone else, thank you for the input and advice, really much appreciated.

As others have said ‘ass to grass’ is irrelevant to powerlifting, as far as competition is concerned.

Also, I know plenty of people whose deadlift is waaaaay better than their squat. It’s not really that unusual, especially among taller lifters.

If your goal is to improve your squat, you can do a couple things. One would be provide a video for us to help you with technique. You may be making big mistakes in your form and stance, and we can help with that. The other thing you can do is share your training template (not just squat day, but all your days) so we can help you adjust it based on your personal goals.

One other thing: you said you’re kinda new to powerlifting. Are you new to squatting and deadlifting in general? When I first started training the squat and deadlift, the difference between the 2 lifts was enormous. My deadlift might actually have been twice what my squat was. I was just really bad at squatting. If you train hard for a long period of time, it is likely that your squat will naturally get closer to your deadlift. Right now I’ve squatted 550 and deadlifted just over 600. But there was a time when I couldn’t squat more than 150 to depth, and I could probably deadlift 300ish.

@flipcollar im going to try to record my squatting tonite. ive been bodybuilding for years, altho bb squatting wasnt a huge priority until the last 2 or 3 years or so. i had been doing alot of triple/super setting routines combined with HIIT up until 6 or 7 months ago. i was in sick shape, but i wasnt that STRONG. so i started on some wendler programming and my strength has gone up considerably. i even had a higher squat (around 300 1rm around 3 months ago) before i had to take time off for an injury, but still my deadlift was about 150 lbs higher.
my current training program is the fullbody 531 template from jim’s 2nd edition (phase 2):
531 Squat
DB Bench press
Squat 65%x3 75%x3 85%x3
531 Bench P
Squat 65%x3 75%x3 85%x3
531 Deadlift
531 Press

Or you didn’t cheat hard enough :wink: - Dave Tate

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update: i wasnt able to record my form (ill try to do so again tomorrow) but i tried some things based on feedback and my own research, and noticed a definite improvement.

1.) widened my stance alittle bit more than usual. i need to get used to it, but i noticed more power coming out of the hole for sure. a few more weeks and i think ill be adjusted.
2.) pulling the bar down as i perform the movement.
3.) holding a deep breath for the first 2-3 reps. definitely noticed this. kept me super tight with more power.

Breathing/bracing is EVERYTHING. You can’t underestimate how important that is. If you want to be good at powerlifting, you HAVE to hold your breath through the duration of each rep, and you have to do it the right way. Learn as much as you possibly can about this. It really can’t be stressed enough. So it’s good that you’re noticing the importance.

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