Bench Cues

February 1st, 2014 by Laura

Notes on my current bench style

Bench Setup
1. Feet narrow
2. Forehead to bar. Then, Head, Traps, Upper Back on bench.
3. Wiggle feet back (not so far that the hip explodes).
4. Shift feet out to engage glutes.
5. Shorten distance between shoulders and hips.. Point chest at wall behind me.. Test drive to upper back.
6. Take bar deep in hand and lock it tight
7. Pack shoulders, push into sockets
8. Tighten everything, huge breath.
9. Pull bar out with lats, very small and forceful movement. Not a giant bunny hop.
10. Re-sink weight by retracting again (pull down with bra strap back fat muscles if can’t figure out how to retract again from there)

Cues for Execution of Lift
1. Big Air
2. Pull bar into lats
3. Stay under the bar
4. Triple Pause (makes me grip the bar harder and be deliberate as it nears the chest as though i were still triple pausing rather than panic and loosen up)
5. Flare elbows ** ( admittedly, I really don’t know what I am doing with this yet. I am freaking out so much at the chest again I can’t even think about anything other than getting the hell out of there, so this is for later )

Videos of Good Bench Days

Bodyweight Bench for Reps

165 Touch and Go, was able to get knees farther below bench here

170 Paused


Deadlift Cues

January 2nd, 2013 by Laura

These are the cues I use to pull. Luckily, this lift never takes a vacation on me, but I like to keep some notes just incase I do need to refer to them at some point.

  1. Crushed Can
    Take the slack out of myself before grabbing the barbell by pushing all joints down into each other. Bend knees a bit, it should feel like I just shrank a couple of inches and puts me closer to the bar. Contract everything hard lats, triceps, core, glutes, hams. Get all weight in heels and drive them through the ground. Raise toes if needed to help dig heels in deeper.
  2. Align and Visualize
    Look at the bar and line up in the position I would be in when locked out. Make sure hand positioning is correct. Keep condensing everything down by tensing. Go through a strong and speedy lift one time in my head and feel the lockout.
  3. Stake in the ground
    Drive down on heels and move as little as possible to get to the bar. Grab the barbell and remove slack, and barbell doesn’t move, I dig myself in under it and closer to it. Alternate cues for this are:
    – Heels To China (Dan John)
    – Unearthing Trees (pulling out trees by the root)
    – Teeter-totter / See-saw
  4. Tilt
    I am willing my hips closer to the bar throughout the lift. But on passing the knee, I’ve had to train myself to tilt harder and quicker than I naturally feel the need to. More on Pelvic Tilt
    Alternate: Stand up straight.
  5. By the time I am ready to take a max, I shouldn’t even have to think (or overthink) about anything; all the speed training seems to take care of that. I dive bomb and it looks like I just swoop in and grab the bar, but in my head I already grabbed it, before I grab it. Start with legs a bit bent and contract everything in them. Try to push myself into the ground like a spring to come up, and take the slack out of myself before I even touch the bar. Look at the bar and set my grip in my head, and drive heels into the ground as much as possible before gripping the bar.

    Before the pull, take the slack out of the bar. It happens very quickly, but the movement is strong and efficient. Kind of like hammering a stake into the ground. You take that first whack to get the thing centered and stuck in there, then start hammering in deeper.