T Nation

The Big Three

I was wondering what are best ratio’s to measure yourself against for the big three lifts. For example is doing a body double for the squat and deadlift good ? hardly anybody at my gym seems to deadlift or squat so its hard to compare myself. I weigh under 80kg and I’ve almost reached my goals of being able to do a body double for squats (160kg) and deadlift(160kg) (good form - powerlifting/bodybuilding - and also for reps of 3 rather than singles). What’s a good ratio of bodyweight to lift/weight ratio - I don’t means singles, I don’t compete therefore unnecessary in my opinion ?. I thought my strength was about average … or am I really a pussy ?.

PS. I’m clean apart from a bit of protein powder and creatine.

That’s a good start considering they aren’t 1RM, but rather 3RM and that you aren’t interested in competing. Don’t worry about what others are lifting if you aren’t going ot compete, though. The fact that you are squatting and deadlifting alone is better than many lifters (though that’s finally changing).

Time to work for higher PRs now…Good job.

About your “P.S.”…using protein powder and creatine is still “clean” as you put it. No need to qualify “clean” with that.


One thing I have always heard for DL’s and squats is that they become excellent when you can squat and pull 3x ur bodyweight. Obviously this is probably for an average bodyweight b/c a 300lb man with a 600lb squat is still impressive although only twice his BW. A 170lb man with a 340 squat is above average but not amazing. For bench, I have no clue, ratio is harder to tell there.

No, you are not a pussy. You are doing well actually. Twice bodyweight for squats and deadlifts means you have built up a decent base. I’ll bet there is some size and thickness to go along with it. Keep it up and you will be bigger and stronger than 99% of the guys in your gym.

Cheers Matt for you comments, I had to qualify the ‘clean’ bit because some pedantic bozo’s at my gym give me that "What’s natural … what’s clean ? … you use protein and creatine ! ".

Thanks guys, very useful feedback. I just wanted to know what the average T-Mag dude thought. I think my longterm goals will be to aim for triple bodyweight for the deadlift and squats (for x3). I neglected to post my bench because its sort of stuck at 1.5 mark (for x3).
Its good to have a target for motivation but I’d like to be realistic. I’d imagine at somepoint my bodyweight would also have to go up to get to those triple b/w for squats and deadlifts … the question is how far can the CNS go ?.

I think that your BW numbers can be a bit decieving, I am about 300 and fit, prob down to about 16%-17%(not great but from where I was it’s doing very well) and I am very happy shooting for 2BW for squat and dead(back injury 6 months ago stil buging) and 1.5BW for bench. I kinda go by how far I think I can progress I want a 450Bench by the end of summer thats a 20LB increases in about 3 months, I think easily doable because I haev not been training for stregnth. You are probly beter off looking at how far you can push your body, shoot for a 3BW Squat and dead but you may be able to do more if you have a very active(right?) CNS or you might be able to do less, get stong for your body keep getting stonger, when you get to the point where lifting anything in the normal world is easy, couches, TV’s Fridge’s then your getting stong at least that is my rambling opinion.


jeru72, you say you’re pursuing a 3*BW in the squat/dead, but you aren’t doing singles. Singles are very effective for increasing strength, improving CNS, and increasing size. How do you plan about reaching your goals? You can do great things and become very strong if you’re dedicated and work hard, but what is your plan? What training do you follow?

“I’d imagine at somepoint my bodyweight would also have to go up to get to those triple b/w for squats and deadlifts … the question is how far can the CNS go ?.”

First off, the majority of lifters in the gym cant do 1x bodweight squats or deadlifts for a triple, so you are doing great. You are already stronger than like 98-99% of the population.

I think though that your bodyweight going up would hurt your attempts at a 3x bodyweight lift (obviously you know math, but thats not what i mean) ive always seen that its easier for lifters to get big and strong, then drop weight and keep a good portion of their strength if their goal is just a big pound for pound lift. Also, i BELIEVE the biggest lb for lb squat is 6x bodweight and biggest deadlift is 5x, if that answers your question about the cns having a limit (if it even does). I have just barely hit a 3x bodyweight deadlift twice in my life (with wrist straps) and I saw actual stars in my eyes both times and some blood vessels pop on my skin whenever i venture even close (i must be doing something wrong) but either way, I cant even imagine doing 5x. So i wouldnt compare yourself against those guys.

Hi all,

Then what would be good ratios of the 3 big lifts for small sized guys (i.e. myself - 165lbs body weight)?

Geek boy

Of course this is all subjective but when I want to make myself feel either good or bad I check out this site.


vandalay15, I don’t do singles because to do them properly you need some decent spotters, my gym is full of muppets. My training partners so far are the squat rack and the rack pins, I trust them. I also think for longevity sake its unnecessary to do singles, I haven’t done them in years, I prefer to do 3reps because I feel safer and I don’t see a big deterioration in my form. The lowest reps I would go down to is sets of 2s. I also don’t compete, I’d imagine doing 1RM/heavy singles is probably more important for powerlifting.
Currently I’m doing three full body workouts a week, consisting of Squats, Deads, and Benchpress, along with assistance exercises (Dips,etc). 1st workout is heavy (2 sets for 3 reps), 2nd Workout is for recovery ( 2 sets for 15 reps, short rest periods) and the last workout is intermediate/bodybuidling ( 2 x 8-10 reps). I have to manage the intensity a lot, I have back off weeks, rest weeks, to manage recovery. Progess is slow but is consistent.

Thanks for your input haredoll, that’s exactly the type of info I needed. I agree with you about the bodyweight thing. I lost a lot of weight because of an illness and my strength went down hill, I’m finding that lifts have gone upto pre-illness levels but my weight has refused to shift. I also hover around the 11%-14% bodyfat ratio, I haven’t done a caliper test in ages.

Bloody hell, there are people that have done x5 lifts competition right ? … blimey that’s just out of this world. Now you must be impressive, you’ve done x3 b/w lifts ! maybe soon for me if my training goes well.

[quote]Mule359 wrote:
Of course this is all subjective but when I want to make myself feel either good or bad I check out this site.


Thanks for the link, that is good stuff.