T Nation

Form Help Please. All Main Lifts



Good afternoon,

I’ve been training for 7-8 months, I’ve recently slowed down on my strength as I was having some lower back and hip pain or stiffness that bugged me. That probably tells me my form is garbage or my body didn’t like being a couch potatoe then going all out at gym.

I’ve been debating on learning how to sumo to try and see I’d it feels better on hips. I deadlift 1 time month or 2 months I squat 1-2 times a week then I bench and overhead about the same. I don’t really have a program or partner I just do what I think I should do or feel like.

I need to look into trainer or program. Attached are my current lifts. Any help would be great.

Thank you



Overhead press

Bench, bench is hard alone I ask for spot sometimes and this bench is very hard to unrack it’s too high? Or I have poverty setup
One will be one rep the other working set

Bent rows

Any help for any lifts or programming would be amazing.

Thank you for your time!


How did you get so strong in 7-8 months? That seems unusual.

You don’t have any glaring errors in any lifts that I can see. You could try recording your deadlift from the side though. The only thing I can say is that it looks like you might have some slight butt wink in your squat, but it could be that because you descend with your lower back slightly extended it goes back toward neutral at the bottom of the lift. Does your back hurt after squatting? How did you hurt your back and hips? Also, don’t let anyone touch the bar when you are benching or the rep doesn’t count. “It’s all you, man!” doesn’t cut it.

About your back and hip pain, if it isn’t from rounding in the squat or deadlift it could just be muscle tension building up over time. When you start lifting heavy weights on a regular basis it is very common to get aches and pains. Look into trigger points and myofascial release, you can do that yourself with a lacrosse ball. The other option is a qualified massage therapist, but not everyone can afford that.


By the way, lumbar spine extension in the squat (no walter_white, not hyperextension!) in itself isn’t a cause for concern, but it causes a slightly less efficient movement pattern. Staying neutral is better, but with time that should sort itself out. Just make sure you don’t have any flexion going on.



Thank you very much!

I actually trained when I was younger and in jr high and high school I had same lifts almost but wasn’t as fat :joy:

I’m one of those train for a months then quite for a few years and back on it.

So I’ve lifted in the past, I’ve just been going to the gym for the past 7 months now.

Squats don’t bother me much sometimes after squats or during deadlifts it feels like my hips are exhausted and I can’t give them any rest no matter how I sit or stand so I tough it out.


You could try rolling your hips/glutes with a lacrosse ball. Also hip flexors (psoas in particular) can be an issue, and also cause back pain. Personally, I have a massage thing called Theracane, it’s not too expensive and works well for just about everything. It’s easier to work on your glutes with a lacrosse ball though, mostly because it’s a thicker muscle.

Keep lifting consistently and you will be putting up some big numbers!


I also take T.R.T through my doctor 200mg test cup. If that’s what your wondering. I had taken anti-depressants and they crushed my drive.


Thank you for helping me out, I get paid massage and chiro from work.

I got one massage and as soon as she touch my left calf it Charlie horsed and felt like death.

Otherwise I love massage


I failed a squat last night it would have been a 25lbs PR. I could have just redone it to hit depth but I can’t be too greedy. I did notice my hips were kind of tilted when I pushed off it almost looked like I pushed off from one side.

455lbs attempt


You should probably just concentrate on doing more volume with moderate weights rather than attempting maxes on a regular basis. That’s a good way to get burnt out or injured. You can include heavy singles, but more like something you can get 2-4 reps with, and you can also go for rep PRs now and then. Focus on training rather than testing.


I don’t have much to add other than what Chris already stated, just a few observations.

You’re pretty damn strong for such a short training time, esp with basically no solid programming or trainer/training partner. I’d imaging with another year under the bar with good programming and someone to push you, you’d be a monster.

Are you stuck with a commercial gym with TVs and cardio equipment or is there a better, more focused gym in your area?

If you plan to compete (since this is a powerlifting forum) ditch the wrist wraps in favor of chalk.


:joy: I only have 6.5 inch tooth pick wrists I doubt I’ll be a monster :flushed:

I kind of do push,pull, legs right now

Push day
Bench press I pyramid up from empty bar to a 3-5 rep max then pyramid back down to 275 and 225

Overhead press standing I will pyramid up to whatever that days max is then go back down and do sets of 5-8.

Dips I will mess around sets of 8-10 going from 45lbs Weighted to 90lbs weighted and I did 135lbs weighted but got a trashy looking 4 reps :joy:

Then I’ll do flyes with light weight and some type of tricep workout :unamused:

Pull day

Start with pull downs ramp up and then go hard

Then bent barbell rows ramping up in weight heaviest will be 315 if I’m feeling decent

Then a cable row

Then hyper extensions and dumbell curls

Leg day

Squats ramping up from empty bar to a couple sets of 2-3 with 405 then I’ll ramp back down .

Dumbell lunges light weight with 50s

Then dumbell stuff leg deadlifts lighter weight from 50-100s

Some days I will do stomach :unamused:

If anyone could help me that would be great.

I see lots of programs but some have a lot of complex stuff I want to try and keep it simple


Well, largely it comes down to what you want to do and what you can handle. How come you don’t deadlift every week though? Even if you find that pulling heavy every week is too much for you, you would definitely benefit from at least doing some lighter work. Even something like 10 singles with 60% or so, like Westside speed work.

The main thing is that you are making progress, when you stall is when you really need to change things up. The way you describe your training, it doesn’t sound bad but the one thing that sticks out are the pyramid sets. How exactly are you doing those? Most times I hear of pyramids it involves going to failure or close on each set, and even if it doesn’t it will result in some fatigue before the sets that actually count. You want to prepare yourself for the top set, but you want to accumulate the least fatigue possible. Here’s an example of what I would do for squats:
barX a few sets to loosen up
You want your last warm up to be about 92-95% of your top set. If you are working up to a single then do singles for the last few sets. You can also do a single with the top set weight before the work set (assuming you are going to do multiple reps), Josh Bryant and Mike Israetel have both suggested this method.


Yeah, I need to adjust my programming. My hips were feeling exhausted at times while working out and I couldn’t shake it so I left deadlifts alone. That video I have posted was the first time I did deadlifts in a month or two which sounds crazy because I’ve been doing it so little.

I did deadlifts the other day too and they felt fine once again… off loading the plates felt like death though… unloading plates really bugs my hips it makes them burn pretty bad not the deadlifting itself.

Do you suggest doing some deadlifts once or twice a week on leg day?


If you have been making progress by hardly ever deadlifting then once a week sounds like a good starting point, you could eventually pull twice a week but it probably isn’t necessary at the moment.

What does your schedule really look like? You said that you squat and bench once or twice a week, are you able to keep a consistent training schedule? I can figure out a template for you, but it depends how often you can train. 4 days/week would look like squat-bench-light squat/deadlift-bench, if you can train 5 days a week then you can have two squat days and a separate deadlift day. Full body is another option, but that would involve throwing your whole program out the window.


In all honestly I go 5-6 days a week sometimes all 7 days I only break when I’m sick really or the odd time I know my body is tired.

If I had a legit program that would be amazing I’d be in your debt good sir :blush:

I’d stick to it like glue


Do you ever deload? 7 days a week sounds like a little too much, but 5 or 6 is perfectly reasonable.

If you can commit to 6 days a week then it would look something like this:
Monday - main squat + squat variation or assistance lifts (leg press, lunge, whatever)
Tuesday - main bench + variation/assistance
Wednesday - deadlift, can add another variation or just some heavy rows
Thursday - more benching, not necessarily comp. bench
Friday - 2nd squat day - could do your comp. squat too or another variation like high bar or SSB. If you are going to add a 2nd deadlift session then this is the day for it, or do some SLDL/RDL/GM
Saturday - more benching, of course.

As for upper back training, there is no need to have a back day as a powerlifter. You can do 1-2 upper back exercises on each upper body day, just go easy on that the day before heavy deadlifts. Something like band pull aparts or face pulls.


Sounds good, today will be leg day then!
I can commit the time and days that’s no problem.

Bachelor no family or friends in my new city :joy:


Let me know if you need any more advice regarding exercise selection or programming. And record some deadlifts from the side when you get a chance.


For sure, next deadlift day I’ll go moderate and record from side. Tonight when I get home I will reread your post and if I have any problems finding the better accessory exercises I’ll reply back.

Thank you for helping out !