Monday, October 18, 2010

New Look

If you haven't seen already, I chose a different template for the blog over the weekend. I thought it was an upgrade to the previous default layout. Although there will be a day when there's a complete overhaul to make it more customized to my liking, hopefully you all like this one for now.

I don't ask for user feedback much. This appears to be an instance where I could use it. If the majority of folks aren't feeling this new look, I can always revert back to the other style.

Along the top are the previous pages [contact, resources, all that good stuff] and to the right-side I added a new widget that displays the most popular posts in the last 7 days. Aside from those two things, everything else appears to be the same.

So this isn't a complete waste of a post, I can give an update on the training goals I set in late August. November 7th was a perfect week to test my 1-rep maxes but due to being sick last week, I'll be pushing everything back 4-5 days later to finish my current cycle and deload sufficiently.
1) Front Squat: This is #1 priority compared to the other two. I originally planned 200, but I think I'll be able to do more.

I did front box squats previous month and now I'm debating on whether to do cluster training, wave loading, or one & one-quarter reps. Isn't so much as to which will prove effective, but rather the question is "do I want to use this now to achieve the goal sooner or wait until I stall when I really need it?"

2) Dragon Flag: I bumped this up over the deadlift because I feel like I should be able to do it by the time I'm ready to test. Currently using various RKC planks, front squat holds, and dead bugs.

3) Deadlift: 2 years ago I was deadlifting amazingly. Ton of weight and form was spot on. I then switched to Romanian deadlifts for around 6 months and when I went back to conventional pulling, I was all types of off on my set-up.

Right now I'm not sure if I want to keep this as one of the goals. It wouldn't hurt to try, but I also have tons of ideas to use in my programming for upcoming months. I won't fully know until 2-3 weeks later.
That's all from me today.

Anyone else have some goals to hit? How are they going?

Monday, October 4, 2010

1-Rep Max Testing Protocol

Most likely, that's
his warm-up set.

Around 3 years ago, I made the switch from trying to get "big" - which most guys still pursue - to focus on building strength.

So how do you measure strength? Typically you see what your 1-rep max [1RM] is for a lift. Although, I did little research on executing that. Instead I did a few sets and kept packing on the weight.

It comes off as sound in practice. However, the trick is the amount of sets you do. Too many sets and you become fatigued when you finally try hitting your personal record. Too few and you're not prepared enough to lift the weight you decided on.

From my internet perusing over the years, I haven't seen any set formulas or guidelines to go about testing 1RM's besides do a good number of sets and increase the weight accordingly. But, 2 years ago I asked over at Precision Nutrition and got great feedback.

The most helpful reply was from Coach Mike who provided the following response:
"When I certified with Poliquin, we used the following protocol:

4 @ estimated 40% rest 10 s

4 @ estimated 40% rest 10 s

3 @ estimated 60% rest 30 s

2 @ estimated 75% rest 60 s

1 @ estimated 80% rest 120 s

1 @ estimated 85% rest 120 s

1 @ estimated 90% rest 180 s

1 @ estimated 95% rest 240 s

1 @ estimated 100% rest 240 s

Rest another 240s before testing each successive max single

Fast twitch fiber types may end up doing another 5-6 singles before "maxing out," so limit to two lifts/wkt

Test quarterly max."
This isn't the only way to test your 1RM. This is the only written out formula I've seen to date.

To avoid fatigue, other users suggested to limit testing to 2 lifts per week with exercises that don't work the same musculature. When I checked my deadlift (hip-dominant w/ horizontal pull), I tested bench press (horizontal press) 2 or 3 days later. There's little hamstring involvement in the bench press and almost no pec usage in deadlifting.

Now if someone decided to do bench press one day then standing overhead press a few days later, they wouldn't perform to the best of their abilities due to the same muscles - delts & triceps in this case - used earlier in the week.

Now, go hit some PR's and then some.
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