The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

Itís no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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Thread: Squat form

  1. #26
    TJW Keith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shouse94 View Post
    I believe I have this problem as well. Anything I could try to correct it? lighter on the weight first?
    If you post a video we would have a better understanding of where you're having problems and what to correct. If you feel your form is off, the weight should always be light no matter what.
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  2. #27
    GFH Lones Green's Avatar
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    Drop the weight until you perfect your form, even if you are squatting a broomstick. thats the best advice i can give you. Squats will hurt your back, and if you haven't been doing anything to strengthen your lower back, then it is week. hit the posterior chain hard, and it will make your squat a lot stronger. try box squatting. experiment with stances and see whats most comfortable. break at the hips and DONT COME FORWARD. you need to get with some guys who know what they are doing and get them to show you how to squat. the reason i'm being so critical is i started squatting with horrible form, and had to correct myself all over again. listen to the people on this board, and keep taking videos.
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  3. #28
    Banned bjohnso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Detard View Post
    Good mornings will help with lower back strength and also rack pulls from the knee
    I change my mind, rack pulls from the knee are the best lower back exercise IMO.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Bran Man View Post
    I do deadlifts but I just started about a month ago so I have been doing light deads as well. No to the hyperextensions, do you think they will help a lot?
    Hyperextensions will probably help. They are also a butt/hamstring exercise. Rack pulls, however, will blast your lower back like no other.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shouse94 View Post
    I believe I have this problem as well. Anything I could try to correct it? lighter on the weight first?
    Yeah, you should always start with light weight. Prioritize your weak points.

  4. #29
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    you're not even close to keeping your back tight. If you can move your head around like that while squatting, you're not keeping tight.

  5. #30
    mrelwooddowd Patz's Avatar
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    I agree with the form critique others have posted, but...

    I don't think your form is bad enough to cause ongoing lower back pain.

    Do you sit at a desk all day at work? Do you spend a lot of time sitting at a desk at home, like working on the computer? How's your posture, in general?
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  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrelwooddowd View Post
    I agree with the form critique others have posted, but...

    I don't think your form is bad enough to cause ongoing lower back pain.

    Do you sit at a desk all day at work? Do you spend a lot of time sitting at a desk at home, like working on the computer? How's your posture, in general?
    All i do is sit at a desk!

  7. #32
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    Ok this is a rant. I was at the gym today and was so PISSED! I have been on RESULTS now for over two weeks and just got another jug, nitrean and ets. However I think I am going to stop taking RESULTS and not start ETS until i get this lower back pain figured out. I am not going to grow if I can't squat of dead lift for ****. I dont know what is wrong?! If i squat or dead lift over 135 my lower back kills me then if messes up the rest of my workout. Should I try and find a good trainer and just pay him for a little while to see if it's all form. I will post a video of my dead lift form as well. A guy said at the gym the my lower back just may be really weak, he said try doing hypers and see how many you can do. I can do sets with a plate in my hand for 10 reps without much problem so do you think its really a weak back issue? I just cant take this **** I put to much time and effort into this and now I can't get anything done.
    Last edited by The Bran Man; 03-19-2008 at 12:34 PM.

  8. #33
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    hello hello hello

  9. #34
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    You should see a doctor if you have chronic back pain. It could be something more significant than you think. Also check your posture when you sit and consider getting a better chair.

  10. #35
    mrelwooddowd Patz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Bran Man View Post
    Ok this is a rant. I was at the gym today and was so PISSED! I have been on RESULTS now for over two weeks and just got another jug, nitrean and ets. However I think I am going to stop taking RESULTS and not start ETS until i get this lower back pain figured out. I am not going to grow if I can't squat of dead lift for ****. I dont know what is wrong?! If i squat or dead lift over 135 my lower back kills me then if messes up the rest of my workout. Should I try and find a good trainer and just pay him for a little while to see if it's all form. I will post a video of my dead lift form as well. A guy said at the gym the my lower back just may be really weak, he said try doing hypers and see how many you can do. I can do sets with a plate in my hand for 10 reps without much problem so do you think its really a weak back issue? I just cant take this **** I put to much time and effort into this and now I can't get anything done.
    Sorry man..I forgot I had posted in here.

