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tholian8
05-08-2005, 03:25 PM
Here is everything that's wrong with my lifts lately....

Squat: 1. Knees want to come in any time I am at 70% or more of max. With belt, the knees behave until I'm at 80% of max, then they start wanting to come in. 2. Excessive forward lean under maximal weights--95% of max or higher, not every time but enough times to be a concern. Several of my recent max attempts have tried to turn themselves into Good Mornings. :rolleyes:

Bench: 1. Can't get a decent arch. 2. BIG sticking point 2-3 inches off the chest.

Sumo Deadlift: If I can break the bar off the floor, it's almost certainly going to go all the way up--but sometimes I just can't break the damned thing off the floor. When I fail a Sumo, it's because I couldn't generate a big enough explosion. (I guess that's a lack of sufficient leg drive.) I trained Conventionals for a while recently, and although I could never get anywhere near my sumo max on the conventionals, when I came back to sumos I was able to put 13 kg (29 lbs) on my max. I think this was due to learning how to move the bar faster.

My current gym 1RM are:

Squat: 95 kg (209 lbs)
Bench: 65 kg (143 lbs)
DL (sumo): 116 kg (255 lbs)

I have my own ideas on how to combat these problems, but am also quite happy to get input from other people.

Oh, and...I'm a girl. Not that it makes any difference in terms of training; I'm just wanting to put my maxes in context. :) Also, all my lifts so far are with belt and wrist wraps only. I have knee wraps but haven't yet used them.

Paul Stagg
05-08-2005, 03:41 PM
Squat: 1. Knees want to come in any time I am at 70% or more of max. With belt, the knees behave until I'm at 80% of max, then they start wanting to come in. 2. Excessive forward lean under maximal weights--95% of max or higher, not every time but enough times to be a concern. Several of my recent max attempts have tried to turn themselves into Good Mornings.

** to fix the knees, get your hips and glutes stronger, maybe play wround with your stance, and try putting a band arouns your knees, sitting down at or lower than the bottom of your squat, and do reps forcing your knees apart. To fix the good mornings - get stronger... your hamstrings and lower back.

Bench: 1. Can't get a decent arch. 2. BIG sticking point 2-3 inches off the chest.

** Practice arching - you just need to get more flexible. 2-3 inches off the chest is speed and triceps.

Sumo Deadlift: If I can break the bar off the floor, it's almost certainly going to go all the way up--but sometimes I just can't break the damned thing off the floor. When I fail a Sumo, it's because I couldn't generate a big enough explosion. (I guess that's a lack of sufficient leg drive.) I trained Conventionals for a while recently, and although I could never get anywhere near my sumo max on the conventionals, when I came back to sumos I was able to put 13 kg (29 lbs) on my max. I think this was due to learning how to move the bar faster.

** speed, and just get stronger. :)

jack_of_all
05-08-2005, 04:16 PM
when i cant do a dl its because i cant get the bar off the floor, i thought this was normal though? also, are you supposed to explode off the floor w/ the bar to get started?

CarlP
05-08-2005, 04:58 PM
I have the same problem with bench. I have trouble "exploding" off the chest. When I try, I tend to bring the bar down faster and end up bouncing. If i ever get it going though, I can lock it out, slowly but surely.

NecroFeelYa
05-08-2005, 07:41 PM
If you're having trouble 2-3 inches off your chest, you might want to try changing your grip a bit. For me, it's always easier to get past that point with a wider grip, but it might be different for you. Experiment with it.

Another thing you may want to make sure you're doing is getting proper shoulder blade retraction. That'll help you spring off your chest and possibly help you get past your sticking point.

Yet another thing to make sure you're doing is tucking in your elbows as you're going through the lift. You'll recruit your triceps more and that should probably also help.

Another thing that helps with getting past sticking points in the bench is gripping the bar as hard as possible and trying to bend it in half. When you get to the point where you feel like you're going to get stapled, try it.

And yet another thing that I have found helpful (and for some reason, this seems to be very neglected) is squeezing my glutes throughout the entire lift. This willl greatly help with stability, which might make it easier to get the weight up.

As for your arch, just try to push it a little higher than it should go each time you do it. I did just that after reading an article (I think Sebastian Burns wrote it, and that guy is a monster) and it helped my arch. Stretching after you've finished all your sets may also help.

CarlP
05-08-2005, 08:17 PM
I've also heard of lowering the weight with your lats then pushing back up with the chest. Can anyone elaborate on this? I can feel my chest getting worked when I lower the bar, probably giving me less energy to push back u with.

Sensei
05-09-2005, 03:11 PM
Here is everything that's wrong with my lifts lately....

Squat: 1. Knees want to come in any time I am at 70% or more of max. With belt, the knees behave until I'm at 80% of max, then they start wanting to come in. 2. Excessive forward lean under maximal weights--95% of max or higher, not every time but enough times to be a concern. Several of my recent max attempts have tried to turn themselves into Good Mornings. :rolleyes:

Bench: 1. Can't get a decent arch. 2. BIG sticking point 2-3 inches off the chest.

