T Nation

Big 3 - Form Check


I've been lifting with some seriousness for 6-8 months. Friday, I tested my 1RMs so that I could set some goals for 2012. Here are my highest successful attempts:

I'm looking for any feedback on my form that you guys can provide.



- quit dancing your feet around before you squat
- not sure given the angle, but your knees look like they cave in slightly on the way up

- looks like the weight is on the balls of your feet at the pull rather than heels
- hips shoot up first and knees almost lock before lockout, turning it into a SLDL
- you finish with your back instead of firing your glutes

- looks like you bench elbows flared instead of slightly tucked and lower the bar to maybe mid-sternum instead of your diaphragm


-You do a good job of keeping your chest up and your low back flat, which is impressive for a 1RM.
-In my opinion, however, you're missing about an inch of depth, maybe a touch more.
-You're approach to the bar and your walk-out seem weak. Try standing in front of the bar with both feet next to each other, dip underneath, getting at tight as you can. Take a strong step out with one foot, and then follow with the other. Eventually, you'll know where you feet need to be, take a deep breath, and squat.

-Just like in the squat, you do an outstanding job of getting a good hip-hinge. You really sink your hips into the lift before you fire upwards.
-Unfortunately, you loose that great hip position as soon as you start to pull up. Your chest falls forward, and the rest of your body follows.
-Try to not loose that great tightness you get in your hips. I think of my hamstrings as a spring whenever I start to deadlift, and once I start the pull, I just think "Chest up, chest up, chest up" and "bar back. bar back, bar back." Those queues really help me keep pressure on my mid-foot.

-In general a solid lift.
-Get tight.
-You feel tight?
-Get tighter. Shoulder blades back, feet back, get a strong arch, drive your legs into the ground, your upper back into the bench, and drive, drive, drive.

Watch "So You Think You Can Squat" and "So You Think You Can Bench." If you've seen them, watch them again.

Overall, strong lifting man. I hope to see you squatting 405 next year. ^.-


Thank you both for the feedback.

Agreed, everyday I'm shufflin'. Is it safe to assume that nailing foot placement comes with practice? Just step and go?
Agreed that my depth is on the high side of questionable. I'll set the catches one lower.
The knees cave a touch, and I'll work on that, but it's not as bad as the camera angle suggests.

I think my problem stems from being a bitch and trying to keep the bar off of my shins. Trying to implement your suggestions a little this morning made for some sore shins. Is this like the hook grip? Suck it up until it doesn't hurt anymore?

Worked yesterday on tucking the elbows and pressing to a lower point on my chest. I knew I pressed loose. Thanks for the links to the articles.

Will report back in a few months with improved form.


If you dont like the sore shins, just wear sweat pants or some long ass socks.


Second watching "So you think you can squat" videos.

Squat - Looks as though you didn't get to depth and you spent a long time fiddling around with your feet. Get under the bar, get tight, strong lift off, one foot back, second back, big breath and squat.

Dead - Good back arch, but as stated, highs pop up and you lose the back angle you started with.

Bench - It looked like it came up quick! Im sure you have more in you than that. Im still working on bench technique so can't put up much more than that.


i wore neoprene calf sleeves for a while but I would still tear my shins up every session (got the scars to prove it). I bought soccer shinguards, problem solved.


Most experienced lifters take time with their squat walkout. And three steps. Back, side, side. Yes, this takes practice.

Don't like mixed grip, eh?


In the deadlift don't waste your time when you go down and grip the bar. Stand up straight and get a huge breath of air, get your grip on the bar, brace yourself and pull.


All good advice. Thank you all.

Deadllifted this morning wearing jogging pants, and still have one bloody shin. Pretty cool feeling though, having pulled the bar up most of the way with leg drive, to finish the lift by simply standing up straight.

Did I just get eh-ed by an American?


Not to change the subject but what YMCA do you work out at? It looks like they have a decent setup of platforms/ racks at least.


Deadlift: From that angle your shoulders looked forward of the bar when commencing the pull. From side on your shoulders need to be inline with the bar or slightly behind, not over the front of the bar.