T Nation

How to Work Towards Your One Rep Max

My deadlift has been stalling a few months on 170kg 3reps. I cannot seem to get up to 180kg.
Usually I set up like this.
2 warm up sets with 70kg
Then I go for the max attemp

I never go to failure in the 6rep sets, I leave two more in the tank. I take a few minutes rest between sets mostly 3 to 5 mins.

How do you go about to prep for a max lift, and am I doing it right?

That’s a lot of volume working up to a max single, particularly on deadlifts. If I’m working up to a max deadlift, once I get to 60% of my previous max, I just hit singles. I’ll hit one around 60%, one around 80%, one between 90 and 95%, and then I’ll go for the PR.

After I attempt the PR, I back off for some more heavy reps. I try to get a total of 5 reps above 90%. Then I move on to assistance, which might include more volume of the main lift at lower percentages.

When I’m working up to a max, I see the warmup as mostly just getting my nervous system primed. I have some stretches and activation exercises that I do as well, but hitting tons of heavy sets before you go for a max is not going to help you hit a new max.

Yeah, my advice would be to nix the 6 rep sets. Do something like this instead

nice long general warmup to get everything feeling good, then

60 kilos x 5 singles

100 kilos x 3 singles

140 x 1 or 2 singles

Then probably 160 x 1

175 x 1 to get a PR

then 180 + for 1, based on how you feel

Those kilos are approximations, I use lbs so I tried to translate best I could. But basically, make bigger jumps and do less reps, it will leave more in the tank for the big, heavy pulls.

This article should help.

Thanks for the previous post.

You could also do a simplified version which is do exactly what you are doing now but just do 1 rep of everything once you get to 110 and above.

Good luck with it

I just do 135 x5, 185x4, 225x3, 275x2, 315x1, …, several more sets of singles at increments of 25lb or 45lb plates per side until I hit my 1RM or any working sets for the day.

For squats and bench, I like to do also do 45x5 and 95x5 before these sets too.

Anytime you’re working up to a max single, your last 1-3 warmup sets should be singles as well. And the previous sets should taper down in reps. Make sense?

Personally with the lighter weights, I would rather take the same weight for a couple or so triples so I can groove the set up and be more explosive. Like if I max on the bench with 300, I’ll take 3 triples with 135.

Check out Dave Tate’s part where he gives a good bench warm up. It’s worked great for me. I’ll have to give Tim’s method a go, but I do like to do a few sets with the bar and then a couple at 95 except on deadlifts before I start at 135. I’m pretty sure most powerlifters do the same even when lifting enormous weights.

Thanks everybody, I see that I did too much volume now. Will try a few things.

That’s a helluva lotta warm-up volume! I think this is a very individual thing, but if I’m working to a 1RM, I like to pull at least two to three lighter singles beforehand.

I like big jumps in meets, so say a 700 pull is the goal on the second attempt, the opener is 625. So like 625 700