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Ep 109: Powerlifter vs Athlete - Key Differences in Squat, Bench, and Deadlift Technique
Episode 10913th February 2022 • Rebel Performance Radio • Rebel Performance
00:00:00 00:51:53

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Joining me on the show this week is Rebel Coach Ryan L'Ecuyer. Here at Rebel, we train many athletes as well as powerlifters, and something that we've been noticing in conversations surrounding the big three lifts is that people are not executing them appropriately based on their outcome goal. Powerlifters are being told to squat, bench, and deadlift more like athletes. Athletes are being told to squat, bench, and deadlift more like powerlifters.

Both of these are failing propositions. Each population should set up and execute the big 3 lifts in a specific way because the outcome being chased is frankly very different. Listen in as Coach Ryan L'Ecuyer and I sit down and discuss the key differences in how to set up and execute the squat, bench, and deadlift as a powerlifter or an athlete (spoiler alert: if you're a human, you're an athlete).

What You'll Learn in this Episode:

  • [08:50] Big rocks for setting up a squat as a powerlifter
  • [09:49] The key difference between squatting as an athlete and squatting as a powerlifter
  • [11:00] Low bar setup cueing and coaching tips
  • [16:40] Why it’s easier to handle more weight under eccentric load than concentric
  • [20:30] The distinction of an athlete squat and understanding what triplanar control is
  • [21:29] Why the low bar squat isn’t great for repeated exposure
  • [23:50] The importance of having some level of variability in your squat
  • [25:55] Understanding the different types of stances for an athletic squat and a powerlifting squat
  • [28:25] The difference between a powerlifting bench press and an athletic bench press
  • [34:12] The similarity between the two lifts of needing to be set before the load gets into your hands
  • [37:20] Understanding the idea of retraction when rowing the weight down and protraction when driving the weight up
  • [39:01] The difference in position when feet are on the bench and when feet on bumper plates
  • [42:40] Why extension is only a problem when you can’t get out of it
  • [44:28] Deadlift exercise selection for a powerlifter and an athlete


PLUS: Whenever you're ready... here are 3 ways we can help you unlock total package strength, physique, and athleticism (without being in pain or getting beaten down by injuries).

1. Listen to the podcast. 

We release a new episode every Sunday evening where we break down what to do in and outside the gym to help you become the total package (and perform pain-free) - Click here to listen.

2. Join the RP Athlete Lounge

It's our new Facebook group where we show working professionals how to level up their strength, physique, and athleticism. - Click here.

3. Claim your 90-day risk-free trial to work with me and my team privately.

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