Want to Stop Sucking at a Lift? Here’s How: Picking Variations to Improve Strength

It’s been eight or twelve weeks now and you aren’t hitting any new PR’s on your lift. Maybe it’s one of your big three, Squat, Bench, or Deadlift. Maybe you’re trying to lift an atlas stone, do a clean and jerk, or a snatch. Maybe your little brother is getting too big to comfortably suplex anymore, it doesn’t matter. There are __ easy principles that will help you progress on any lift.

Identify key weak points. 

Figure out where you suck. Unable to lock out the deadlift? Getting stuck in the hole on a squat? Your bench press looks like a wave pool? The key is narrowing down where things are going wrong in your lifts. Figure out where you’re breaking down, then move onto the next step.

Choose exercises accordingly.

If you’re unable to lock out your bench at the top, you’re not going to add in more lat work or chest work, you’re going to add in tricep work.

If you can’t get your deadlift off the ground, you’re not going to add in rack pulls.

If you’re getting stuck locking out near the top of your squat, you are not going to add deep pause squats to target that problem.

It’s as simple as that, use exercises that expose your weakness. If you can’t get the barbell off the ground, add in deficit pulls until you can. If you can’t lock out a bench. you better start doing close grip, spoto-bench, and more tricep accessory work than you were doing before. If you can’t lock out a squat, you’re going to do more rack squats and probably just practice squatting more. There’s no reason you shouldn’t lock out once you’re out of the hole.

Practice them frequently.

Like most of our flaws in life, just acknowledging them does nothing. If you want to get better, you need to practice. Weave in weekly practice with your variations. If you bench 3 times a week, substitute one of your normal bench days for a variation. Or, substitute two bench days for a variation. If you only deadlift once a week, alternate weeks where you do variations one week and competition deadlifts the next. It’s as simple as that.

Get Stronger

Sometimes the issue isn’t necessarily a singular weak point. Sometimes you just need to get stronger, nothing else. You might break down at a specific point that’s weaker than the others, but sometimes if it wasn’t that, it would’ve been something else. If you’re struggling through the entire lift, it doesn’t matter where you failed. Accessories aim to fix where a lift breaks down uncharacteristically. If you go down steady and stable on a squat, get out of the hole with ease, and suddenly can’t lock it out even though you have momentum on your side, that’s when you look into fixing a weak point. But if your knees are already caving on the way down, you’re folding forward, and your squat is starting to look more like a good morning, you don’t have a weak point, you have a weak lift. You can’t cheat the weight, so be honest if your self-assessment and be ready to work.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close