The way my workout is split is as follows: I do legs on Sundays which includes squats followed by deadlifts and then leg presses. On Mondays I do bi's and back. I do lat pulldowns, seated cable rows, and then I move on to doing curls. On which one of these days should i do the deadlifts?

  • Do you work out on other days, or are you only working out those two consecutive days? May 1, 2012 at 23:21
  • I work on more days here is an example of my split. Sunday ill do legs monday bis and back then tuesday chest tris and shoulder. Wed ill rest thursday repeat sunday friday repeat monday. then the following sunday ill start this same cycle with the workout i did on tuesday the previous week. May 2, 2012 at 0:03
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    I find it a best practice to have two full days between squats and deads. My personal split is Tuesday - Squats and Friday - Deads. I take Sat and Sun off completely. Mon, Wed, Thurs is upper body. May 2, 2012 at 15:22
  • So you basically have a day dedicated just for deads? May 2, 2012 at 17:15
  • Friday I do "posterior chain" - Back (lower and middle) and hamstrings. Basically it's deadlifts followed by hamstring curls and then lats and traps. If you are going heavy having a day pretty much deticated to deads is needed. May 4, 2012 at 1:43

2 Answers 2


If I were to do a split, I'd do the deadlifts on my "back" day, not the "legs" day.

Here's why: both squats and deadlifts are compound movements that are best done heavy. They both do a good job stimulating whole-body growth. In contrast, curls, lat pull-downs and cable rows are exercises that target less overall muscle, which is fine as supplementary movements but not as your main one. They also are generally done with lower weight and more reps.

Separating the squats and deadlifts ensures that you target the most muscle systems while allowing proper recovery for each one.

But regardless, it's generally best for beginners and intermediate lifters to follow a proper training plan such as Starting Strength or 5x5 rather than coming up their own random splits. It also sounds like you're only lifting on Sunday and Monday--if this is correct, you might get more mileage from spreading out your lifting days or simply lifting three times a week, spaced out, instead of two days back-to-back.

  • If i do put my deadlifts on my back day, is it advisable to have these 2 days back to back? Also is it a good a idea to include stiff legged deadlifts on my leg day in replacement of the deadlifts? May 2, 2012 at 17:24
  • Deadlifts and squats back to back is less than ideal, but it can work. The stiff leg DLs would be OK on leg day, but definitely don't put those two next to each other. I'm not sure you need to do both anyway. May 2, 2012 at 17:56
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    How is pull downs or cable row an isolation exercise? Is a Romanian deadlift also an isolation exercise? A lat isolation exercise would be a pull over for example. The lat pull down is a multi-joint movement and has mechanics parallel to the pull up. But maybe you count pull ups as an isolation exercise?
    – mike
    May 2, 2012 at 19:12
  • @mike Good point. I don't consider pull-ups isolation exercises, though I do see a significant difference between them and lat pull-downs that I can't quite articulate. Could you edit my post to incorporate your point? May 2, 2012 at 19:40
  • Okay I edited it in :). The pull up and lat pull down aren't the same. For one, the pull down you are pulling the bar to you while your lower body is stabilized in place and the pull-up you are pulling your whole body up. The other thing is that the pull down is a machine and you can do a lot of stuff on it which you can't with pull ups (Like leaning back and using your back to help lift).
    – mike
    May 2, 2012 at 23:50

Your program varies from a lot of standard programs in that you are including both squats and leg presses. In the most popular strength training programs, squats are done every workout, and deadlifts are done every second workout, alternating with power cleans or rows. No leg presses.

So, there's nothing wrong with doing squats and deadlifts in the same workout, but perhaps not with the leg presses. You could also put some upper body work in between your squats and deadlifts to give your legs some recovery time.

Workout A could be squats, overhead press, deadlift. These work the posterior chain, spinal erectors, shoulders, upper pecs, and triceps.

Workout B could be your bis and upper back day. You could also do squats on this day if you had a rest day between Workout A and Workout B.

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