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Old 05-10-2011, 03:26 PM   #1
Andrew Carnovale
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Squat and Bench Press Critique

Hi Everyone,

Did my first 5/3/1 workout yesterday in the hopes of gaining some needed strength. Was hoping to get some feedback from the community on my squat and bench form. Any criticism is appreciated!

Squat
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KS5_RvmqId0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXJD570AUKQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yB_G1wcorVk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vG2wz-XxZZI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVuPREM1VFU

Bench
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTRx8h5porU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T00oK1r_beY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLBcn_oCFYY
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Old 05-10-2011, 06:34 PM   #2
Robert Fabsik
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Re: Squat and Bench Press Critique

Overall things look pretty solid.

Minor Thoughts about the squat
1.) Might want to have your head more down--either looking forward or slighty down instead of up. This might help with hip drive.

2.) Wrists are bent back--when weights start to get heavy this might become very uncomfortable and instead of pinning the weight to your back with your arms you'll be holding the load in your arms--this is a lot of strain.

3.) Depth might have been an inch high on some of the 135 and 155 set.


Minor Thoughts on the bench--I wonder if you could narrow your grip by 1/2 inch on both sides. It might not be necessary, I was wondering if your grip was too wide, but the angle of the camera might have amplified things

Finally--did you not use a spotter on the bench or squat in the cage for the video? I'd highly suggest you get a spotter on the bench especially since you are to rep out on the last set of 5/3/1, I wouldn't want a bar on your face. Also, I'd rather have the cage catch a failde squat than your lower back and when you work your way up, sometimes we experience failure.

Keep up the good work. Out of curiosity what motivated you to do 5/3/1 vs. other linear progression programs?
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:03 PM   #3
Andrew G. Greenberg
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Re: Squat and Bench Press Critique

On bench, you need to look up how to properly unrack the bar. Keep your head still.

You look like a strong dude. Why are you posting these crazy light weights for critique? Surely you can do more...

I just watched the heaviest squat set. Looks great.
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:13 PM   #4
Robert Fabsik
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Re: Squat and Bench Press Critique

I believe some of the Elite or Westside guys promote bringing the head in like he did for stabilization purposes. I don't do it when I bench, but I've seen some of the top powerlifters do it.

Andrew-is that where you got that technique/style from?
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Old 05-11-2011, 03:57 AM   #5
Tamara Cohen
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Re: Squat and Bench Press Critique

Agree with most of what has been said.

Squats look great, although I would certainly try shifting your eye gaze down to see if that changes things.

For bench, I would definitely grab one of those guys hanging out in the background and have them be a spotter. I'm curious on the technique also.
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Old 05-11-2011, 04:17 AM   #6
Adam Carlson
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Re: Squat and Bench Press Critique

Andrew - I'll echo the question that was asked by another: why choose 5/3/1? You seem strong but still in the stage where you could make huge gains every session rather than trying to gain over the course of a month. 5/3/1 is a program for those who have passed beyond novice gains and need a more intermediate program.

On the bench - are you sure that the last set was 155#? I could be wrong (the larger plate could be a 35#), but it looked like 185#.
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Old 05-11-2011, 07:22 AM   #7
Andrew G. Greenberg
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Re: Squat and Bench Press Critique

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Fabsik View Post
I believe some of the Elite or Westside guys promote bringing the head in like he did for stabilization purposes. I don't do it when I bench, but I've seen some of the top powerlifters do it.

Andrew-is that where you got that technique/style from?
I stand corrected, then. Move that head if it helps you move weight.
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Old 05-11-2011, 10:53 AM   #8
Andrew Carnovale
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Re: Squat and Bench Press Critique

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Fabsik View Post


Finally--did you not use a spotter on the bench or squat in the cage for the video? I'd highly suggest you get a spotter on the bench especially since you are to rep out on the last set of 5/3/1, I wouldn't want a bar on your face. Also, I'd rather have the cage catch a failde squat than your lower back and when you work your way up, sometimes we experience failure.

