Lab Rats Needed to Compare Back Squat and Trap Bar Dead Lift 1RMs

By Rob Shaul

MTI is calling for experienced remote lab rats for an upcoming, narrow and focused, 1-Day Mini-Study comparing 1RM (1x repetition maximum) Back Squat to 1RM Trap Bar Dead Lift.

Functionally I consider both lifts similar both in mechanics and the muscles they challenge. This quick study will test this similarity in real terms, by comparing the 1RMs of both exercises for the same athlete.

Moving forward, I’m considering a simplification/modification of MTI’s Relative Strength Assessment by replacing the front squat in the current assessment with the back squat for all non-US Army athletes, and the trap bar dead lift for US Army members – given the use of that exercise in the new ACFT.

This mini-study will be held next Monday, April 27th, 2020.


Required Equipment: Rack, Barbell and plates for the Back Squat. Trap Bar and Plates for the Trap Bar Dead Lift

Lab Rats will work up to their 1RM Back Squat at the beginning of Monday’s session, and work up to their Trap Bar Dead Lift 1RM after a short rest. 

After finding their 1RMs, lab rats will email their:

  • Back Squat 1RM
  • Trap Bar Dead Lift 1RM
  • height/weight/age

To Participate

  • You’ll need access to the required equipment
  • You’ll need to be an experienced, fit, athlete, familiar with both exercises and working up to your 1RM
  • The study will be held Monday, April 27, 2020.

I will send out the testing protocols prior to Monday.

Want to be an MTI Lab Rat?

Please email, and put “Back Squat / TBDL Lab Rat” in the subject line.

Please include:

  • your age
  • training experience
  • Verify you have access to the required equipment and can complete the 1RMs on Monday, April 27th.

You’ll be added to the list and provided with further instructions.




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