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Sam Ashen

Sam Ashen Stronglifts Form Check

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No worries, and yeah it's totally fine to take a pass on this month's virtual meet. Good thing about those is there'll always be another one in ~4 months so hopefully the timing works better next time.

 

Jumping from tens to heavy singles is a bit of a shock to the system so I'm not surprised you're having issues there. I mean fatigue alone is going to smash most of your preparedness for heavy singles. A lot of the skill value of the tens comes from developing consistent technique under escalating fatigue. Your ability to push through the backend of sets under significant acute fatigue with solid tech will translate into low and single rep efforts but it takes time, same as anything else. 

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Here is a set 4 of 5 for 10 reps:

 

 

I think this looks better.  I spoilered my comments so that you get to see the video first.

 

The neutral spine looks better.  My cue at the start is to extend the butt backwards and when I feel my hamstrings get really tight then I know my spine is neutral.  At first it felt like I was loading a giant crossbow, my hamstrings were to tight.

 

Next I think is getting the back tight and the chest up.

 

Uh.  You were just saying the back is the weak link.

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Here is a set 4 of 5 for 10 reps:

 

I think this looks better.  I spoilered my comments so that you get to see the video first.

 

The neutral spine looks better.  My cue at the start is to extend the butt backwards and when I feel my hamstrings get really tight then I know my spine is neutral.  At first it felt like I was loading a giant crossbow, my hamstrings were to tight.

 

Next I think is getting the back tight and the chest up.

 

Uh.  You were just saying the back is the weak link.

Looking generally pretty good. I'd agree that the spine is looking a lot better than before, staying pretty much neutral all the way through, aside from what looks like a little roll in the upper back during lockout, but if that was set 4 of 5, that could easily be fatigue. Seeing set 1 would be useful.

 

The only other thing I'd pick up on, is chest up, like you say. If you can start with your chest more upright (without compromising the neutral spine, of course), then you'll be reducing the amount of work the lower back has to do to reach lockout, pushing the load onto the posterior chain more, and help you add more weight.

 

In general, looking at this video, I'd say you're at the point now where it's small tweaks to the form, rather than anything substantial.

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Here are some squats.  4th set of 10 with 97 kg.  Had technical trouble getting a side view.  The plates were in the way.  Got a front view instead.  Uh.  Sorry about the shorts.  Since the view was from the front, there was no need to hike them up like that.  And the shoes.  I plan to get more suitable shoes when I get back from my trip.

 

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That looks really solid to me, in so far as I can tell front the front view. Your depth is great, especially considering you are wearing sneakers. If I was being picky, I'd say that you dip your torso forward a little coming out of the hole but a) it doesn't really creep in until rep 9, so it's clearly something that happens when you get tired and B) I do it too.

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Seems fine to me.  Everything looks to stay pretty locked in place and elbows stay nice and close to the side.  How close to a 3RM is that for you?

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For bench, you seem unstable when you unrack the weight.  One thing I try to do is squeeze the bar as hard as possible and get really tight from head to toe.  

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For bench, you seem unstable when you unrack the weight.  One thing I try to do is squeeze the bar as hard as possible and get really tight from head to toe.  

 

Was that for both takes?  The first one was a loading fail.  I had a 45+25 on the left side and a 45+35 on the right side.  You can see this when the bar is unracked and it tips to the right.  When I get better with uploading and editing videos, I will add in a WTF as I walk back and stop the video.

 

I am going to assume you meant - Yes, both takes.  So I will add this to the things I am thinking about when I grip the bar.  So far it is bend the bar, squeeze the shoulder blades, and push the heels.  So add to that grip like crazy and tighten up the lats.

 

 

How close to a 3RM is that for you?

 

I never did a 3RM.  However, a few months ago I did 5x5x205 pounds.  (93 kg)  I would estimate this is 85% of what my 3RM should be.

 

EDIT:  It was also at the end of 5 sets of 3 following more work.  Yes.  I did load fail on the fifth set of 3.  I was trying to film a set and the next bench was empty and I moved over there.

