T Nation

Lesson Learned


Lately I have been doing some pretty impressive incline/dumbbell presses(at least they were impressive for me). I decided to test my luck at a flat max bench. I haven't done a max lift or even a flat barbell bench press in about four years.

So last night I came on to T-Nation and found a one-rep max warm-up.


I went in to the gym today and went through my normal warm-up. Then I started going through my max lift warm-up. I asked one of the personal trainers to come over and spot me in 15 minutes. He ended up coming over after my second warm-up set and gave me a "what are you doing" look. He told me that I am just going to tire myself out with a warm-up and should just jump in. So I thought maybe he's right. Maybe I had the wrong idea...So I jumped from a few reps of 185 up to 255. I got it but boy did that seem like a big shift in weight. After that he told me I should jump to 315....I decided 280 would be a better jump. I failed at 280 (though it didn't feel heavy). He was like, "well at least you beat your old max" (215 from 4 years ago) and walked away.

I sat there for a few minutes after that missed attempt and realized this guy had no idea what he was talking about. I racked 265 and had a fellow lifter spot me...I got it easy. I put on 275 and got it fairly easy. I felt good but decided to leave on a positive note. If I would have went in a little more pumped up and followed my plan I would have been close to 300.

Long story short don't listen to personal trainers advice or if you do take it with a grain of salt. I'm a novice weight lifter but as I found out certain pt's have little to no clue about weight training.

p.s. Sorry for having a sandy vagina but I had to get that off my chest.


i only listen to the ones that i personally know, but IMO you gotta do ur own thing


Jumping right to heavy weights is not something that is advisable. :slightly_smiling: Follow what you think is best for you. That PT seemed like a twat. :slightly_smiling:


it would be pretty cool if you could just pace back n forth getting super amp'd, with no actual warmup, and then eventually go for a PR 1RM.

that would be diesel shit.


Well, it's already a good thing you didn't hurt yourself following stupid advice! Don't mind about the bigger PR you probably missed, you can always try again later on your training career...a tore pec would have given you a more "sandy vagina" !!!
It reminds me when a PT saw me doing heavy deadlifts (well, heavy...for me at least :slight_smile: and came over to show me the "correct" form...I have nothing against SLDL with a rounded back...but not with near-maximal weight!


There is no worse feeling then some one pressuring you to hurrry on a near max attempt, and you grabbing that fucker and as soon as you start to unrack it realize oh fuck I am not warmed up and that is a shit ton of weight. It is an instant psych out as far as getting the lift is concerned. I usually warm up at lower weights 2x5 @ 185 1x4@225 then singles and I try to jump 20 pounds each time.(I start warming up with an empty bar and slowly add the weight to it) Hey a trick I do to get big max lifts is load the bar with more then what you want to do and just unrack it and hold hit you will think fuck taht is a lot of weight but then when you drop it to what you want the heaviness wont fuck with your head so much.


You are lucky he didn't drop the weight on you. Probably better off asking a cardio bunny for a squat.

In all seriousness though, I think people are individual.

I have a friend that will go like this:

45 x 10
90 x 10
135 x 8
155 x 8
185 x 8
200 x 8
Then he's ready to work with 200-225. This works for him, and he is bigger then me, but Im stronger.

I prefer to do this usually:

Start with half of your working weight, (lets say im gonna bench 100lb db's for sets of 5)

50's x 5-10
65 x 3
80 x 1-2
95 x 1
100 x 1
Then work.

This has worked well for me and on some lifts like lower body I can get away with more warmup reps, but for upper stuff like bench and pullups, most of my warmup sets are 1-3 reps.

On a side note, I remember pavel advocating no warmup somewhere, but I could be wrong.


I didn't realize you were working up to a max single, but what i mentioned above would still apply, and you might want to throw in a supramax hold after the last warmup set.


Yes, seeing a cardio bunny squat in front of you is always good motivation to push big wieght... I think your on to something hahaha.


LOL, i meant spot