Focus on Form: A Key to Quick Gains?

This morning, we finished establishing our one rep max lifts for generating our plans.  Today’s lift was the deadlift, and for inspiration, I watched this great video of Jon Pall Sigmarsson:

While I don’t have a strong history with deadlifts, I was more pleased with my performance on the deadlift than I was on the bench press or squat because I actually exceeded what I thought I could do. I topped out at 445 lbs, which was 10 lbs better than my previous best attempt, and it will likely improve with better form, which is true of my squat as well.

Despite having lifted my first weights 25 years ago, two lifts I never did until a year ago were squat and deadlift.  For squat, I was concerned I would hurt myself because of the pressure on the spine. I figured a leg press was a fine substitute.  For the deadlift, it wasn’t taught in the gym in high school, and I was never comfortable just trying it, so I didn’t attempt it until this last year. While I have received excellent instruction, my coordination on compound movements is not great, so I am still working on technique. My weaknesses in form became evident, without being dangerous, in my attempts at max lifts on squat and deadlift.

So what makes me think if I have struggled with coordination that this strength training class will help me achieve better form? Repetition. Lots and lots of repetition with more class time devoted to lifts instead of needing to balance strength with cardio. Yes, there is still conditioning, but the core goal of the class is to improve strength.

At the end of lifts this morning, Dave had already identified parts of my lift that were holding me back from better performance. With more time to work on these kinks in my form, I expect to be on my way to stronger lifts quickly.  Add to that stronger muscles, there is potential for great gains by the end of September. I am excited to see what happens next week.

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