Recently someone reached out to me to ask a couple strength training questions. The two questions were very interrelated. I thought sharing my answer would make a great blog topic in case any others might share the same question.
The question was from someone who currently strength trains twice per week. One session focuses on upper body and the other focuses on the lower body.
Their question was, “Should I squat and deadlift in the same session since I am only training my lower body once per week?” The other days the person runs or bikes. There was also a second question regarding whether there should be any other lower body exercises added and if so what order?
Since they are only training lower body once I suggested the same thing I do with my clients. I would opt for using the Hex-Bar Deadlift. It is neither a true deadlift nor a true squat, but rather falls somewhere between. This makes it a great option for someone who is training lower body only once per week. I also choose Hex-Bar Deadlifts because they have been proven to build more power when compared to squats.
Now to I would like to address the secondary question. I like to use bi-lateral (both sides working together) first especially if that is the main strength move. I like to follow that up with uni-lateral; (single side) ancillary exercises. In this case I suggested a super-set (two exercises back to back) of a knee dominant movement such as Bulgarian Split Squats (one of my all-time favs), split squats, lunges, etc, along with a hip dominant movement like Single Leg Romanian Deadlifts.
The workout would look something like this, with the sets/reps, rest, dictated by your specific goal or goals.
Main Strength/Power Exercise: Hex-Bar Deadlift
Ancillary Exercises Super-Set
- As a side note I would suggest training in this fashion if training the upper body as well.
Whether or not you incorporate this particular workout template or not, know that there are many ways to structure a training plan, and many different means to the same end. I just presented one way I would approach creating a training template based on a two day split.