fizzgig wrote:I also understand that weight alone is not a very good measure of these things, but what is? Body fat percentage as measured by scales? Waist measurements? Body fat percentage as measured with calipers?
Of those three, my impression is that calipers are the most accurate, in the hands of a competent technician. There are more accurate ways to measure it, but probably not worth the cost.
At 5'3" and 150lb, if your body fat percentage is reasonable, you probably have enough muscle mass that you can get to a decent level of strength by neural adaptation rather than hypertrophy. This can be done through heavy low-rep training (3 or fewer reps per set) at relatively low volume, and may be useful if a standard strength program is too much to recover from. That'll help max strength rather than muscular endurance, though, so I'm not sure that's what you're looking for.
I also find deadlifts in general interfere with my other training much more than squats. Right now, I'm not deadlifting; squats are my main lower body exercise at the moment. I do low-bar squats, so I'm not too worried about losing posterior chain strength, but if you're a high-bar squatter, you could always try replacing deadlifts with lighter RDLs or something to make recovery easier.