Squat v/s Deadlift.
By Vishwanthar on Training
February 14, 2012
A debate was put forth by Bill Hinbern in his blog about deadlift and squat. Many many interesting views followed. The one below makes a lot of sense. I will share the blog entry with you. Read it in its entirety. I have concluded by stating my views.
Today, the never ending saga regarding, “Which is better, the
squat or the deadlift?”, continues on.
Here, a young trainee contributes his point of view about how
each of us should approach both of these important exercises.
I think you’ll find that he’s, pretty much, on target:
I read your email about Squat vs Deadlift.
Here is what i think.
I think it all comes down to you, the individual.
I have been doing strength training since three plus years,
starting with the best book ever for a beginner, “Super Squats”
by Randall Strossen, and then after three months, “Dinosaur
Training” by Brooks Kubik has been my go-to book.
I have benefited a lot from the squats as a beginner where I
went up two shirt sizes.
But I also benefited a lot from a 20 rep DL program which I
did a year later.
Now looking back, I respect both exercises equally.
The only thing about squats is, it is a more technical lift
for some; the major reason being limited flexibility and body
Like in my own case, I have longer arms and average torso
length but, even then, I find doing DL with a heavier weight
a lot easier then a squat where I am only able to go a certain
distance before the back bending starts.
Now I agree, a person can almost always lift more in the DL,
but it’s just how my body structure works.
I have and am using both exercises in my work schedule,
usually variations of both in the same cycle; partial DL with
Squats or Front Squats and so on.
I have no desire of specializing in one of these, although each
cycle is partial to one of the two and alternating from cycle
I think we cannot and should not generalize which is better.
Each individual should decide for themselves and can specialize
on the one if they want.
I, on the other hand, think both go hand in hand.
I might be good at one but never neglect the other.
I might be pulling a lot more weight then pushing, but I give
my full attention to each.
P.S. Please keep the great stuff coming. I am in my late 20’s,
just for reference.
What I say:
I endorse the views of Ishinder. I also feel that squat involves more technique. For example, finding the right stance itself is paramount. It will dictate whether you are at your strongest. Also, as Pavel Tsatsouline rightly states in his encyclopedic book, Beyond Bodybuilding, squat takes a lot of time to learn. The proper squatting form involves keeping your shins vertical, keeping the normal curve in the spine, and not letting the knees bow in. On the other hand, deadlift is a much more natural movement. It is just extending your body. It is very quick and easy to learn, and it is a skill you use every day. Plus you work more muscle groups.
I cannot disagree with Pavel. When all is said and done, one may still find one of the lift to be superior than the other. My advice is, if you can do both the lifts–do them or neglect at your peril. If you want me to pick one, I would choose the deadlift, simply because it works more muscle groups. So, I get the biggest bang for the buck.
PS: My mentor, Todd Reinhard, says, “It has been ages since I have performed the squat. The deadlift I perform regularly.”