Many thanks to Linda McFeeters - Precision Nutrition Moderator and Lean Eating Mentor - for her part in making our combined vision of PRECISION POWER a reality.
We had a great group of members that was small enough to be intimate and allow each person to go through the main lifts and benefit from some expert guidance and tweaking.
TOP 5 TWEAKS & TIPS to turn a standard squat into a powerlifting squat were:
1) Set the chin / create a neutral spin (Mark Rippetoe's Starting Strength is a great resource to learn more). I call it a humbled chin. Like you just ate something gross or really sour or you are trying to make a double chin. That means CHIN down, not just eyes.
2) Bar Position - Bring the bar down in the squat from the standar an upper trap position and use the rear delts as a ledge for the bar.
3) Use the breath! Inhale BEFORE the lift; HOLD the breath on the way down (squat and bench press), EXHALE explosively during the concentric porition of the left (the press or upward portion of the squat). Fill the lungs; expand the chest - breath = strength!
4) Think LOCKED & LOADED: "The tighter the set up the smoother the lift", "the more time given to the set up, the quicker and more explosive the lift", "the more painful the set up, the easier the lift"
5) Powerlifting is all about the MOVEMENT, not the MUSCLES. Take your attention and put it into the bar and into the lift itself. Use every muscle of the body and every system of the body (including the MIND) to executive this lift.
Important Note when learning a new method or variation of a lift: Bring the weight / load down and execute proper and near perfect form before aiming to increase. "Form first; then weight." "Strength first, then speed."