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  1. Greetings. Had a frustrating morning deadlifting and could use some eyes on my form. Currently doing the 2suns 531, which starts with a 5 rep, 3 rep, then a 1+, followed by alot of 3's Here is my 1+ at 290x3 https://youtu.be/Y4QD2pPZ5OI This was admittedly brash, after trying to sink into a deeper more careful pull and failing, getting lightheaded, then resting for a minute. I was frustrated. Here is the next set at 270x2: https://youtu.be/XIScUcb459o I was tired and a bit irked from the previous set, hence the careful yet unsure setup. Hips are rising, shoulders starting too far forward.... 260x3: https://youtu.be/-bmSCs7TNXs 245x3: https://youtu.be/9ZS41YoP-ag And finally 225x3: https://youtu.be/hYNTEJZ1XQ0 Best form of the bunch, I focused on pulling my shoulders back and down and really forcing my chest up. So yeah, I'm putting undue strain on my back, I cannot seem to get my arms over the bar and keep my hips from rising. Do I need to rotate my pelvis forward and push through the ball of my feet? I feel like when I try to bring my butt back to get my shoulders over the bar, I lose power and I'm trying to activate my glutes and push through my heels. I am inefficient. Fix the setup and focus on 5-reps of that 225 range, or what? I'm spinning my wheels here and appreciate impartial observers. Thanks!
  2. What's up guys. I've been using Nerd Fitness for awhile but I just got on the forums. I had a question about bent over dumbbell rows. So I started working out again, I have a gym membership now and 3 times a week I've been going in and doing this sites "Beginner Workout." I've had to do it exercise by exercise in sets rather than as circuits cause I wait for first a bench to open up (for my 3 sets of rows) then for the Smith's to open up (I do 4 sets of incline assisted pushups cause I'm pretty bad at real ones atm). My ultimate goal at the moment is to be able to do 1 pullup which is definitely a ways off as I am currently weighing in at about 268 and should be closer to 190-200 (I'm 6'1"). As the members here I'm sure are aware, there's a great article on exercises working up to a pullup on this site and that's what I've been following in addition to the beginners workout. I've been doing my bent over rows pretty much like Steve does in the video, with my back as close to parallel as I can get to the bench and my pulling arm straight down, then I pull the dumbbell toward me and sort of out to the side of the area below my chest. Here's my question--today, in between sets, I noticed another dude in the bench area doing bent over rows only instead of angling his pulling (dumbbell) arm straight down, he had it held out at arm's length in front of him about a 45 degree angle from the ground and he was pulling all the way back to his lower chest/side area then out to arm's length keeping the same angle. Curiosity got the better of me so I decided to try a set and right away I noticed it was quite a bit more strenuous doing it this way--I had been using a 20lb dumbbell the other way and, after trying just a couple reps, had to go all the way down to 12lb doing it this way to do a full set. The other thing I noticed was, doing it the straight down way oftentimes I feel like the exercise is too easy and if I do feel a pinch in my back or shoulders its less isolated and kind of distributed over the length of my arm whereas this way I felt a definite worked-out feeling in my shoulder/upper back area (or at least that's where I think it was, I'm not an expert on the various muscle groups I just started working out, but I know from the pullup article this exercise should be targetting your back). Ok so sorry for my long-windedness, but I guess my question is this: do you guys know if there's a substantial difference between what gets hit in terms of muscles in the traditional way I've been doing it (as shown in Steve's video) and the way I tried it today? Is there a greater risk of injury/not hitting the right muscles doing it the new way? I'm tempted to keep doing it this way because I feel like I got a much better workout for the row sets than I normally do. I already mentioned I'm pretty tall so maybe this other way would work better... ? Anyway peeps, gimme your thoughts and experience on this, again I'm pretty new but I appreciate this community here that Steve has built up, seems like a great place. - Adam
  3. Brief backstory: NF Rebel and powerlifter since April 2014. Currently on leave from my graduate program to focus on some health issues before continuing the get-my-PhD saga. The past couple of challenges I’ve solidified the basic, keep-me-functional habits and gathered data to aid in troubleshooting some lingering issues. Now that that foundation is set, it’s time to take on some dragons: I need to take a critical look at my lifting form, especially for deadlifts and bench. After a recent conversation with a friend about bench form, I filmed my bench for the second time ever (yeah, should have done this much more often) and discovered that I’m tucking my elbows too much, putting my elbows ahead of my wrists at the bottom of the lift (à less efficient transfer of force and less pec involvement in the lift). That might explain why my bench lags behind my other lifts so much. Deadlifts, meanwhile, are still feeling awkward after several weeks of mobility issues from a bad mattress, and I really need to keep an eye on my back position. Meditation practice is becoming a habit, but longer meditations are still intimidating. I’ve gotten a bit lazy about batch cooking since returning home, besides