First Meet and Form Critique

Hi all,

This is the video from my first meet at the end of last month. Weighed in at 73kg (161), down from about 77kg (169) in September. Was hoping I could get some advice on my form/weak points (apart from my Bench, which is obvious) to help me plan my training.

I’m 5,8" and have just turned 20 if that makes any difference.

I’ve been running Sheiko #29 since June and #32 into the meet.

Thanks in advance.

Hey man. Not bad lifts at all for a 165. One piece of advice that came to mind while watching your squat and deadlift is that front squats would be a great assistance exercise for you. If you don’t do them, I think you should, and if you do do them I think you should be doing more of them haha. I think they would help with speed and athleticism in your squat.

Also, on your deadlift you have a lot of trouble with lockout… I think that’s probably because you have a strong back and load it up, which makes getting the bar to your knees easy but make lockout hard. Increasing your quad strength will help you push more with the legs, which will in turn let you keep your hips a touch lower and your back a touch flatter at the start of your pull, which I think would help with lockout.

Bench, I won’t comment on cause I’m especially terrible at benching haha. But anyways, nice lifts, congrats on your first meet.

Hey N.K., thanks for the feedback.

I agree on the Front Squats - I’m currently doing them three times a week to build them up (hit 130kg for triples earlier).

Will definitely get to work on them, any other exercises in particular you would recommend, or should I continue with extra focus on Front Squats?

Thanks again!

umm… I have been believing a lot in front squats lately haha. 130 kg for a few triples isn’t bad, but you definitely have room to improve with where your squat/deadlift are currently. Keep pushing the weight up, and do some higher rep sets beltless as well. I also have been doing some long-paused front squats with a 5 second pause, a la klokov, and I love these for power out of the hole and working your core.

Other than that, deficit deads are always good for people who use a lot of back on deadlift. set like a 2-3 inch deficit, and focus on setting your hips lower than normal and pushing hard with the legs at the start, like you are leg pressing the weight. Basically… you shouldn;t be squatting the weight up, but you should be squatting it up more than a normal deadlift haha. This will also work on your quads, and help ingrain into your muscle memory setting your hips lower and pushing with the legs, instead of setting them high and loading the back the way you do.

Again, you have quite a solid pull and squat for your weight for sure! But I think maybe those movements will help with some small weaknesses/technique problems and might help make you a little more balanced, which in turn will help you get stronger. Good luck man

Will definitely push the Front Squats harder, may try the pausing a few singles after working sets tomorrow. Hopefully get half of what Klokov uses haha. Hate high reps, especially for Front Squats, but I’ll maybe push them up to 8 reps if they’ll help.

Deficit Deads sound fun. I’m training my Sumo again now but will give them a go afterwards focusing on speed.

Thanks man, will get to work!

You seem quick off the ground with deadlifts, which to me suggests you have good quad strength. I could be wrong here but that was my understanding. I like rack pulls for working on lockouts. They also help me get used to the feel of heavier weight since they are typically done with 100-130% of 1RM with a very slight pause at top ensuring I fully lock out and really squeeze my glutes at the top. (make sure to start just below knee level).

I have always felt a little slow off the gorund but after watching video it may just be that I have slightly shorter arms then most people for my height and it may just the little extra distance I am covering that makes it feel slow.

On a side note. This is not criticism at all, but I never understood the whole dead lift shuffle/dance after approaching the bar. I ensure my feet are lined up and I grip and rip. I figure that all the training I have done will take over and an ecessively long set up won’t help. This is also due to me not psyching myself out by staring at it for to long haha.

Take my advice with a grain of salt, I am no brofessor, just someone with high aspirations who reads a lot. :smiley:

Oh, and I also love front squats for quad development and oddly enough I have been reading some that says they can help (HELP) with upper back development and core strength. Really a great addition for any strength althete IMO.

Thanks for the advice quentincf.

Can’t say I’ve ever really trained rack pulls but I’ll try anything. Would you keep the reps low or push them a bit?

I was thinking I may need some glute activation work to help my lockout?

My quads seem to be blowing up with Front Squats, finally getting some lateralis development haha.

Thanks again, any more input would be great.

Great work on your first meet!

I’m going to preface my observations by saying that I’ve never competed in a meet and the correct form for a Pl squat might be different from how i was trained to do it, so I might be setting myself up for an internet education from the PL guys here. If I’m off base here please let me know.

Looks like you’re knees are flaring out more than I’m used to on your squats. The stance width looks good, but i usually keep my feet pointed more forward and my knees farther in (even with a wide stance) to build tension in the hips to drive out of the bottom. Just a thought.

Again, just my two cents. Looking forward to seeing what the vets have to say



the bar flew off the ground on the deadlift, wow. Train the week point of your lift with block pulls on deadlift and pause bench for bench. You back looks pretty strong, I would stay with the wider stance squat. It allows more back lean and a shorter range of motion. I think you just need to get stronger.

I also think your 1st attempt on the bench was too high. Your first attempt should be something you should be able to smoke (90%-92%) 1 rep max. Looks good.

to respond to quentincf… you are right, speed off the floor can show good quad strength - if you have really strong quads, you will probably be pretty quick off the ground. However, if you pull with high hips, loading your back, you can also be very fast off the ground, without really using your quads nearly as much. The problem is that most people who pull with high hips, using a lot of back/ with a moderate amount of back rounding, run into problems at lockout. It’t not necessarily that their hips/glutes are weak, they just have gotten into a bad position, which makes the start of the lift fast and the end of the lift very difficult.

Obviously, I’ve never seen chris lift in person, so I can;t say for sure what his strengths/weaknesses are. But based on the videos, where he had trouble in the lift, and what he told me about his front squats I think he isn’t using his quads enough to break the weight from the floor, and getting his quads stronger/more involved in his deadlift will allow him to 1) keep speed off the floor, but without loading his back so much, and 2) finish the lift faster and easier because he is in a better position by the time he gets to lockout.

Again, maybe you’re right, but just explaining why speed off the floor doesn’t always = quad strength in my opinion.

Thanks for the response guys, cheers for taking the time to watch and comment.

Redsol1 - not really sure what you mean by knees being further in. Do you mean opposed to pushing them out? I find it easier to hit depth pushing my knees out, and I’ve heard only bad things about letting them come in. Any articles or posts you’ve read that could help me learn about it?

Max8950 - Getting to work on the lockouts, and I agree on the pause Bench I’m working on them currently. I also agree on getting stronger, I think Front Squats will help strengthen my legs as my back seems strong enough to support more in the Squat. I got a bit thrown on the Bench on the day as the spotters kept giving me advice which didn’t help as I was setting up, but yes I probably should have opened lower. I based the opener on training before and didn’t account for the weight loss I think - fortunately it didn’t affect my other lifts too much.

With rack pulls I would start with 100 percent of 1RM just below the knee (I use straps for rack pulls). For reps I would do 1-2 sets doing as many as I could and I typically did them after squats.

I understand what you mean about the speed N.K. but at some point (IMO) it won’t matter how fast the bar is moving if his hips and gluts can handle the weight he won’t lock out. I agree with your assessment though, just not the prioritization… :slight_smile: