good morning % to squat/deadlift?

After purchasing pretty much all of louie simmons videos I noticed that he recommends his gm’s to be 60% of squat/deadlift. Any thoughts on this? Im trying to get strong this year before I go to uni so I can sprint & im looking to deadlift pretty close to 3xbw at 6’1 so I have a good base line to work with when I begin. parallel gm’s from the rack im fine (basically semi-squat & back extension the weight up) I can do 55% of my deadlift or there abouts for a single. With the straight leg version (again parallel from the rack) I lose 50kg! does this indicate a huge weakness in the hamstrings or is this variation of gm likely to use alot less weight?

any thoughts are welcome


I wouldn’t waste alot of energy trying to get your good morning up. It’s too dangerous for the results it will provide. I’d focus on olympic lifts before I’d ever worry about good morning strength.

And yes, you usually will do alot less in the gm if your legs are completely straight. If you ever watch those guys that good morning 400-500lbs, their legs are definately bent.

The Blur,
You must remember that much of the info in those tapes are geared toward powerlifting. I have done good mornings with as much as 225 and they were a b!!! That was with my knees definitely bent. Compare the good morning to its cousin the romanian deadlft. In the RDL the back must mantain its curvature. As soon as it looses it curvature the lifter has gone to low. Arm length, back length, flexibility, etc all play a part. The tempelate of WSB is excellent but its strength is adaptation to various sports.
Do some searches within this website. When you see someone with a 10+, go back and check there posts. You are learning from someone who knows. He who knows, and knows he knows is a leader follow him.
Some ratios are OK but others, Oyvay!


I did do the olympic lifts for about 2 years or so & still im trying to get stronger so I can up these numbers in the future (possibly), I just got fustrated when obviously pullin the weight high enough only to miss the catch due to missing the balance in the bottom due to lack of strength & balance. my ol’s from the hang above the knee (dip prior) are 112.5kg & 82.5kg both full catches, I just figured whats the point i hammering my CNS on a power exercise when i already rate dominant (when I last tested I could hang clean 112.5kg yet only front squat 117.5kg (at the time i could bk squat 137.5kg) & yet my front & back squat would not move past these numbers for quite a while) I am also much stronger fom the hang than off the floor. I dont pretend to have great technique in the lifts but I really dont want it either, after struggling for quite a while I just wanted to get stronger & break though this rut! is there anything you can see from this I need to work on? are the olympic lifts really that much better than a squat & deadlift (& variations?) i decided for me probably not.

‘‘Some ratios are OK but others, Oyvay!’’

I understand different structures ratios will vary somewhat but i just trying to find the exercise (s) that is gona help me get to 500lbs in the dead & 375-400 in the squat! im obviously not build to squat (see above!) but I would like to break through this barrier. After reading some writings b chris thib. (or mike robertson)? he mentions if the sticking point is off the floor then abs & hamstrings are weak, hence the use of good mornings. I am also supplementing with pulley assisted manual hamstring curls/deads off blocks & standing abs. you used gm’s, your thoughts?

Thanks for the replies guys

I see. Well then do some of the stuff from Louie’s videos and see if you can get your squats up to around 160kg. There are tons of ways to increase your squat and if you have Louie’s videos, I’m sure you have lots of ideas now.

The people I work with do alot of glute ham raises, reverse hypers, and 60% box squats. I also like the 45* back raise and the deadlift variations sometimes shown by Vogelpohl where he stands between two bars and lifts deadlifts them both up from one end…hopefully you’ll know what I’m talking about. Alot of that crap is hard to put into words.

Just be careful with the heavy good mornings. They can be very beneficial but they can also put you on injured reserve.

wouldn’t waste alot of energy trying to get your good morning up. It’s too dangerous for the results it will provide. I’d focus on olympic lifts before I’d ever worry about good morning strength

louie simmons would strangle u if he heard that!

I doubt it. Ask him how many sprinter’s he’s had do maximal good mornings.

Here’s a quote from one of his articles
“I fractured my fifth lumbar ver­tebra twice. In 1973, I pulled a 670 deadlift at 181. Shortly thereafter, I broke the vertebra while doing bent over good mornings”

Remember folks, we are sprinters not powerlifters. Sure good mornings are a good exercise but you don’t need to max out on them unless you are trying to break a deadlift record. I have done good mornings with 330 for a double in the past and ran the same damn times I always did.

As always, we must look at the risk/benefit ratio. Breaking a vertebra vs -.01.

Go ahead and do good mornings but keep the weight manageable unless your aspirations are in powerlifting.

Having a coach who is critical in a constructive nature is what you need in the olys. The catch phase may not be for you. Maybe high pulls. Pick an anatomical landmark between the middle of the sternum and umbilicus. When the weight is pulled to height you can catch it, go heavier. The catch may have technical spects you aren’t good at. If you can rest the bar on the shoulders with the elbows high OK. If you have wrist problems, big arms, flexibility issues in the shoulders or lats then skip it. I use the GM very sparingly on young kids. Some aren’t strong enough, some are knucklehead freshman, some go to heavy so I eliminate GM’s under those circumstances. If you can do them explosively with a light to moderate weight they can be helpful (starts?). Thus another reason why CF and Louie should do a something together.


after reading your posts yesterday I thought i’d give the ol’s another go (for a while) working up to a single once a week before I move on to my weak links which I did yesterday (im only using the hang snatch as I hate the clean & its variations, I always tend to round the upper back on the catch which makes me a bit scared of the results) I equalled 82.5kg on my second attempt which makes me think I could snatch more now (I can now back squat 155kg from the last time I did snatching on a regular basis, 15kg up) i’ll report back in a little while with sprinting results! 330lbs for a double is pretty sick! how much do you weight, how tall r u? hows this relative to your deadlift/squat? (the curiousity still there)!

‘‘Go ahead and do good mornings but keep the weight manageable unless your aspirations are in powerlifting.’’

not really in powerlifting i’d just like my strength ratios to be in my place when I sprint at university. I figured 2.25xbw ol squat & 3x dead would set me up to sprint quite well once I get the proper coaching. I just want to break through this rut! 500lbs dead is just around the corner but if I can continue to push my snatch upto 1.25x i’ll be very happy aswell (im at bw now) maybe using heavy snatch pulls from the mid thigh would help???

acudave: I dont think I explained it properly, I can catch alright, just I feel my strength limits me as when I was lifting ol regularly i was basically trying to hang clean my front squat max! its all well to say push up your front squat/back squat from there but they just wouldnt move no matter what I did, it wasnt untill I started deadlifting again that my squats started to move again, this is why the good mornings came into question (my quads/glutes are visiably over developed & my hamstrings/spinal erectors are not which lead me to this exercise, along with sldl’s).

i’ve decided to keep the gm’s in but not chase this 60% goal & incoporate a small amount of ol lifts again. After speaking to you guys i’ve decreased the range of movements similar to my hang snatch, kept a tight arch & straightened the legs, I figure if I do add in heavy snatch pulls along with these my hamstring development should come up & hopefully i’ll crack my deadlift, squat & snatch in the coming months!

thanks for the help guys, great advice!

I’m 6’ 198(90kg). I have deadlifted 550 and squatted 450. I used to pursue the 60% thing also.

Snatching 1.25x would be excellent. I’m not very good at them so I can’t really give any tips there.

If you end up making all these lifts you will be in good shape. I’d shoot for 2x bodyweight squat, 2.5x bodyweight deadlift and 1.1x snatch as a start. There are alot of guys under 10.40 that probably couldn’t do those #s. When you acheive these lifts, you have to remember that your sprinting is the most important exercise. Don’t let your lifts get in the way of your sprints (due to fatigue or schedueling conflicts).

If you are big into #s, check out Development of Maximal Sprinting Speed by Frank Dick (should be available on the net as pdf for free) and Sports Speed by Dintiman, Ward, Tellez (has performance norms for a whole bunch of lifts, etc).

I agree. In the latest New Studies In Athletics they have a whole section on weightlifting for athletics by an ex east german weightlifter (i can’t remember specifics). He says sprinters only need to do pulls. Mike Stone also favours pulls and says 80% or so of lifts should be pulls.

The catch is quite dangerous and provides virtually no benefit. I have seen a few athlets fractured thier colar bones catching before (weight coming down and thier arms in the wrong position).

As for goodmornings, Bruce Lee was in hostpital for months after injuring his back with heavy good mornings. Personally I would avoid them unless there is a really good reason for doing them. The Rom Deadlift is a good alternative.


thanks for the link, you’ve been a great help. great lifts! whats times do you run for 100-400m?


will try the romanian deads (im currently about to start straight leg deads, pretty similar although I know there are suttle differences), never done it before so hopefully it will spark some results in the coming months. its seems gm’s gets a real bad rap around sprinting circles but is favoured highly by strength athletes, this kinda confuses me as the high relative strength/power ratio is something we are both striving for (well the less gifted sprinters are anyway)! the only thing that I prefered from the sldl is that the gms the bar stays constant (behind the neck) where are pulling sldl’s the bar seems to come away from the load & varies in postion which I always figured will change the load (albiet small but still). I understand about dumping the bar but I never try anywhere near failure anyway (prefer much higher sets & keeping 2-3 reps in the bag). Safety wise a tight arch & a good 2 spotters I dont see a problem but maybe thats just me.

‘‘I agree. In the latest New Studies In Athletics they have a whole section on weightlifting for athletics by an ex east german weightlifter (i can’t remember specifics). He says sprinters only need to do pulls. Mike Stone also favours pulls and says 80% or so of lifts should be pulls.’’

i dont know why but I can never get the hip extension on pulls that I can on a ‘real’ snatch/clean (even just loading the bar up with 2.5kg higher than my max) it seems a completely different lift to me. (has anyone else found this)??? After reading the bulgarians didnt do pulls & the chinese did alot of heavy deads/pulls I prefered heavier loads & forgot the pulls. (I also remember chris thib. saying majority of ol lifters didnt start pulls untill they were class 1 lifters as until then they didnt the extra stimuli yet) arrhhhh, now I remember why I dropped the olympic lifts…

I would not worry about getting your goodmorning to 60% of your squat. If you are not a powerlifter there is no reason to do them for max effort work. I am a powerlifter and never go under 3 reps. I follow the conjugate method and i think for any athlete they would be better off using the submaximal method for a couple sets of hard 5’s. Now if you are wanting to get your deadlift up thats a different story. The good morning will get your stronger but you cannot live by them alone.