T Nation

Heavy weights

I know when you are bulking up you are supposed to lift heavy weights for a few reps. I don’t exactly do that. To make things easy we will say that I maxout on bench at 200 pounds. I can lift 190lbs ten times. But can only lift 200 once. Is there a reason for this. I have wondered about this since I started lifting. It is the same for most all my muscle groups. I do increase the weight over time. But after about two weeks of lifting a weight I can some what easily go up another 10-20 pounds. I am a newbie and thought this might be part of my steady increases, but not for the other part though. Another question is that I Have been bulking for about 12 weeks and I am going to cut down. I went in to the gym and almost died from lack of energy. The drop in carbs was evident. I had no energy. I am doing a diet similar to keto. Is this energy loss going to remain like this? Thanks.

I don’t exactly understand your question. 200 lbs is heavy, 190 not as heavy, so of course you can do more reps.If you were on a bulking/strength cycle, it would make more sense to do 195 4-6 reps, and try to push the weights up every week.

Looks like you got lots of slow twitch fibres. Are you a girl?

One of the reasons proposed for the difference in your max single and ten rep max is muscle make-up. Check Fred Hatfield’s (Dr. Squats) website, I belieehe has posted an article on determining muscle type by comparing your max. single to your 80% max reps. He also explains what this all means to your training. Charles Poulquin has also discussed this.
As for your energy levels, weight training requires you simple sugars (Creatine Phosphate) to power your muscles… No CP, no contraction. Try a carb meal before you lift and just after you lift, when most of it will go into the muscles. Note, you should also take a small amount of carbs with you other meals for two reasons: 1) the brain runs on carbs and 2) “fat is burned in the falme of carbohydrates” Covert Bailey - Fit or Fat (A good simple explaination of human energy systems and bio-chemistry)

For the answer for the 200 vs. 190 lbs question, start reading the (early) back issues. I remember TC and Poliquin (and probably a few other contributors) talking about this so I’ll give it a shot. Being a newbie, your Central Nervous System (CNS) is not as highly developed as lets say a world-class power lifter. Now let’s assume that a world-class power lifter performs his 1 Rep. Max (RM ) using 70% of his muscle fibers. A newbie uses 30% for his 1 RM. Now when the power lifter attempts your hypothetical 95% of 1 RM, he’s strenuously taxing his CNS, which in turn strenuously taxes his muscles. The newbie doing his 95% 1 RM won’t be taxing his CNS or muscles nearly as much. That’s why a power lifter might bang out 5 reps at 80% of his max. while a newbie will be able to do 15 reps at 80% of his max.

Natt’s right. As you gain more experience your 1RM will pull away from your 2RM, etc. To give you an idea, experienced powerlifters generally figure on being able to lift an extra 11% of their 3RM for a 1RM. So if your 3RM were, say, 200lbs, then your 1RM would be around 222lbs. Obviously, this is very different from where you are now, but stay in the gym and give it time.

Since, you just began you may want to do about 4 weeks of sets in the 10-12 web-bracket for 3-4 sets with maybe a 2 minute rest in between set. And of course you should be able to do 12 reps on the first set, no more - no less. After that you will want to move on to other things. I strongly recommend buy Charles Poliquin’s book “Modern Trends In Strength Training” or one of Ian King’s books. I know you can get Charles Poliquin’s book on Netrition.com in the books section. Also do some research on diets that help facilitate muscle and strength growth.