T Nation

Anna's Training Log


Here’s the video of my deadlift
I’m using 90kg, a little under 75%. Still rounded


Deload: Day 4

Close Grip Bench: 3x5-90lbs
Overhead Press: 3x8-55lbs
JM Press: 3x12-55lbs
Technique: HS walk

Preworkout: Back really tight and pretty sore. Everything else felt fine physically but mentally dreading training. School’s been a bit rough lately. Very glad today was deload
Workout: Felt much better after warming up. Bench went up really smooth and quick. Overhead press was a bit harder than I expected as my upper back was still pretty tight, but nothing too crazy. I actually got a PR on my handstand walk- 13m
Postworkout: felt much better than preworkout, definitely more energized


Deload: Day 5

Front Squat: 5x5 1x3- slipped-100lbs
RDL: 3x8-130lbs w/3sec negatives
DB Rows: 3x20-16kg Dbs

Preworkout: Physically not sore but mentally not there and felt pretty weak. Slept funny last night so left trap and left side of neck really tight
Workout: Nothing felt heavy but reps hard to complete. I started loosing focus by the last few reps of the last two sets on squats. RDLs went great and I really focused on keeping the back flat. Really felt in hamstrings and core but getting better. DB rows felt really good and loosened up my upper back,
Postworkout: Still pretty tired and feeling a bit weak but at least feeling better.


Try to improve bracing, including your lats. McGill curl ups are a good exercise to help with bracing your abs (if you’re not shaking then you aren’t doing them properly) and watch this video about lats in the deadlift:

Also, opening your hips up more might help, it would put you in a position where your torso is more vertical and aside from possibly better leverages it would be easier to maintain a neutral spine. In any case, the rounding isn’t severe and I don’t hear you saying that your back hurts so it’s not the end of the world, just something to work on improving. Don’t do deficit deadlifts if they just result in you rounding your back even more.

Since you can post videos now, let’s see what your squat and bench look like so I can see if there are any technical issues that need to be worked out.


Maybe I spoke too soon. Is your back OK now? Is it just regular muscle soreness or does it actually hurt?


Definitely soreness. It went away yesterday and didn’t affect my front squats


Deload: Day 6

Touch and go Bench: 3x7-90lbs
Skullcrushers: 3x15-55lbs
Overhead Squat: 3x10-45lbs

Preworkout: Felt pretty good, legs a bit sore but that cleared up after a quick walk
Workout: everything felt light and fast. Got a bit of a tricep pump from skullcrushers, nothing crazy though.
Postworkout Felt really good and refreshed. Honestly didn’t feel like I worked out at all.


Week 1: Day 1

Back Squat: 1x3-170lbs; 3x8-155lbs

  • I filmed a video of my top set but it failed to upload. I’ll try again tomorrow
    Pause Squat: 3x6-145lbs
    Lat pulldowns: 3x12-24kg

Preworkout: Felt good and excited to squat.
Workout: Everything felt light and good warming up. The top set flew up. Back offs felt light but really burned by the last two reps. I could really feel them in my glutes and hamstrings. Pause squats were hard but not as bad as expected.
Postworkout: Legs pretty dead, but felt really good


Week 1: Day 2

Bench Press: 1x3-105lbs; 3x8-90lbs
JM Press: 3x5-90lbs
Dips: 3x10-16kg DB
Technique: pull-ups, couple sets with 3sec hold at top and 3sec descents

Preworkout: lower body really sore but felt a lot better after a quick walk around. Upper body fine. Not tired nor energized
Workout: Bench felt surprisingly heavy, I probably could have done another 2-3 reps on my top set but not much more. Back off sets felt good but really slow and mentally hard. Jm Press and dips weren’t too hard to complete but really worked chest and tricep. Felt pretty good overal though
Postworkout: Pretty energized, upper body tired but not really that beat up.


Here are the videos
Squat: top set
Bench: Top set


Are you squatting in socks? If so, that is a bad idea, your feet can slide and bad things can happen, plus the lack of stability will make it harder to lift the weight.

Other than that, the main issue I see is that it looks like you are squatting a couple inches above parallel. I also notice that you are extending your spine a lot that can be art of the problem. When your pelvis is anteriorly tilted it shortens the distance between the front of your hip socket and the front of your femur so your hips impinge before you hit depth and you can’t go further. Work on bracing and reduce how much you extend your back. Extending slightly beyond neutral is OK but too far is no good either. And if your hips are tight and flexibility is limiting your squat depth then do more
mobility work (including full squat stretches) and that should clear itself up.

