Deadlift Technique (Video)

Developing good technique is extremely important
if you want to reach your Deadlift strength potential
and stay injury free.

For more Deadlift technique advice, click here

100kg On Your Pull In A Year?
***Testimonial***
Andrew Dare wrote to me to say:
“Thanks for the awesome training information Andy,
I’ve been following your advice on the deadlift from
blocks and have added 100kg to my deadlift in a year.
I can now deadlift 300kg from the floor and that’s not
bad progress for an older guy.
Thanks Andy, keep up the good work “
 
>>>My Comments:
Excellent progress Andrew. Just shows what can be
done with the right knowledge, dedication and hard
work.
Andy Bolton

The Evolution Of The Strength Athlete – Part 1

The Evolution Of The Strength Athlete – Part 1

VR3K7531

So, you wanna get strong?

That’s a wise choice, and I commend you on your choice of
physical pursuit. It goes without saying that you will
need to lift weights and add weight to the bar in
order to get stronger.

However, if you wish to reach your strength potential
(in your chosen lifts) then there is going to be much
more involved than mindlessly ‘lifting weights’.

You must master your technique, find good training
partners, join a great place to train and
pay attention to your training program. Furthermore,
if you learn how to warm-up before your strength
training sessions and give some thought to the recovery
methods that you use; you will accelerate up your strength
gains further.

This article series, “The Evolution Of The Strength
Athlete”, I will discuss these topics in great detail
and help you on your way to building the strength you
deserve.

I am a Powerlifter by profession. I have won multiple World
Championships, Squatted over 1200lbs and Deadlifted
over 1000lbs. However, I have also competed for many
years in Strongman and I train all kinds of athletes who
want to get stronger.

The take home point is that these articles are for
anybody who trains to develop strength (not just
Powerlifters). If at times I talk about the Squat, Bench
Press and Deadlift, it is because these are my favourite
lifts. But 95% of what I am going to share with you will
be true regardless of whether you are a Powerlifter,
Strongman, Weightlifter or just a guy who wants to get
strong. (Even bodybuilders will find a lot of value in this
series).

So, intro over, let’s deal with the most important
thing first: Technique.

Walk into any commercial gym, anywhere in the World
and you will usually find that almost every person in there
is performing nearly every exercise that they do with
horrible form. Is it any coincidence that these people
are often also weak and in physical pain and/or injured?
The simple answer is ‘no’.

If we look at any sport, we usually find that the elite
athletes who participate in that sport have the best
technique. Sure, there are exceptions to the rule.
But in general, this point is true.

And again, this is not coincidence. These athletes
have worked hard to master their technique.
And you may ask, “Why have they done so?”

The answer is because great technique will allow
them to perform at your best level and with the
least injury risk. For the strength athlete, this means
that you must develop your technique in order to
achieve your strength potential and minimise injury-risk.

In one of the greatest books on sport ever written,
(Supertraining), the author sheds some light on
developing technique and why you must pay attention
to it. I will paraphrase Mel Siff because the book is
over 500 pages long and I can’t remember which
page this information is on. But the point stands:

“It takes approximately 500 reps to ingrain a technique.”

In other words, if you practise your Squat 500 times,
you are now likely to do what you have practised on
auto-pilot; without thinking.

Even more interestingly, Mel Siff explains that:

“It takes approximately 3000 reps to undo an old
technique and ingrain a new one.”

The take home message is obvious! Work on technique
as a priority; otherwise you will spend a lot
of time in the future, un-doing poorly learnt movement
patterns.

Get your technique right before trying to mindlessly add
weight to the bar. Once you have got your form to a decent
standard, the strength gains will come much faster anyway.

I hope you are starting to view
technique with the importance in deserves. Instead of
always looking for the next training program to increase
your strength; start working on your form. It will un-lock
the fastest and most powerful strength gains you have
ever had (and reduce your injury-risk in the process).

Before I share with you some tips for improving your
Squat, Bench and Deadlift form, let me just prove what
I have said with an example from my own career.

I didn’t have great Squat, Bench or Deadlift form in the
early years. However, I soon learnt what good Squat
and Deadlift form looked like, practised it, and the
results speak for themselves. A 1214lbs Squat and a
1008lbs Deadlift are mine.

However, the Bench was another story. I have struggled
(comparatively speaking) with this lift throughout my career.
Many well-meaning people have suggested different
techniques and programs for me, and all worked to some
degree. But I never felt like I understood the Bench like
I did the Squat and Deadlift.