Keep up the good work. Out of curiosity what motivated you to do 5/3/1 vs. other linear progression programs?
Robert- I decided to go outside of the cage as these weights are relatively light for me and even though I am going for "max reps" on the last set my plan is to leave a couple in the tank and not go for broke. I decided to use 5/3/1 for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I have done the SS novice program and experienced tremendous gains on it. I felt that trying a more intermediate program would be beneficial. Secondly, I liked the idea of training sub maximally and wanted to give it a try. Lastly, I thought it would be easier to incorporate the 2-day 5/3/1 program in to my Crossfit schedule. My plan is to do 2 5/3/1 days and 2 or 3 Crossfit days.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew G. Greenberg View Post
On bench, you need to look up how to properly unrack the bar. Keep your head still.

You look like a strong dude. Why are you posting these crazy light weights for critique? Surely you can do more...

I just watched the heaviest squat set. Looks great.
Thank you for the feedback. Any resources you know of to help my with unracking the bar? 5/3/1 is built on submaximal training so I started lighter to ease in to it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Fabsik View Post
I believe some of the Elite or Westside guys promote bringing the head in like he did for stabilization purposes. I don't do it when I bench, but I've seen some of the top powerlifters do it.

Andrew-is that where you got that technique/style from?
Yes, I watched a lot of Westside stuff and that is where I got it from. Not sure if the form varies between raw and equipped though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tamara Cohen View Post
Agree with most of what has been said.

Squats look great, although I would certainly try shifting your eye gaze down to see if that changes things.

For bench, I would definitely grab one of those guys hanging out in the background and have them be a spotter. I'm curious on the technique also.
I'll try keeping my gaze more moderate. I was looking up mostly to help keep my chest up.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Carlson View Post
Andrew - I'll echo the question that was asked by another: why choose 5/3/1? You seem strong but still in the stage where you could make huge gains every session rather than trying to gain over the course of a month. 5/3/1 is a program for those who have passed beyond novice gains and need a more intermediate program.

On the bench - are you sure that the last set was 155#? I could be wrong (the larger plate could be a 35#), but it looked like 185#.
I have done the novice SS program and made great gains on it already. 5/3/1 intrigued me a lot so I wanted to give it a try. It's by no means a novice program but I still think I can see some great gains. It was only 155#. I had a 45# plate and a 10# plate per side. The weight are oddly shaped at the gym I go to.

Thanks for all the great feedback! Please keep it coming!
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Old 05-11-2011, 04:44 PM   #9
Adam Carlson
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Re: Squat and Bench Press Critique

Andrew - this is just my $0.02, but why stop doing SS until you have finished milking it for gains? Capping yourself artificially and moving on to an intermediate program will slow things down considerably. Did you stall and reset a few times on SS already?
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Old 05-12-2011, 10:21 AM   #10
Andrew Carnovale
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Re: Squat and Bench Press Critique

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Carlson View Post
Andrew - this is just my $0.02, but why stop doing SS until you have finished milking it for gains? Capping yourself artificially and moving on to an intermediate program will slow things down considerably. Did you stall and reset a few times on SS already?
I did SS about a year ago (did it directly after the sectionals as I realized I was comparitively very weak) and got great gains after doing it for 3 months and then stalling. I did not reset and went back on mainsite programming. My lifts still improved just not as much as when I did SS. Personally, I think I have taken advantage of "The Novice Effect" Rip always talks about so even if I stayed with SS, I would do the intermediate program.

For a comparison:

Start of SS (approx): Squat 205x5, Bench 185x5, Deadlift 225x5, Clean 135x5

End of SS (approx): Squat 300x5, Bench 215x5, Deadlift 285x5, Clean 185x5

Now (bests, not necessarily current): Squat: 345x1, Bench 235x1, Deadlift 375x1, Clean (squat) 225x1
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