T Nation

Best Max Effort Progression

Frst question:

How do you prep for a lift at a meet? what weights do you warm up with before you go to hit your weight?

Second question:
if im going for a max effort lift/movement and i want to be at my greatest strenght when i do my max effort movement, shouldnt my max effort progression simply mimic what i would do at a meet (ie not all of the usual “warm up sets” before my max movement)? after my max effort i could go ahead and get some volume in with lesser weight. right?

Third question: how about using potentiating movements prior to a ME lift. ive noticed that if i rack pull/ lockout, say 100-200 lbs more than my max dead, or if i perform , say, 8 sets of 1 with 85-90% and then i go for a heavy (90%+) dead. the weight “seems” to move a lot easier than if i went through a “standard” :wink: west-side styled, ME warm up.
i know that what ever works for me is best but ive been mulling over these ideas/questions and am very interested in your thoughts.

thanks a bunch,
ryan b.

Here is my opinion,
I am not sure if I understand what you are asking in the first question but I will give my opinion as the way I view your question. You should take as many warm up sets as you need to be prepared for the ME lift. Depending on how advanced you are depends on the amount of weight you jump in the next set. You can do extra volume work after a ME but I would keep it around 5 reps and only do it for about 2-3 weeks.
Also I would only use it if you feel you have a particular weakness that you need to work on in the lift.

  1. The reason the weight feels lighter after a heavy set is because you have essentially “tricked” your nervous system into thinking you are lifting a heavier weight. Think taking a few swings with a donut on a baseball bat. What does the bat feel like after you take the donut off? DO you think that helps you in building bat speed? Not really, it fucks up motor control when you put the two stimuli too close together. That is also why when going for heavy sets on a DE day with bands you leave the bands on because the bar will fly out of control if you take them off and lift. So what I am saying is learn to lift the weight fast on your own without the help to your nervous system from the heavier weight. I hope all of that makes sense.

I disagree. But I only use it for bench. I have found it very helpful for hitting bench PR’s. The way I do it in bench is work my way up to a lift that I finally miss. Once I miss, I add 100 - 150 lbs, lock it out or have my spotter lift it for me, and just hold it in the locked out position for 10 - 15 seconds. Then add 10 - 15 lbs to the weight I missed, (and after sufficient rest) try the new weight, and almost always nail it. You trick your muscle motor units into believing that the weight will be heavier, and the confidence you get when you rack it out and it feels like nothing, is so helpful.

Snatch, that is true but you still need to learn to lift the weight fast on your own. For example DE bench you do your speed bench then on the next ME day the learned trait (speed) should carry over. Obviously this does not happen after just one DE day but over time your nervous system learns speed for the long term. Therefore teaching yourself to lift the weight fast on your own. But hey I am all for using what works for you. Just think about it.

Snatch, thanks for the tips sound very good!!! I’m about to try those things soon.

Not yet tried but I’ve build a training that put dynamic effort before max efort because It sounded good in thery to “wake up” the nervous system before max effort. The same day I see this reply “wow I say to myself” It sounds good in theorie and somepeople even get good results with It!

Might be a very interesting idea to combine or rotate these idea, maybe like this.

Far to a contest off season
It max effort 3RM
do a static hold with 120-130% 8-10sec
found the new 3RM
Dynamic work 5*2, 10X

In season closer to a contest
Dynamic work 8*3, 10X
max effort work to a 3RM
then work to a 1RM

keep fighting

I have had success with static holds in the past too and may try using them again in the manner listed…but one question I would have is would this transfer over too a meet? Because in a meet you can’t use these CNS tricks like static holds or 1/6 method and such…

Snippdawg, that is what I was trying to say. The heavier weight has immediate carryover but is not long term. That is why you need to learn to lift the weight fast on your own. Bands give a pliometric effect and force you to lift the weight fast or you get stapled, therefore teaching speed.

hfrogs00 Snippdawg

That’s exactly why I didn’t put It close to a meet and emphase speed strength in that period.

In answer to your first Q, this what I and the guys in our club used to base warm ups on:-
First attempt will be with full gear (squat suit etc.) an is a weight that you can do a good triple with (or slightly heavier when you’re more experienced, say you best recent double).
Warm ups to that weight would be
30% x 5 reps
45% x 4 reps
60% x 3 reps
75% x 2 reps
90% x 1 rep, then go to the platform and do your first attempt.
Second attempt would be around you PR and third would be based on how easy the second attempt was.
The above protocol worked OK for most of us, especially for the deadlift. I found after a few tweaks that a better approach for me was adding a couple of higher rep but easy initial sets.
e.g. for an opening squat of 200kg:-
1st = 40kg x 10 reps (squat suit on with straps down, no belt)
2nd = 65kg x 6-8 reps
3rd = 95kg x 3 reps (add belt)
4th = 120kg x 1 rep
5th = 150 x 1 rep (suit straps up, knee wraps on)
6th (last)= 180kg x1 rep
1st attempt on the platform = 200kg
2nd attempt = 215 to 220kg
3rd attempt = 220 to 230kg
Hope this helps, BTW I found smaller jumps were needed on the bench (my worst lift) and similar for the deadlift.

All the best ryan,
Old Dax

Oh I forgot:
weights chosen in the warm up area are best if they’re simple and easy to load, don’t use 1.25kg discs. An important aspect is timing, start off with warm up set 2 or 3 mins apart an gradually get up to around 5 min. Ideally taking 5 to 10min before your first attempt.
Old Dax