🏋️‍♂️ squat vs. deadlift: which is better?

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Here’s what we’ve got for you in this edition:

  • The squat and deadlift enter the octagon to determine which lift is better for your needs.

  • Is doing the 75 Hard challenge a good idea? We break down this viral fitness trend.

  • And we’ve got the latest results from the IWF World Weightlifting Championships.


Squats vs. Deadlifts

Credit: Ronnie Coleman / YouTube

When the question of whether the squat or deadlift is the better movement to use for size and strength, the natural answer is “both,” of course. But sometimes in life, you just want an answer, not a pithy sidebar.

While both lifts build the posterior chain and are essential for full-body power, the best movement for you depends on your goals. Powerlifters, for example, need to concentrate on the two lifts for competitions, so their choice has been made for them. But for more casual gym-goers with limited time and energy resources, you can pick and choose what to focus on.

Want to really build up your legs? The squat might be your best bet. In the market to bolster your back strength? Well, you’d better get pulling. There’s obviously more to it than just that, and we’re breaking it all down for you below.

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Fitness Challenges

How Hard Is It?

Credit: Starstuff / Shutterstock

Fitness challenges have always been a way for people to get their minds straight and practice working toward a difficult goal. And this trend has only expanded in the age of social media, when any challenge can earn its own hashtag and spread across the digital landscape in hours.

One of the more recent examples of this is simply known as the 75 Hard challenge, which has become a fixture on TikTok in recent months. Rather than engage in strict rule-making and a rigid workout structure, 75 Hard focuses on creating daily habits like:

  • Complete two 45-minute workouts, one of which must be outdoors.

  • Read at least 10 pages of any book.

  • Drink at least one gallon of water.

  • Take one progress photo.

  • Follow “a diet.”

  • Abstain from “cheat meals” and alcohol.

The challenge requires some outside knowledge of exercise and diet, since it doesn’t provide you with a workout template or nutrition plan. This may make it untenable for beginners, but it could pique the interest of experienced gym-goers who don’t want to overhaul their entire routine.

But does this challenge actually serve a greater fitness purpose, or is it all for the Gram? We dive into the pros, cons, and question marks below.


Results Galore

Credit: William Johnson / @barbellstories

Weightlifting fans have had September 4th - 17th circled on their calendar all year, as this is the two-week stretch when the IWF World Weightlifting Championships take place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. And the best lifters from all around the world have been in attendance to compare their proficiency at throwing barbells above their heads. (They’ve also been breaking some records along the way.)

This year’s edition carries extra importance since it is one of two mandatory events Olympic hopefuls need to do well in to punch their tickets to the 2024 games in Paris.

Much of the action is already in the books, but more is yet to come. BarBend has all the highlights covered and we’ll be updating our results page until the final bumper plate hits the ground in Riyadh. Check out the leaderboard and track your favorite competitors as the events unfold.

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Everything Else

Bodybuilding Icon Laid to Rest

Credit: Mapplethorpe photos

  • Fitness trailblazer Lisa Lyon has passed away. Possibly better known in the art world than the bodybuilding world, Lyon was one of the first women to disprove the increasingly strange opinions of detractors who felt that women could not, or should not, achieve a muscular physique. Read more about her astounding life here.

  • The secret to comedy and pre-workout supplements? Timing. Here’s how long pre-workout supps tend to work and the best times to take them before a training session.

  • Face-pulls are a staple movement used for pre-hab, deltoid symmetry, and upper back strength. Whether you use bands or a cable machine, it is important to perform the movement correctly, or you’ll just end up with a big waste of time and sore shoulders.