Leverage Squat vs Barbell Squat: The Best Pick for You!

Have you been looking up to work on your thighs and glutes recently? Well, you know squats are awesome to build those muscles. 

But which squat to do? Should you use a machine or rely on free-weight ones?

Well, all the answers are hidden in leverage squat vs barbell squat. 

Leverage squat allows you to squat using a lever machine. But, in the barbell squat, you won’t need one. That’s why it’s easier to lift weights in leverage squats. Again, you can only lift 300-800 lbs through leverage squats. But the number varies depending on your body weight in barbell squats.

So, you can see that there are a lot of differences between the two squats. You can choose each of them depending on your expertise. Continue reading to check which differentiating factors relate to your goal.

Comparison Table: Primary Differences Between Leverage Squat and Barbell Squat

Leverage squats and barbell squats are two different sets of squats. Depending on your muscle requirement, you should choose any one of them. 

But it’s important to learn about both of the squats in detail. This will help you to understand which one is perfect for you. 

So, before moving to the details, I’ll show you a quick comparison between the two squats. 

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Differentiating FactorsLeverage SquatBarbell Squat
Usage of MachineYesNo
Active MusclesThighs, calves, glutes, and lower backThighs, glutes, hips, legs
Expertise LevelBeginnerPro
Weight300-800 poundsBased on body weight and level of expertise
Safety LevelHighLow


You got the basic ideas how each of these two squats are different from each other. It’s basically somewhat like how ppl differ from plp. 

But this is just a small gist. You shouldn’t make your decision until you get to know the whole story.

So, I’ve explained each of the factors in detail below. You’ll be able to know how each factor is useful for you. And in which direction you should actually go.

Okay..Let’s dive right into the details!

Leverage Squat Vs Barbell Squat: Which One Should You Choose? 

So, here’s a head-to-head comparison between the squats below. You’ll get a deep explanation on which squat to choose. Keep reading.

Usage of Machine

The main difference between the two squats is the usage of machines. In leverage squats, you have to use a machine. This is the uniqueness of this squat.

On the contrary, the Barbell squat doesn’t use any machinery equipment.

A lever squat machine is a kind of like a mimic of the barbell squat. The lever and fulcrum is designed in a way that you’ll feel like getting a barbell squat. 

It’s more like a support for you. In barbell squats, you might get confused if you’re maintaining the right balance. But the lever squat machine already sets the bar for you. 

So, you need to worry less while doing leverage squats.  

Barbell Squat

Muscle Activation

You can see that the leverage squat has some similarities with the barbell squat. So, both squats can activate almost the same muscles.

By doing leverage squats, you can activate your thighs, calves, glutes, and lower back.  

The barbell squat does the same but also helps the hip and leg muscles. 

Boy, you’d be so ready to flex those muscles on Instagram! But remember good lighting and bad lighting matter in bodybuilding. 

However, if you’re aiming for weight loss through squatting, you can expedite the process. Here’s a list of two good products that’ll help you in burning calories:

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FLAT BELLY SHAKEFlat Belly Shake will help you to maintain a healthy digestion regime. You’ll be able to lose weight faster and increase energy exponentially. 
BURN BOOSTBurn Boost is a wonder in curbing cravings and hunger. You’ll lose fat instantly and won’t go through the hassle of starving.


So, by taking these products along with squatting, you can maintain a healthy fitness routine.   

Expertise Level

Now, let’s see which squat is appropriate for which type of lifter.

If you’re a beginner or a novice, leverage squatting is the best option for you. It’s because barbell squatting requires a lot of balancing skills. It’s quite hard for a novice lifter to balance that bar.

Advanced lifters can easily lift free-weight barbells. So they face fewer issues having strains doing squats. 

Also, you’ll need to maintain a different form of lifestyle when you’re barbell squatting. You’ll need a bigger recovery for this exercise. So, you’ll have to plan separate nutrition and diet than a leverage squat athlete. 

