By Elliot Coulombe Woznica
Recently, I’ve had the luxury of writing about very odd and specific events occurring in my life that just so happen to relate to my lifting career. Well, for today’s blog post, I think I’m going to go back to the basics and simply discuss my 3 biggest training days this week. I’ll talk form, progression, and how I think, and hopefully you can pull something from it.
This week, I hit a pretty substantial set of 5 with 320lbs. This isn’t super heavy for me (as you may be able to tell from the speed at which these move), but there are still things about this set and my squat training, in general, that I’d like to comment on. To start, I want to not that I’m working with sets of 5 right now as an introduction to what will be a new block of strength conditioning. You may remember from previous blog posts that the goal coming out of a meet is not, in many cases, to continue to max out on heavy singles in the gym. Instead, it’s important to revert back to low intensity, high volume training to continue to build muscle that can be conditioned for strength later on. These sets of 5 are pretty intermediary in terms of intensity and volume, so they’re easing me into what’s to come.
Now that that’s out of the way, I want to discuss a few form things that I’d like to work on after watching this video back. Of course, I won’t be going over every little form cue for squatting. If you’d like to learn how to squat, here’s a link to a video by someone I look up to, Jeff Nippard, on how to squat: https://youtu.be/bEv6CCg2BC8
One of the first things that comes to mind is depth. I need to be sinking these a little bit deeper to meet competition standards, and that’s something I can improve upon with mobility work and practice. Another thing I want to improve upon is my bracing. You may notice a tendency I have to “wink” my butt and lower back at the bottom of each rep. To fix this, I need to find a more efficient torso angle, brace harder, and improve my mobility.
(I’m sorry, I can’t upload the bench video for some reason. I am working on it!)
Honestly, bench is my lift. Throughout my entire lifting career, bench has always been strong for me. On top of this, great form has come naturally. This week, I hit 235×9 on bench at a similar intensity to my squats this week. Just like squats, I’m trying to focus on lower intensity, high-volume training on bench to build some muscle going into the future. There’s not much left to say!
For this deadlift session, I actually hit a pretty insane number (by my standards, not really insane on the competitive level lol). This is 405lb for a pretty clean and easy paused single. To be honest, there isn’t a lot to talk about here either. One thing I would like to discuss, though, is why I’m pausing my deadlifts. As a sumo puller (my wide stance), the success of my deadlift depends almost entirely off of my positioning off of the ground. By pausing my deadlifts, I’m able to work on this positioning by overloading and practicing this movement, with control, right off of the ground.