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Squats and deadlifts are two of the best exercises you can do for your lower body and posterior chain. And one of the biggest challenges for every gym-goer is finding the balance between these big compound movements.
It is possible to squat and deadlift on the same day. However…you might want to consider a few things if you don’t want to completely wreck yourself and leave yourself unable to walk the next day.
Doing these exercises will also take a lot of steam from your workouts. So if you want to make sure you get the full benefits of both of these exercises, you will need to keep a good balance between them if you’re going to do them on the same day.
We’ll help you out here, as we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about doing squats and deadlifts on the same day (hint: it’s possible).
Can You Squat and Deadlift on the Same Day?
Yes, you definitely can! This is the short answer.
There are some things to keep in mind, though. Firstly, both exercises are hard exercises; they are taxing for your body because they focus on multiple muscles at the same time. Your body has to support multiple muscles as you do these two exercises, so it will need more energy to do so.
That’s why it’s tough to do both of them at your full capacity. So the truth is that you simply won’t be able to perform both of the on the same day at your full capacity.
Secondly, they focus on similar muscles (for the most part). Both focus on glutes, while squats will demand more from your quads, and deadlifts more from your lower and upper back. So you’ll experience some exhaustion from doing one or the other exercise first before you move onto the other exercise.
How to combat that? Well, you’ll have to be smart about it and deploy some tactics when planning your workouts. The best way to combine these two exercises is to have a good plan in the first place.
So, How Do I Squat and Deadlifts on the Same Day?
The best way to squat and deadlift on the same day is to do one exercise with heavy weights, and then do the other one with light weights.
For example, if you’re going to focus on your legs a bit more, then you’ll do the squats with heavy weights, and the follow up with deadlifts with a bit lighter weights you would normally use for deadlifts.
And if you’re looking to benefit from deadlifts, then you’ll do the deadlifts first and then do squats with lighter weights. It’s the compromise you’ll have to make, or else you’re risking injuries and you just won’t be as effective as you would normally be.
Suppose that you do these exercises on your leg day. If that is the case, then the best way to do them both on the same day is to do the leg day twice in the week. On the first day, you focus on squats and do deadlifts with lighter weights. On your second leg day of the week, you’ll do deadlifts first and focus on putting more weights there.
We know that many gym-goers swear by doing one heavy compound lift per workout, but here’s why doing both of them on the same day can actually be beneficial for you:
- As you perform both of them on the same day, you’ll build both of the exercises to a very high level. You’ll still get the benefit of doing the other exercise with lighter weights rather than not doing it at all.
- Combining the two means targeting more muscles in just one workout.
- Lastly, if you’re a powerlifter, then you’ll benefit greatly from doing both of them on the same day because that’s how it’s done in meets most of the time.
Should I Squat or Deadlift First?
Another big question here, no doubt. Squat or deadlift first?
It doesn’t’ have to be a question that will keep you up at night. 🙂
We recommend doing the exercise you want to improve first and then follow it up with the other exercise. So if you want to get better glutes and a stronger back, do deadlifts first because you’ll be able to lift heavier. If you want stronger quads, do squats first. Remember, you can always change the order up if you do another workout in the same week.
But a piece of general advice would be to do the squats first. Because deadlifts are far more taxing for your entire body than squats. Your posture will be hit greatly when you do deadlifts, and you’ll definitely also tire your back out, so you might not be up to speed when you’ll want to get squats done.
On the other hand, squats don’t focus the muscles that are needed to do deadlifts that much. Sure, they do focus on glutes, but they’ll definitely not target your back, which is mightily important for deadlifts.
Ultimately, it all boils down to what your objectives are for the workout. Are you looking to improve squats? Do them first, and vice versa.
What if I Want to Improve Both in Just One Workout?
If that’s what you want, then it’s best to find a good balance between the two. Squats are definitely less taxing for your overall body than deadlifts, so you can do them first and you’ll still be able to do deadlifts effectively.
However, another good tactic to try is to lower the weights for both exercises, but only slightly. At first, this might not seem like a great idea but give it a few weeks and your body will be much stronger for it.
You can also mange your training days differently. So, you might have one heavy squat day a week (with light deadlifts), and later in the week do the inverse of that – heavy deadlifts with light squats.
Should I do Deadlifts Straight After Squats?
Doing deadlifts straight after doing squats is not the best thing in the world. You’ll be mightily fatigued when you finish with squats, so you might want to shake your workout up a bit and come to deadlifts back later.
The downside to this is that you’re obviously going to be even more fatigued by other exercises later on. Remember, you should always do your big lifts first before moving on to other exercises.
So, if you want to come back with the second big exercise after doing the first one, then you can do some intermediary exercises in between. We suggest you do exercises that don’t directly focus the muscles that are worked by squats and deadlifts, if possible.
For example, if you do them both on a leg day, this might be a bit more challenging, but still possible. You can do squats first, then move onto a calf exercise, and perhaps do an ab exercise in between before you move onto the deadlift.
If you mix lower body exercises with upper body exercises, your task is simple at this point. You can do other exercises in between both the big lifts to make it easier for you – for example, if you do arms, you can do biceps and triceps in between the two exercises.
Other Things to Consider
Hopefully, this answers your main question, although there are some things you should consider when doing squats and deadlifts on the same day.
- Try doing both on the same day and try all variations to see what works best for you. The things we’ve mentioned above have worked for us and many other people, but it doesn’t mean it’s necessarily best for you. Everyone works differently.
- If you’ve been used to doing squats and deadlifts on separate days, then you might want to reduce the volume and the intensity in between the exercises. You can take a longer pause between the exercises, and you can also do fewer reps so that you’ll be able to get through both (reduce them by up to 25%).
- Avoid overtraining. Yes, following this workout plan and doing both of these exercises on the same day is taxing. Very taxing. And if you do it several times a week, even more so. So you might want to take some extra time to rest if you can, and maybe lower the intensity a bit to let your body handle all of this. If you feel too tired after doing both, then we suggest you simply don’t do this at all.
- Take rest between the exercises and between workout days. Taking an extra day to recover can be valuable… and we’ve already discussed taking some extra time to recover after doing each exercise.
- Sleep! You have no idea just how important getting the right amount of sleep is to your workouts.
- Diet is the key! No matter what you do, 70% of your efforts to get a good physique is sticking to a healthy diet, so eat well, get rest, drink lots of water, and take vitamins and the right supplements.
Doing squats and deadlifts on the same day is tough, but not impossible. With a bit of planning and a good workout plan, you can do both of them and get benefits from both of them on the same day. Again, if this feels too much for you, then it’s probably better if you do them on split days.