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Feel vs Real: 1st vs Last Set Squat Form Check

I’m a new lifter still learning the main compound lifts. As the weight increases, and especially from first to last set, I feel like I may be compromising my form (or lack there of).

Here is my first set of 5:

Here is my last set…definitely tired.

How can I improve? What do I need to improve, what am I doing well? Should I deload to perfect form or keep trying to add weight? Thanks for the insight and hope all is well!

There isn’t a huge difference between the sets, but they’re both a little too slow at the end. Don’t deload, just drop the weight back a bit so only the last couple of reps of the last set slows down a little.

In terms of technique:

  • don’t wait so long after walking out. Air, squeeze, unrack, one step, two step, air, squeeze, go time;
  • pull your elbows into your sides, don’t shove them out behind you. That’ll help stop your chest collapsing forward as it does;
  • squeeze your midsection a lot harder throughout, you’re too soft and that’s making it easier for you to pitch forward. Squeeze your glutes and abs hard right before you descend and keep squeezing throughout the rep;
  • when you’re coming back up, lead with your traps. That’ll keep your chest up.

Thanks for the insight. Never realized how long I wait to start. Great tip on staying in tight too. I try to get air, get tight, but once I drop down everything goes out the window in my effort to get back up :grinning:

How much weight should I drop to improve my bar speed?

It doesn’t look like you have any form of safeties on your rack. I would change that asap.

They’re there. 14" arms on both sides. Not as safe as a full rack, but so far so good.

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It doesn’t matter as long as you’re moving the bar fast. Drop maybe 22 lbs and gradually work back up. If that’s not enough, drop 35 lbs or so.

I’m going to take your advice. In 2 weeks I leave for a week vacation so I plan on pushing through until I leave for the trip, and will drop down once I get back. Should work out well…come back rested…been at this for a few months and may just be tired.

What’s your logic behind waiting two weeks to drop a weight that’s already moving too slowly?

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Another cue that helped me avoid collapsing my chest forward was to push into the bar with my back as I push out of the hole. I guess that’s what Mark means with leading with the traps too.

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Mythical Planned over-reaching and super-compensation!

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Have you never heard of Ripp-elstiltskin?

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I’m going to try out the suggestions tonight and will post another vid for further feedback. Thanks for the direction, excited to see how the cues workout.

Wow, big difference between feel and real.

Feel: elbows pulled in tight. Real: not even close.

Feel: chest up, lead with traps. Real: still collapsing.

I need to increase shoulder mobility and stretch out my chest. Think that’s a big culprit causing my elbows to fly.

I was more efficient unracking the bar and bar speed improved due to lower weight, but I still have a lot of work to do. Any suggestions/advice would be appreciated!

Video of me trying (failing :grinning:) to incorporate the earlier suggestions: