Learn > Should You Squat and Deadlift on the Same Day? 4 Great Benefits

Should You Squat and Deadlift on the Same Day? 4 Great Benefits

Key Points

  • Yes, you can squat and deadlift on the same day. But it’s not for everyone.
  • Consider your training level, nutritional intake and exercise order in order to make a decision.
  • Beginners should stay away from deadlifting and squatting in the same workout.

If you enjoy reading about our content, you know we’re fans of the squat and deadlift.

But can you squat and deadlift on the same day? Although performing both compound movements can be tiring, there are quite a number of benefits. Lifters can break through training plateaus, improve sporting performance, indicate powerlifting capabilities and burn through a lot of calories for a good workout. As long as you’re careful with nutrition and rest, deadlifting and squatting in the same workout can be effective.

The squat requires you to stabilize a loaded bar on the upper back followed by squatting down with a triple flexion. You drive through the hips, bending at the knees to a ≥ 90° angle, while placing your weight onto the heels.

Similarly, the deadlift also summons a triple extension while lifting a loaded barbell off the ground. The barbell moves to around the hip level and finalizes by pinning the shoulder blades back[2].

By observing these two lifts you are engaging majority of the muscles of the lower and some of the upper extremities. [1, 2]

Within this article you will be able to understand what is squatting and deadlifting on the same day? Important considerations when using both of these exercises, the benefits and drawbacks, and a practical application of how to maximize strength-based benefits.

What is Squat and Deadlift Same Day?

Simply, squatting and deadlifting on the same day means that you would engage in both of these lifts on the same day.

They can be performed one after the other or with a few accessory exercises in between.

Man squatting with barbell on back

I would recommend squatting prior to the deadlift. Squats may be the more physically demanding lift due to activating muscles during the eccentric and concentric phase.

Not to mention the squat is performed first during powerlifting competitions

Factors to Consider When Squatting and Deadlifting the Same Day

1. Exercise Order

The exercise you choose to select first will entirely depend on your goal and personal preferences which I have highlighted below: 

  • Powerlifting Purposes – Powerlifters may opt to select the squat first as this would be more practical for a powerlifting competition, allowing the lifter to become more familiar with the powerlifting setting.  
  • Strengthening Weaker Lifts – You may select the exercise which you lack most. For example, you may want to deadlift first fresher in order to recruit the maximal amount of muscle fibers/motor units per workout, to chronically produce a stronger and more fluent lift. 
  • Personal Preference – If you are a recreational lifter who is observing both of these big lifts, you may choose the exercise that you enjoy the most to get the most possible workout 
  • Alternate Exercise Order Due to Tedium – A recreational lifter who observes these lifts on the same day for a long period of time may find it to become tedious.

2. Training Well Rested

I cannot stress the importance of turning up to your exercise session well rested for at least 7-8 hours of sleep.

Otherwise chronic performance could be degraded and even increase the chance of injury, especially since you will be observing two of the most physically demanding lifts. [3, 4]

Plumert et al. [3] conducted a study on 9 athletes in a randomized counterbalance design, utilized a 24hr sleep deprived and well slept mode (8hrs of sleep).

The lifters performed various exercises such as the front squat and clean and jerk.

Although, 1 day of sleep loss did not affect performance, the athletes experienced an increase in fatigue, cortisol and decrease in mood. All of which could eventually lead to` a decline in performance and health.

In support of the notion, Knowels et al. [4] conducted a systematic literature review and found in numerous studies that consecutive sleep deprivation reduces force output in single and multi-joint exercises i.e., the squat and deadlift.

3. Observing Adequate Nutritional Intake 

Nutrition is the key to performance and physical adaptation, in fact in my personal opinion I would say it devotes around 50-60%.


It is important to engage in this duo lift session will replenished muscle glycogen stores which will be extracted from the muscle and degraded via a few processes to produce ATP (energy). [5]

So how would you replenish glycogen stores? Simply eat enough carbohydrates for a variety of foods such as potatoes, breads, pastas, noodles, fruits etc. The amount you would require would be individualized to you and your specific training program, which must be discussed with a nutritionist or coach.

