The barbell squat is widely accepted as the number one strength and mass builder for the entire lower body. For this reason it is a staple in any program for everyone trying to gain more muscle mass, strength, or speed. Because of its unique reputation, it is a common test of strength for strongman, powerlifting, and is a large factor in weightlifting. No other single lift is so widely accepted in all disciplines.
Some call the Deadlift the purest test of strength, and the king of all exercises. It hits more muscles, all in one movement, than almost any other exercise in existence. Deadlifts can be key for anything from building brute strength and size, to rehabilitating a chronically painful back.
The Deadlift is a simple lift requiring only that the lifters picks a barbell off the floor, but doing so properly is important to reap the benefits of this exercise. The Deadlift is used in Powerlifting, and Strongman competitions as a test of strength. In Powerlifting, the Deadlift is performed alongside the Squat and Bench Press.
The Bench Press is undoubtedly the most well known barbell exercise of them all, and has become the standard test in upper body strength. This compound movement allows the lifter to move heavy weights through a range of motion, and is arguably the best upper body strength and size building exercise one can do. The Bench Press is used in competition at Powerlifting meets along with the Squat and Deadlift.