There’s a reason many lifters choose the squat and deadlift. They train most of the main muscle groups in just two exercises. But can you do them on the same day and within the same workout?
You can squat and deadlift on the same day when it is planned well. Whether you should squat and deadlift in the same workout depends on how strong you are and the time you have to train.
Squatting and deadlifting on the same day takes a little finesse when it comes to planning. You can’t go to the gym and perform your regular squat or deadlift workout back-to-back. I’m going to give you some guidelines to follow so you can make the most of it.
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Should You Squat And Deadlift In The Same Workout?
Whether you should, or you can squat and deadlift in the same workout are two separate questions. Can you? For sure. Squatting and deadlifting in the same workout is a viable training strategy. I’ve done it myself, and it worked very well.
Should you squat and deadlift in the same workout? Maybe. This will depend on why you are doing it, your training age, and your training goals. Let’s break this down.
Pros Of Squatting And Deadlifting In The Same Workout
- It’s time-efficient.
- Hits most of the major muscle groups in two exercises.
- The first exercise will warm you up thoroughly for the second exercise.
If you can only train once or twice a week, and you’re short on time when at the gym, it makes sense to perform exercises that train the most muscle groups at once. Performing the squat and deadlift in the same workout allows you to do this.
The great thing about doing one after the other is you’ll be well warm for the second exercise. From experience, after squatting, I only need to do a couple of warm-up sets to get to my working deadlift weight. In contrast, I need many more warm-up sets if it is my first exercise.
Cons Of Squatting And Deadlifting In The Same Workout
- The second exercise can suffer from the fatigue of the first exercise.
- If doing the squat and deadlift heavy, you may increase your risk of injury.
- The energy required to squat and deadlift will take away from the rest of your workout.
It isn’t all sunshine and roses when squatting and deadlifting on the same day. Depending on how much you do and how heavy you go, the second exercise can suffer from residual fatigue. For example, if you did the first exercise for volume (e.g., 4 x 10), you won’t perform the second exercise productively.
Further, this fatigue carries over can potentially increase your risk of injury during the second exercise. For example, suppose you performed a high volume of deadlifts. In that case, the lower back fatigue can have you feeling like an accordion under the barbell.
Finally, giving your all to the squat and deadlift will wipe you out. Doing any exercises after these will be an exercise in futility.
Should You Squat Or Deadlift First?
If you’re planning on running a training split that involves squatting or deadlifting first, I would recommend squatting first most of the time. I have tried both exercise orders and found this to be the best for overall performance.
The squats warm the legs and lower back, which leads perfectly into the deadlift. The deadlift hammers the lower back and can make squats feel more difficult afterward.
But this isn’t a hard and fast rule. If your main priority is to increase your deadlift, then you should deadlift first.
How To Squat And Deadlift In The Same Workout
Squatting and deadlifting in the same workout takes some serious planning. You can’t walk into the gym and decide to squat volume first and then max out on the deadlift. You will suffer, and not in a good way.
Here are some workout guidelines that you can use to plan these sessions:
- Squat high intensity, low volume. Deadlift high intensity, low volume.
- Squat high intensity, low volume. Deadlift moderate intensity, high volume.
- Squat moderate intensity, high volume. Deadlift low intensity, low volume.
- Squat moderate intensity, moderate volume. Deadlift moderate intensity, moderate volume.
- Squat low intensity, low volume. Deadlift moderate intensity, high volume.
- Deadlift high intensity, low volume. Squat moderate intensity, low volume.
- Deadlift moderate intensity, high volume. Squat moderate intensity, low volume.
- Deadlift moderate intensity, moderate volume. Squat moderate intensity, moderate volume.
- Deadlift low intensity, low volume. Squat moderate intensity, high volume.
You may notice that you can perform greater intensities and volumes of deadlifts after squatting, but this is not the case when squatting after deadlifting. This is based on personal experience. You will also notice that you can do both heavy squats and heavy deadlifts within the same workout.
Suppose the volume is kept low, and you only perform a few sets of heavy singles, doubles, or triples. In that case, you can easily go heavy with both lifts and have no problems unless you are very advanced.
Squat And Deadlift Same Day Program
A1) Squat (heavy day)
B1) Deadlift (light day)
A1) Upper Body
A1) Squat OR Deadlift
Squatting and deadlifting on the same day and within the same workout is doable and, in some times, advantageous, especially when it comes to time efficiency. If you are a very advanced strength athlete, doing both lifts on the same day may not be a great idea. But if planned well, that is, alternating heavy and light lifts while keeping volume appropriate; you can still make progress.