Generally, I would recommend powerlifters 4-5g/kg [5], for example, if a powerlifter weighs 100kg they would consume 5 times this amount in grams which would equate to around 500g of carbs.


Another consideration would be dietary protein, which is the most important macronutrient for triggering dietary muscle protein synthesis and restructuring degraded muscle for it to grow bigger and stronger [5], especially if you are observing the squat and deadlift in the same workout.

Once again, protein intake should be an individualized variable, but in general, powerlifters could benefit from around 2-3g/kg distributed across 4-5 high-quality meals/snacks should be sufficient to maximize dietary muscle protein synthesis. [5]

I have highlighted the 7 best sources of protein below, but consult your coach or nutritionist to identify a more specific quantity. Out of the lifters total caloric intake, the remainder should be attained from dietary fats which promote a normalized hormonal balance for muscle building and strength. [5] 

Protein SourceLeucine Content
Whey Protein Shake 11%
Milk protein 10%
Egg protein9%
Casein  protein 9%
Fish protein8.3%
Beef Protein8%
Chicken protein 7.8%
Wheat and Soy Protein6.8%
Modified from Wilson et al. [6]

4. Use of Stimulants

When it comes to Squatting and Deadlifting on the same day, we can NOT undervalue the use of a stimulant, specifically caffeine.

Caffeine is an ergogenic aid, once ingested with a sufficient dose in relation to body mass can inhibit the adenosine receptors in the brain. These receptors are responsible for maintaining a relaxed state, thereby caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, increasing arousal and possibly produce more workload during exercise (7).

In other words, caffeine can give you an awesome squat and deadlift session. I personally use 3-4mg/kg of body mass, for example as I weigh around 90kg I would require over 270mg of caffeine which I get from an energy drink.

A 2012 study by Cook et al. [7] recruited chronically sleep deprived (<6hrs sleep) and none sleep deprived athletes (8hrs sleep). The athletes performed  4 sets of the back squat, bench press and back row @85% intensity to failure.

The sleep deprived athletes who ingested 4mg/kg of body mass 1hr prior to exercise produced a similar training volume to those well rested, displaying that caffeine ingestion may recovery performance decrements from chronic sleep deprivation.

5. Learn Correct Lifting Form 

Prior to taking on both of these lifts in conjunction, you must learn adequate form.

You should possess specific motor patterning and muscle strength to maintain spinal neutrality during the exercises and produce a fluent triple extension within both movements to reap all the benefits along with avoiding injuries. [8]

For beginner lifters, there are many alternatives to familiarize yourself with, such as the; leg press, leg extensions, hack squat, etc.

6. Observe Regular De-loads

I cannot stress the importance of the de-load, in most cases, it can be programmed by reducing training intensity, frequency and volume. [9]

Once again, its programming will entirely depend on the lifters’ requirements. Personally, I feel as if I need one every 4th week.

Deadlifting and squatting on the same day on a regular basis can overreach the central nervous system [9] and overtime this could increase the risk of overtraining, impairing hormones (I.e., cortisol) and cause common structural injuries such as lower back strains and fractures. [9]

I would reduce my intensity to 50-60% and may reduce my training frequency/volume to 4-5 days, thereby allowing my body to recompose while still maintaining the motor patterning of the deadlift. [9]

Squats and Deadlifts Same Day – Benefits

1. Method of Overload to Break Through Plateaus

These two compound exercises recruit so many muscles of the lower and upper extremities.

Such as the calves, quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, core, lower back and upper back and both are utilized in a single session.

You would expect chronic increases in muscle mass, bone mass, joint and tendon strength, which would increase overall physical capabilities and appearance which is important in bodybuilding and powerlifting. [10]     

2. Relay into Sports Performance 

Majority of sports require a kinetic chain or triple extension of the ankle, knee and hips [11] i.e., sprinting, weightlifting, boxing etc. where the motor patterning is replicated during the deadlift and the squat.

