Not Learning How To Bench, Squat And Deadlift Properly

Do you know how to REALLY squat,  bench  press, and deadlift? Seriously this is not a trick question. The simple answer is either a yes or a no. Be honest. If the answer is no, then it is simply impossible to create a strong and muscular physique with that genuine ‘look of power’ that simply cannot be achieved through any other means. The reality is that you see very few people these days in your average gym perform ALL of these lifts.


Sure the  bench  press is the archetypical gym rat exercise that everyone in society seems to care about but the reality is around only 5% maybe even less of guys in the gym squat and/or deadlift. Of those that do, only a fraction of those really know how to do these absolute cornerstones of progress properly with a decent weight. Guess what, that’s also the exact percentage of guys in the gym with real strength and quality physiques! OK so what do we mean by properly and with a decent weight? Well since the ‘big three’ come from the world of powerlifting, it’s a good place to start.

The rules for powerlifting are very clear; a legal squat must go to a depth where the thigh is parallel with the ground. Now how many squats do you see in the gym that get to this depth? Not many. How many with a solid weight? A tiny fraction. Depending where you train, you may not see one for years on end. And the masses wonder why they don’t get results.

Proper depth in the squat is the key that unlocks real results. Going to a legal powerlifting depth allows you to power up much heavier weights as you use the full potential of not just your front thigh muscles (quads) but also the rear thigh muscles (hamstrings) and buttocks (glutes). You develop massive amounts of balanced, functional power as your muscles learn to work together as a cohesive unit. This also saves you massive amounts of time because in all likelihood you can ditch all the frivolous and potentially injury causing leg exercises such as extensions and hamstring curls. The powerlifting  bench  press is a little different in that in striving to lift the most  weight , the technique is changed from being a chest exercise into a triceps, leg and back exercise. However, the lessons we can take are that of shoulder stability, control and a full range of motion. When you are going for maximum weights, stability and control are key. Go to any gym and you will see a multitude of guys merrily  benching  away but 80% – maybe even more have a key technique flaw that if corrected, in the long run would lead them to surpass their numbers and start driving up some impressive  weights .

The simple fact of the matter is that in the short-term pursuit of more  weight , the vast majority of guys will allow their shoulder blades to rise from the  bench  so they can use the front shoulder muscle (deltoid) to aid with the lift. When you know this, it’s plain to see as you clearly observe that their chests are sinking and/or their shoulder muscle lifting above the level of the chest when lying down. This is also the number one cause of guys plateauing in their chest development – they are simply not hitting the chest muscle. The other thing that you will see, is the bar being brought down to all sorts of interesting levels. Some people’s ranges are so short they are laughable. Others are really just short changing themselves consistently with ¾ reps because they want to simply have more weight on the bar. Of course there are various reasons when you may want to alter the range of motion for the  bench  press, but there is a BIG difference between a serious lifter doing it for a clearly defined and specific purpose versus someone wanting to ego lift more. Like the squat, full range equals full results.

Finally the deadlift. I often wonder if it’s just the name that scares people into thinking they will hurt their back. The reality is that by doing this lift with a decent weight you will strengthen your back and with a supporting musculature so much that you will have massive reserves of strength and stability for every other exercise. The lesson from those that do it best is technique. There is NOTHING to fear from this lift at all with proper technique. Your body is very well designed to pick up a heavy barbell off the floor. The leverage and mechanics of your body will handle the load just fine when you learn to use them correctly. Here’s a reality check for you, if elderly females can be shown how to perform this lift safely and effectively, virtually anyone can deadlift – it’s that simple.

So if your “big 3” are lacking how do you improve them? In order to get them to the level that you need them to be, you need more than an exercise chart and a ‘simple demonstration’ from someone who has never taken their lifts to a decent weight. This is because whilst the lifts are basic on the surface, there are many subtle aspects to them that only become apparent on the journey towards decent weights. These include many equipment set-ups, mental factors and small technique refinements that can only be passed on from someone who has done it all before.

For example, there is a very simple equipment reason on the squat that cause the vast majority of guys to get stuck at around 80-90kg (175-200lbs) as well as never being able to get proper depth (we demonstrate this clearly in the Ultimate Body System). Unless someone who knows why tells you what it is, you may get stuck there forever like a lot of guys do. I have seen people stuck there puzzled for years on end with the same weight wondering why it seems impossible to go any heavier safely to proper depth. Learn from someone who knows. – Learn and prosper from Ultimate Body Success.

Source by Ben Kong


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