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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Study Spotlight: Squat vs. Deadlift-How Does the Body Respond?


There is little argument that for moving the most amount of weight possible and engaging the maximum amount of lower body musculature the squat and the deadlift are one and two to none.  They have been the staples of many workout routines from the everyday lifter to elite level athletes and for good reason.  When you really think about it though which one of these exercises might elicit the most effect in your musculature?  That is what these researchers set out to find out and this is what they found.


What They Did:
Researchers took a look how the squat and the deadlift compared when looking at the acute endocrine and neuromuscular response.  The areas that they looked at were maximum voluntary isometric knee extensor force (MVIC), measures of central and peripheral fatigue and also salivary testosterone and cortisol.

What They Found: 
This part unfortunately isn't that exciting.  Even with a great load and larger volume-load in the deadlift there was almost no difference between the two exercises.  The only difference seen was great peripheral fatigue that was observed after the squat exercise and that might be due to greater work of the quadriceps.

What it All Means:
The researchers suggest that separate periodization, tapering and programming considerations may be unnecessary when using the squat and deadlift to develop muscular strength.

Ok, now what does that mean?  It has been long held the deadlifts are more fatiguing than squats when it comes to training and that just might not be the case.  Whether you are training for athletic events or a powerlifting competition how you program up to your competition is very important. You want to make sure you go in fresh but also maintaining strength and power.  When it comes to the lower body this article suggests that you could utilize either the squat or the deadlift to maintain lower body strength and not have to worry about the fatigue effects.

This can be helpful depending on what movement you are most proficient at and that you can use that movement to help you get ready for your performance.  All in all, happy lifting whether that be squats or deadlift.

LINK: Acute neuromuscular and endocrine responses to two different compound exercises: squat versus deadlift

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