cooking-all-the-meat type batch cooking. My cooking is also getting somewhat monotonous, and I want to add more techniques/dishes to my toolkit. Eventually I need to start working again, for a variety of reasons: learning what habits work best for me, establishing productive practices, and making use of my time now to gain skills that will be helpful during my PhD. I also want to give myself plenty of time to rebuild my work tolerance. Plus I enjoy the work and leveling up in this sphere. However, getting better is still the priority. Since slaying dragons is so last millennium, I’ll train dragons this challenge. GOAL 0: Don’t neglect the essentials Food: Stick to AIP paleo, minus the few foods I’ve reintroduced. Track on MFP. Eat enough. Sleep: 8 pm screen curfew. Track sleep quality. Exercise: Lifting ~3x/week, excluding deload weeks. Walk several times a week. Mobility: Yoga and foam rolling/SMR a few times a week, especially on rest days. I’m not tracking or scoring these closely – mostly I just need to write these down so I don’t start slipping on that screen curfew! GOAL 1: Scrutinize my form Record, at the minimum My top two 5/3/1 work sets for the Big Four lifts, plus any joker sets My heaviest front squat sets (at least two from the session) At least twice, to check form: RDLs and good mornings Re-read the Starting Strength chapters on the Big Four One or two misses/partial misses is fine, as long as the misses aren’t on the same lift. GOAL 2: Meditate Meditate daily Have a longer meditation session at least 1x/week (minimum length = 20 min. + (week #)*5 min.) Read Full Catastrophe Living GOAL 3: Escape the cooking rut Try five new recipes over the course of the challenge. GOAL 4: Devote time each week to focused work, because I can’t be a professional recreational powerlifter forever. Work = Reading literature in my field Working on data analysis or modeling from one of my Master’s or PhD projects Learning a skill that will help me down the road, such as Python (can use non-work related projects for this), machine learning, or dynamical systems theory Working on a Coursera course Focused = Work for at least 30 min. at a time before taking a break No non-work related internet or phone use (e.g., Facebook, email) Foam rolling/stretching is fine as long as it doesn’t distract from the task Listening to music is fine as long as I pick my selection beforehand/limit jumping around between tracks and playlists I’ll start with 5 hr/week and then add 0-1 hr to the weekly goal each week depending on how I do/feel. The goals started yesterday since I’m skipping Zero Week this time around for a 5 week challenge (even if MATLAB doesn’t count from zero…).
  4. I'm not sure if this is technically a "form check" but a 12 week program I'm following lists the Hack Squat and I'm seeing two slightly different forms and trying them they felt vastly different. I was wondering if someone could explain the difference between the two forms. Why is the hack squat with raised heels so much harder to perform? To perform a hack squat hold the barbell behind your back, squat down, then back up. The difference comes in either performing the squat flat footed (like this picture) or with plates under your heels (like so). I originally started by doing them flat footed since that is what was shown in the youtube video accompanying my 12 week program, but I kept scraping the barbell along my calves at the bottom of the lift and my hamstrings at the top so I thought raising my heels might solve the problem. It did, but now my legs felt instantly exhausted and I couldn't pinpoint where I wore out. I should point out that I was supersetting my hack squats with walking lunges so I was going from 20 walking lunges straight into doing 15 hack squats. Well, I was supposed to anyways. If you look at the below the first two columns are flat footed and the second two columns are with a raised heel. reps X lbs SS1: Walking Lunges 20x35 20x35 20x35 20x35 SS1: Barbell Hack Squats 15x50 15x70 5x70 10x50
  5. Hey guys! Almost finished with my first month on Stronglifts. My first foray with deadlifting socks and the fact I was using a squat rack by a window and had something to rest the phone on means I filmed myself. I'm sorry I didn't capture my feet, but I have a strong aversion to portrait mode. Hopefully you've got enough to go on... https://vimeo.com/168666565
  6. Hey guys I wanted some your opinions on my squat form. I was also wondering about the arch in my lower back I don't know if I'm over exaggerating this too much and is bad form or is good form. My lower back doesn't hurt either. Also I want your opinions on my bar path if it is totally off or with in the range of acceptable. The bar tracking app I think gets off a little but gives an okay idea for the first rep then you kind of have to eyeball the rest. Thanks. This is a moderate weight for me. https://youtu.be/MSKYiyf2sMk
  7. Here is 225. https://youtu.be/QB-a-PIKqFc
  8. Please give me feedback on my deadlift form. Thanks. https://youtu.be/p2U7cX-ydWU
  9. Hey guys, looking for a little help with my jump squat. I've been doing the angry bird workout for a little over a month now and I've progressed up to jump squats. The problem is, I noticed after the first couple of days that they make my knees hurt. I know the problem is that I'm not keeping my heel grounded the way you're supposed to in a squat. But how are you supposed to jump without going up on your toes? Thanks for any advice. I've gone back to overhead squats until I get this figured out. I already have knee issues, so I don't want to risk doing any more damage.
