Edward Hanson PT

Edward Hanson PT

Personal Trainer working out of Lifestyle Fitness Manchester. Email: edwardhanson.pt@gmail.com

Hows your bench? Some analysis of one of my 140kg lifts.

Paying particular attention to bar path you can see in the top left I bring the bar down to my sternum which shortens the range of motion and allows me to better utilise my lats to stabilize my shoulder joint.

On the way up, top right, I push the bar back off my chest towards my face, while keeping my elbows underneath the bar, which reduces flexion demands of the shoulder and generally makes for a much more efficient lift.

There still are a few things I need to improve such as my leg drive and overall set up, but observing the best and how they bench has really made my bench somewhat comfortable again!

5 Rules for Strength Training


5 things that have helped me progress over the past few years, which I feel many can relate to.
Check it out!


edwardhansonpt.wordpress.com This article focuses on 5 things that have helped me along my journey and I feel may help a number of others. While I know many other coaches differ in their beliefs, the points outlined here are s…

The Barbell Physio

Some good points brought up in this article.

Is knee valgus when squatting really that bad? Then why do elite lifters demonstrate this movement?


[08/01/16]   You know you're doing your job properly when you go through an entire session giving minimal instruction. Always educating clients on how to train better really paying off.

For about 9 months now after stalling on pretty much all my lifts I decided to make the shift away from exclusively percentage based training and employ a much more autoregulated approach. When training concurrently for a physically demanding sport such as BJJ, fatigue management can get quite tricky when you like to lift heavy.

This approach has allowed me to progress all of my lifts even during intensified periods of training for Jiu-Jitsu which can seriously hinder my readiness to train.

After some more research, I have started prescribing more autoregulated periodized plans for clients. Clients who often are the same position as me but as a result of personal and professional stress and yielding great results.

I have found with an autoregulated approach I can manage fatigue and ensure the quality of work week to week remains high as loads are derived from a current level of readiness rather than being prescribed exclusively as a percentage of a one rep max. From this I can be guaranteed a steady upward progression towards desired targets.

A super simple anterior core exercise I like to use. With your forearms on a medicine ball write the alphabet or numbers 1 through to 10 using your elbows. The subtle movements really engage your core musculature and teaches you to use that anterior core which is vital for pelvic stability.

Back with @thomasturner97 helping him get strong and ready for his upcoming football season with some posterior chain work. Accumulating some quality work improving his hip extension strength, lumbar spine strength and hip stability.

A little section of a new clients plan. Someone who is pretty fresh to weight training after many years doing very little. The load column is there as it is part of my strength programme template but I give it very little consideration in the first month or so of training. If they can push more weight great. If not, so what, my primary focus is to accumulate quality work and build efficient movement patterns that can be safely loaded once this initial block of training is completed. Progresssion is done through altering a variety of variables and methods which ensure more work and most importantly practice is done.

Here's a drill I like to use to help teach proper spine and pelvis postition. Using an appropriately sized box for feedback, roll your pelvis into the extremes of anterior and posterior pelvic tilt. As you continue reduce the amount you roll forward and back until you fibd the mid point between the two. This midpoint will be your neutral spine position. Once you have found this position stand up as you maintain this position.

There are plenty of markers which indicate progress. Load, which is the most common, doesn't always tell the full story especially when structural integrity is compromised. A big one for me is the quality of the lift and how it improves over time. Here's a lift from a couple years ago when low bar was life. It felt as rough as it looked. This is followed by a lift at the same weight last month after switching to high bar. Now after being setback with two big injuries in this time improvements in the quality of the lift are a big deal for me!

Focus on the foundations and you will see progress! After getting to grips with how to brace his core and set his spine in neutral and keep it there @chuhnt finished his block of training with a big 110kg x 3. Nearly triple what he was deadlifting when he started with me. Consistency and determination at its finest.

Little squat tip for anyone who struggles to keep shape in the hole. I like to use a small stack of plates or large medicine ball instead of a box to maintain full range and more so to add some proprioceptive feedback in the bottom position. This way you have greater awareness of your spine and pelvis position making it easier to learn to remain neutral throughout the entire exercise before progressing back to full squats.

Strength Training for Everyone



Once you look at the true definition of strength then you'll quickly see why everyone should think about getting involved in some form of strength training for your health and well-being.

edwardhansonpt.wordpress.com Everyone steps foot into the gym for the first time with good intentions. This could be to improve health and well being, improve sports performance or simply to look better. However many are appre…

More from my own training. I devote alot of time and effort into researching the best methods to get strong but after a conversation with my friend and colleague Krastyo Smilkov during a lifting session I decided to take a slightly different and simpler approach.

My previous back and shoulder injuries have always acted as a mental block when it comes to training heavy. This lead to lack of practice at loads >85% and subsequently very small increases in 1RM even after tough blocks of training.

