T Nation

Form Help Please. All Main Lifts


I live in north battleford Saskatchewan population 14000😊


How many times have you squatted in the last week? It sounds like you might be doing more volume than you can recover from. If not that, then you have some kind of minor injury or trigger point thing going on.

Aside from that, what you need is a starting point for weight and sets. Start with less volume, add a set here and there each week until you can’t add any more, then deload and start over with slightly higher volume than before.

Also, it sounds like you are going to a max or near max on a regular basis. That’s not necessary and possibly detrimental. You want your work sets to be at least 1-2 reps fro failure. You don’t need to do high reps all the time, but too much singles will cause a lot of fatigue without allowing you to get sufficient volume.


Definately some hip action going on, I can tell if they’re out because I walk to the gym 20-30min walk and when my hips are fine I feel nothing if something’s wrong I get shin splints midway into the walk :joy: Usually only on left side and that’s the side the chiropractor said doesn’t move properly.

I think I’ve just been lucky that I’m new enough to lifting that my strength improves each workout. last month the highest I’ve squated was 405 for triple before that I’d just stay at 365 for 5s and this month I touched on 455 so I know what I can lift vs what my body wants to lift are two different things what I want to lift is 315 :see_no_evil: It feels the exact same as 405 it just easier to move.

Lifting heavier must be a lot of mental vs actually physical.

I think my rep ranges are out to lunch. Maybe it’s mental thing on bench too (carpal tunnel both hands)
But when I’m alone even though I know I can bench 350 on my own 275 and 315 will feel like a one rep movement but I can just keep going up if that makes sense but then there are other days that when I just bite the bullet and punch forward I can do 10 reps with 315​:unamused: Only one day really :joy: As I just started using 315 regularly …

I think what I’m saying is I don’t know where my working strength is because my strength is all over the map 315 on a good day I’ve done 10 reps on a normal day it’s 5-6 reps and on a shit day it’s 1😒


I will make a log and record my daily lifts that should help.


Mostly you just need coherent plan to progress the weights. Either something like 5x5 (can be different sets and reps) or just add 5-15lbs. each week for a few weeks, deload, then start again with heavier weights than last time. Have you considered hiring a coach?

Have you actually been diagnosed with carpal tunnel? Do you work a desk job? Lots of people get pain in their arms and shoulders from low bar squatting, it can make benching painful as well.


I do have carpal tunnel in both hands diagnosed by specialist two weeks ago via electrodes :joy:

I will stick to your program and if you want me to stick to some rep ranges I will do that.

I’m just getting into power lifting this will be my first program for it.


So how often can you bench?

What you can do is work up to a weight that you know you can get 5 reps with (not a max, more like 2 reps away from failure). Do a set of 5, then drop 10% of the weight and do 3 sets of 5. Do your lunges, flys, etc. for higher reps after. The next week, you add 5lbs. to the top set and down sets, plus you add another down set. After a few weeks it will be 4’s and 3’s, you might want to make 10lbs jumps on squat and deadlift here and there because bench will stall first. Keep doing that for a few weeks until you start to feel burnt out or your performance is worse than the last week (on multiple days, not just one). Then take a deload - you will have to experiment with this, what I do is 90% of last week’s weight for half the total reps. 50-70% of the weight can work better for some people, if I go too light then everything will feel too heavy the next week.


I don’t find it effects my lifting too much. Maybe grip strength but right now I’ve been using straps for a bit.
i was using chalk and they put up a note on the wall to clean up all chalk after lifting.

Im going to buy a notebook and start tracking my workouts and eating :unamused:

I will just keep following your advice and see how I like power lifting. This gives me a chance to reset my lifts and start properly.

Do you lift conventional or sumo deadlift? Sumo looks easier but I also understand it’s all about leverages and I might not be built for them. But I want to try or should I just stick to connventional?


I lift sumo. All the lifts are about leverages, a lot of people can’t maintain a neutral spine on conventional or even set up neutral. If you can pull conventional without problems then you can just keep going with that for now. That’s why I said to post a video from the side. Sumo is a bit more technical and is also harder on the hips. I know a guy who has deadlifted over 750 in competition, he says he tried sumo for a while but combined with squatting it was too much for his hips. Considering your issues, it’s probably not the best choice at the moment.

Definitely use chalk. I use chalk when I squat and bench too, nothing worse than your hands sliding down the bar when you have some heavy weights on it. You can get liquid chalk too. You could also try hook grip, it hurts at first but you get used to it. I try to do all my work sets with hook grip but use straps for rack pulls and stuff like that.


Thank you for help.

Tonight will be bench night I will do bench and dips or close grip bench unless you’ve something better to help out.

Also I was looking at knee sleeves are they worth it or maybe later on when I’m able to squat heavier.

Any accessories that might help.


Keep it fairly simple with assistance movements for now, you haven’t been training consistently for long so you shouldn’t need anything too special to make progress.

Knee sleeves are OK, but they don’t do much other than keeping your knees warm. Depending on your squat technique and sticking point, you might get a few pounds out of a tight pair of SBDs or Titan Yellow Jackets. I have a pair of SBDs that I only wear for meet prep cycles, otherwise I use an old pair of Rehbands that definitely adds nothing. If you have no knee issues at the moment and aren’t about to do a meet then you don’t really need them.


Did chest today a lot more volume than intended but I had a workout partner who was huge 6.4 258lbs. He was eager to jump weights too fast I didn’t think I was gonna get warm up

Flat bench
275x 6
335x3 was mistake ment to go to 325
225x 10

Then weight dips 3 sets 10-12 with 45lbs plate

I was gonna quit rope me into flyes 4sets 12

Reverse grip push downs 4x12-15
Normal grip push down 3x12

I didn’t notice the volume until on bench he was like we done yet? hed been counting all sets and I don’t count until 275 then it’s heavy enough to be workin sets. He isn’t used to volume and I’m usually worried I didn’t lift hard enough


Sorry for the long reply here’s a side shot of deadlifts this is 495 my second set. I don’t think my hips were right and I didn’t tighten my back and I was looking up? Also wearing squat shoes? Does that even matter if my shoes have a slight heal?


Looks OK. There is nothing wrong with looking up on deadlifts, I don’t understand where people got that idea. Sheiko considers looking down to be a technical error.

There is nothing visibly wrong with your hip position, but if you are wearing heeled shoes (and you don’t normally) then it will definitely throw off your starting position, even if it’s only a .75" heel. I once forgot to bring my flat soled shoes and pulled in my squat shoes, I felt like I was leaning forward. Anyway, your back didn’t round at all and your technique looks decent.


Sweet, I suppose it’s more of a mental thing… most people probably tend to think they’re doing it wrong or it doesn’t feel right.

I suppose if it doesn’t matter I will just deadlift in those shoes for awhile.

Thank you for all the advice and help, I will keep plugging away. See what the one year mark brings me… I will probably relax the heavy lifts for awhile and keep more moderate.


Well, it puts you in a slightly disadvantaged position and if you get used to it then it will probably feel weird to pull with flat shoes, which should allow you to pull a few pounds more. If I was you I would get another pair for deadlifting, it doesn’t need to be anything fancy, chucks or even some cheap skateboard shoes. If you can get away with deadlifting in your socks then that’s another option.

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I read an article on EliteFTS that immediately made me think of your situation. In “Meet Report: New Challenges and New Lifters — USAPL Spring Meet at CBUS Lifting Co” by Joe Schillero, he says

“The biggest challenge out of all these variables for me all had to do with my hip. With my torn labrums, cartilage damage, cam deformities, and other issues (my hips are pretty bad), squatting any lower than necessary can be a challenge for me (especially without any support from knee wraps or briefs). It also makes using a flat foot bench setup really difficult, and leaves my hips pretty shot for deadlifts.”

And then goes on to say:

" Lockout continues to be my toughest part of the deadlift because of my hip, but wearing my Olympic shoes allows me to grind through lifts because of the improved hip angle."

Don’t necessarily take this as an endorsement of heeled shoes for deadlifting, but there is the possibility that it can make your hips feel better. On the other hand, there is also the possibility that it will make your hip pain worse - a different hip angle can potentially help one problem but make a different one worse, and you are not him. Just something to consider.

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The only reason looking up is frowned upon is due to not keeping a neutral spine. Thats why most people look ahead, but not forward if that makes sense. I would drop the shoes and just do deads barefoot, or in flat soled shoes. But your 495 looks really great. How do your 95%+ attempts look?

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Thank you, I will keep tabs on both as I keep a training journal now.

My hips And back are starting to hurt less now that I’m not going too crazy on anything. I tried a new exercise today box squats. I think I did them correct maybe I should have lower or held longer I did 4 sets 5-6 reps took video from side. They feel less stressful than a normal squat I think?

Thanks for helping me out!


I don’t use box squats personally so there’s not a lot of advice I can offer, but you are well above parallel. I have also heard some people say that box squats can hurt your lower back and SI joints because your spine is compressed between a bar and a box, but obviously not everyone has an issue with that. Watch some Westside videos to learn more about box squatting.