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MikeM 05-25-2012 12:08 AM

What is maximum effort?
Recently, I've realized an epiphany of sorts, so bear with me. I always assumed maximum effort meant 1 rep max. However, I am beginnning to wonder about that. And along those same lines, I've been wondering what is the difference between a new lifter struggling with their max and an experienced lifter struggling with theirs.

This is a free flowing thought, so it goes where it goes, just what I am thinking now.

I did 1 rep maxes for a while and dreaded them somewhat even though I was gaining strength, now am doing rep maxes and absolutely loving it because I don't feel that "fear" that I will fail, i.e. not stand up on a squat, from the get go. If the last rep is out of reach, so be it. Let them eat cake, I say. I'm busting loose with rep PRs, so I'm a beast.

However recently, I calculated my current rep PRs into their possible 1 rep maxes based on the 1 rep max calculator, and low and behold, I'm barely any stronger than I started!! But, I feel massively stronger. How can that be?

Makes me wonder if strength is not really an absolute. Of course any given day we are stronger and weaker, but in general, aren't we on an upward spiral?

Think of it another way. Who is working harder? Donnie Thompson squatting 1300 or some pencil neck gritting out 135?

When the max is on the line, you step up or not, but that is not the be all or end all.

What matters is the next rep or the next time you step under the bar. That's the 'max' rep. There's no formula for that. I'm beginnning to think matrix between physical and mental is a lot deeper than I assumed for a sport that has a bar and weights and precious little else.

BendtheBar 06-02-2012 09:54 AM

Just approved this. Sorry for the delay.

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