My recent heavy block of training now includes sessions in which I frequently hit up to 90-95% of my 1RM. Previous heavy blocks would typically involve only 1 or 2 sessions at this intensity over a 3-4 week period.

This has lead to big PB's in nearly every lift. A big higlight being my 150kg bench PB. My bench has been fluctuating for around 18 months so it was a big relief to breakdown that mental barrier.

The moral of the story is to get better at lifting heavy you must train/practice heavy!

However this came after weeks of preparing my body to gradually deal with heavy loads, ensuring my movement patterns are up to scratch and making sure my recovery within and between sessions was adequate to maintain this level of intensity. More of that in another post!

More Progress from Christian. Teaching him how to set his spine and pelvis has lead to more improvements in his overall movement profile.

We kept his mobilty implements as frequent as possible and gradually progressed his ability to stabilize his spine and pelvis at end range. The end result being a cleaner squat which can now be used properly and effectively!

Breaking in the new platforms down at Lifestyle Fitness earlier on in the week. Me and the team had the entire weights area to ourselves making for a dream lifting session consisting of Power Cleans, Muscle Snatches and Back Squats to finish.

The higlight of the session being a 110kg power clean double. However my deadlift technique is definitely coming through in my first pull. Not maintaining proper hip and torso position and lack of drive from my knees causing me to cut my first pull off way too early and not making the most out my hips in the transition into my second pull.

Also having very long femurs and years of adopting a certain deadlift technique to accommodate for my stature makes getting into the right start position a bit tricky. Safe to say my hip dominance is very evident in my Olympic lifts.

I love objectively analysing my lifts constantly looking for areas of improvement and I look forward to developing my Olympic lifts over the coming months.

Jiu-Jitsu speed drills make for excellent finishers to sessions!

Heavy Posterior Chain Workout

A2 Barbell Good Morning

B1 Pendlay Row
B2 Pull Down Finisher

I like to substitute heavy deadlifts for a lighter variation every two weeks, which I feel helps me manage fatigue in the long run.

Mobility Gains! 2 Weeks spent restoring some range in Christians thoracic spine using consistent mobility implements and learning how to set his spine and rib cage has yielded some decent results. More work to be done over the coming weeks to imrpove his overall movement profile.

If you're seriously looking to put some big numbers on the bar you need to start thinking of any lift you wish to excel in as a skill.

Every time you perform a repetition, be it in the squat, deadlift, bench, clean, snatch, whatever it is you should be looking to mimic and build on the quality of the lift with each repetition.

Know your weakness and focus on your technique. Concentrate. Know how your body should feel. Make every rep look exactly like the one before it, the one in the previous set, the one last week!

Here is one of my squat sessions a couple weeks back trying to put this into practice. I Worked up to around 90% (160kg) of my front squat max. Trying to keep variation down to a minimum even approaching my 1RM.

Pay attention to what exactly it is you're doing and you will improve.

Happy Training!

Laying the foundations to your training: Part 1


No matter what you're looking to achieve make sure you're in a position to train for that purpose. Dive bombing straight into heavy strength training for example without having solid foundations will yield poor results and inevitably. Have a read!


edwardhansonpt.wordpress.com Everyone has their ultimate goal when it comes to sport and exercise. Some of you may want to be faster, stronger and powerful for your sport. Others just want to look better and feel comfortable i…

245kg Deadlift! The most weight I've pulled in 6 months, feeling strong and ready to push for that all elusive 6 plates. Watch this space!!!

Finding Neutral


The next blog post I'll feature builds on my previous post about the importance of correct posture. This is all about finding neutral, something most people are unaware of. Once you know how to set yourself in a neutral position you often find a big improvement in movement quality. Find out more by giving the article a read!


edwardhansonpt.wordpress.com You often hear the coaching cue around the gym ‘keep your back straight’. While the cue itself may be given with the best intentions for the individual performing the lift, most people often misund...


Worked up to about 80% 1RM for my working sets for a 3x5 with a deficit.

There are so many benefits for utilising the deficit. For me I find the disadvantaged position improves my ability pulling from the floor especially as I struggle with the early stages of the lift.

The increased range of motion does make keeping shape tricky as you can see in the video of my last working set, so it's one I use with caution!

Session was as follows:
Warm Up
120kg x 8
140kg x 8
160kg x 8
180kg x 8

Working Sets
200kg x 5
200kg x 5
200kg x 5

Drop Back Set
180kg x 8

Fairly simple but a killer session!

The Importance of Correct Posture


Gonna be featuring some articles over the coming weeks from my blog. First article will be all about correct posture. Straightforward concept but something that's far too often overlooked. Once you know why it's important in this breakdown you'll appreciate it much more and make it a priority every time you train. Check it out!


edwardhansonpt.wordpress.com It’s no groundbreaking secret that correct posture is should be emphasized in and out of the gym. But far too often it gets neglected leading to all sorts of problems down the line, most commonly l...

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