Should you Squat and Deadlift on the same day - Is it counterproductive?
dead lift

Should you Squat and Deadlift on the same day?

Squat and deadlift are hands down the biggest and hardest exercises you can do. So, naturally, the question comes up should you squat and deadlift on the same day.

Well, the answer is a bit complex, it depends on several factors.

In short, you can squat and deadlift on the same day. You won't be at maximum strength on either of the lifts, and it all depends on your form, your program, and your fitness goals and objectives. Make sure to incorporate these two exercises into your training regime with care and planning in mind. 

But there is a lot of subjects to cover before you engage in squat/deadlift duo training.

It can be quite counterproductive if you don’t know how these two movements should be combined and performed on the same day.

So let’s get you to understand some important stuff before you stop your gains or even worse, hurt yourself.

Squats composition

Front Squat Lowering Down

Squats are the best exercise for quads. What makes both squats and deadlifts super hard exercises is the inability to create momentum.

You have to use sheer force to lift the weight. There’s no cheating with these two.

Squat is a push exercise, and it involves the most number of muscles when compared to any other exercise, deadlifts are number two.

Squats have the biggest impact on quads and glutes (depending on how low you go).

They also impact hamstrings, although not as much as quads, while calves are used for stability.

Deadlift composition

deadlift phase 1

Deadlift impacts lower back and legs, depending on the type of deadlift.

Sumo deadlift impacts quads and glutes the most, while Romanian deadlift impacts the hamstrings the most.

Standard deadlift impacts the lower back the most.

No matter which type of deadlift you perform, they are all very taxing movements.

Choose which part of your body you want to train the most and select the type of deadlift based on that decision.

But, in today’s topic of squatting and deadlifting on the same day, you should choose the type of deadlift based on that goal.

If you want to perform both of these exercises on the same day, don’t go with sumo deadlift.

You will hit quads with squats and avoid overtraining, go with the standard deadlift, or Romanian deadlift.

For the best leg training ever, pair Romanian deadlift with squats.

The impact of big lifts

The big lifts like squats and deadlifts are extremely taxing, not only on your muscles but on your central nervous system as well.

Deadlift is the most taxing exercise for your central nervous system.

If you don’t let your body recover, you are risking big injuries due to the level of difficulty of these two exercises.

Various studies have been done, and many bodybuilders experimented on their own and came to the same conclusion – squats, and deadlifts boost the growth of your other muscles.

When you lift heavy both by squatting and deadlifting, your body struggles to gather all the strength it has to lift that weight.

It releases testosterone in response, instantly giving you strength boost and stimulating the overall growth of the muscles later.

This is why some powerlifters argue that if you want to get a new bench press PR, you should try to do a few series of squats before benching, to get that testosterone boost.

You can try it for yourself and observe the result.

This is why people in the gym don’t know what they are missing on when they skip squats or leg day completely.

How to time squats and deadlifts

squat and deadlift timing

Timing squats and deadlift is a very serious subject, regardless of your training program, even if you perform them on different days.

Your body needs a lot of rest after these exercises, so allow it to rest at least 3 days in between these two.

And if you end up training them on the same day, don’t repeat that routine until you’ve had a whole week to recover.

If you train them on the same day, squat first, then deadlift.

Get your quads to work, then engage the hamstrings with Romanian deadlift.

Honestly, there’s no point in doing squat and deadlift the same day if you’re going to do a standard deadlift.

If you’re going to go with the standard one, then leave it for the back day, because it focuses more on the back.

If you’re going to incorporate it with leg day, then start doing Romanian deadlifts after the squats.

Split the training into two parts:

  • Front leg muscles
  • Back leg muscles

So you can focus on these groups separately and give yourself some time to rest and prepare for the next demanding exercise.

Here’s an example of the leg day with squad and deadlift combined:

  1. Squats

  2. Bulgarian squats

  3. Quads on the leg press machine

  4. Romanian deadlift

  5. Hamstrings on the leg curl machine

  6. Standing calf raises

  7. Calves on the leg press machine

Prioritize based on your goals

Set your goal before you start training. If your goal is to increase the strength, you should focus on the resting period.

If you really want to reach higher levels of strength, don’t include squats and deadlifts more than once a week in your program.

Your body overall needs a whole week to recover from these exercises.

Remember the rule: the higher the intensity – the longer the resting period.

This also means that you should rest more between the sets. Rest at least 2 minutes before you start a new set.

If your goal is the strength you can squat and deadlift on the same day, but you will notice a problem with that program; your workout will take forever to finish.

It’s better to train squats and deadlifts on different days if you want to focus on the strength because it will just be too time-consuming to keep up with it.

If you want to focus on muscle growth, then squat and deadlift on the same day is a good choice, especially if you’re lifting 7 days a week.

Working out 7 days a week is a highly demanding program, and you can even evolve it to focus more on smaller muscle groups if you’re done with squats and deadlift on the same day.

When you train for muscle growth, cutting the resting periods is even beneficial for that goal.

Rest for 30 seconds up to 1 minute between the sets for muscle growth.

Even though you will finish the workout earlier, the same rule applies – perform both squats and deadlifts only once a week.

Priorities based on your weak point


Even though it’s recommended to squat first and deadlift second, you can change that order based on your personal preference and your focus on the weak point.

If you want to increase your deadlift strength, then prioritize deadlifts over squats, and change the program you’ve seen above.

Do all the exercises for the back of the legs, then attack the quads.

You can even mix it up, depending on your strength level and muscle mass.

If you want to increase your deadlift strength, but want more muscle mass on your legs, then you should use standard deadlift which is best included in your back training.

Deadlift can be substituted with other exercises for your hamstrings if you want to build leg muscle mass.

Deadlift is an exercise that is more beneficial for strength than for muscle mass. It’s there to give you the ability to lift a heavy object straight from the ground without the ability to create momentum.

But, if you want to build a mass of your hamstrings, then Romanian deadlift on the leg day is the way to go.

The formula for the success

There’s no universal formula for success. It depends on your body type and your priorities.

Honestly, the best formula for success is not to injure yourself, get plenty of rest and plenty of nutrients to feed your muscles after a hard workout.

Find a middle ground between strength training and hypertrophy training, or create a program which will focus on one at a time.

You should be aware that the form while you perform these exercises is extremely important!

Here is an example of a proper squat form, and proper deadlift form.

Back Squat


Back Squat correct form at bottom point
dead lift


Deadlift correct form (during setup)

In conclusion

So bottom line, short and long answer is that you should squat and deadlift on the same day if your goal is muscle growth.

Yes, both exercises are very taxing, but combining them in a single day workout is not an issue if you know what you’re doing. Just remember to be vigilant for any signs of overtraining, if you are unsure, read our article to easily recognise these signs.

Hopefully, now you really know what are the benefits of this type of training routine, and you know how to handle it!

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