Fast-forward to early 2011 and I became the all-time British
Bench Press record holder with a respectable press of 755lbs.
This represented a gain of over 50lbs in 6 months (having
been stuck at my previous PR for several years)! How did
I do this? I worked with Bill Crawford of Metal Militia and he
helped me with my program. But, before he changed my
program, guess what he did?

That’s right…

…he forced me to work on my form! Once my technique was
good the strength piled on faster than it could have done by
changing any other thing to do with my training.

Technique reigns supreme above all else.

Now be sure to pay careful attention to the following
technical advice…

The Squat Technique

 

arnold-07-high-quality-001– Set-up under the bar and make sure it is symmetrically
positioned on your back. Your lower back should be
arched, the shoulders pulled back and down, and the
chest forced out

– Take a deep breath of air into your belly, un-rack the
bar, take a small step back with each foot and assume
your start position

– Take in some more air, force the knees out and push
the hips back to start the movement (feel like you are
sitting back into a chair)

– Try to keep the shins vertical or as close to vertical as
possible (the wider your stance the easier this is to do)

– Stay tight and go down until the crease of your hip is just
below the top of your knee

– Reverse the movement by driving with all that you have
back to the start position

– Keep your upper back arched and the chest forced out

– Repeat for reps and rack the bar

– Only relax the abs once the bar is racked

– Throughout the entire Squatting movement your head should
be driven back into the bar and you must look straight
ahead at all times

The Bench Technique

 

VR3K7297– During the set up spread your feet as wide as possible,
squeeze the glutes hard and set the upper back tight

– The shoulders should be pulled back and down and the
chest forced out

– Take a deep breath of air into your belly and have your
training partner assist you in un-racking the bar

– The start position should see the bar held over the
Sternum with the arms locked out

– Lower the bar to the Sternum, squeezing it as hard as
you can and keeping the forearms perpendicular to the
floor

– Reverse the movement by driving the bar aggressively
back to the start position in a straight line, or slightly
back towards your face

– Repeat for reps or rack the bar

The Conventional Deadlift Technique

– Set up to the bar with a hip width stance, toes pointed
forwards and your shins within 2 inches of the bar

– Grip the bar with a mixed grip (one hand supinated and
the other pronated)

– Arch your lower back, relax the shoulders, take a deep
breath of air and you are good to pull

– Keep the head in a neutral position or look straight ahead

– As soon as the bar breaks the floor, feel as if you are
pulling backwards. The bar must stay close to your
body throughout the duration of the pull

– When the bar gets to knee height drive the glutes
forwards to lockout the weight

– At the top, squeeze your glutes and keep the abs tight

– Take in a little air and return the bar to the floor (this
can be done quickly; there is no need to slowly lower
the bar to the floor)

– Be sure that subsequent reps are pulled from the same
starting position (do not let the bar drift further forwards
with each rep)

In this article I have provided you with some reasons
why you must focus on your technique. This is true of
warm up sets with 45 pounds and top sets with 100’s
of pounds. You have also gained a basic overview of
some key points to practise on your Squats, Benches
and Deadlifts.

To take your Squat, Bench Press and Deadlift technique
to another level, check out the following books:

Explode Your Squat

Explode Your Bench

Explode Your Deadlift

Bench Press Power – part 3

In parts 1 and 2 of this “Bench Press Power” series
we looked at Bench Press technique and variations
of the Bench Press that you can use to bring up
weaknesses and prevent you from getting bored
in your training.

Today, we’re going to look at assistance
exercises for the Bench Press.

To Bench big you need strong Triceps, Lats,
Delts and Pecs.

Depending on your genetics you may develop
some of those muscle groups to a high level
just by Bench Pressing. However, you will
probably find some muscle groups don’t get strong
enough in relation to other muscle groups.

For instance, my back is very very strong, but
my triceps were never up to par. It was only
when I hammered my triceps with appropriate
assistance work that my Bench went through
the roof…

You must do the same.

Identify your weaknesses and bring them up.

————————————————

Tricep/Lockout Power

————————————————

The Triceps can be trained with CLOSE GRIP
pressing movements and extensions. With that
said, here’s a list of assistance movements to
bring up your triceps:

– 3, 4 or 5 Board Bench Presses

– Reverse Band Bench Presses

– Close Grip Press Ups (add chains draped over
the neck or use bands for more resistance)

– Lying, Straight or Ez Bar Extensions. Lower the
bar to the forehead

– Standing Overhead Straight or Ez Bar Extensions

– Lying Elbows Out Extensions

– Lying Elbows In Extensions

————————————————–

Lat/ Upper Back Exercises

————————————————–

A strong back is required not only for a big Bench
Press but also for a big Squat, Deadlift and any other
compound exercise that you can perform in the weight
room.