Well, there’s a catch. If you want to move towards barbell lifting, you must focus more on strength training. By maintaining proper safety precautions, you can comfortably do barbell squats.

So, yeah if you’re a novice or a beginner, I would recommend starting with leverage squats. Develop a strong routine. You’ll eventually become enough pro to do barbell squats too. 

But this doesn’t mean that advanced lifters can’t leverage squats. It actually depends on the lifter’s preference. If any pro lifter loves to have support, leverage squat would be the best option.   

Difficulty Level

From the previous section, you can already guess that leverage squats are easier than barbell squats. Beginners and novice bodybuilders are always recommended to start with the leverage squat.

Well, it’s all because of the safety level. When you do a leverage squat, you’ll use the lever machine. For this, you’ll have to rely on a lever system built into the machine.

For lever squat machines, you don’t have to worry about the weights. The machine automatically adds or removes weight as your requirement.

However, in the barbell squat, you don’t have any visible support system. Your support is only the expertise you gathered over the years. 

No matter how much weight you put on the bar, you have to balance it yourself. So, you can guess the difficulty level here. One misstep and you can have a serious injury. 

That’s why the barbell squat is more difficult to perform than the leverage squat. But if you are a pro lifter, you’ll be able to handle it with expertise. It won’t be much difficult for you then. 

So, we are on the topic of picking up weights. You should be aware of how much you can weigh in each squat. 

In the next section, I’m going to give you an estimation of weights. This will help you understand what is the optimum weight you can lift through these squats. 


You can see the difference between weights in leverage squat and barbell squat. It’s just like how the deadlift machine and deadlift barbell differ from each other. 

In leverage squats, it actually depends on how much weight the lever machine can hold. The good news is most lever machines can support from 300 to 800 pounds.

However, barbell squats are kind of like free-weight squats. So, it actually depends on your capability. As a standard, you can only weigh 50% of your body weight in barbell squats.

But there’s a catch. You might notice that you can lift more in a leverage squat. Suppose, you can only lift 410 pounds in a barbell squat. That number can reach up to 530 with a lever machine.

But whatever you do, you must consult an expert before weighing. It’s because each person can lift a different amount of weight depending on their capacity.

That’s why you should consult your trainer and physician before lifting such heavy weights. Don’t try to overwork your strength. You might have the risk of injury.

With that being said, here comes the question of safety. Which squat do you think is safer? 

Continue reading to find it in the next section.  

Safety Level

Undoubtedly, leverage squats are safer than barbell squats. I think you can already guess why. 

In leverage squats, you can deliberately control the weights. The machine helps you in this case. Even when you’re squatting, you have back support. 

But there’s no support in the barbell squat. You might get strained and hurt yourself if you lose balance.

So, the main catch here is that leverage squat gives you the opportunity as a barbell squat. But it’s safer, reliable, and less harmful to your health.


How much do bodybuilders squat?

Usually, bodybuilders squat 8-12 reps per set of weight. But it’s hard to determine the set of reps for individuals because of different tolerance levels. So, you should consider your weight, height, and schedule before setting your squat goal. You should be aware of the frequency of squats too.    

Can you build muscle just by squatting?

Yes, you can build muscle just by squatting. This exercise helps in building leg and calf muscles. Your body goes through a certain change that triggers some hormones. By squatting, your body will release testosterone and growth hormones. These hormones basically trigger muscle growth. 

Is squat good for bulking?

Yes, squats are good for bulking. They’ll bulk up your quads and glutes more efficiently. In fact, they will help you in an overall body fit. And you can do it without a deadlift. However, you have to be aware of the different types of squats. Each of them has its own pros and cons. 

Final Thoughts 

I hope you’re now clear about leverage squat vs barbell squat. You’ve seen many similarities between the two. But there are some visible differences. 

Now, it’s time you make up your mind. Keep the factors and your expertise in your consideration. Hopefully, you’ll be able to choose a squat wisely.

So, happy squatting! 

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