------------------------------

 

You might also see I am favoring my right shoulder a bit and it becomes more pronounced by Rep 3.  I have been working with an issue for a while and I posted another form-check video to see if there is anything in my bench press form that might be causing a shoulder issue.  Based on the feedback so far, I get the impression that it is not bad form causing bad shoulder, but bad shoulder causing bad form.  (So next up is work form check and sleep form check.)

 

(Superspinatus and either internal or external rotation)

 

The reps you see have been working around the shoulder issue.  It requires keeping everything tight.

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More deadlift fun at 3 reps.  I am showing a late set of 3 at 95% of 3RM and a later set at more like 75%.  I find it interesting, even if the theme is the same as quite a few posts above.

 

Here is a late set of 3 with 385 pounds / 175 kilograms:

 

 

The same thing is going on as above.  I notice the second rep is much easier than the first rep.  I wonder if this is due to the back position being gone already.

 

I followed this up with a couple sets with 315 pounds / 143 kilograms to show a benchmark.

 

 

Neutral back position is much better throughout.

 

I wonder if some of this might be related to how much I pull the slack out of the bar before lifting or if I forget to do that on the heavier lifts.  I am trying my best to remember, but I don't.

 

Somewhere in between those weights, I lose that back position.  I might be taking some time later this week to explore it and find out exactly where that is and what happens that is different.

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This dates back just a little bit to Thanksgiving:

 

 

Working on the Thanksgiving appetite.....

 

 

Second of five sets.

 

Fatigue starts to show on Reps 8, 9, 10 as I put the weight down harder.  A little more shoulders in the back pockets.  That's all I can think of.

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Posted for Form Check on the pause.

 

 

5x1x93 kg

 

Here is the second last single:

 

 

I never actually did Bench Press to cues, so I really do not know how long the pause is.

 

Short Pause - What it looks like on tape.

Long Pause - What it feels like under the bar.

 

It does not look or feel like an OMG the judge hates me kind of pause.

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in my experience, a mental count of "one-one thousand" would be on the long end of the pause.  

 

Thanks.  :)  I also noted that Meteoric saved me from a RTFM Red Light for racking the weight right away.  At least the weight looked like holding the weight at the top for an extra second was no big deal.

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Posted for Form Check on the pause.

 

 

I never actually did Bench Press to cues, so I really do not know how long the pause is.

 

Short Pause - What it looks like on tape.

Long Pause - What it feels like under the bar.

 

It does not look or feel like an OMG the judge hates me kind of pause.

 

The pauses I got in competition were shorter than that. Even with a different centre referee for my final attempt, it was definitely shorter!

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Virtual Competition.  3 PR attempts.  2 successes.  Might as well pick the form apart.  Two of the videos are pretty dark, so it might be hard to pick out the detail.

 

Squat:

128.8 kg / 284 pounds

142.4 kg / 314 pounds

146.9 kg / 324 pounds - DING!  PR!

 
Bench Press:

93 kg / 205 pounds

102 kg / 225 pounds

106.6 kg / 235 pounds XXXXX

 
Deadlift:

183.7 kg / 405 pounds

197.3 kg / 435 pounds

206.3 kg / 455 pounds - DING!  PR!

 

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More Squats!

 

124.7 kg x 1 x 1 (275 pounds / 84.9%) - Video taken

 

Here are the next three singles.

133.8 kg x 1 x 1 (295 pounds / 91.0%) - Video taken 1/3

138.3 kg x 1 x 1 (305 pounds / 94.1%) - Video taken 2/3

142.9 kg x 1 x 1 (315 pounds / 97.2%) - Video taken 3/3

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Not much to critique on that squat! Very solid. Nice 2-step setup, strong breath, great depth. 

 

The only thing I really see is that you're a little slow in getting power from your hips out of the hole, and you do briefly lose your upright position at the same point. I'm guessing these are probably connected.

 

I also personally try to coach people out of that little bounce you do at the bottom, but I wouldn't say it's a big deal if it's working for you!

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