    I asked you about sitting at a desk for a reason. It's terrible for your back muscles, spine, and posture.

    I'm 28 years old. I've had a desk job for over 8 years. I sit, minimum, 7.5 of my 8 hours a day. In the summer, with OT, it could be 15-16, and it can be 6-7 days a week for months. I never had any back problems that I associated to sitting..I always thought any pain I had was related to lifting.

    Since I started lifting, I would get lower back pain the day of and day after, say, a squat session, or maybe a deadlift session. It would go away, and all would be well. The only back problems I ever had were related to fatigue from standing too long. Say, if I went to a concert...my upper back was screaming after about 30min of standing, and especially if I had my arms folded across my chest. I never really knew what to think of that, but since I was "strong," I didn't think it had to do with weakness.

    But, I was still young. I had all the elasticity and flexibility of youth, even though I'm about as un-flexibile as it gets, and wasn't in tremendous shape or anything..not even as good as now. Still, I woke up every morning with energy, and was comfortable throughout the day in my chair.

    Fast forward to a year ago. I transferred within the company to my current location. They all have the same chairs in my new office, and they're rock hard task chairs. Within a day, my lower back ached. In a week, I was in some serious pain. And in a couple months, I was absolutely miserable. I bought cushions and pads and foam..anything to make it better. I had small periods of comfort, but it never lasted. I finally found something called a G-seat, made by a company called Gelco (or..Gel-Co.maybe...bought it at footsmart.com), which is a gel pad designed to promote proper alignment of the hips, and provide a cushion that distributes weight equally. And, that prety much cured my lower back...for a while.

    Unfortunately, the back of this chair was causing an improper bend in my spine, and I ended up with constant, aching soreness about halfway up the spine in one of the small joints. I bought two new chairs, and only got marginal relief. And, when I got in a new chair, the G-seat didn't work as well, and the lower back pain came right back. I knew something else was wrong.

    So, I ended up with X-rays and a physical therapy appointment.

    My spine was ok, although they say I have a touch of very mild arthritis. If that's accurate, I can't tell. The only other thing is my bottom disc (I forget which one that is) is slightly compressed. How? 8 years in a chair. It didn't happen after the transfer. It gets worse, though.

    Apparently, all this sitting and not enough stretching has really caused me some problems. My pelvis isn't in the right position because my glutes and groin have locked up so tight (along with the lower back) that they've pulled it from where it should be. My lower back muscles are hardly firing at all, my shoulder blades are doing almost nothing to support my posture, which has my shoulders way too far forward along with my head and neck, my little spine muscles (scientific term..lol, but they're not the erector spinae) are very weak because I generally slouch in my chair for "comfort," which has caused that big pain in the middle, which is a hyper-mobile joint. I had noticed in recent months that my upper back joints crack constantly. I could lean my head back and run off a chain of cracking 5-6 times a day easy. Apparently, they're also becoming hiper-mobile. As best I understand it, they're getting more loose because they're working harder to compensate for my increasingly HYPO-mobile lower back. Cracking of joints is BAD..lol I never really knew that. So, I'm avoiding cracking now, to say the least.


    So, I've been in physical therapy for 2 weeks, a couple times a week. They've got me stretching like crazy, which I also do twice a day at home for 40-60 minutes. I do supermans, and other lower back strengthening movements, and some other really odd-looking things I NEVER thought I would need. I couldn't get within 6 inches of touching my toes before 2 weeks ago (and never could..ever), and now I can touch them. It's pretty incredible for me. The sickening pain at hyper-mobile joint is 75% better than it was a month ago, and seems to get better every day. They're teaching me ways to retrain my posture. I sit on a wedge at work, STRAIGHT UP, all day. No more slouching. If I'm not sitting, I'm standing, and prop my keyboard on a couple empty whey tubs. My lower back is finally starting to move again. I leave work at 8pm (I work noon-8, and I get up around 7am) after a full day with a ****ing SPRING in my step that I don't know if I've EVER had. Everything is becoming easier. My back doesn't start cramping up so soon when I'm jogging...literally, my daily stretching routine has already added a mile to my distance. There are pics of me here in this section of the form, and you can see how my shoulders roll forward. I'm fairly certain that in a year or so, when I've really seen the full effect of all this loosening has done, my physical appearance and shape will be noticeable different.