Here are some great choices for training your back:

– Pull Ups/Chins

– Pull Downs (various grips)

– One arm DB Rows

– Low Pulley Rows (various grips)

– Machine Hammer Grip Rows

– Shrugs (use a Bar or DB’s)

Your back is a complex area. Switch up the exercises
you use to train it every 4 to 6 weeks (or when boredom
sets in).

—————————————————–

Assistance Exercises For The Delts

—————————————————–

Ignore any assistance movements for the front delts.
If you are doing a lot of pressing it is unlikely that
the front delts need any more stimulation and this
could in fact cause over-training and/or lead to injury.

The side and in particular the rear delts need a lot
of attention in most lifters.

Here’s some simple ways to train those areas:

– DB Side Delt Raises (seated or standing)

– Bent Over DB Raises (seated or standing)

– Single Arm Behind The Back Low Pulley Raises

—————————————————

Assistance Exercises For The Pecs

—————————————————

I am not a fan of DB Flies. They stress the Pecs for
sure but they also stress the delts and can lead to
irratation.

To bring up weak Pecs focus on Wide Grip
movements and keep the reps to 6 or more. Two
movements that can easily be performed with a
wide grip are:

– The regular Bench Press

– Press Ups

In the past 3 days I have shared with you some
valuable information on how to improve your
Bench Press technique, various Bench Press variations
and some great assistance exercises.

As a lifter/strength athlete, it is your job to
figure out how to use this information in a
way that gets your Bench stronger. You have
to find your strategy. I’ve given you the tools to
do it.

For more help with your Bench, click below:

Explode your bench

Talk soon,

Andy Bolton

Bench Press Power – part 2

Andy-Bolton-Bench-Press-300x200In part 1 of this Bench Press newsletter
series I talked about the most important thing
that you must work on if you want a big Bench.

And that was TECHNIQUE.

Today I’m going to talk about the Bench Press
and variations of the Bench Press and how you can
incorporate these into your training.

Remember that all the variations I’m going to share
with you today train the same muscles as the regular
Bench Press. (Triceps, Lats, Front Delts, Pecs).

However, some variations do tax certain muscles
groups harder than others. For example, Incline
Bench Presses will make the Front Delts work a
little a harder than regular Bench Presses.

In contrast, Decline Bench Presses will make the
Pecs work harder than they do during regular
Bench Presses.

The trick with your own training is to work out
which variations will bring up your weak points.

Remember, have the guts and the courage to do
the stuff you SUCK at and over time this will pay
off big time for you and reward you with a bigger
Press.

For example, I compete equipped (in a Bench Shirt)
and over the years I have always struggled with
lockout power.

My current training reflects this. I use regular
Raw Bench Presses to warm up and then do
some practice in my Bench shirt and then do two
exercises for the lockout.

The pay-off has been obvious… I put over 50kg
on my Bench in 6 months, having been stuck for
years at my previous PR.

If you are competing Raw you may choose totally
different variations of the Bench in your training than
I use in mine because you may have totally different
weaknesses than me.

———————————————-

Bench Variations

———————————————-

Regarding Grip width:

You have 4 options on all Raw exercises:

1. Close Grip (index fingers touching the smooth
part of the bar)

2. Medium Grip (a thumbs length from the smooth)

3. Pinky on the ring

4. Wide Grip (middle finger on the ring or wider)

Tips:

– I would stick to your competition width grip
when using the Bench Shirt. There is enough to think
about when using a shirt without complicating matters
further by changing grip width

– Due to the extra stress that a WIDE GRIP places
on the Pecs and Front Delts I would perform 6 reps
or more when using this grip.

– The closer your grip the more you make the Triceps
work

———————————————–

Bench Press Exercise List

———————————————-

This list is by no means every possible variation of
Bench Pressing that you can include in your training.

But, it should make you realise that no matter what your
weakness; there is a way to train it.

Here we go:

Bench Press

Incline Bench Press (various angles, ranging from shallow
to very steep. Can be performed on a specific Incline
Bench OR in a Power Rack with an adjustable bench)

Decline Bench Press

Swiss Bar Bench Press (this will give you different width
NEUTRAL grips. A great choice if you have beat up
shoulders as the neutral grip is a lot easier on the
shoulders for most people)

Swiss Bar Incline Bench Press

Swiss Bar Decline Bench Press

Floor Press (performed in a power rack. Just lay on the
floor and perform your presses from there)

Cambered Bar Bench Press (this increases the range of
motion and develops great starting strength off the chest.
Only use it if you have the flexibility/mobility to do so).

***

You can use the 4 different grips on any of the Bench Press
variations above.

You could also use any of the exercises above with Bands
or Chains.

