After my personal training session with an instructor I spent my days in the gym this week focusing on my technique. Going into the personal coaching my aim was to fix my bench press as I detailed last week. But the bench press turned out to be quite easy to tweak; I now have it exactly where I want it to be and the difference is noticeable. I had a second coaching session with my trainer yesterday and the two lifts which I need to work on the most are the squat and the deadlift.
I now have to really concentrate on the mental cues which I need to learn the physical cues so they become habitual. I have been lifting seriously for about 3 years now but I have been going to the gym in sporadic bursts for 30 years. In other words, I have a lot of bad form and technique to unlearn.
My weight on the deadlift has dropped substantially as a result of fixing my form. 110kg with proper form was almost too much for me yesterday. That amount of weight was a warm-up set for me with my prior incorrect technique. But my progress on the deadlift has been stalled due to my bad form. I instinctively knew it was incorrect so I wasn’t pushing through to really substantial weight for fear of injuring myself. The same goes for the squat although the weight decrease has been small when compared to my deadlift.
So to sum it up, I thought that the bench press was my big problem but my real issue was the deadlift, and to a lesser extent the squat.
I am determined to get my technique as perfect as possible. With that done I know that I will be able to push through to a different level of lifting. I only wish that I had done this years ago but better late than never and all that. At least I didn’t injure myself with my bad form. And when I say bad form it wasn’t that bad; we’re talking minor tweaks here but they add up to a big deal.
Now that I really know what these lifts should look like I’m noticing how many lifters in my gym have poor technique. I made the mistake last week of copying what another lifter was doing with his feet on the bench press as he is a serious lifter. Well, it turns out that he’s wrong. And he’s not the only one. I asked one of the trainers what their approach is when they see people lifting badly, and keep in mind that this is a dedicated powerlifting gym – the only piece of cardio equipment in the entire building is one rowing machine.
The trainer told me that it just isn’t possible to give technical advice to a lot of the serious lifters as there is too much ego involved. You simply can’t tell them anything. He tries to concentrate on those who are just starting out so as to try and get them into good habits from the get go.
This is the second time in 3 years that I’m deloading and rebuilding so as to get my form down pat. Hopefully this time it will work out the way that I want it to. Now I just have to hope that I find a decent gym when I go to the USA at the end of the month as I need to keep the momentum going.