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So I am pretty confused here because my deadlift is supposed to be more than my bench and squat. Currently, my bench is 225 while my squat is 315. My deadlift is only 135. I don't know why this is. Any thoughts on that? I should also say I bench two times a week, squat three times a week, and deadlift once a week. I know it sounds stupid, but I thought regardless of which you do more your deadlift is still higher.

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    "...my deadlift is supposed to be more than my bench and squat" - Care to explain your reasoning for this? – rrirower Aug 25 '15 at 20:04
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    How long have you been performing those lifts? – Kneel-Before-ZOD Aug 25 '15 at 20:05
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    Are you squats (a) to parallel or below or (b) in a smith machine? – Eric Aug 25 '15 at 21:48
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    Yeah, these are some weird numbers. Would be very interesting to see videos of your techniques in all lifts. Is that possible? – Tobias Sjösten Aug 26 '15 at 11:55
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(Possible) Reasons Why You Squat More Than Deadlift

  • Your form is bad in both exercises. Without a video or someone checking your form, this can't be (dis)proven.
  • You don't like deadlifting; as a result, you (probably) apply minimal efforts to it. If you want to be good at deadlifting, you've got to perform it more often, enjoy it (or at least pretend), and watch your form (that might take a while to perfect, especially without a good coach)
  • You don't perform it often. To be better at it (just like your chest press), you've got to perform the exercise more often. Perform it at least twice a week.
  • Your lower back muscles are weak. Your lower back is one of the primary muscles activated by deadlifts; if it's weak (or already tired), you won't be able to deadlift much.
  • You're performing deadlifts after an exhausting squat routine. While deadlifting after squatting is generally recommended, exhausting yourself with squatting before deadlifting will reflect in poor deadlifting numbers. This is because squat and deadlift both hit major muscles (quads, hamstrings, lower back). If you reverse the routine, your deadlift numbers should increase and your squats should begin to suffer likewise. My personal recommendation is to rotate days when squatting heavy and deadlifting heavy. On squat heavy days, you go light on deadlifting and vice versa. This seems to work for me.
  • Insufficient rest between sets when deadlifting. This is possibility, especially when just starting. Depending on the load, some spend between 2 and 8 mins on resting. And yes, you need the rest if you actually want to improve (you shouldn't be supersetting on deadlifts).
  • Wrist Grip. Yup, it doesn't matter how strong your back, legs, and arms are, if your wrist grip is weak, your deadlift capability will be hampered. There are many wrist grip exercises you can perform, Farmer's Walk being one of my favorite.

Recommended Program

StrongLifts is a proven program to increase your deadlift, squats, bench press, rows, and military press numbers.

If you want an improvement in deadlifting, it's a program I'll recommend for you. Of course, this means you won't be able to bench press every time. That's just an icing on the tasty cake :).

  • I would add that poor grip strength could also be a factor in being unable to deadlift much, granted that could fall under simply not deadlifting very frequently. However, since OP doesn't really give much info on how he performs, this is definitely the best answer. – Alex L Aug 26 '15 at 19:12
  • @Kneel before Zod That is interesting because I do squat before I deadlift, sometimes up to 10 sets(4-12 reps), sometimes as low as 3, when I usually only do about 5 deadlifts. – Rob Sterach Aug 26 '15 at 19:13
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    @AlexL I actually wanted to add wrist grip factor as well, but I forgot. – Kneel-Before-ZOD Aug 26 '15 at 20:21
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To some extend, the length of your legs and arms in relation to your overall length will affect easy you add weight in different lifts, but since there's such a big difference, in the "wrong" direction, I don't think that's the underlying issue here.

I would start out by making sure my technique is good. Either find someone who knows what they are doing and make them take a look at your lifts, or film yourself and post somewhere for feedback. One common mistake is squatting too low, another is not squatting enough.

What seems to be the limiting factor in your deadlifts? How far do you get before the weight won't move anymore?

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