Remember, you can move against Chains, against Bands,
or have the bands assist you… as in the Reverse Band
Method (a personal favourite of mine and a great developer
of speed and lockout power/tricep strength).

As you can see, with a little imagination you can come
up with a never-ending list of exercises to help improve
your Bench.

You will note that I haven’t mentioned DB movements
here. You can use DB’s to press on a flat Bench, Incline
or Decline Bench.

However, because of the stress of getting the DB’s in
place, I am not a big fan of heavy DB work and prefer to
keep the reps to 10 or more when using DB’s for pressing
exercises.

(Just try and get the DB’s you need for a 3 rep max into
position and you will see why I don’t like DB work for
a main movement).

I am not however saying to never use DB’s. Just use them
for assistance work.

So there you have it; a massive amount of exercises to
help get you a bigger Bench.

To learn more about exactly how to increase your Bench,
click here:

Explode your bench

In the final part of this Bench Press series and I’ll show you
some great assistance exercises for helping your Bench.

Until then,

Andy Bolton

Ps. If you Bench is already on FIRE, but your Squat needs
work, check out this:

Explode your squat

Bench Press Power – part 1

I’ve put together a 3 part series for the Bench Press.

To Bench BIG; technique is first and foremost. It
was only once Bill Crawford, (of Metal Militia),
helped me with my technique, that my Bench
jumped from a terrible 280kg to a more
respectable 342.5kg/755lbs.

And this jump happened in just 6 months!

In fact, that was good enough for the British record.

To learn more about how Bill helped me improve
my Bench Press technique and to see how you can
get a bigger Bench very quickly, click the link below:

Explode your bench

I’m now going to share with you some key points
to improve your Bench Press Technique:

—————————————————

Bench Press Technique: The Most Important Stuff

—————————————————

Get Your Set-Up Right

– 1. Regardless of whether you Bench up on the balls of your
feet OR flat-footed… get your feet out wide. This will
create immense stability.

– 2. Squeeze your Glutes as hard as possible

-3. Force your Shoulders back and down and get your
upper back tight.

Un-Racking The Bar

– 4. Take a deep breath of air before you un-rack the
bar.

– 5. To save your shoulders and to keep the set-up
position you have created before un-racking the bar…
Get your training partner to give you a good lift-off

Lowering The Bar

– 6. Hold your breath and lower the bar down to your
lower chest/sternum area.

– 7. ‘Break the bar apart’ to activate the Triceps as much
as possible

– 8. Keep your forearms perpendicular to the floor

Pressing The Bar

– 9. Drive with the legs as well as the upper body

– 10. Keep holding your breath all the way to lockout,
or at least until you get past your sticking point

– 11. Push the bar in a straight line or slightly back
towards your head

– 12. Rack the bar or repeat for reps

Work on these points each and every time you Bench,
both on your heaviest sets and on your lightest warm-up
sets.

Science has proved that it takes most people around 500
reps to groove a technique and make it run on auto-pilot.

However, it takes a staggering 3000 reps to break an old
technique and re-groove a new one. The take home message
is clear: NEVER take any sets for granted and try to do
every rep right, with every weight. Heavy or Light.

To discover even more about exactly how to Bench Big,
check out my book by clicking HERE:

Talk soon,

Andy Bolton

VIDEO – Bench Press Technique Part 2

In this Bench Press technique video you will see me
talking about how to get a good set up and a good
lift off.

The lift off can make or break your Bench Press.

A good lift off will allow you to transition from having
the bar in the racks to having the bar over your chest,
without losing your initial set up position.

In contrast, a bad lift off will cause you to lose your
set up position, have a weaker press and invite injury.

Choose who you get to lift the bar off for you VERY
CAREFULLY.

To learn more about this and everything you need to
know to build awesome Bench technique and add pounds
to your press, check out my book, “Explode Your Bench”
by clicking HERE.

VIDEO – Bench Press Technique Part 1

For more information on how to improve your
Bench Press technique and build a bigger press…
check out “Explode Your Bench” by clicking HERE.

Bench Press Mini Series – Part 1

I’ve put together a 3 part  series on the Bench Press.

(this is part 1)

To Bench BIG; technique is first and foremost. It
was only once Bill Crawford, (of Metal Militia),
helped me with my technique, that my Bench
jumped from a terrible 280kg to a more
respectable 342.5kg/755lbs.

And this jump happened in just 6 months!

In fact, that was good enough for the British record.

