I see a lot of people asking for advice on how to fix their technique and there seems to be a few different schools of thought on what to do. Some people would say to use less weight, but the problem with that is you don’t get any practice with maximal or near-maximal weights. For an absolute beginner this is good advice, but unless you are doing massive amounts of volume like in a Sheiko program it probably won’t help you with max singles. However, for most people you are better off doing most of your work with lighter weights, around 70-85%.
Another approach is to use special exercises. This works to some extent, but the exercises have to be chosen for a specific purpose. If you are weak out of the hole you don’t need reverse bands, for example. The other thing is that changing too many variables makes it have less carryover to the competition lift. Board presses are good, bench with chains is good, floor presses are good. But a 2 board floor press with chains doesn’t make any sense. You can only target one weak point at a time, trying to fix everything with one movement doesn’t work.
Finally, there is the idea of using heavy weights and/or max singles to perfect technique. Ivan Abadjiev, the Bulgarian weightlifting coach, used little other than the competition lifts for max singles and down sets of no more than 2-3 reps to train his athletes. This has become popular recently through John Broz. As he says, the singles give you practice and the down sets make you stronger. This approach works because you can’t lift a maximal weight with bad technique or you will fail. Also, if your goal is to lift heavy weights for a single rep then it only makes sesnse to do that in training, even if only on occasion. The downside to this is that there can be more potential for injury if you don’t know how to safely fail a rep.
So what do you guys think? What do you do to improve your technique?