T Nation

Mock Meet With Vids: Need Critiques

Squat: 365

Squat 385

Squat 405 (mega-fail)

More to come soon (1 bench vid and 3 DLs)

bench 275

tried 300 and got it about 3 in off the chest before my spotter barely gave me some help

felt like mostly I didn’t have the stabilization and lat drive I needed

I was wearing different shoes than normal for bench which threw me off so I couldn’t get quite as tight or get the leg drive I wanted.

Dl 455

DL 475

DL 500 please excuse the dramatics but it’s been one I’ve been after for a while :slight_smile:

You’re basically just stiff-legging those dead lifts and pretty severely rounding your back. Also, your other videos are on private.

most videos except the DL is private

The last two deadlifts I think look awesome. I love the upper back rounding, and that you set up that way. Very konstantinovs of you. I think getting your hips a little lower at the start and using your quads more to break it from the floor (and just getting your quad strength up period) could make the lifts faster and easier in the long run. Do you speed deadlift at all/often?

Fix the other videos, I really want to check them out. And congrats o the 500, it was a great rep.

I’m back hahaha. Check out this video of KK

You two have really similar styles, with the super rounded upper back. But look at the position of his hips, RIGHT before he starts pulling, compared to your hips in your start position. His hips are significantly lower at the start, which lets him use his legs more to break the weight from the floor. I think you should work on emulating that in your own pulls. if you put in the time to get used to that new position and get your quads even stronger, I think it will pay off a ton in the long run

Wow, that rounded back hurts me just watching you.

Alright, so I put the other videos on public. Not sure how long it will be until the changes goes into effect. I’m about to look at the video of KK.

[quote]N.K. wrote:
The last two deadlifts I think look awesome. I love the upper back rounding, and that you set up that way. Very konstantinovs of you. I think getting your hips a little lower at the start and using your quads more to break it from the floor (and just getting your quad strength up period) could make the lifts faster and easier in the long run. Do you speed deadlift at all/often?

Fix the other videos, I really want to check them out. And congrats o the 500, it was a great rep. [/quote]

I do speed deadlifts every other week at the moment. That’s really the only time I do full ROM deadlifts. Other times, its things like SLDLs, RDLs, or different types of pin pulls for supplementary work. I’m using conjugate training. I think all the front squats I was doing helped my DL more than anything so based on what you told me, it seems I should just keep that up. They really helped with thoracic and upper back strength too which helped me get the lockout on 500.

if you have a regular training partner , make sure he’s there on 1RM day . verbal cues on max squat attempts can be huge . and theres nothing like your buddy screamin’ at ya to get a good rage on . somehow , whatever it takes , get pissed when you walk into that rack .

How much do you weigh right now ?

marlboroman: Unfortunately, I don’t have a training partner. I find when I psyche myself up a ton for squat, my form flies out the window and don’t make the big lifts. But I guess that’s what a good spotter would help out with.

tmay11: 195lb

KK still gets a tremendous amount of leg drive in his pulls, despite his upper back being rounded. You’re not getting any leg drive. Think about it, even if you’re able to push with your legs just 10% more, that’s a 550lb deadlift.

I can’t tell if you’re doing it or not, but you need to “pull the slack out of the bar” before you pull. This will tighten your lats and upper back which will help prevent you from getting bent in half.

Look at the 2nd rep in this video, notice how hard I am pulling on the bar with my lats & entire upper back before I even initiate my leg drive. The bar flexes 2-3" from it’s original position.

The best analogy I’ve heard on the subject of the upper back rounding: what hurts worse – getting hit with a limp noodle or a baseball bat? The baseball bat – because it transfers all of the energy you put into it. Your upper back works the same way.

Are you planning on doing a meet anytime soon?

Mid to late April if I still live in East or Central Texas by then.

I think what will help me get lower hips on the DL would be widening my stance out a couple inches on each side and flaring my toes out just a little. Probably hard to see my foot position and stance with the angle so to let you know it’s very narrow with my feet pointing straight forward. Also just getting my legs stronger. That’s also why I think my squat is relatively weak. While my upper back is rounded there is a ton of tension through it even before the bar starts to move up and I am pulling the slack out.

Aside from my pull for which I appreciate the advice, anything that could use improvement for the bench or squat whether it be form or muscular or whatever?

