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Strong DL, Weak Squat


Alright, so I have a 500 pound deadlift but only a 310 pound squat.

I know that I am not built for squatting with long femurs and a short torso, but the squat definitely is on the low side of what it should be.

My plan is to try and maintain my DL while increasing my squat atleast 40 pounds this year. This is my idea:

1) Sumo DL for more quad activation, speed w/bands and decifit
2) Front Squats
3) Reduce intensity and volume on DL (maintain)

Any other ideas?


Ummm, not to be arsey but if you are having trouble with you back squat you should be focusing on your back squat in my opinion. I'm aware this is not the answer you want but I believe the problem is likely technique as you clearly have good strength.

So my boring advice is give your back squat priority in your lower body work and to be patient with it.


I have the same issue, femur is 54 cm long, so almost 29% of my 187 cm height. Shitty.

That said, I've found that widening my stance a bit has allowed for some progression. What kind of a stance do you use?


i agree with majori. focus on your back squat and dial in your technique with EVERY set. doesn't matter if it is a warm up or working set, make it count. Also focus on strengthening the weak points in your squat. Other than that, if you continue to do speed work/light technique work for your deadlift (whether that be after your squat or on a different day) you should be able to achieve this goal.


Yep I would agree. Try running the Smolov base for a month, It will give you the rep practice on the squat and it will teach you to grind out those hard ones. I have run it 3 times and don't deadlift a single rep during the 3 week base and every time my DL has still increased 10bls from all the squatting. Just my 2 cents.


Can you post a video on here what your squat looks like (in the 75-85% range, and the 90-100% range)? One guy could say "your hamstrings, and back is weak go do some good mornings" another could say "Your quads, and abs are weak hammer the crap out of front squats", another could say "Your legs are weak, you need to do single leg work as your assistance work" someone else could say "widen your stance, it helps for your build" or "lift in heeled shoes to help stay more upright" since we just do not know what the problem is until we see.

Your form/form breakdowns weren't even described so it is near impossible for anyone to help other than generic advice, and to even know if it is just really bad form, or weakness.


Alright,I guess my previous respons got lost somehow. Anyway, sorry for not being clear - I intend to squat just as much as I always have - then add something specific for the squat while tapering down the deadlift.

@repo how much did you gain from smolov? It should be interesting to try once my bench meet is completed.

@DSSG You're right, I should post a video. I think though, at 310 lb squat there probably shouldn't be too much focus on weakpoints, it's probably that I'm weak as shit in general.

My form is pretty good, now that I use raised heels and high bar, but maybe that is part of the problem for the low weight??


I have a similar ratio of squat to deadlift numbers. Just like you I found high bar closeer stance is by far my best squat stance and once I started using it my squat increased. For some reason wide stance doesn't seem to work well for people built to deadlift. Look at pete rubish even, squats with a close stance


Indeed. Have you tried geared? I find that I can allow myself a wider stance in gear, without much problem, but raw is impossible if I want any kind of bar speed.


I've only squatted raw. I've been thinking about picking up some oly shoes to see what that would be like, since they're meant for close stance squatters. Just wouldn't be happy about spending 100+ dollars and not liking them. lol


Here's the deal. Getting up to a 500 pound deadlift can generally be done fairly quickly. Developing a big squat generally takes much longer. Squatting is much more of a skill that just takes more hours to learn.

For example, I had similar numbers to yours, when I hit a 500 pound deadlift I had about a 315 pound squat, if that. Fast forward a couple of years and I got up to a 565 deadlift and a 500 pound squat.

When you start out, most people can pull far more than squat. The longer you train, the more your squat will generally catch up.

Another thing to consider is your size, weight, and build. Smaller guys generally have big pulls and much smaller squats. The bigger you get, the more even those numbers get (or squats can even pull ahead). You may also be built better for pulling.

All that said and considered, check your squat technique.


Most people pull more than they squat...


Post videos of the squat and deadlift, although I'm inclined to agree with doubleduce but hard to make a good guess without seeing your lifts.


Complaining about anthropometric measures is a cop out. Train hard and train smart and none of it will matter


^ Yes, at the same time, though, being aware of your own anthopometry is very important for reaching your potential. Sometimes a plateau really comes down to a technical point that's brought on by incorrectly performing a movement according to your own leverages. It's not an option, for example, for powerlifters with long femurs to stop back squatting altogether, but they rather need to know how to train around such a mechanical disadvantage.


For Smolov, I think the first time I ran it I got 40 lbs out of it. the key with maintaining the gains is you still need to keep your volume relatively high (atleast in my opinion) after running Smolov, I moved into a TM program and I lost a lot of the gains and my 1rm decreased over a few months. The 2nd time I ran it I made a 20 lbs gain over my first run, but probably around 40 -45lbs over what I was capable at the the start of the 2nd cycle. I currently run Sheiko so the volume stays high and I have been maintaining and increasing the gains I got from Smolov. It is a very taxing program , mentally and physically but its worth it. There is a Smolov experience tread on Tnation that is updated every once in a while. Its a good read and will give you ideas of what most have thought of the program and what kind of progress people have made.