Semi-Sumo / Modified Sumo Deadlift Biomechanics

Depending on how you view such things, Ed Coan is perhaps the best deadlifter of all-time. His deadlift success is so outstanding that the “Ed Coan Deadlift Program”, which he didn’t even write, is one of the most popular routines of all-time. That said, the thing about Ed’s deadlifts that perhaps sparks more interest than any other is his deadlift stance: he used a very close, “semi-sumo” stance.   Of… Read More »

How to Change Your Lifting Technique

One of the great questions that I was asked recently is how one should go about the process of trying to change to a new powerlifting technique. For example, maybe you want to shift from high bar squatting to low bar squatting or maybe you want to try out sumo deadlifting for a time. Now, this is a bit of a broad question, but I do think some general guidelines… Read More »

Back Rounding and Back Injury

One of the oldest and most controversial topics in terms of lifting weights is whether or not you will get hurt from rounding your back when you deadlift. Opinions tend to run the gamut. You’ll hear people suggesting that you instantly reset the weights you’re working with whenever you get even the smallest hint of back rounding. Others will tell you that you should just ignore back rounding altogether if… Read More »

How To Improve Your Bench Press Arch

The recent trend on all of my training videos is to make some sort of comment about my bench arch. People want to know what my secret is to having such a big arch.   Well, in this article, I’m going to reveal what I believe to be the secret to a big bench arch.   If you’d rather watch than read: How to Increase Your Bench Press Arch The… Read More »

Squat to Deadlift Carryover: A Statistical Analysis

In powerlifting, there is one number that is paramount above all others: The Total. One of the most important, and yet forgotten, aspects of technique selection for each movement is not only how it will affect that lift, but how it will affect your total.   For example, many people claim that benching with a big arch tires out their back for deadlifts. Others claim that using a wide stance… Read More »

High Bar vs. Low Bar Squats for Powerlifting

  I participate in several powerlifting forums and one of the ever-controversial topics that has come up quite a bit lately is high bar vs. low bar squats. Opinions range from “anything can work, just gotta find what works for you, brah” (the powerlifting broscientist) to “low bar is universally better for every single application, ever” (the powerlifting fascist). I tend to be somewhere in the middle, but, despite the… Read More »

Powerlifting Deadlift Technique

Before we get started, I’d like to say that I drew heavily from the concepts I learned in Starting Strength to create this material. While Starting Strengthis not a book about powerlifting, it contains more than 300 pages of biomechanical analysis directly relevant to the powerlifts. If you grasp this knowledge, you will begin to develop your own ideas about optimal technique based on physics. I can’t recommend Starting Strength… Read More »

Deadlift Form: Sumo vs Conventional, Round Back vs Flat Back

I’ve mentioned this at the beginning of every article in this series and I’ll continue to do so here: I drew heavily from Starting Strength to create this material. If you enjoy biomechanical analysis, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of Starting Strength. There is literally no other book in existence that spends 300+ pages analyzing the powerlifts in the context of physics and mechanics. If you… Read More »

Deadlift Setup Science

I have to make it abundantly clear that many of the biomechanical principles and physics applications in this article are derived from Mark Rippetoe’s Starting Strength. If you enjoy discussions on leverage and optimizing technique, do yourself a favor and grab a copy of the book.   Of the three powerlifts, the conventional version of the deadlift is by far the simplest both in terms of set-up and execution. Despite… Read More »

Bench Press Technique for Powerlifting

If you weren’t aware by now, a lot of the concepts in this Powerlifting Technique series were distilled directly from Mark Rippetoe’s Starting Strength. While I’ll do my best to convey these complex topics in stream-lined article form, if you find yourself wanting more, note that Starting Strength contains 300+ pages of this type of discussion. It isn’t just a book about a novice program. You can grab a copy… Read More »

Bench Press Form: Wide Grip vs. Narrow Grip, Arched Back vs. Flat Back

I don’t care if I sound like a broken record: the principles used to create the optimized powerlifting bench press technique in this article were distilled from Mark Rippetoe’s Starting Strength. If you find yourself enjoying this type of analysis, you’ll love Starting Strength. Do yourself a favor and snag a copy of the book..   In the foundation article of this series, the concept of moment arms was introduced.… Read More »

Why You Should Film Your Powerlifting Training

In today’s day and age where nearly every single phone has a video camera built-in, you have no excuse not to be recording your workouts. If you get your training on video, it will benefit you in a myriad of ways. Let’s address some of the most important reasons you should be filming all of your sets.   The Perchmount Fit works well as a gym tripod. Form Feedback Is… Read More »

Powerlifting Squat Technique

Many of the core, foundational biomechanical principles discussed in this article were gleaned from Mark Rippetoe’s Starting Strength. Though the book is not about powerlifting per se, it contains over 300 pages of discussion on how to apply classical mechanics to the powerlifts. I highly recommend getting a copy of the book if you consider yourself a student of the game.   The first article in this series laid out… Read More »

Squat Form: Wide Stance vs. Narrow, High Bar vs. Low Bar

As far as I am aware of, there is only one book in existence that analyzes lifting from a framework of biomechanics and classical physics: Mark Rippetoe’s Starting Strength. Though the book is focused on general strength techniques, the powerful powerlifting optimizations contained in this article were distilled from principles found in Rippetoe’s book. If you like to learn, grab a copy of Starting Strength.   In the first installment… Read More »