As both of these exercises are combined you would expect a considerable amount of stimulus, therefore can be used during an athlete’s periodization of the force-velocity curve. [11]

For example, if the athlete was in a strength phase to improve the clean and jerk lift he/she could observe these exercises at very high intensities.

3. Identify Powerlifting Competition Capabilities

Within the powerlifting setting you would observe the Bench press, Squat and Deadlift.

To identify how you would perform on the day you could observe these lifts all on the same day to give you a rough estimate of the pounds you could rack up on a meet day, this will allow a powerlifter to periodize training accordingly. 

4. Increased Exercise Energy Expenditure for a Leaner Physique

For the recreational lifter, adopting Squat and Deadlift in a single session can allow for a considerable amount of energy/calories to be extended, as these exercises produce a lot of movement and recruit a large portion of the skeletal system.

Infact according to the ACSM [12] the squat and deadlift are among the top 5 exercises for burning calories. Overall the lifter can reap a great workout and in the long term build muscle, strength and maintain a leaner physique. Training intensity and reps in reserve (effort) will depend on the lifters’ training level and can be discussed with a health professional.

Squats and Deadlifts Same Day – Risks

1. Injury Risk and Reoccurrence of Previous Injuries 

Overuse injuries can occur when taking on a new training program or increasing the intensity and volume too fast i.e., squat and deadlift on the same day [13].

The best way to overcome this drawback is to establish some training experience to develop the squat and deadlift motor patterning, along with a foundational level of core stability and balance to minimize the injury risk of the spine or joint/tendon/muscle from a less efficient and unbalance movement.

Secondly, while observing both of these exercises together, I would increase intensity and volume slowly in an incremental gradient. [8]

2. Increase the Chances of Overreaching too Fast

We have established that so much physical demand is being placed on the skeletal system during these lifts, this can stress the central nervous system where the chances are that you would overreach really fast and may cause chronic overtraining even though the chances are low. [9]

For this reason. It may not be optimal to use these exercises on the same day and opt for periodizing both exercises appropriately, but it is dependent on the individual and if the program is well thought out with planned de loads and external variables such as nutrition, rest and stress levels.

3. Not Being Able to Train Other Muscle Groups Adequately

Combining these two physically demanding exercises can cause fatigue where it can become difficult to apply effort into other accessory exercises such as bicep curls,  triceps extensions and shoulder flies.

Although, these exercises may not be that important to powerlifters who may focus more on the big 3 powerlifting exercises (bench, squat, deadlift), whereas it is crucial for bodybuilders and some recreational lifters who may want to maximize muscle detail and definition. 

How to Maximize Gains from Squat and Deadlift Same Day

I have mentioned many times, repetition is key! In order to maximize muscle and strength gains, you must program your training frequency, intensity and volume based on your training level.

Beginner lifters can reap all of the anabolic benefits from a single session per week at low-moderate intensity, whereas more advanced powerlifters may need to perform the exercises as frequently as 24-48hrs as this is the time the body will undergo an elevated muscle protein synthesis prior to the muscle being reconstructed bigger and stronger. [14]

With the athletes I have worked with in the past, who were periodically using the squat and deadlift together, I prescribed the exercises every other day which maximized all of the physical benefits as well as giving them time to either rest or work on other areas in between.

Related Article: Best Exercises to Improve Deadlift Strength

How Do You Program Squats and Deadlifts on the Same Day?

For Powerlifters


  • Bench press @ 80% intensity 
  • Squat @ 80% intensity 
  • Deadlift @ 80% intensity 


  • Bench press @ 85% intensity 
  • Squat @ 85% intensity 
  • Deadlift @ 85% intensity


  • Bench press @ 90% intensity 
  • Squat @ 90% intensity 
  • Deadlift @ 90% intensity


  • Bench press @ 95% intensity 
  • Squat @ 95% intensity 
  • Deadlift @ 95% intensity

By no means is this the perfect example of programming and is a very generic example of a single week.