I think I’ll start so I can at least bounce some ideas off of ya’ll.

For the squat, I was thinking of doing speed work from a low box. That might also help with leg drive and getting my hips lower on the pull. Also to keep up the front squat work I’m already doing to work on leg strength.

For the bench, just hammer my lats and tris hard and keep everything else up to par.

For the dead, as mentioned already, widen my stance flare my toes slightly so I get my hips down lower and do some light speed pulls from a deficit every week so I can get more practice while I get used to the new form. Keep doing front squats for leg drive, starting strength, and to continue getting better at the rounded back technique.

A couple things I noticed with your bench:

  1. Your set up. Personally, I think you’re wasting way too much time and energy setting up. I used to set up like you and it just fucked me up for an entire bench cycle. I fixed the way I set up on the bench and I’m saving the energy I could’ve used for the actual bench pressing movement. Play around with yours and try to simplify it to where you still get the same amount of tightness, but don’t have to contort yourself into a scorpion-like position in order to get tight.

  2. Foot position. Your feet are pointed out. You’re not able to get any leg drive if your feet are pointed out like that. I used to bench the same way. I now point my feet as forward as possible while still pinning them back as far as I can. They’re not completely straight, but they’re pretty damn close. If your feet are straight(er), then you’ll be able to get more leg drive out of it.


Okay here is what I have for you now that I’ve seen everything.

I think your weak points for squat and deadlift are your quads and your back. I think if you get those body parts stronger it will help both of those lifts a lot. Front squats galore, and when you back squat REALLY focus on keeping your torso upright the whole movement. You have a little tendency to let your chest drop and your hips/butt rise as your hips take over. Overall, it really is a very good squat, but I think keeping your torso more upright will make it better, and the way to fix that is by getting your quads and back stronger. Also, some Oly shoes might do you really well - it looks like you’re wearing chucks?

For the deadlift, I don’t think widening the stance is the answer. I would suggest changing your start position a little, so that the bar is about 2 inches further away from your shins than it is right now. When you set up, bring your shins to the bar. It will make your knees a little more forward and your hips a little lower, so that you are using your quads to break the weight from the floor. Again, front squats and getting your upright back squat 1rm up is going to make your quads stronger, which I think will have direct carryover to your dead IF you tweak the start position. Also, something that I have done that has helped my deadlift/back strength significantly: figure out what weight you can pull for a single with a perfectly flat back, no belt. For me, it was 315 to start. I pulled that weight for 3 singles at the end of every thursday workout, until I could do it with a flat back without fail. Then upped the weight: 325 for 1-3 singles, until I could do it with a flat back no problem. Then 335, 345, etc. It helped me build up my back strength tremendously, AND helped my deadlift a lot. My goal was to get my beltless, flat-backed deadlift as close as possible to my actual 1rm because then I would have WAY more in me when I threw on the belt and forgave some rounding. I think it might be worth playing with.

Bench, I think tightness is your only issue. I think part of the problem is definitely your feet, as CS eagles said. Personally, I don;t like the way you move them after you set your arch. I understand it’s to get your heels planted, but I think it takes away from your tighness a lot. My suggestion would be to play around with keeping your heels planted from the start, and figure out a way to set your arch that way. Then, you set your arch heels planted - your whole body is tight as can be, and you just take the weight out and bench. Also, I think getting your back stronger will help you squeeze the shit out of the bar better and be tighter through your upper body as well.

Anyways, overall awesome lifts. You are a strong guy and obviously on the right path. I hope some of my suggestions can help you tweak some weak points and get even stronger. Keep at it buddy.

I really want Oly shoes but I’ve made do with utility shoes. They have a pretty hard sole and give something around a 3/4in heel lift. Maybe when I get my tax return. What I don’t like about them is they make it hard to push out against them so I have to make more of a focus to push through the ground.

So for the pull, put the bar at somewhere close to my toe ‘knuckles’ is what it seems like.

So maybe for my ME lower lifts something like front squats, fq w/ chains (I here these do some good things for the upper back), band squat, and narrow stance low box squat.

Supps would be front squats, arched back GMs, strict snatch grip pulls, and front squats w/ chains. Without a belt.

Accessories like lunges, bulgarian squats, and back ext with the pad set up high.

Do some speed pulls from the floor practicing the new form every week. Do my speed squats from a low box with a narrow stance.