T Nation

Shaky Form, Need Advice


Are shaky reps normal?

I've been doing Starting Strength for the past 2 and a half weeks and my arm shakes near the top of my bench press and military presses and my knees wobble sometimes in my squats. SS requires me to keep increasing weight. Should i stall weight to keep the form absolutely perfect or will this go away eventually when i keep this up?

thanks all


i'm also finding out that the last 2 reps in my squats and bench press are near failure (last work out i could only pull out 3 reps before i got stuck lol). Am i putting up weight too fast?


Generally, your last couple reps should be very hard to get up, this is a good thing as you are using the appropriate weight for your given rep range. So, in other words, you are doing the right thing.

As with the shaking, you will find the more you train, the less shaking will occur in these lifts even when you get near failure, especially the squat. You're just reaching your threshold. Keep doing what you're doing.

Remember, say you can do 225 lbs for 5 reps on your first set, you might need to lower that weight accordingly in your later sets to stay in your rep range. It takes some experimentation of course. This is where keeping a workout log is handy, because you can always look back at your last workout to see what you were doing and where you need to improve. Good luck.


What weight did you start with? Starting Strength should be really easy for the first month or so.


I still shake when I lift... and it's been roughly 7 or 8 years. But I still shake when I tie my shoes.. There may be something wrong with me.

Anyway, don't worry too much about it. If you haven't been lifting for very long, your stabilizers are probably still trying to get the muscle memory to execute the movements correctly.


here are my gains so far:
over 7 workouts (i repeated weights on some of these exercises because of the shaking.. keep in mind it isn't crazy but i thought i should have perfect form before moving up)
squat 95lb to 145lb
bench 95lb to 115lb
deadlift 115lb to 155lb
rows 65lb to 75lb
press 65lb to 85lb

I'm not sure if i'm on track or not. I feel like im going slow since i stalled on a few.. tried to put 10lbs on squats and deadlifts, 5-10 on the rest. Havent been really counting my calories and macros.. i just approximate. I get my 5 or 6 meals and for the most part i eat clean (occasional chickfila sandwhich here and there.. college food lol)


It will pass. You are obviously completely new to lifting and your body is trying to get it sorted out. No big deal.

I will remind you, though, that the SS program says you are supposed to start with the damn bar. There is a reason behind it, namely to allow your body to find it's groove for each lift and avoid situations like the one you're in now.

If I were you, I'd go back to your starting point (no need to lift only the bar at this point) and start over. I know it seems like a waste of time right now, but you'll benefit from it in the long run.