I normally squat until the top surface of the hip joint is 1" below the top of the knee, pause for a fraction of a second on the bench and hold the top of a deadlift at least a second. Since there is variation in judging criteria which will affect the amount lifted, I have been trying to get a better feel for how much difference varying depth or hold time should change my lift selections.

While warming up, I have been going a couple of inches deeper and holding pauses and lockouts longer. I also occasionally squat to parallel instead of competition depth and I practice touch and go on volume days. For me, the difference in how much I can squat at a questionable depth and what I can handle when going so deep that almost any judge would give it white lights but still maintaining form is between 5 and 10%. I spent too many years benching without pausing, which is probably the reason that I lift 5 to 10% less when I hold a long pause than I can with a touch and go bench. Holding a deadlift at the top for a couple of extra seconds is clearly harder but might only be worth 10 lbs on my max. With more practice, I believe I can get both the squat and bench ratios closer.

Since many of you are far more experienced competitors, I was curious how much different judging criteria affect your totals.

To be clear, some of what I perceive are long pauses or tougher depth criteria are related to my inability to get motionless quickly and an aging body that doesn't like warming up for squats at 8 AM and not variation in judging criteria.