Starting Strength Weekly Report

September 25, 2017

Training Log
Starting Strength Channel

In the Trenches

deadlift lockout
Dan locks out a deadlift at the last Starting Strength Seminar in Wichita Falls. [photo courtesy of Tom Campitelli]
log press lockout
Kristen Prufrock, third place finisher in Lightweight Open, locks out 95# with the log at 2017 Charm City Strongwoman Contest. [photo courtesy of Craig Campbell]

Best of the Week

Should deadlift being even with squat be a concern if both are progressing?

My Deadlift and Squat for a single top set of 5 are even, sitting right at about 390, and both are continuing to progress.

My question is twofold:

  1. Should it be a concern, that my Deadlift is not further ahead of my Squat?
  2. What are the usual culprits that are factors contributing to this?

More information: I'm young, 5'10", and very evenly proportioned. I do not have a training partner to take form check videos, but I'm reasonably confident that I do squat below parallel. Without being able to see me do the lifts, I was hoping you could list several common and maybe even uncommon contributors to this, since is it my understanding that the Deadlift should generally be somewhat ahead of the Squat for evenly proportioned people.

In my search for the answer to this question on the Forums, I did not find an answer from a Starting Strength Coach that was very direct and informative. The couple of times I did find a question similar to this, the culprit was determined to be a matter of their body proportions.

Mark Rippetoe
  1. It's not a concern if you have anthropometric issues, like small hands or long back/short legs.
  2. Squats above parallel, i.e. artificially strong squats. Video sorts this out.

Best of the Forum

Strength ratios for injury avoidance

My reading tells me that disproportionate strength is the root cause of most musculo-skeletal injuries. I’ve had my share of injuries and want to avoid them in the future.

I want to know if there is a weight ratio for a given pair of exercises within which the risk of musculo-skeletal injury is unlikely. A hypothetical example: the safe ratio between bench press weight and shoulder press weight is 1.25–2.5x; and outside that range injury becomes increasingly likely and programmatic adjustment is indicated.

Question: What would a safe ratio be for Bench/Shoulder press? What other exercise parings would be relevant and what would their ratios be?

Background: I’m recovering from a moderate shoulder tear that occurred while bench pressing, and want to take measures to avoid such injuries in the future. I’m 61, not training for a masters’ event in any sport, aiming towards maximizing strength, mobility, and appearance.

My pre-injury 5RMs were bench 185, press 115, so 1.6 to 1. Pretty sure that would fall within a safe ratio. I'm looking for guidance on these ratios to make sure I keep in bounds and avoid setting myself up for injuries – shoulder, back, wherever. If there was a safe envelope of ratios I could tell, for example, that my Deadlift was outrunning my squat to a point where injury was becoming likely, and adjust my program accordingly. Conversely, if I started feeling low back pain, I could refer to the ratio of relevant weights I'm lifting, and adjust to avoid exacerbating matters. I think there's a useful concept here, do you?

Mark Rippetoe

Useful, but terribly difficult to quantify beyond what I've already done in the books.

Sean Herbison

In my experience, it's an overall lack of strength that is the root cause of most injuries, especially as people age. Unless you're isolating some body parts and ignoring others, say, doing leg extensions as your only leg exercise, it's not likely to be a real issue.

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