Putting together a solid training program is challenging. There are numerous variables to think about, and putting them together in a way that allows you to train optimally is tough.
One such variable is your exercise selection – more specifically, how you structure your workouts.
One common question many people have is, “ Should I squat and deadlift on the same day?”
Today, we’ll go over everything you need to know about that.
Can (And Should) You Squat And Deadlift On The Same Day?
Squatting and deadlifting in the same workout is doable, and there are some benefits to it. For example, both of these exercises train your entire body, and doing them in the same session is a great way to have quicker workouts and stimulate a significant amount of musculature without having to do five or more exercises (1, 2).
Another benefit of doing these two exercises together is that, by the time you get to the second movement, you’re already fatigued. So, you have to work harder and be more mindful if you want to maintain proper technique. This is a great way to check your ego and force yourself to work on mastering movement proficiency.
Also, if you’re a competing powerlifter, deadlifting and squatting on the same day is a great way to practice for a meet. You’ll be forced to deadlift after squatting there, so it’s a good idea first to experience it during training before you have at it in a competition (3). It’s one thing to deadlift in a recovered state; it’s a whole other deal to do so after a few fatiguing sets of squats.
So, in that sense, doing the two movements on the same day can be beneficial, and it is doable.
But, should you squat and deadlift on the same day? Well, for most people, the answer would be no, unless you can’t do it in any other way. Let’s take a more in-depth look at why that is.
Suggestion: If you are going to squat and deadlift on the same day, you probably want to use an Intra-Workout supplement. An Intra-Workout will provide you with the fuel / calories / energy you need to push through a demanding workout. Here are some of my top picks:
- Trained By JP – Sustain – Click here to view on Pump Some Iron
- Trained By JP – Performance Fuel – Click here to view on Pump Some Iron
- Granite Supplements – Intra Carb – Click here to view on Amazon
Two Important Questions to Ask Yourself
Before we can get into the practical recommendations, it’s first important to establish two things. More specifically, what are you training for, and what does your schedule allow?
Question #1 – What are your training goals?
As we mentioned in the previous point, competitive and aspiring powerlifters can benefit from doing the two movements on the same day. But, do you aspire to step on a powerlifting platform?
If not, what are your training goals, and why would you consider doing these two exercises in the same workout?
If you’re training for general strength, athleticism, and muscle growth, then arguments can be made as to why you shouldn’t deadlift and squat in the same workout.
For example, muscle growth primarily depends on quality work that is both large enough (in terms of hard sets) and intense enough (typically, above 60 percent of your 1 RM) (4, 5). By doing squats or deadlifts as a second exercise, you hinder your ability to do enough quality work to stimulate muscle gain.
For general strength, we can make a similar argument:
Strength depends on quality repetitions in the heavy 2-6 repetition range. Ideally, you should do the movements you want to improve in a fresh and recovered state. That way, you’ll be able to do enough heavy sets, and with an adequate weekly frequency (6). But, if you always find yourself doing one of the two movements in a fatigued state, you won’t be able to go as heavy and to do as many sets. So, you would be slowing down your strength-gaining quite a bit.
So, for the average trainee who wants to get bigger and stronger, it’s best to do these two demanding exercises on separate days and have at least 48 to 72 hours of recovery in-between.
Question #2 – What is your schedule like?
This one is more straightforward to answer:
Does your schedule allow you to program your training, so you’re doing the two exercises on separate days? In most cases, that shouldn’t be a problem – even if you can only train two days per week.
But if you, for whatever reason, can’t possibly schedule the two lifts on separate days, we’ll go over some practical advice for you in the following points.
Two Sample Splits You Can Check Out
Let’s take a look at a few sample splits first:
3-Day Squat + Deadlift Split
Squat (moderate volume and intensity)
Deadlift (low intensity, moderate volume, focus on technique)
Deadlift (high intensity and high effort)
Squat (high intensity and high effort)
4-Day Squat + Deadlift Split
Squat (high volume and moderate intensity)
Deadlift (low intensity, moderate volume, focus on technique)
Deadlift (moderate volume and high intensity
Squat (low intensity, moderate volume, focus on technique)
Some Final Considerations for Squatting and Deadlifting In The Same Day
Before wrapping up this guide, let’s take a look at some common questions:
1: Does it matter which exercise I do first?
This mostly depends on which lift you want to train in a fresher state and which do you want to improve more. For example, if your Squat is lagging, then start with that. If you find that your deadlift is weak, go with that. And, if you’re like most people, and you want to improve both lifts simultaneously, consider alternating between the two, having deadlifts as the first move on one day, and then squats on the other.
2: Can I do squats and deadlifts back-to-back?
You can squat and deadlift back-to-back, but keep in mind that you will be fatigued, and your performance will drop for the second exercise. You will also have to be much more mindful of your technique.
If possible, squeeze another exercise in-between your squats and deadlifts – for example, the bench press.
3: As a powerlifter, is there any merit to deadlifting before squatting?
Yes, why wouldn’t there be?
The fact that you’re forcing yourself to perform the exercises in a fatigued state alone is great for pushing you out of your comfort zone. Doing squats in a fatigued state makes you much more mindful of your technique, and you’re much less likely to overshoot the weights and ego lift.
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