10 Reasons Why You Should NEVER Bench, Squat & Deadlift

M&S Team
Written By: M&S Team
April 1st, 2015
Updated: June 13th, 2020
384.4K Reads
10 Reasons Why You Should Never Bench, Squat and Deadlift
Serious lifters know to stay away from these 3 compound lifts, not only because they're useless but can end up hurting you in the long run.

The “Big 3” of lifting are often praised for their simplicity, functionality and effectiveness. Contrary to those popular beliefs the bench press, barbell squat and floor deadlift are actually bad for your physique. Read on for 10 sure-fire reasons never to touch these lifts.

1. The bench press is bad for your shoulders

It’s no mystery that the barbell bench press wrecks your shoulders. Putting them in a vulnerable position exposes them to unnecessary and dangerous stress ripe for injury. Your best bet is to avoid them at all costs.

2. The squat will kill your knees and back

The traditional barbell squat has been called a knee and back killer for good reason. Butt-to-the-floor ranges of motion put undue stress on not only your patellar tendons but your lumbar as well. It would behoove you to stick to leg extensions and machine leg presses.

Athlete Training

3. The deadlift is useless for back mass

Used by powerlifters and other athletes, the floor deadlift is good for one thing and one thing only – strength. Deadlifts have never built any appreciable amount of muscle on anyone. Not only does it not build muscle mass, it’s just too risky to do.

4. The squat will give you a big butt and not much else

If you are one of the lucky few who can do a proper squat, your best gains will be in the form of a bigger butt. The squat stresses the glutes more than anything with not much going toward your quads and hamstrings. If you experience this be sure to only squat half way down to avoid a bigger backside.

5. The bench press is overrated for strength gains

Contrary to the deadlift, the bench press does little to increase gains in strength. As the world’s biggest ego lift, it mainly focuses on a shoulder and triceps pump with little stress placed on the pecs. Stick with cable crossovers or chest flys.

Athlete Exercising

6. The deadlift isn’t really a full body lift

Another misconception in the iron game is the belief that the deadlift works most, if not all of your muscles. This is a complete fallacy. With most of the stress taken out on your spine and lumbar areas, the deadlift is one inefficient lift. Do pull-downs and machine rows instead.

7. The bench press is inferior to cable crossovers

As stated earlier, the bench press has a myriad of negatives going against it. So what is a lifter to do? Cable crossovers and flys have a distinct advantage over any pressing movement. Not only do they better isolate the pecs they also recruit more muscle fiber packing on more mass to your chest in less time.

8. The deadlift is mostly for ego

So what does the deadlift do? It feeds your ego and little else. If your goal is to show off to your friends and get chronically sore for days with little to show for it then the deadlift is for you. Again, stick to safer machine lifts for back.

Athlete Training

9. The squat is only effective if done for half reps

If you insist on performing squats make sure you are going down no further than half way and don’t let the meatheads at your gym tell you otherwise. Full range, butt to the floor squats will only bench you for weeks as you try to recover from knee and back injury.

10. One last fact

The following has been an April Fool’s joke brought to you by the University of B.S.! Thanks for playing along with these insane, completely false rules for these lifts. Here at Muscle and Strength we believe in the core lifts wholeheartedly and hope you enjoyed a little humor.

Posted on: Sun, 06/26/2022 - 14:22

Great humour!
Well done, M&F!
Cry babies....they make it
even funnier In 2022!

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 06/27/2022 - 08:35

Thanks, but just to be clear, we are M&S!

Whitney Pratt
Posted on: Fri, 06/10/2022 - 13:33

I think you meant to say, "The preceding has been an April Fool's joke..." The "following" means that it, well, follows. Sorry to be an English teacher, but Geez.

Posted on: Tue, 03/15/2022 - 14:46

Got me! lmao

Got Me
Posted on: Tue, 06/22/2021 - 16:10

6 years later doing some research for a home gym and I come across this. Was thinking I would build my entire gym around the big 3, to save money and space. Read all the way through this article and was deeply conflicted. Have I been taught the wrong thing for years and years??? Damnit, damnit to number 10.