To learn more about how Bill helped me improve
my Bench Press technique and to see how you can
get a bigger Bench very quickly, click the link below:

Explode your bench

I’m now going to share with you some key points
to improve your Bench Press Technique:

—————————————————

Bench Press Technique: The Most Important Stuff

—————————————————

Get Your Set-Up Right

– 1. Regardless of whether you Bench up on the balls of your
feet OR flat-footed… get your feet out wide. This will
create immense stability.

– 2. Squeeze your Glutes as hard as possible

-3. Force your Shoulders back and down and get your
upper back tight.

Un-Racking The Bar

– 4. Take a deep breath of air before you un-rack the
bar.

– 5. To save your shoulders and to keep the set-up
position you have created before un-racking the bar…
Get your training partner to give you a good lift-off

Lowering The Bar

– 6. Hold your breath and lower the bar down to your
lower chest/sternum area.

– 7. ‘Break the bar apart’ to activate the Triceps as much
as possible

– 8. Keep your forearms perpendicular to the floor

Pressing The Bar

– 9. Drive with the legs as well as the upper body

– 10. Keep holding your breath all the way to lockout,
or at least until you get past your sticking point

– 11. Push the bar in a straight line or slightly back
towards your head

– 12. Rack the bar or repeat for reps

Work on these points each and every time you Bench,
both on your heaviest sets and on your lightest warm-up
sets.

Science has proved that it takes most people around 500
reps to groove a technique and make it run on auto-pilot.

However, it takes a staggering 3000 reps to break an old
technique and re-groove a new one. The take home message
is clear: NEVER take any sets for granted and try to do
every rep right, with every weight. Heavy or Light.

To discover even more about exactly how to Bench Big,
check out my book by clicking HERE:

Explode your bench

 

(leave your comments/questions in the comments box)

Andy B

Ben Explodes His Squat, Bench & Deadlift

***Ben sends his strength through the roof***

“Hi Andy

I had been toying around with powerlifting styles
of training for the last 12-18 months, mixing it
with your typical split bodypart bodybuilding style
of training and had peaked with a 210kg deadlift,
200kg squat and a 140kg bench press late in 2010.

Since that time I had suffered illness a couple of times,
some back pain and some personal problems that
affected training a bit and other things, like most people
do. I had managed to keep training on and off but had
failed to improve my three lifts since then. I had been
doing other things like rack pulls instead of pulling
off the floor to help bring my confidence back but couldn’t
translate it to lifts off the floor, likewise with dumbbell
bench press for regular bench press or leg press/hack
squat instead of regular squat etc…

I was beginning to get frustrated but came across your
website and newsletters which started to get me interested
in your style of training. I then purchased your books
about Squatting and Benching and read them over and
over a couple of times, these books were also accompanied
by your two DVD’s – 2011 Training Seminar and the Phase
that Launched 1000lbs.
After watching them, taking notes from your books and
newsletters regarding training programs/styles/exercises.
I started a totally new regime approximately 6 weeks ago.
For the first time I would squat/deadlift on the same day,
then do back/leg assistance exercises another day, chest
/shoulder another day and abs/traps/whatever I’d missed
the 4th day, and increased my emphasis on stretching/
recovery with 15mins each morning after my morning
walk devoted to stretching/foam rolling etc.

I started off light the first week and managed to push to a
200kg rack pull, 200kg squat and 135kg bench. Nothing
major, but about where I had been at my ‘peak’.
Since then over the next 6 weeks of following your style
of training I have deadlifted 245kg off the floor, squatted
230kg and bench pressed 160kg! All massive PR’s!

I have even increased the number of reps I do leading
up to these 3 big lifts such as deadlifting 200×3, 220×2,
230×1, 240×1 then the 245, went from squatting 200×1
to 200×3 and 220×2, and benched 140×3, 150×2 then
the 160.
I have the confidence to walk up the bar now and know
that if I can’t make the lift, within a few weeks I will be
much closer (I tried 250kg deadlift this week but could
only get it to shin height). I have put on 35kg on the
deadlift, 30kg on the squat and 20kg on the bench in
about 6 weeks!

I couldn’t have done this without the assistance of
your products. I have put on a couple of kg in bodyweight
too and now weight close to 115kg, so I feel like this
performance in the gym is helping to also build muscle
and size. I hope to further refine my techniques whilst
increasing my PBs and eventually compete in a raw
powerlifting competition.

I look forward to your newsletters and other products
as they are released as I know that they are always full
of useful information.

Thanks,

Ben”

>>>My Comments:

Hey Ben,

Great job. Keep up the good work my friend
and good luck when you decide to compete.

It just shows what can be done with a little
knowledge and the right attitude.

Andy B

P.S… if you’d like to know more about the
tools that Ben used to get his Squat, Bench
and Deadlift to go up, click HERE