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  1. #1
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    Barbell Back Squat to Barbell Lunge Ratio

    I know a lot of people will probably say "don't worry about it and just lift what you can and progress" but I'm really interested to know what the ideal ratio would be. I mean, the two movements seem to be very related, they use basically the same muscles, perhaps to different proportions, even the movement pattern is somewhat similar. It's not much disputed that there are ideal squat to deadlift ratios, even nailed down to variations according to body type, limb length, etc. I've seen the squat to deadlift ratio, conventional to sumo deadlift ratio, low bar to high bar back squat ratio, back squat to front squat ratio, etc. discussed, but no online search seems to provide very good information on the lunge to back squat ratio. I'm beginning to take barbell lunges very seriously as a finishing move on leg day, after hip belt squats (I lift at home, no room for squat rack) and 3" deficit sumo deadlifts. Does anyone have any input on the ideal back squat to lunge ratio with barbell?

    Thanks!
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    Originally Posted by Rasputin4 View Post
    I know a lot of people will probably say "don't worry about it and just lift what you can and progress" but I'm really interested to know what the ideal ratio would be. I mean, the two movements seem to be very related, they use basically the same muscles, perhaps to different proportions, even the movement pattern is somewhat similar. It's not much disputed that there are ideal squat to deadlift ratios, even nailed down to variations according to body type, limb length, etc. I've seen the squat to deadlift ratio, conventional to sumo deadlift ratio, low bar to high bar back squat ratio, back squat to front squat ratio, etc. discussed, but no online search seems to provide very good information on the lunge to back squat ratio. I'm beginning to take barbell lunges very seriously as a finishing move on leg day, after hip belt squats (I lift at home, no room for squat rack) and 3" deficit sumo deadlifts. Does anyone have any input on the ideal back squat to lunge ratio with barbell?

    Thanks!
    Got any links to the ratio's you say you have seen?
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  3. #3
    Objective optimist Xuaxace's Avatar
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    THe two movements are not similar at all to draw a ratio.

    THat said I almost snapped my groin doing stationary lunges with 200lbx5 (when my low bar max was 350lb)



    As a finisher move, like everyone does, I have seen most people use 1 plate and go by feel. Even a big guy will struggle with 1 plate after a gruelling leg day. Novices might use 90-115lbs usually.
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  4. #4
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    Originally Posted by Rasputin4 View Post
    I mean, the two movements seem to be very related, they use basically the same muscles, perhaps to different proportions, even the movement pattern is somewhat similar.
    Squats and Barbell Lunges aren't even remotely similar.


    There's no ratio that I know of; you just do as may reps with good form within your selected rep range as you can handle for each of the exercises.


    I can say that with a lot of work over a long period of time that the two lifts can be somewhat close to each other, load-wise, if that's what you want to train to do.
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  5. #5
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    Lightbulb

    A reverse lunge would be a better choice, in my evil opinion. The movement is very much like that of a low bar back squat. Don't know about the ratios, since I haven't performed the said movement for a long time.
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  7. #7
    Registered User Rasputin4's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Xuaxace View Post
    THe two movements are not similar at all to draw a ratio.

    THat said I almost snapped my groin doing stationary lunges with 200lbx5 (when my low bar max was 350lb)



    As a finisher move, like everyone does, I have seen most people use 1 plate and go by feel. Even a big guy will struggle with 1 plate after a gruelling leg day. Novices might use 90-115lbs usually.
    Was that 200x5 stationary lunges fresh?

    I presume the 90-115 for reps would be fresh?
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  8. #8
    Registered User Rasputin4's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ironwill2008 View Post
    Squats and Barbell Lunges aren't even remotely similar.


    There's no ratio that I know of; you just do as may reps with good form within your selected rep range as you can handle for each of the exercises.


    I can say that with a lot of work over a long period of time that the two lifts can be somewhat close to each other, load-wise, if that's what you want to train to do.
    Just looking at the mechanics of the lift, it seems like lunges should be a bit over half a barbell squat, if both were done fresh.
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  9. #9
    Registered User Rasputin4's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by -Lucifer View Post
    A reverse lunge would be a better choice, in my evil opinion. The movement is very much like that of a low bar back squat. Don't know about the ratios, since I haven't performed the said movement for a long time.
    Hmm...Wouldn't that be like a cross between a Bulgarian split squat and a forward lunge?
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  10. #10
    Banned -Lucifer's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Rasputin4 View Post
    Hmm...Wouldn't that be like a cross between a Bulgarian split squat and a forward lunge?
    No, a reverse lunge would be just like the LB back squat. You take one step back and descend. You have to keep shoving your hips back in order to keep the bar over the middle of your feet, just like you do when back squatting. Not saying you can replace the back squat with a reverse lunge, but the movement of both exercises is similar.
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  11. #11
    Registered User Rasputin4's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by -Lucifer View Post
    No, a reverse lunge would be just like the LB back squat. You take one step back and descend. You have to keep shoving your hips back in order to keep the bar over the middle of your feet, just like you do when back squatting. Not saying you can replace the back squat with a reverse lunge, but the movement of both exercises is similar.
    Thanks, next time I stall on lunges I'll probably switch it out with this and see how it goes.
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  12. #12
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    I usually never go over past 100lb DB's on walking lunges, and those are PLENTY! I squat 4+ plates or 315x20.
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  13. #13
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    I think the stability, balancing, and flexibility demands when doing a barbell based unilateral move will usually cause a drop in weight in comparison with having both feet on the ground.

