Article written by Jay Stadtfeld for LiftBigEatBig.com
When it comes time to a meet, or any other time you’re going for a max effort (this includes repetitions and one rep max testing), the likelihood of your form staying perfect is nil, as you get closer to your body’s limit.
The reasons for this vary. It could be because it’s the true definition of a max and your body realizes this and tries like hell to stop you from moving it; it could be because a kink in your body’s armor was found (not being able to keep your shoulder blades pulled together while benching, for instance); or any other numerous reason that would take forever to list.
I should preface this article by saying I’m not advocating poor form. Actually, it’s quite the opposite really. When I coach a client, I want them to get as perfect as possible, but you also have to realize that perfection is unattainable. It doesn’t exist. Their upper back may round slightly as they pull a heavy deadlift. How do you expect to pick up an Atlas stone with a perfect spine? That’s the nature of the beast. If you want to go heavy, your body will compensate in one form or another.
Many people are successful with what others deem “improper” form. Those other people are YouTube commentators who are too busy hacking away at a keyboard to actually be what they’re witnessing: Strong. We will ignore them, for they serve no purpose other than laughter.
As long as you’re actively trying to stay tight in every aspect, you’re training properly. Staying tight is different for each lift. Below, I bulleted certain aspects you should take note of, and find a method of “coaching cues” that specifically applies to you.
Again, training for proper form isn’t really testing the limits of yourself. If something happens to cause a slight deviation in perfection, so be it. That will occur as you further your quest for badassery. But if your form is deviating to the extent it could injure you, then strengthen your weaknesses and get stronger over all.