T Nation

Autoregulating on Max Ramps

In order to minimize CNS fatigue I traditionally ramp to a 2RM for each lift. I lift Mon - Fri and off Sat-Sun. On those “on” days should I push for the 1RM on my ramps and then on the off days stop at 3RM? Or is it better to just let the “on” days fall where they may with the 2RM and not risk the extra CNS fatigue of pushing on?

I’m trying to figure out if I’m creating some sort of fatigue deficit by constantly going after it on my “on” days and generally staying at 2-3RM on my off days.

I ask because I’ve been platued for the past 2 months on most of my lifts and I’m not sure if this is just one of those keep punching the clock moments that I need to work through or if I’m actively doing something to hold myself back.


Why wouldn’t you just stick to the same thing on your on and off days?

That’s basically the point of the ramping, to autoregulate using the same relative loading parameters (relative to your ramp) so that the good days are heavier, and the not so good days are lighter. Heavier and lighter in absolute terms.

If you want to manipulate 1RM, 2RM, 3RM, there’s some more planned options such as the strength layers where you do all three in the same session, or the hypertrophy versions where they’re periodized. E.g., week 1 is 3RM + 3 clusters + density, week 2 is 2RM + 4 clusters + density, week 3 is 1RM + 5 clusters + density, week 4 is 1RM + 0 clusters + density.

In other words, I don’t understand why you’d switch the ramping protocol (1RM when good, 3RM when bad) when the ramps are already autoregulating.

That’s a good question. Probably overthinking things here.

I’ve done both the hypertrophy and strength layers, so I’m familiar with what you mention. My question was derived from my experience on the hypertrophy layers. The issue has also been that in the past 6 or so months that I’ve been working through the layer programs I’ve generally seen progression in weight, whereas in the last couple months that’s stopped. In fact it’s gone down a bit over the last two weeks.

Just trying to look at the variables and see what’s changed…

My initial guess would be that you plateaued because you have foregone the 1RM and thus, you aren’t ever working with a really heavy 90% for any of the sessions.

Just do what the boss says, and he says 1RM a lot last I checked. That’s my instinct on this one.

i personally have found that the 2rm is much more difficult than the 1 or 3. The ramp layer alone kicked my butt for some reason.

Thanks for the feedback guys! I think like Lorez pointed out and mutantcolors iterated, I’m just going to stick with what CT offered us and cylcle through the 3, 2, and 1RM as laid out in the hypertrophy layers. That’s in interesting observation from domcib as well. Can’t say that I’ve noticed that, but certainly my results of late may support that idea…

I think my shortcoming in properly utlilizing the autoregulation for the hypertrophy ramps in the past was a result of me assuming that from week to week my 2RM had to be higher than my 3RM, and my 1RM higher than my 2. That’s not autoregulating, that’s simply working against my log book. Obviously the preference is that your 2RM beats your 3RM but it ain’t always the case…

I’ll make the switch and see where things are after a month.

[quote]domcib wrote:
i personally have found that the 2rm is much more difficult than the 1 or 3. The ramp layer alone kicked my butt for some reason.[/quote]

My reaction to that is you might not be giving it your all on the ramps. Not saying good or bad, but on my 1RM week, holy shit I end up moving a lot of weight around, when I really try.

There’s “New PR! That was pretty good” and then there’s “New PR! That was pretty good…I can get 5 more kilos.”

That’s just my experience. This style of training has left me pretty surprised at how often the “I can get 5 more kilos” adds up to a 12 kilo PR.