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J Strength Cond Res. 2008 Nov;22(6):1947-9. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31818747c9.

Using squat testing to predict training loads for the deadlift, lunge, step-up, and leg extension exercises.

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Strength and Conditioning Research Laboratory, Department of Physical Therapy/Program in Exercise Science, Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA.


The purpose of this study was to determine whether there is a linear relationship between the squat and a variety of quadriceps resistance training exercises for the purpose of creating prediction equations for the determination of quadriceps exercise loads based on the squat load. Six-repetition maximums (RMs) of the squat, as well as four common resistance training exercises that activate the quadriceps including the deadlift, lunge, step-up, and leg extension, were determined for each subject. Subjects included 21 college students. Data were evaluated using linear regression analysis to predict quadriceps exercise loads from 6RM squat data and were cross-validated with the prediction of sum of squares statistic. Analysis of the data revealed that the squat is a significant predictor of loads for the dead lift (R2 = 0.81, standard error of the estimate [SEE] = 12.50 kg), lunge (R2 = 0.62, SEE = 12.57 kg), step-up (R2 = 0.71, SEE = 9.58 kg), and leg extension (R2=0.67, SEE = 10.26 kg) exercises. Based on the analysis of the data, the following 6RM prediction equations were devised for each exercise: (a) deadlift load = squat load (0.83) + 14.92 kg, (b) lunge load = squat load (0.52) + 14.82 kg, (c) step-up load = squat load (0.50) + 3.32 kg, and (d) leg extension load = squat load (0.48) + 9.58 kg. Results from testing core exercises such as the squat can provide useful data for the assignment of loads for other exercises.

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