    I would never that thought that a person who maxed 395 on deadlift, 275 ATF squat, and 225 bench a couple year ago could have a WEAK back. I would never have thought I would have trouble supporting or balancing my own bodyweight. But, I do. The body finds other ways to do things when certain muscles aren't working. I did SLDL a few days ago, and for the first time ever I actually FELT my lower back pulling. I never knew it wasn't pulling before. I guess I was using all upper back and hamstrings, with the lower back just sorta stiffening up and transferring the energy instead of taking its share of the load. I've got several problems like that. I should post a pic of it, but I've got one lower back muscle shooting out to the side instead of following a path down to the glutes like the other side does. That, in itself, is proof that I've been compensating for years.

    The long term effects of my problems (and possibly, eventually, YOURS) are herniated or bulging discs. I was told I was headed down that road, but all my problems are correctable (except for the compressed disc) with 6 months to a year of work). They're already moved me to one appointment a week, because I'm doing the work at home and have noticeable improvement. I was skeptical at first, because some people put physical therapists and chiropractors into the same realm of quacks who get you hooked. I'd wager it's the other way around. We use them. People get into PT, and don't do the work at home, which is the most important. I see people at my therapist's office every day, completely half-assing it. Then, they give up and tell their friends that PT didn't work.

    Sorry this was so long, but I really wish I had known a few years ago about the road I was headed down, so I'm hoping to help you or anyone else who this might apply to.

    Get your posture in order.

    If your back is hurting more than 2 weeks, go see a PT and let them get your muscles working together instead of picking up the slack for each other.

    If you aren't hurting (anyone else), don't let it start. Get a good, full-body stretching routine going. There are 3 aspects to fitness...flexibility, cardiovascular, and strength training. I've been a lifting guy for a few years now, a mod on this forum, and have embraced cardio a lot more lately, but I now wholeheartedly believe felxibility is #1.
    Last edited by Patz; 03-21-2008 at 12:44 PM.
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  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrelwooddowd View Post
    Sorry man..I forgot I had posted in here.

    I asked you about sitting at a desk for a reason. It's terrible for your back muscles, spine, and posture.

    I'm 28 years old. I've had a desk job for over 8 years. I sit, minimum, 7.5 of my 8 hours a day. In the summer, with OT, it could be 15-16, and it can be 6-7 days a week for months. I never had any back problems that I associated to sitting..I always thought any pain I had was related to lifting.

    Since I started lifting, I would get lower back pain the day of and day after, say, a squat session, or maybe a deadlift session. It would go away, and all would be well. The only back problems I ever had were related to fatigue from standing too long. Say, if I went to a concert...my upper back was screaming after about 30min of standing, and especially if I had my arms folded across my chest. I never really knew what to think of that, but since I was "strong," I didn't think it had to do with weakness.

    But, I was still young. I had all the elasticity and flexibility of youth, even though I'm about as un-flexibile as it gets, and wasn't in tremendous shape or anything..not even as good as now. Still, I woke up every morning with energy, and was comfortable throughout the day in my chair.

    Fast forward to a year ago. I transferred within the company to my current location. They all have the same chairs in my new office, and they're rock hard task chairs. Within a day, my lower back ached. In a week, I was in some serious pain. And in a couple months, I was absolutely miserable. I bought cushions and pads and foam..anything to make it better. I had small periods of comfort, but it never lasted. I finally found something called a G-seat, made by a company called Gelco (or..Gel-Co.maybe...bought it at footsmart.com), which is a gel pad designed to promote proper alignment of the hips, and provide a cushion that distributes weight equally. And, that prety much cured my lower back...for a while.

    Unfortunately, the back of this chair was causing an improper bend in my spine, and I ended up with constant, aching soreness about halfway up the spine in one of the small joints. I bought two new chairs, and only got marginal relief. And, when I got in a new chair, the G-seat didn't work as well, and the lower back pain came right back. I knew something else was wrong.

    So, I ended up with X-rays and a physical therapy appointment.

