How Often To Max Out Lifts?

I have recently increased my Deadlift PR by 15KG/35LB in around 2 months and I am trying to get up to 4 plates, could anyone tell me how often i should try and max out as most programs just say at the end of a cycle to do 90% of your max, could this be swapped to try and get a new max? Thanks

I test mine at the end of whatever program I am doing. However, I would not do it if the program was 4 weeks long or shorter.

If you are going to complete, do a mock meet at the end of the program. This way you test all 3 on the same day (the same as a meet).

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As a beginner its never necessary to max out.

According to your log you’ve only just finished your first cycle of 5/31 so I would say 3 cycles absolute minimum, preferably 5-6.
Demonstrating strength and building strength are rarely the same thing


It depends how you plan it. Personally, I hit a heavy single, maybe a PR maybe not, about once every 3-6 weeks. That is what works for me.

Aim to break rep PRs frequently. Record your best 2, 3, 4, and 5RM. Those can be beat on a weekly basis.


MAX singles are saved for the platform. In the gym you can either:

  1. Break rep PR’s of 3-8
  2. Use tester/indicator movements if you train conjugate.

I was going to say something along those lines but I have gotten tired of hearing these sort of questions. Some guys who just started lifting think that this is all about testing maxes all the time and then they wonder why they make no gains. If I ever go to an actual max in the gym it’s because I had a bad day.

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The youngsters today are all about showing off on social media, hence all the crappy singles being posted by “instagram lifters”. One of the drawback of the “raw movement” is the notion that anyone can be a powerlifter. If I had my way, the forum should have a category called “beginners section”.

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If I had my way, people would make sure they read before posting. Rather than going all over the forums being an asshole, why not hep? I get the comebacks and such, but Jesus you are on a roll today

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Don’t worry, I wasn’t planning on putting anything on social media, I just wanted to ask a question. I wasn’t planning to compete anytime soon as I have just started but just wanted a rough idea for how often to. I’ll probably just try and break rep PR’S more often instead then. Thanks

I wouldn’t focus on PR’s in the gym. If they happen, that’s great; but sometimes it can affect you negatively mentally if you haven’t accomplished one in a while.

At some point, PR’s will slow way down and will be few and far between. The longer you can stay “working” with a weight and own that weight, the further you will get in the long run.

For example: Take 80% of your max and start working with that weight. Don’t put too much emphasis on the amount of sets/reps each week. Just start working with that weight. As each week passes, you’ll start to see yourself handling that weight easier or a weight within + or - 20lbs of that weight. Pretty soon you’ll be handling it for a set of 5 or a paused triple on each rep.

Put in work. PR’s fall due to work, not constantly working up to something you have to put too much mental prep into week in and week out.

I would echo a previous comment on your thread: save the big lifts for the platform. If you do singles, make sure they are smooth and technically sound. If they aren’t you are wasting your time.


I’m gonna disagree with osu a little bit, although i agree with the general sentiment.

His thoughts on training that he expressed are ones I largely agree with, but I’m a big advocate of setting short term goals (PR goals). I always have a handful I’m chasing, and they’re usually related to what I want to accomplish in competition. When I have certain things I’m chasing, I’ll tailor my training appropriately, and I’ll be generally more aware of whether or not my training is really helping me progress.

Now, as for trying to hit 1rm PR’s in the gym… you really don’t ever need to. They’re not all that useful for getting stronger. Learning to work at maximal capacity and push through a big lift is important though, so if you’re not confident in your heaviest lifts, it could serve you well to do them from time to time.

Next time ill just HEP. Yeeeehaaaaaaa

Ironic that someone who hates childish behavior behaves so childish.

I would max out when starting a new program that says to do a % of your max, but I would do so on an otherwise light week and then start the new program the following week fresh.

Ever since I hit my most recent strength goals and started focusing on body composition, I haven’t worried about maxing out, but when I get my weight back down to 200 pounds, I plan on training to lift that amount over my head, and then I’ll worry about my max again.

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