Posted on: Sun, 06/06/2021 - 07:02

I nearly started crying partway through this

Joao paulo luiz...
Posted on: Tue, 01/26/2021 - 08:44

Lol... i knew it was a joke

Victor creed
Posted on: Fri, 11/20/2020 - 19:29

this is the most stupid article I’ve ever read

Posted on: Thu, 09/24/2020 - 09:21

I was actually pissed and confused reading this from such a reputable website, even started to believe it until I saw April Fools. Fk me, i'm so gullible.

Posted on: Mon, 09/07/2020 - 04:47

Hahahaha....DO NOT READ THIS ARTICLE, it's just a lot of B***T. You will definitely hurt your body by avoiding the BIG 3 .

Posted on: Wed, 10/21/2020 - 11:12

Finish reading before committing. Now I seem silly.

Posted on: Tue, 08/18/2020 - 14:41

Lol, you had me going there, mate. great article.

Posted on: Sat, 06/20/2020 - 00:24

This is BULLCR*P. Deadlifts ARE bad for you. You CAN TEAR YOUR SCAPULAS BY BENCHING....


but sure keep doing those "compound" movements while i enjoy healthy bowel movements.

Posted on: Tue, 05/19/2020 - 11:34

this honestly wasnt funny at all, i couldve just read the first 5 and it wouldve completely fucked up my workouts

Joe Alvin
Posted on: Thu, 02/06/2020 - 18:18

I was literally thinking halfway through, is this an April Fools joke?

Posted on: Sat, 01/25/2020 - 10:41

SO many butthurt people in the comments lol. If you research lifting and only take one article as fact then you have more problems than your lacking sense of humor...

Posted on: Wed, 11/20/2019 - 13:01

This is complete bullshit why the fuck this kind of article exists?!

Posted on: Sat, 03/30/2019 - 17:29

this was very confusing and i did not find this funny. i almost believed this and would have completely screwed up my workout plans. very unhelpful.

Posted on: Wed, 02/27/2019 - 23:05


Posted on: Tue, 11/20/2018 - 14:20

I was so triggered until i saw the last dot point haha.

Posted on: Thu, 11/15/2018 - 17:38

What a waste of time!
Here I was hoping to actually LEARN something and then I find out it’s all a joke?!?
You guys need to get a life and figure out your supporters will look elsewhere for their info if you’re going to feed them bull.
I for one am Very Disappointed in this company. I won’t be back either.

Krisztian Wirsz
Posted on: Fri, 12/01/2017 - 15:34

Jesus, I thought it was for real....I was about to write to the author and tell him what a douchebag he was :D

Posted on: Sun, 11/11/2018 - 12:29

You need to take down this stupid article, we're in 2018 and I'm getting this on my Google cards. Your site is an embarrassment.

Posted on: Sat, 09/10/2016 - 14:26

You got me good, I was like who wrote this he about to get ambushed next time at the gym

Posted on: Sat, 06/04/2016 - 10:06

LOL!! It's JUNE, and You all STILL GOT ME with this one! I was reading this thinking "what IDIOT wrote this CRAP!" Whewwwww!

Posted on: Tue, 04/05/2016 - 12:16

I was like: NO WAY, then i read the last sentence... such a relief

Conrad Hausman
Posted on: Thu, 03/17/2016 - 11:53

You wasted my time, your article was bull s@@@ How much else on this site is a bad joke? I didn't see an apology , it's not April fools yet so I'll go to another site that doesn't play stupid games at others expense. People are trying to learn how to train correctly and take this serious. Bye you jerk
Sincerely, Conrad

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 03/17/2016 - 13:59

From the last paragraph of the article: "The following has been an April Fool’s joke brought to you by the University of B.S.! Thanks for playing along with these insane, completely false rules for these lifts. Here at Muscle and Strength we believe in the core lifts wholeheartedly and hope you enjoyed a little humor."

This was from April of 2015.

