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Decimation Form Checks: Zerchers, Shrugs, Front Squats, and More

Opinions on depth please It is possibly difficult to see as the plates get in the way. I think I got it but not sure. I can attempt it again , as this was only the second week in after a good few years. It starts between 1.30-150 mark. The rest is just to show the plates. I might need to set the pins a bit lower but it is an inferior rack that buckles in the lower position.

Whilst you “did” it - I think it wise not to.

My take away from this was it was over your “able to with good form”. Firstly the bar is too high in the rack. I’d take it down a peg. This is a minor change. But if you are operating at 100% capacity fighting to get the bar out is not a good start.
Next you drop really quick. You put your left foot down and then squat immediately. Take a second. If you can’t then the weight is too high.
Next the decent is not controlled. As you say you touch the bars. They might be high but you should be able to stop a touch high.
Your ascent it also out of sync. You stand up hips first. The trick with anterior loading is to get you hips back under the bar. You kinda hip up then dead lift hugging the bar. Watch the video below. Coach Thib’s hips and the bar goes up and down at the same time.

If it comes over like I’m being a total arse. I promise you I’m not - the fact that 180kg did not bury you is an achievement. I’m fairly strong at the squat and front squat. And I’m not sure I could do a 180kg Z squat. But carry on lifting like that you’ll end up with a lot of injuries.
Drop some kg and focus on form.


Thank you for the constructive feedback . It’s what I need. I wanted to make depth. I think I did but as you said I probably gained an advantage from hitting the spotting bars. I am hoping to get some carryover to the front squat ,which is why I went straight up and down.
I will upload a 140kg video later it is more controlled.

I could go deeper. I can probably control it well up to 160kg . I notice people wear belts and knee wraps with their attempts usually.

Now I know I won’t get buried I can try it again. I needed to psyche up a bit. I have plantar fascilitis so the physio has banned me from heavy squatting

How strong is your front squat.? I would take that over a Zercher any day.

Missed the bit where you said I ‘did’ it thanks for that.

My current FS is about 165/170kg for a single. Or 140kg for 6. Back squat - I was doing 200kg for singles back in March. I’m not any weaker. So maybe 210/220kg? Not maxed out for a while.

That second video looked better. Your hips still look to come up a touch quick. But no where near like the first video.

A belt will help. I’m not sure on your bracing. But a belt could help with that.

I’d wait. Use a solid programme to progress and then come back. The 531 loading scheme works for all lifts. Look into that. If not the below programme is for dead lifts - but it will work for any lower body lift really.

Thanks do U think I should be able back squat a fair bit , if I got a top squat or something. I cannot hold a bar on my back at all normally.
I built a bar with handles from scaffolding poles many years ago well say 10. My best was 230kg for a single and 180kg for 10. But did not do it for long.
I’m only 5 5 .

I will give the articles a go. My deadlift has gone down drastically 40kg in fact over the last few years. Switched jobs to a more Physical job.

Those are impressive lifts.

If you mean a SSB bar - then those are great. Real shoulder savers. But only do exercises you can do safely. If you can’t squat heavy then don’t. And don’t worry about it.

Dead lifts are a pain. Training them messes with my job also. Which is a shame as I need to bring mine up.

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No it was popularised by Dave draper . It clips over a straight bar so the weight distribution is the same.
It is a shame they don’t make bars with handles with normal weight distribution.

Here is 160kg . I tried to take a wider stance to hit depth more easily. Might have deadlifted and rounded slightly too. I also did a 150kg , which was straight up and down and a little higher. Any constructive comments are welcome.

150kg after the night shift lol. Also the 182.5kg seemed ok on descent then buried me.
I had done a lot already though.

I was too tired for deadlifts so did some shrugs in the rack. I did some quick and some slower 9 reps. Not sure about form at 180kg. Did 230kg for 3 but couldn’t do anymore.
I am looking for constructive feedback on form. If they are terrible, please tell lol.

There isn’t much to do wrong, is there?

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I do not know what do you think?

They’re fine. You can get a pretty big bang for the buck with a lot less weight doing overhead shrugs too.

It kind of depends what you’re looking for out of the movement. Personally I think you could drop 50 kg off that weight and actually get some full trap contractions, and if those were your 180kg shrugs then you shouldn’t be doing 230kg ones.

However, what I mean for “what you’re looking for” is, if you want to do strongman stuff or just generally feel comfortable throwing around large weight and you’re not focused on hypertrophy for your traps, there ain’t nothin wrong with slingin’ around some big boy weight.

If you like doing them this way and you feel as though it helps your traps, do it. If you want to target and isolate your traps though, you could drop the weight by a LOT and focus on a strong squeeze with a full, shoulders-to-ears shrug.


Any constructive comments are welcome. Did I hit parallel? I felt I rushed it a bit . What can I do to get better depth?

You did not hit parallel.

Why does hitting parallel matter to you? What’s your goal?

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How far was I off do you think? I want to get carryover to olymoic weightlifting eventually. Any suggestions on how I could improve depth?

A long way. I don’t say this to be harsh, but that was a long, long way from parallel.

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That depends if your depth was short because:

  • The weight was too heavy
  • You descended too fast to know where you were in space
  • You have mobility issues

I imagine it is a combination of factors one and two, which are themselves interrelated. I don’t believe you have significant mobility issues having seen your zercher squat thread

As such, the best solution is to squat deeper, with more control, and use whatever weight is necessary for you to do so.

Why “eventually?” Are you currently performing the Olympic lifts in training?

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Then you’re going to have to go way deeper than parallel


I try but I have a wrist injury presently. Thank you for the feedback. I think I have a lighter one I did today too that I could post.