Doing your one rep max
So, for the past couple weeks I've changed up my sets from 5x5 to 10 sets of one rep max (although, I usually only make it to around 8 before I can't do it anymore with around a minute to two minutes between sets/reps).
Good idea or am I doing something horribly wrong?
I think singles are a great idea. BUT, there is a caveat. You need to work your way down to singles. Going straight by 5x5's into 10x1's can end up with injury and probably will. Let me write an excerpt from "Dinosaur Training" by Brooks Kubrik.
Originally Posted by Macistani
"Singles may sound easy to the uninitiated, but let me assure you, they are SAVAGE.... Singles are so tough that you need to work into them carefully and gradually.... After 3-6 months on the 5x5 system, change to the 5/4/3/2/1 system. This calls for two or three progressively heavier warmup sets followed by one set of five reps for your working set. Than add a little bit of weight and try for 4 reps... and so on..... Start on the 5/4/3/2/1 for 3-6 months than try an actual single rep system."
"The reason you do the "break-in" work with the 5x5 and 5/4/3/2/1 systems is to gradually adapt to the heavy stress imposed by low rep, heavy poundage training.... you need this break-in period to avoid hurting yourself. No matter how well conditioned you THINK you are, your body just isn't ready for the extreme stress of single rep training. You must give your muscles, tendons and ligaments a fair chance to adapt to single rep work. THIS IS CRITICAL! Whatever you do, do NOT skip the 5x5 and 5/4/3/2/1 phases and jump directly into single reps. You are asking for trouble if you do..... Time after time I see guys who train hard, but with high or medium reps, foolishly try to jump into heavy singles without laying the proper foundation. In every case, they injure themselves. DON'T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU! (Kubrik, 1996, p.87)."
Kubrik, B. (1996). Dinosaur Training: Lost secrets of strength and development. Kentucky: Author.
Last edited by Renn; 10/29/2005 3:01pm at .
From all my research, no, doing your one-rep max over and over again is completely wrong. None of the top lifters will advocate training like that, either.
What most do (for strength) is use a cycle of gradually going up in weight and down in reps with each week for the top three compound lifts (bench, deadlift, squat), building up to your 1-rep max. You do your one-rep max on the last week, and then start the cycle over again, this time beginning with a slightly higher weight than you started with.
Also, for strengh training I recommend a Westside program.
Some people can do this but most can't. Doing your 1RM over and over is not the best way to train for strength. You're going to burn out quickly and hit a plateau.
Even when doing singles, you don't want to do your 1RM. You can either do a Justa-style approach, where you do lots of singles in a workout using no more than 70-80% 1RM, or you can do a Kubik style where you use about 90-95% for your last set of 5x1.
There is absolutely no legitimate strength training reason to ever incur a greater injury risk by attempting a 1-rep max unless you are preparing for a powerlifting or Olympic weightlifting tournament.
If you watch "Pumping Iron" you will see Lou Ferrigno doing 1RM's..all to try to rip and tear for competition.
Originally Posted by Tom Kagan
I would never advocate such a regimen myself. I agree with Tom. I think it is unnecessarily severe and dangerous.