Deadlift or Squat – Which One Are You Built For?
The deadlift and the squat are two of the most effective lifts for building all-round muscle and strength. The problem is, almost no one is built for doing both lifts efficiently.
In other words, either you're built for doing squats or you're built for doing deadlifts.
For example, lifters with a longer torso and shorter arms will have trouble with the deadlift, especially in the setup. Lifters with this body type find the shins are in the way of the bar path and the arms aren't long enough to get into position without putting undue stress on the lower back. In comparison to the squat, they feel weak and as if the lift isn't hitting the target muscles.
In contrast, lifters with long legs and arms can easily set-up and perform the deadlift, but their deadlift advantage becomes a huge disadvantage when it comes to the squat. To compensate for the long-leg leverages, the torso has to bend forward, again putting too much mechanical stress on the lower back. These lifters, who feel very powerful on the deadlift, feel weak and awkward when attempting to perform the squat.
Enter the Dead-Squat® Bar
But neither of those situations is true with the Dead-Squat® bar. The Dead-Squat® bar accommodates both body types and provides all the benefits of the deadlift and squat with none of the limitations of using a conventional bar – from one single lift.
In practical terms, this means that if you train hard with the Dead-Squat® bar, you'll rapidly pack on muscle and increase strength in the legs, glutes, and overall musculature. You're actually combining the effects of the squat and deadlift.
To be clear, due to the way the body develops motor patterns, if you want or need to specifically improve the conventional squat and deadlift, you have to practice those lifts.
Paused Deficit Deadlift
BEN BRUNO: Perform a regular deadlift, but rather than bouncing the weights off the floor or resetting on the floor between reps, stop just short of the floor between and pause for 1-2 seconds with the plates an inch or so off the ground. This forces you to control the eccentric portion of the rep more and increases the demand on the legs considerably. Pausing short of the floor also increases the difficulty substantially, so start with a much lighter weight than you'd use for regular deadlifts.
20 Rep Cluster
BEN BRUNO: Perform a set of five deadlifts on the minute for four minutes, which comes out to a total of 20 reps. The rest period between mini-sets is the remainder of the minute, which comes about to about 35-40 seconds. The whole cluster takes less than four minutes, and it’s absolutely brutal. I like to do my deadlifts from a slight deficit to increase the involvement of the legs, but you can do regular deadlifts, or even rack pulls as well.
Deficit and Romanian Deadlift Combo
BEN BRUNO: Perform a deficit deadlift followed by an RDL and alternate between the two for the duration of the set. I recommend 4-6 of each per set for a total of 8-12 reps. The deficit deadlift is a more knee dominant exercise with a greater emphasis on the quads, while the RDL is a more hip-dominant exercise with a greater emphasis on the hamstrings. My numbers for deficit deadlifts and RDL are just about the same, so this is a great exercise combo because neither exercise ends up suffering for the sake of the other.