If I was entering a powerlifting competition I would adopt a similar program as the intensity will engage strength and some hypertrophy, the sessions are split 48hrs apart allowing me to maximize muscle protein synthesis for strength and muscle gains. The programming focuses on the big 3 lifts which are incorporated in powerlifting meets.

For Bodybuilders


  • Bench press @75% intensity 
  • Incline Dumbbell press @70% intensity 
  • Standing barbell Triceps Extensions  @70% intensity
  • Rope extensions @70% intensity 


  • Squat @75% intensity
  • Mid deltoid flies @60% intensity 
  • Rear deltoid flies @60% intensity
  • Deadlift @75% intensity 


  • Back rows @75% intensity
  • Close grip Upright rows @75% intensity
  • Lat pulldown @70% intensity
  • Barbell bicep curls @60% intensity 
  • Hammer curls @60% intensity 


  • Squat @ 70% intensity 
  • Deadlift @70% intensity

This snippet of an example bodybuilding program illustrates how a bodybuilder may utilize the squat and deadlift together. The program ensures the muscle protein synthesis is being elongated throughout the whole body, as there is a day devoted to anterior trunk muscles and posterior trunk muscles, along with 2 squat and deadlift days which primarily focus on the legs but engage the whole body. The intensity that I selected is suitable for Myo fibular hypertrophy or muscle building. 

For Recreational and Casual Gym Goers


  • Squat @70% intensity
  • Deadlift @60% intensity 


  • Whole body workout @50% intensity 
  • Low intensity cardio


  • Low-moderate intensity cardio 


  • Squat @40-50% intensity
  • Deadlift @40-50% intensity 
  • Low intensity cardio 

This 1 week example program may suit low level lifters, as it includes some Squat+Deadlifting to work all of the muscles on the skeletal system for some muscle, strength and endurance. Moreover, the cardiovascular training is completed multiple times in the week, which is valued by casual gym goers. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I do deadlifts or squats first?

It depends on the individual, in the competitive powerlifting setting you would squat before performing the deadlift, therefore this may be more practical. On the other hand, you may prioritize the lift that you lack most to maximize the training benefits while you are less fatigued.

How many sets should I perform?

The number of sets you select will entirely depend on your training level, more advanced lifters may perform lots of sets over the week with a greater training frequency, whereas a lower level lifter may benefit from bare minimum.

Can I deadlift immediately after squatting or I should perform another exercise in between?

For sure! You can deadlift directly after squat as this would be more specific to a powerlifting competition, which I have stressed though out this article. However, some bodybuilders and recreational lifters may want to incorporate other accessory exercises in between such as calf raised and lunges as their goal would be to define and increase the size of all muscles.

Final Thoughts

To be honest, I am not a fan of training the squat and deadlift on the same day as I believe there are other interventions that can develop the lift better.

Nevertheless performing both of these exercises does have some pros. The program can break through training plateaus, improve sporting performance, indicate powerlifting capabilities and burn through a lot of calories for a good workout.

However, you must take into account which exercise you would want to prioritize based on your goal, while training well rested with a good nutritional and supplement intake.

Moreover, it’s important to actually learn the lifts to reap all of the training benefits and minimize injury. Similarly, regular deload cycles are important to allow your body to rest up and recover.

To maximize gains, you can manipulate training frequency, where lower lifter will need to train less frequently and advanced lifters more frequently.  On the other hand, training both exercises present some cons like increasing injury risk, overreaching/overtraining too fast and hindering other muscle groups.


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Zaakir Shakoor

Zaakir has attained a bolus of knowledge regarding biosciences through academia and his career experiences. In terms of his educational background, he has a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology (Hons.), a Postgraduate diploma in sports nutrition with the International Olympic Committee, and a Master’s of Science in Nutritional Sciences. Zack has been fortunate enough to apply his Exercise Science and Nutrition Knowledge to aid hundreds of patients.

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