Another thing, set the hooks lower, you should never go on your toes to unrack the bar. You should have to bend at the knees and hips slightly to unrack and keep your feet flat. Watch the JTS “squat pillars” videos, there is one that talks about the unrack and setup.

On your bench, it looks like maybe tucking your elbows a bit less would be better, you can try that and see how it feels. It might not help, but it’s worth a try. Another thing you could do is work on your arch.

Your butt might be coming off the bench, I can’t tell for sure from this angle but if it’s not it’s probably close and can progress to that. I have had an issue with that on and off for a while, never in a meet fortunately. What worked for me is putting my feel out wide (you’re already wide, but could try going further) and internally rotating my hips, as in turning my feet and knees inwards. It makes it easier to keep your butt on the bench.

And again it looks like the hooks might be too high, I can’t tell for sure but if you can’t unrack while keeping your shoulder blades tucked it’s no good. That makes it impossible to get tight and can lead to a shoulder injury too. Make sure to get everything tight before you unrack (on the squat too) and stay like that until you rack the bar.


Post a video of a lighter set of squats, maybe one of the 3x8 sets. I want to see what it looks like when the weight isn’t so challenging.


Do you think the squat depth problem is a strength issue and that I should lower the weight? I feel that I might just be ego lifting
At the same time, I’m really worried about losing strength, but I understand long term improvement is much more important.
Overall, I feel like I’m spinning my wheels in all my lifts. I feel great during workouts, but I don’t feel like I’m progressing as I should, especially since I’m far from advanced

About the rack height issue (squat and bench), the next lowest position is way too low, particularly on the bench. I would pretty much have to do a half rep to unrack. Is that more preferable to what I’m doing now?


Week 1: Day 3

Deadlift: 1x3-105kg, 3x8-90kg
Top Set- 105kg
Back off- 90kg
Lunges: 3x10-57.5kg
Rows: 3x8-60kg
Abs: 3x(10 McGill curls+10deadbugs)

Preworkout: not too great- didn’t sleep well, hamstrings and glutes not sore, felt heavy, actually pretty excited to workout though
Workout: actually felt really good, first warmups felt a bit sluggish and slow but top set felt really powerful. back offs just flew up and were a lot easier than expected. They actually felt lighter than warmups. I noticed that my back is still pretty rounded. I tried focusing on bracing and engaging my lats but it hasn’t helped. Lunges were really hard but a lot easier than expected. Rows felt fine. I really tried to stay as strict as possible. The ab work
Postworkout: Felt good and accomplished- definitely got over a HUGE mental hurdle. legs and abs pretty dead though


How come you pulled your top set conventional and then switched to sumo? It would be better to choose one and stick with it, you can use opposite stance as an assistance lift.

Only real issue I see with either video is that you set up with your back slightly rounded. A lot of people can’t pull conventional without rounding but you should be pull sumo with a neutral spine. Try to open your hips more and get them closer to the bar (not necessarily lower, just closer in the horizontal plane). The “tactical frog” stretch will help if flexibility is an issue.

The other thing, I suppose we had some miscommunication, 3x8 is supposed to be 3 reps x 8 sets, I see you did 8 reps. It’s not the end of the world, but especially if you need to work on technique it’s better to do more sets with less reps because form is less likely to break down and you get more practice setting up.


Not to hijack your coaching, but you answered your own question with that last statement; you’ll be better off in the long term lowering the weight, hitting depth, and building strength over the full range of motion. Strength loss will be a non-issue.


I don’t think my top set counts as conventional because my arms are between my legs. I’ll try to widen my legs next time and see if that helps.


Maybe I’m confused, the video was kind of weird because of the lighting. Was it the exact same stance as the down set?

As far as stance, wider isn’t necessarily better but opening your hips more will make a difference.


Yes. What does opening hip look like? Turning feet out?
What do you think about be taking my squats down to 10- kilos, ie doing 70kg (155lbs) instead of 80 (174lbs) to ensure I’m hitting depth.


Week 1: Day 4

Close grip Bench: 5x5- 100lbs
Skull crushers: 3x12-65lbs
Overhead Press: 3x5-70lbs
Technique: HS walk

Preworkout: Felt pretty good, lower body quite tired and heavy but not sore. slept pretty well too so pretty energized
Workout: felt pretty good and fast. Close grip bench and skullcrushers killed triceps. Overhead press felt a lot harder than expected. I wanted at least 75lbs but that wasn’t happening
Postworkout: didn’t really feel like I worked out except that my upper back and triceps were pretty pumped