T Nation

1-6 principle

It usually takes me about 4 warm up sets to get to my 1RM-now that last warm up set isn’t easy. Here’s the thing-that right there is my workout. My strength levels are pretty much sapped after doing a 1RM. How can I be expected to perform several 1RMs a day?

I don’t know exactly how your question ties in
with the title.

From the standpoint of determining several
1RM’s in one day for the purpose of planning
training cycles, it’s easy enough to do. You
don’t have to do any lifts so severe that
Mr Scott is yelling from the engine room about
how “she cannae take much more of this, and
the dilithium crystals are about to burn
completely oot.” Do a lift where you know
from experience, based on how that one felt,
that you could not reasonably expect to get
a 5% heavier weight. You’re done. Either use
your actual heaviest weight, or estimate
it upwards another 2 or 3% depending on how
it felt. This is more than close enough for
cycle planning purposes, and doesn’t burn you
out. You can get several 1RM values in one
day, no problem.

Your title though seems to refer to something
Poliquin wrote about, regarding doing several
1RM lifts and then doing a set of 6. This
did not work for me. I suspect he did not
communicate himself clearly, he probably
meant do several singles at a weight not that
far off from 1RM. On some exercises I will
do something somewhat similar to this: warm
up with about 6 singles with initially only
20 seconds rest inbetween, but up to 2 minutes
for the last one, starting at 50% 1RM or
even lighter if its something like leg extension, and ending at about 95% 1RM. Then
rest four minutes and begin doing regular sets
at the planned intensity.

Also, in these warmup lifts, you by no means
emphasize the negative: you make the lifts
as easy as possible (with good form) which
means quick negatives. You also don’t push
utterly explosively, instead do the positive
in the easiest way possible, which means
with a nice speed and some momentum, but
not trying to accelerate the bar like a fiend. You want to minimize fatigue on the muscle in the warmup.

The singles in the 1-6 workout are not meant to be 1 rep max’s. The are used to stimulate the nervous system so that you will perform better on your next set of six. The weights I used averaged about 15% more on the singles than on sets with 6. It will obviously be different for everyone, so youll have to see for yourself. For the single I would figure a weight that you can comfortable do about 3reps with. Really explode the weight. Remember this is just used to prepare you for your next 6 reps. Although Ian King has designed a program in the opposite mannor wherein you use the 6 reps to prepare you for the next single.
Hope this helps.