    My spine was ok, although they say I have a touch of very mild arthritis. If that's accurate, I can't tell. The only other thing is my bottom disc (I forget which one that is) is slightly compressed. How? 8 years in a chair. It didn't happen after the transfer. It gets worse, though.

    Apparently, all this sitting and not enough stretching has really caused me some problems. My pelvis isn't in the right position because my glutes and groin have locked up so tight (along with the lower back) that they've pulled it from where it should be. My lower back muscles are hardly firing at all, my shoulder blades are doing almost nothing to support my posture, which has my shoulders way too far forward along with my head and neck, my little spine muscles (scientific term..lol, but they're not the erector spinae) are very weak because I generally slouch in my chair for "comfort," which has caused that big pain in the middle, which is a hyper-mobile joint. I had noticed in recent months that my upper back joints crack constantly. I could lean my head back and run off a chain of cracking 5-6 times a day easy. Apparently, they're also becoming hiper-mobile. As best I understand it, they're getting more loose because they're working harder to compensate for my increasingly HYPO-mobile lower back. Cracking of joints is BAD..lol I never really knew that. So, I'm avoiding cracking now, to say the least.


    So, I've been in physical therapy for 2 weeks, a couple times a week. They've got me stretching like crazy, which I also do twice a day at home for 40-60 minutes. I do supermans, and other lower back strengthening movements, and some other really odd-looking things I NEVER thought I would need. I couldn't get within 6 inches of touching my toes before 2 weeks ago (and never could..ever), and now I can touch them. It's pretty incredible for me. The sickening pain at hyper-mobile joint is 75% better than it was a month ago, and seems to get better every day. They're teaching me ways to retrain my posture. I sit on a wedge at work, STRAIGHT UP, all day. No more slouching. If I'm not sitting, I'm standing, and prop my keyboard on a couple empty whey tubs. My lower back is finally starting to move again. I leave work at 8pm (I work noon-8, and I get up around 7am) after a full day with a ****ing SPRING in my step that I don't know if I've EVER had. Everything is becoming easier. My back doesn't start cramping up so soon when I'm jogging...literally, my daily stretching routine has already added a mile to my distance. There are pics of me here in this section of the form, and you can see how my shoulders roll forward. I'm fairly certain that in a year or so, when I've really seen the full effect of all this loosening has done, my physical appearance and shape will be noticeable different.

    I would never that thought that a person who maxed 395 on deadlift, 275 ATF squat, and 225 bench a couple year ago could have a WEAK back. I would never have thought I would have trouble supporting or balancing my own bodyweight. But, I do. The body finds other ways to do things when certain muscles aren't working. I did SLDL a few days ago, and for the first time ever I actually FELT my lower back pulling. I never knew it wasn't pulling before. I guess I was using all upper back and hamstrings, with the lower back just sorta stiffening up and transferring the energy instead of taking its share of the load. I've got several problems like that. I should post a pic of it, but I've got one lower back muscle shooting out to the side instead of following a path down to the glutes like the other side does. That, in itself, is proof that I've been compensating for years.

    The long term effects of my problems (and possibly, eventually, YOURS) are herniated or bulging discs. I was told I was headed down that road, but all my problems are correctable (except for the compressed disc) with 6 months to a year of work). They're already moved me to one appointment a week, because I'm doing the work at home and have noticeable improvement. I was skeptical at first, because some people put physical therapists and chiropractors into the same realm of quacks who get you hooked. I'd wager it's the other way around. We use them. People get into PT, and don't do the work at home, which is the most important. I see people at my therapist's office every day, completely half-assing it. Then, they give up and tell their friends that PT didn't work.

    Sorry this was so long, but I really wish I had known a few years ago about the road I was headed down, so I'm hoping to help you or anyone else who this might apply to.

    Get your posture in order.

    If your back is hurting more than 2 weeks, go see a PT and let them get your muscles working together instead of picking up the slack for each other.

    If you aren't hurting (anyone else), don't let it start. Get a good, full-body stretching routine going. There are 3 aspects to fitness...flexibility, cardiovascular, and strength training. I've been a lifting guy for a few years now, a mod on this forum, and have embraced cardio a lot more lately, but I now wholeheartedly believe felxibility is #1.