    What I mean is that if my max squat is 400, I doubt my max lunge would even be 200, maybe close to it but not half. There's even a mental confidence factor as well (practice makes perfect and builds confidence however).

    I know you said you workout at home, if you have a lot of space try walking lunges. They are a beast in comparison to static lunges in my opinion. I prefer DB for these however, because when I'm done with the set I just drop the weights and sit down.
    Last edited by k9pit; 11-20-2012 at 03:33 PM.
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    Registered User Rasputin4's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Rog447 View Post
    I usually never go over past 100lb DB's on walking lunges, and those are PLENTY! I squat 4+ plates or 315x20.
    Well, you got me beat on that, last workout I did stationary bb lunges at 120x3x8 per leg with bb, with db's when I was doing them I was doing that with approx 50s for the 3x8. That's after squats and deadlifts of course, but in any case, last time I back squatted low bar I hit 285x10 but have been doing hip belt squats for some time. Anyway, I'm thinking my ratio sounds about right, since 120 per leg would be 240 for both legs and that's probably would I could imagine squatting 3x8 with after hitting three heavy sets at 285.
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  15. #15
    Registered User Rasputin4's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by k9pit View Post
    I think the stability, balancing, and flexibility demands when doing a barbell based unilateral move will usually cause a drop in weight in comparison with having both feet on the ground.

    What I mean is that if my max squat is 400, I doubt my max lunge would even be 200, maybe close to it but not half. There's even a mental confidence factor as well (practice makes perfect and builds confidence however).

    I know you said you workout at home, if you have a lot of space try walking lunges. They are a beast in comparison to static lunges in my opinion. I prefer DB for these however, because when I'm done with the set I just drop the weights and sit down.
    Why exactly do you prefer walking lunges? I could try it, but the only way is I'd basically have to stop and turn around every other step, which might be kind of awkward.

    I use to do db lunges but my main issue with them was my grip was starting to become a distraction. I know holding onto 50s isn't much, but holding them for a set of 20 (10 per leg) was starting to become a challenge. I guess I could use straps at that point but it seems like a big distraction, and I'm sure my grip will suck even more doing them after deadlifts (I was doing deadlifts on a separate day when I was doing db lunges, before).
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    Originally Posted by Rasputin4 View Post
    Why exactly do you prefer walking lunges? I could try it, but the only way is I'd basically have to stop and turn around every other step, which might be kind of awkward.

    I use to do db lunges but my main issue with them was my grip was starting to become a distraction. I know holding onto 50s isn't much, but holding them for a set of 20 (10 per leg) was starting to become a challenge. I guess I could use straps at that point but it seems like a big distraction, and I'm sure my grip will suck even more doing them after deadlifts (I was doing deadlifts on a separate day when I was doing db lunges, before).
    This going to go brosciency but it's just an observation and opinion....

    I've done DB and BB static lunges and the good thing about those is that once you plant your foot down, you can basically go up and down and hit that target muscle repeatedly, which is good.

    But with walking lunges there is a difference in that to me it feels like I'm using more glutes and hams and getting a deeper stretch than stationary at the bottom. Also, when I come up to take the next step (back leg now coming off of the floor to swing forward to land for the next step) it feels like the first leg is taking more stress than if I did it stationary.

    It's hard to explain but that's how I feel it. Don't get me wrong, stationary or even alternating are good as well, especially when other squatting and/or leg press variations are in the routine.

    If you are confined space wise I wouldn't turn every other step, I'd just stick with stationary if I had to do all of that. When I train at home, I usually drag my DBs down to the garage. I'm currently pushing 60s and yes, it gets brutal grip-wise and cardiovascular-ly draining after a while but I prefer that over balancing a bar on my back late in the workout. My worst case scenario is that I just drop the DBs.
    Last edited by k9pit; 11-20-2012 at 04:39 PM.
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