Yesterday we posted a 1 rep max percentage chart. When we are discussing 1 rep max we are referring to an individuals ability to lift maximum amount of weight in a single repetition for a given exercise, and still be able to maintain good form and achieve the movement standards. Having an accurate 1 rep max is an important part of making the most of the strength programming at Connex. As Connex athletes get stronger you are starting to see more pre WODs use percentage references in prescribing the number of reps to perform, so it’s essential that you have a good idea on most of your maxes. We can tell you right now that “Work up to 85% percent of your max for a single” is pretty useless if you don’t have a good idea of what you can lift.
So how do your find a true 1 rep max? Warming up to find your 1-RM is imperative. If you’ve ever started working toward establishing a new 1-RM and found yourself missing weights you thought you could handle, chances are you didn’t warm up properly. You either did too little to get your body and mind ready for a one-rep max, or you did too much and exhausted yourself without achieving your objective.
When warming up for 1-RM efforts every athlete should start with a general warm up, which is basic activity to improve blood flow and increase your heart rate. This can be DUs, going for a jog, rocking out some meters on the rower, or anything else that takes no more than 10 minutes and doesn’t leave you feeling worn out. After your general warm up be sure to get some dynamic movements in and some mobility work. This portion is crucial for those of you who have flexibility limitations.
After this it is time to start warming up for the specific lift that you are going to be completing that day. A great way to do this is by doing the movement with a light weight. By practicing the lift, you warm up your neuromuscular system along with your muscles and joints. The first couple of sets should be ridiculously easy. The goal here would be to work with weights you are able to lift for two or three times the number of reps then you’ll actually perform. Then start working heavy, performing only one repetition before moving to the next weight. More than one rep at 75% or higher, and you’ve turned a warm-up set into a strength set. That’s fine for training, but not for warming up. The key is to feel as if you’re lifting something substantially heavy. If we skip this phase of warming up then your max attempt will feel even heavier than it is, and you might end up defeating yourself before you start. Through your heavier sets make sure you are giving yourself enough time to rest and recover so you go into your max attempt with all the necessary energy stores needed. When you get to your old one rep max, be sure to not complete a lift at the old weight. No sense of wasting that energy or time. So if you have done a single at 90% of your 1 rep max (or projected 1 rep max) its time to go for the big guy! When you go for that new PR make sure you are focused, hype yourself up, and commit to that next lift!
All in all- be safe, have fun, and get strong Connex!
WOD- TBA at gym! : )