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Old 01-19-2012, 12:27 PM   #1
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Default Testing your 1RM Questions

This thread can develop into whatever it needs to be, but in particular I have a question about the value of testing your 1RM. We can discuss best methods of testing, how often you should, IF you should, etc.

I have 4 sessions left before I take mid-tour leave back in the states, where I won't be training. I'm considering finishing this week normally, then testing my 1RMs next week instead of normal training sessions. I'm only considering testing them for curiousity's sake. I figured I could do something like:

Day 1 - Squat work up to 1RM

Day 3 - Bench work up to 1RM

Day 5 - Deadlift work up to 1RM

Should I just train normally next week? What are some benefits, if any, of testing my 1RMs? What are your thoughts MAB?
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Old 01-19-2012, 03:01 PM   #2
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My thoughts on training 1rm are this:

If you do choose to test them, the scheme that you have up above is fine. Just remember to eat enough calories/carbs (good ones) to handle the toll that comes with 1RMs.

As far as training goes, when test my 1RMs every 4-6weeks simply because I don't want to burn myself out. The funny thing about 1RMs is that you will never truly find what your true max is because of different variables that have to be taken into account. I always say pick a number and smash it, pick another and smash it...it will always be an ever going cycle!
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Old 01-19-2012, 03:06 PM   #3
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do you think it's valuable psychologically for a strength lifter to test it?
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Old 01-19-2012, 03:07 PM   #4
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is it valuable in any other way, for that matter?
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Old 01-19-2012, 03:20 PM   #5
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I think it's pretty valuable for a strength-orientated lifter to test it from time to time.

Not doing so is like training for a sport but never playing it.
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Old 01-19-2012, 03:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tank View Post
do you think it's valuable psychologically for a strength lifter to test it?
I believe that it has potential to be valuable. You may believe that you're pushing yourself now, and if you get in the right mentality and crush a big number, then you may find out that you're not working as hard as you believe you are.

I like to test my maxes on weekends when I've had plenty of rest and plenty of food. I can tell when I'm going to put up big numbers, just as I can tell when I shouldn't even attempt 1RMs.

However, when I do shoot for a 1RM, I make it a point to make that my only focus for that day. That's just me though. 1RMs are really taxing when you put it all on the line. Make sure that you are going to have adequate down time; this time, or in the future.

If you base your training off of percentages, then obviously knowing your 1RM can help. However, poor planning will result in injury really fast if you do work with high intensities based off of a real 1RM.
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Old 01-19-2012, 03:22 PM   #7
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I would do the SQ and DL on the same day. The benefits are that it will give you a quantifiable goal to surpass next time you test your max.
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Old 01-19-2012, 03:26 PM   #8
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Weightlifting is very much a mental sport. Pushing past your limits can help "unlock" something you didn't know you had. Similar to walk-outs and unracking the bar on bench with weights heavier than you believe you can lift. Once you experience something truly intense, everything else seems like light weight and that mental boost can help you put up some big numbers.
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Old 01-19-2012, 03:36 PM   #9
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Here's a pretty complete writeup from Tom Mutaffis on planning for PR attempts...
So You Want To Hit a PR? | Wannabebig
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Old 01-19-2012, 03:38 PM   #10
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Good points by everyone here in my opinion.

Tank, it's always useful to work with higher percentages. In fact I'd go so far as to say the basis for most successful routines past the beginner stage is their ability to keep you working close to 100% for as long as possible without burn-out or catastrophic injury.

We know working with or close to 1RM is useful for all the reasons the guys have already mentioned. In addition strength specificity say's that training to increase your 1RM is best done by training with your 1RM or close to it. We generally consider anything above 90% of that in this circumstance.

So why else is a 1RM good? Well one school of thought suggests that a 1RM typically has a shelf-life of about 48 hours, thereafter it can vary based on other training or non-training related factors. One way in which we can use this is the form of the popular daily max. Work up to a comfortable daily max, take off 10% and voila! You have yourself a nice accurate 90% weight to work with, and we know what 90% weights do... make us stronger.
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