Sumo Deadlift: If I can break the bar off the floor, it's almost certainly going to go all the way up--but sometimes I just can't break the damned thing off the floor. When I fail a Sumo, it's because I couldn't generate a big enough explosion. (I guess that's a lack of sufficient leg drive.) I trained Conventionals for a while recently, and although I could never get anywhere near my sumo max on the conventionals, when I came back to sumos I was able to put 13 kg (29 lbs) on my max. I think this was due to learning how to move the bar faster.

My current gym 1RM are:

Squat: 95 kg (209 lbs)
Bench: 65 kg (143 lbs)
DL (sumo): 116 kg (255 lbs)


Squat: weak abs/lower back, form issues = make sure you the head rises before the hips out of the hole. Think "head up, chest out, abs tight!" throughout the movement. High bar squats and/or manta-ray squats will also help, but you just need to work on form and get stronger.

Bench Press and Deadlift: If you are getting stuck at those points, it could be other things, but most likely the weight is just too heavy. Nothing complicated, just get stronger. If it's sumo and you're getting stuck on the floor, part of it could be weak hips.

PowerManDL
05-09-2005, 04:03 PM
Sumo's almost all form. Try speed pulls at around 80-85% to drill your form in with heavier weights.

Also, try switching between the stances. Focusing on either one for too long can be detrimental.

tholian8
05-10-2005, 03:01 PM
Wow, thanks everyone!

I'm out of town for a week with no gym access; but when I get back, I will:

a) Work on somehow getting stronger without putting on weight. I am already a farking fatass and cannot AFFORD to put on any more weight, from a comfort standpoint if for no other reason. :( Unfortunately I am way past the newbie stage where you can cut and get stronger at the same time, so I may have to do the long term bulk-and-cut pattern to gain strength without letting my weight skyrocket. I have not been impressed with my lifts when on a fat loss diet. <sigh>

b) I noticed a big improvement when I did speed work in the conventional stance and then maxed in the sumos. Maybe I will try another cycle of that.

c) Get some help with my bench technique, which sucks. I can tell that it's not right--nothing feels right lately when I get under the bar, and I've been stuck at the same BP weight for a while even though I'm getting pretty big improvements in my tricep, shoulder and lat work. Time to get my ego out of the way and just get someone to coach me properly.

d) Generally, more speed work, less max work. I find speed work really helps me on form. I think my stupid ego did me in here too, lately...I was recently on a long trip and had limited gym time in strange places, so I focused on heavy lifts because I could not swallow my pride and do the speed work with light weights. At my normal gym I have never had this attitude problem, but somehow when I was away it was all about impressing other people or showing them I had the "right" to be using "their" power rack, or some s#!t like that. IDIOTIC! You'd think I was 15, not 40. I am now paying for my stupidity in a big way. :rolleyes:

AKraut
05-16-2005, 01:27 PM
Most of this was probably covered but here's my advice:

Squat- Try box squats to a progressively lower box, don't worry about the weight just GET LOW. Drop your ass and arch your back, it's taken me a long time to get used to squatting and I'm sure I still have a way to go.

Bench- Visualize the lift and the muscles you're going to use. My little pre-lift routine is I place my hands tight, and then lift myself towards the bar and get a good square point for my heels to dig in. With hands and feet placed I lower myself down and nail my traps to the bench to create the arch. Again, it comes with practice and attention to detail.

Deads- I don't do sumo, but I can say that I've never struggled getting the bar off the floor, but I have failed to lock out. One technique I like is to roll the bar into your shins just before you start to pull, it gives me a false sense of momentum or something. Once the bar hits your legs drop your ass down pick your head up and DRIVE, dragging the bar up your body, shin scars are your friend.

Good luck and stick with it

CarlP
05-16-2005, 04:59 PM
Most of this was probably covered but here's my advice:

Squat- Try box squats to a progressively lower box, don't worry about the weight just GET LOW. Drop your ass and arch your back, it's taken me a long time to get used to squatting and I'm sure I still have a way to go.

Bench- Visualize the lift and the muscles you're going to use. My little pre-lift routine is I place my hands tight, and then lift myself towards the bar and get a good square point for my heels to dig in. With hands and feet placed I lower myself down and nail my traps to the bench to create the arch. Again, it comes with practice and attention to detail.

Deads- I don't do sumo, but I can say that I've never struggled getting the bar off the floor, but I have failed to lock out. One technique I like is to roll the bar into your shins just before you start to pull, it gives me a false sense of momentum or something. Once the bar hits your legs drop your ass down pick your head up and DRIVE, dragging the bar up your body, shin scars are your friend.

Good luck and stick with it

Every time I try to drive my feet down during a bench press, my butt tries to leave the bench. I've learned to pinch my shoulders together, but not the leg "drive."

debussy
05-16-2005, 10:02 PM
I haven't had the problem of dumping forward for a while now... but when I do, I do good mornings, practice my squat technique with light weight, and work the **** out of my core.

I think breaking the weight off the floor when pulling sumo is the hardest part. I usually try to spread the floor and pop the hips forward hard and fast for to get the weight going. I have a crappy deadlift though... so I dunno if my advice is that great.