    Thanks a lot man, I slouch in my chair at work constantly for "Comfort" I am seeing myself in all of the examples you have given. I am going to have to look for full body streches on the net, this is something I've wanted to start anyway. I shall consult with a PT and see there opinion on it, maybe even check out this wedge you sepak of. My father had back problems and it really made it hard to do things and I don't want to be that way. Thanks again for writing this!

  12. #37
    mrelwooddowd Patz's Avatar
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    Glad to be of help. It's been pretty exciting for me to figure some of this out.

    You're younger than me. Fix it now, and you'll truly be fit for life.
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  13. #38
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    Work on your hamstring flexiblity and your hamstring/glute activation. Keep the weight on your heels and keep your abs tight throughout. IMHO, your lower back pain has nothing to do with lumbar strength.
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
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  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sensei View Post
    Work on your hamstring flexiblity and your hamstring/glute activation. Keep the weight on your heels and keep your abs tight throughout. IMHO, your lower back pain has nothing to do with lumbar strength.
    Do you have any clue in what you think it is?

  15. #40
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    No, but if you want to get good at squatting you'll make sure all of those things are in place.
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
    Lifting Clips: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=johnnymnemonic2
    Blog: http://squatrx.blogspot.com/

  16. #41
    mrelwooddowd Patz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sensei View Post
    Work on your hamstring flexiblity and your hamstring/glute activation. Keep the weight on your heels and keep your abs tight throughout. IMHO, your lower back pain has nothing to do with lumbar strength.
    I've been reevaluating the way I do everything. I would wager I have almost NO glute activation in my squats. There's a couple of basic glute strength tests I failed miserably at the PT. ANd, of course, my hamstrings were tight as steel. I must say, nothing helps loosen up my lower back better than stretching my hamstrings, and lying down with my legs in the air, locked out, with my feet behind my head.
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  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrelwooddowd View Post
    I've been reevaluating the way I do everything. I would wager I have almost NO glute activation in my squats. There's a couple of basic glute strength tests I failed miserably at the PT. ANd, of course, my hamstrings were tight as steel. I must say, nothing helps loosen up my lower back better than stretching my hamstrings, and lying down with my legs in the air, locked out, with my feet behind my head.
    Do you stretch out before or after you squat?

  18. #43
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrelwooddowd View Post
    I've been reevaluating the way I do everything. I would wager I have almost NO glute activation in my squats.
    Most people don't. Definately something to work on. Pull-throughs with bands and wide-stance good mornings are great exercises to try if you haven't already.
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
    Lifting Clips: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=johnnymnemonic2
    Blog: http://squatrx.blogspot.com/

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by bjohnso View Post
    Do you stretch out before or after you squat?
    No I do not, I am starting to strech on a regular basis now. Hope it helps

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Bran Man View Post
    No I do not, I am starting to strech on a regular basis now. Hope it helps
    I was asking Mr. Elwood. I feel that I have very little glute activation as well. I've done the stretches he does, but only after a workout.

  21. #46
    mrelwooddowd Patz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bjohnso View Post
    Do you stretch out before or after you squat?

    Sorry, I was out of town..

    I've always stretched my shoulders, wrists, light twists of the torso, lunge stretches of each leg while holding the rack (for more shoulder stretching) and bodyweight squats. Then, I squat the bar for 10-12 reps to get the feel of the movement down. I also try to do boyweight squats, then 3 sets of leg press before squatting, to get everything loosened up I've always stretched more before squats than anything else. The only other thing I stretch at all for is bench, and that's just to loosen my chest and delts, along with some rotator cuff warmups with a 10lbs plate.

    I don't know what I'm going to do now. My enthusiasm for lifting isn't real high right now, until I get some more confidence about my form and stability. I'm still going, but I've scaled back the intensity a bit. I'm cutting anyway, so it wasn't that intense to begin with.


    Sensei...I've had good mornings in my routine for quite a while, and my stance is about shoulder width. My form on those has probably gone downhill as well. I've got this fear that my form is or has gotten bad on a lot of things over the last year or so, due to muscles tightening up in places.
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