Do Squats & Deadlifts Boost Testosterone?

High-intensity squats and deadlifts both cause significant central, peripheral, and neuromuscular fatigue up to 30 minutes after the exercises; however, there is little difference in the amount of fatigue between exercises. This study utilized well-trained lifters with a squat max of around 160kg and a deadlift max of around 190kg, which is a high training status for the available scientific literature. This study provides excellent insight into the acute fatigue caused by high intensity squatting and deadlifting; however, we do not know if the same results would be found for high-volume hypertrophy-type training.

High-intensity low-rep squat and deadlift training do not elicit a significant testosterone and cortisol response

Overall, long-term training data on the deadlift is scarce, so it is difficult to recommend if training frequency should be lower on the deadlift versus the squat (as commonly advocated), despite similar fatigue in the present study. Overarching periodization strategies can likely be similar between the squat and deadlift, but weekly programming (i.e. frequency and total volume) may vary between the two lifts depending on individual biomechanical considerations and what the lifter is adapted to.

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Source: Acute neuromuscular and endocrine responses to two different compound exercises: squat versus deadlift. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000002140

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