How to Do Bench Presses, Deadlifts & Squats in the Same Routine

by Grey Evans

About Grey Evans

Grey Evans began writing professionally in 1985. Her work has been published in "Metabolics" and the "Journal of Nutrition." Gibbs holds a Ph.D. in nutrition from Ohio State University and an M.S. in physical therapy from New York University. She has worked at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs and currently develops comprehensive nutritional and rehabilitative programs for a neurological team.


If you decide to perform all three big lifts -- the squat, bench press and deadlift -- in the same routine, you must carefully control your training volume and rest days. The strain of large, compound lifts exceeds that of smaller lifts such as curls, and requires more time to recover. Train only three days a week with at least one rest day between each training session. Deadlift only once per week on the last day of your training week, then rest two days. Consult a healthcare professional before beginning any strength-training program.

Program Basics

Step 1

Squat first on day one. Squat heavily for three sets of five repetitions. Bench press heavily for three sets of five repetitions. Perform the barbell row for three sets of 10 repetitions. Rest for one day after this workout.

Step 2

Squat first during your second workout. Squat for three sets of eight repetitions. Bench press for three sets of eight repetitions. Perform the barbell row for three sets of 10 repetitions. Rest for one day after this workout.

Step 3

Squat first during your third workout of the week. Squat for three sets of 10 repetitions. Bench press for three sets of 10 repetitions. Deadlift for one set of five repetitions. Rest for two days after this workout.

Exercise Basics

Step 1

Squat by holding a barbell on your back just below the top of your shoulders. Stand with your feet slightly wider than your shoulders and your toes pointed out slightly. Squat as deeply as you can straight down without leaning forward. Stand up straight.

Step 2

Bench press while lying flat on the bench with your feet firmly on the floor. Lower the bar to the center of your chest and push it to full extension. Never bounce the bar off of your chest.

Step 3

Row by holding a barbell with your hands just wider than your chest, using whatever grip is comfortable. Lean forward and arch your back, then pull the barbell into your chest. Do not bounce the bar out of the bottom of the repetition -- this can strain your elbows.

Step 4

Deadlift with your feet no wider than your shoulders. Grip the bar with an overhand grip and your hands just outside your legs. Squat down as low as you can and get your chest behind the bar. Drive the bar off of the ground with your legs and push your hips forward. Lower the bar under control and never bend your arms during the deadlift. Always keep the bar close to your legs.

Items you will need

  • Barbell
  • Power rack or squat rack
  • Adjustable bench


  • Squatting multiple times per week plus deadlifting once per week is a drain on your recovery system, so get at least eight hours of sleep per night. Barbell rows are included in the above routine to help strengthen your back, which supports you during all three lifts.


  • Never round your back when lifting.
  • Never lift without a spotter.

References (2)

  • Starting Strength -- Second Edition; Mark Rippetoe, et al.; 2007
  • Practical Programming for Strength Training; Mark Rippetoe, et al.; 2009

Photo Credits:

  • Digital Vision/Photodisc/Getty Images

This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or