Post-meet form evaluations and plans for improvement

Two days after my competition and I'm sore but eager to get back in the gym and work on my opportunities.  Missing my third attempt bench press with 155 kgs took a bit of a toll as my lower back is very tender.  It's not nearly as bad as when I irritated it the first time back in May so I'm not worried about missing any time on the bench.  Other than my lower back being very tender in extension, my obliques and erectors are the only other areas that feel like they need some recovery time.

I had some time to upload the raw video of my squats from my phone to my computer and once I was able to see the full videos, I was able to better check my squat depth.  When I watched the videos on my phone and the relatively low quality upload on my youtube page, it appeared I was going very deep but after closer review at full-sized playback, my depth on my third attempt was not excessively deep at all.  Clearly legal depth but not low enough that I want to risk cutting them any higher.  As it was, it felt like I was at half squat depth so I think that'll be a good benchmark to hit in future training.

210 kg squat in the hole
2nd attempt, 210 kgs--lowest point of the squat

215 kg squat in the hole
3rd attempt, 215 kgs, lowest point of the squat
For the next 6 weeks, my goals are to increase work capacity and train in higher rep ranges.  Higher for me being the 5-12 range on work sets.  At the moment it looks like my next meet will be near the end of June so it'll give me lots of time to continue improving my squat.  I feel like there's a lot of opportunity for progress with that lift even without gaining any bodyweight simply because my technique will be much better.

Bench press will be a bigger challenge since I'm definitely not going to be gaining any weight--if anything, my plan, as it has unsuccessfully been for the past year, is to lose weight so I can compete in the 105 kg class without having to cut weight.  Now that my shoulders feel good, I can increase my training volume and spend more time on building up tricep strength.  Extra back work should help as well.  If I can stay away from the injury bug, another 5-10 kg by next June is definitely possible.

As for the deadlift, I felt very happy about my results at this meet.  Because I was concentrating on my squat training, I trained my deadlift with minimal volume.  I only ever went as high as 565 lbs in training for a single and still managed to maintain my deadlift strength.  While my goal is still to hit an all-time PR of 295 kgs, my squat and bench press are so lacking that I think it will be a more efficient use of my time to increase those lifts by a combined total of 15-25 kgs.  Even with emphasis on those two lifts, I still anticipate pulling at least 285 kgs by next June at a bare minimum.


Comments

  1. Good squats from you Craig. It seems the benchpress was one of those lifts. Today it din't go tomorrow it would have. Unlucky. However with a bit more work and as you said 6 mths to work on it it should be a lot better. I have to agree with you most people do way to much for deadlifts. I personally only do 20 lifts per week and half of them are for speed. I am a bit like you and have been slowly working my way to 300kg in comp with just a soft suit on. Not even a belt. Just reading your comments there about the 105 class my thoughts for an outside perspective are if you feel comfortable at your current weight then stay at it. This is where your body feels best and lifts the best. Coming down to 105 will mean a big loss in strength over time. And if you are maintaining your current body weight with no effort then it must be about right. Remember your goal weight is only a figure put up by you but your body weight is a number put up by your body and staying your current weight will mean you are able to train harder and burn off more calories plus because you don't have to "diet" into a weight class on the day of competition your body and your mind will be prepared for the rigours of the competition day. I would be more interested in what I could do day to day. Just a personal thing but a perspective from the outside. Well done on the total and with a some luck it could have been higher.

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    1. Hi Keith, thanks for your input. I think you're right about bodyweight, it's too bad the IPF changed the weight classes. 110kg was just about perfect for my body's settling point. We'll see how it goes, I'm not going to kill myself trying to get down to 105 if it derails my progress. While I aspire to someday get to a Master's Worlds, there are too many strong guys ahead of me in the 105 or 120 classes right now so the main priority for me is just to keep getting stronger while staying healthy.

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