Conrad Hausman
Posted on: Thu, 03/17/2016 - 16:12

For 2016 April fools let tell everyone that most of the supplements on this site cause cancer, heart problems and impotence later in life so there all half price.
There's so much misinformation in the world today that people like me need to know that you can find truth without having to research everything and believe in professionals like yourself. Yes I was upset and a few others were too.I wasn't aware it was written in 2015
Please consider the number of people that have read the article and wasted that time. I Hope you will consider taking the article down.
Take care, Conrad

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 03/17/2016 - 17:24

While I do agree that the search for absolute truth is a must in an industry full of false promises via marketing, overstated claims, and biased research, it never hurts to have a little fun. With these sorts of articles we hope that folks can read them with an open mind and pick up on the element of humor that's entwined throughout.

When you read content, just remember that whenever someone begins to drop absolutes such as "always" or "never", they're rarely correct. They're just merely looking to prove themselves as an authority or go against the common consensus to generate exposure.

Posted on: Fri, 12/04/2015 - 02:37

I was just about to rant here... then I read the last sentence...

serena Neal
Posted on: Wed, 09/30/2015 - 20:54

I knew saying squats was a waste of time was a joke! Squats are the best thing you can do and there's no way it only works the butt and not the quads.. My quads feel it everytime I do squats.

serena Neal
Posted on: Wed, 09/30/2015 - 20:54

I knew saying squats was a waste of time was a joke! Squats are the best thing you can do and there's no way it only works the butt and not the quads.. My quads feel it everytime I do squats.

Posted on: Thu, 04/30/2015 - 13:34

Oh man, I was reading this thinking, "so all my time spent on the big three was a waste? Surely n...oh, I feel naive."

It's not April fools anymore, but I was still fooled.

Posted on: Wed, 04/08/2015 - 21:05

Nice jokes

Posted on: Mon, 04/06/2015 - 20:57

I'm so glad I read all the way to the end. Each bullet was pissing me off more and more haha. Tricked me good!

Posted on: Sun, 04/05/2015 - 10:38

Hahahahha.. i was so mad all through reading.. and then came the relief.. what a joke :D

Posted on: Sat, 04/04/2015 - 22:40

Man, ya got me! Disregard my last post! lol

Posted on: Sat, 04/04/2015 - 18:21

Awesome! Got to about #2 and was thinking somethings off on this....

Posted on: Sat, 04/04/2015 - 14:56

This guy is a total dipshit. Maybe he needs to watch the CrossFit Games to see what real muscle and fitness look like, as well as perform.

Posted on: Sat, 04/04/2015 - 11:11

This article is actually hilarious and it got me up until the end. Well played, M&S, well played.

Chuck G
Posted on: Sat, 04/04/2015 - 02:12

Whoa.... I was gonna say....!!

Posted on: Fri, 04/03/2015 - 18:56

good luck gaining muscle without compound lifts lol

Posted on: Fri, 04/03/2015 - 15:38

Probly the lamest April fools joke I came across this year!! there goes 10 mins of my life I'll never get back

Posted on: Fri, 04/03/2015 - 13:43

I was getting angrier and angrier with every section until about 7 or 8 when I realized I got got.

Posted on: Thu, 04/02/2015 - 23:25

I would completely agree with #1, the bench press puts a lot of stress on the biceps tendon, if done improperly. Thus, damaging the shoulder joint.

Posted on: Sun, 05/31/2015 - 09:29

You're going to completely agree with #1 based on the fact that if the exercise is done improperly it will damage the joint? Well then why not agree with every single one of these ridiculously false statement that were made as a joke? According to your logic they are all dangerous because if you any of them wrong they can cause damage. Better not drive your car today, just in case you do it wrong.

Posted on: Thu, 04/02/2015 - 17:38

That was childish and reeks of an infant like man with baby brains who has no taste or decorum. And he's an editor with muscle and strength. Ass hole

big bubu
Posted on: Thu, 04/02/2015 - 16:07

Lmfao u bastards got me! I was like wdf! Then read number 10 n felt like an idiot hahaha good one!

Posted on: Thu, 04/02/2015 - 06:36

"Butt-to-the-floor ranges of motion put undue stress" -- in short, you're letting your knees exceed your ankles, which is bad anyway. Essentially, bad form is bad for your physique. How are they showing these exercises don't work?