  10. Please give me feedback on my deadlift form. Thanks. https://youtu.be/p2U7cX-ydWU
  11. God. At this point, I am literally asking both the NFR community and God, am I doing something wrong? Because it seems like every time I try to do something to prepare my body and help it, it just hurts me more, instead. I do warm-up sets with squats. I get to the actual set, and I end up finding myself not having enough strength and balance to push up from the bottom of the squat, and I go tumbling back. I do warm-up sets with squats the next time, and I hurt my left knee on the warm-up set with nothing but the bar. I try to do calf and leg stretches to help my sore left knee and shin, and my shin ends up feeling stiff and sore for the remainder of the night, AND my left knee still hurts a little. Now it's been about two weeks since I've been to the gym, and I'm still feeling soreness in the left side in the center of my left shin, and the left side of my left knee. I would put ice on it, but then that means I would have to empty out all of the ice trays and hold a bag of ice to my leg and knee all day, which I can't do. I would take medication to help whatever's going on get fixed, but I can't do that, either. I would lay down all day and just rest my legs, but I can't do that at home because of all the chores and housework I find myself doing for two hours, and when I'm back in school, I've got to carry a backpack full of books to and across campus all day. Also, I feel like shit when I do nothing physical all day. I did try elevating my feet or knees last night, though. I think it helped some.
  12. Hey folks -- So, after watching a couple of videos to see how I could improve my squat technique (it was hurting my knees), I gave it a shot today. End result: lots of lower back pain. So clearly I'm doing it wrong, even though my knees didn't go over my toes, and even though I was trying to sit back instead of just down. I'm a little kinesthetically un-gifted (one of those folks who ALWAYS gets hit in the head with a soccer ball, baseball, tennis ball, you name it), so I'm afraid I'll just hurt myself if I keep trying to "improve" my form. Any alternative exercises anyone can suggest? I like living without back pain, as I have proudly managed to do for the past 38 years (minus today). Any suggestions would be appreciated.
  13. Hi guys! So apparently it's not normal to be able to point the inner bend of your elbows directly out over your hands... I didn't realise that hyperextend-y elbows (and knees) was a normal thing, and I think it may be affecting my push up progression (the knees not so much.) That or I just have really sucky upper body strength (Also a possibility!) My yoga teacher pointed it out and I've since modified my positioning with my arms for things like Downward Dog and it's helped, which got me to thinking that it could be affecting my push ups also. Currently I can do 1x3 full push ups, but this hasn't changed despite probably 6 or so weeks of steady 3-day a week practice doing incline push ups on various surfaces. I have yet to form-check myself, so I should definitely do that when I have time, but for now I wanted to know; How bad is it for my elbows to be locking them out while doing push ups? (or while doing any movement involving straightening my arms for that matter) What can I do to stop it happening and / or remedy it so it stops happening one day? Cheers!
  14. Hello, First videos Bench Back Squats Front Squats Any input would be greatly appreciated
  15. Hi Guys. It's been a while since i've posted here in the Nerd Fitness forums. I maybe absent in the forums but i've always been active in reading the articles. Anyhow, let's get down to business... As my first " return to the forums" post, I'd like to show my Squat. This is 90% (295 lbs) of my 5RM (325) Front View Side View I'm having some minor "tingling sensation" in my right knee. I think it's not yet quite alarming but I just want to prevent any major injuries that might happen soon. Today, I tried to do a wider stance in my back squat. I don't feel any pain whenever i do heavy squat but i can feel something whenever I do body squat. that's probably because of stance. Please feel free to comment on my form. I'm willing to hear your criticisms and suggestions. Thanks.
  16. let me know what you think https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bRXurxIhzg
  17. Question! I've been doing modified push ups for about 2 months now and I find them too easy. However when I try regular push ups I can only do like 4 before I collapse. Is there an in between push up I can try? Or an easier way of getting into the form? Help please
  18. Hi! So, I've been doing the angry birds workout, and I just want to check something about the squats. When I squat down, how low should I go? I usually lower until my bum is just a little below my knees, then I push back up. Is that enough?
  19. For some reason, I can't stop the bar from shifting side to side when unracking as well as pressing. This happens whether there is weight on the bar or not, though it happens more on an empty bar. I'm currently at 50 lbs, and I know I can lilft more, but I'm afraid to go anywhere beyond this, because of the bar shifting so much. Any advice for how to get it to stay still?
  20. Hey guys I have a question for ya. Would it be beneficial to do yoga routines in between work outs on rest days? I'm a beginner trying to build up some muscle and strength and the idea just popped into my head. I've never done yoga before so some basic routines and tips would be much appreciated.
  21. Hi guys fairly new around here just need to make sure this isn't going to kill me. When I set up I don't have a fully straight back I don't think? But it corrects itself after the first pull from the ground. Also my head positioning how can I get that to go inline with my spine. Any thoughts? I usually foam roll before and after workouts also to give this some background. 20 years old 73.7KG 5 ft 8 Been doing a starting strength style program although with squatting twice a week monday and wednesday with chin ups subbed in for powercleans since i can't do them still alternating overhead pressing and bench presses. Friday is deadlifts,bench/ovp and rows http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1N4ko42hmU#t=49
  22. Huh? I'm confused by the muscle head terminology. What do these actually mean? "Screw your feet/hands into the floor" "Break the bar?" "Tighten your abs" but "breath into your belly" How does one do this? I'm sure the answer is simple, but not for this noob. I'm also sure this is in the wrong spot, but this is my... second forum post? Sorry, I'll get the hang of it.
  23. Some of the best challenges are about facing your fears and this time I feel that I need to face one of mine. I am absolutely terrified of criticism, but I think that's what I need. Current Main Quest: I've decided to sign up for my first powerlifting contest in spring 2014. I want to make a respectable showing and (stretch goal) make the qualifying total for the Scottish Seniors in autumn 2014 (250kg if I'm in the 63kg class). 1. Sort that blinking bench press. My bench press 1RM hasn't improved at all since April even though my working weight has gone up 20kg. I know that it's a form issue but I don't seem to be doing very well at sorting it. I need to watch technique videos (all recommendations welcome), take a form video at least once a week and mark myself on how well I've focused on form in each set. +2 STR, +2 CON, +1 WIS A - Improve 1RM (anything over 55kg counts) AND post at least 6 form videos. B - Don't improve 1RM but post 6 form videos OR improve 1RM and post 5 form videos C - Don't improve 1RM but post 5 form videos OR improve 1RM and post 4 form videos D - Don't improve 1RM but post 4 form videos OR improve 1RM and post 3 form videos E - Don't improve 1RM but post 1-3 form videos OR improve 1RM and post 1-2 form videos F - Don't improve 1RM OR post any videos 2. Stop the heavy breathing! I've been super-lazy recently and I'm feeling a little unfit, even if I'm feeling stronger, so HIIT is back on the menu and I'm going to give circuit classes a go. Not only do I want to feel a bit fitter, but it'll help me reach my weight loss goals (or more accurately mean I can eat more and still reach them). +2 STA, +1 CON A - 11-12 sessions at the gym doing HIIT or circuits B - 9-10 sessions at the gym doing HIIT or circuits C - 7-8 sessions at the gym doing HIIT or circuitsD - 5-6 sessions at the gym doing HIIT or circuitsE - 3-4 sessions at the gym doing HIIT or circuitsF - 2 or fewer sessions at the gym doing HIIT or circuits 3. I'm bringing flexy back! I used to be freakishly bendy and, whilst I'm not getting as stiff as my husband, I can't do the splits any more. Solution - more stretching, more yoga and more deep tissue massages. At least 10 minutes of stretching after each lifting session, both upper and lower body. Do a 45+ minute yoga session once a week. Book in for another deep tissue massage with the crazy sadist! +2 DEX, +1 CON A - Yoga once a week, stretching done and massages block booked. B - Yoga 4-5 times, most stretching done and one massage booked. C - Yoga 2-3 times, most stretching done, no massages booked D - Yoga once, some stretching done, no massages booked. E - No yoga, some stretching, no massage. F - No yoga, no stretching, no massage. Current 1RMs: Squat - 85kg Bench - 50kg (was 52.5kg but failed out at last test.) Deadlift - 90kg Current 5RMs (for OHP and Row): OHP - 37.5kg Row - 42.5kg Current weight: 63.1kg (139lb) Measurements: To be updated tomorrow.
  24. 6x350lbs As you can tell from the video, I think I need to go lower. But it is hard for me to tell because of the size of my quads and hamstrings. I believe my form is otherwise fine. I hate that I don't have a partner in the gym anymore. But that's what you get when you can only go pretty late at night.
  25. I filmed myself doing some back squats so I could check my form. Overall, I think it's pretty good except that I round a bit in my back as I drop below parallel in the squat. Also I could make less of a 'pain face' in the later sets. Any feedback is welcome <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Z_qzfEKELIA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
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