T Nation

Max Attempt Tips

I’ve been reading T-Nation for awhile and I’ve seen a bunch of tips for stuff to do prior to maxing out. I put a list together, but I figure I’m probably missing a few things. Any opinions (my apologies for the poor organization):

Maxing Strategies:

-About a week before attempt, perform a set of about 90% of 1rm

-About 3 days before max attempt, perform a Dynamic Effort workout

Recovery:
-Perform some active recovery sets 2-3 days before lift
-Walk for about 30 minutes prior to lift
-Stretch the day before the lift
-Contrast showers
-Cryokinetics: Put some baby oil on your muscle (to prevent shock) and put ice in the middle of your muscle belly. Start to gently massage the muscle in circular motion with the ice. Gradually increase the diameter of the circles. Do this for 2-3 minutes for your chest, triceps and anterior deltoids.
-Get about 10 hours of sleep the 2 nights before maxing

Day of:
-Drink lots of water
-3+ hours before maxing, perform a few sets that go to about 50% of your max (these should be really light) and do some PCP stretches

30 minutes prior to workout, take:
-200mg caffeine
-Power Drive
-Creatine

-Warm-Ups:
25% 1rm x 3
50% x 3
75% x 3
90% x 2 (with a 2 second pause off chest if it’s for bench)
95% x 1 (with a 2 second pause off chest if it’s for bench)
(Rest for at least 4-5 minutes before maxing out)

-Before first work set place an icepack on your abdomen for 2-3 minutes. This will restrict blood flow to the heart (due to vasoconstriction) which will stimulate a panic response, releasing adrenalin and noradrenalin, potentiating your strength and power for the upcoming workout.

Max Attempt:
-Visualize lift several times
-Set trigger
-Use a good song
-Rub muscles that are to be worked intensely
-Breathe in, and hold breathe until passing sticky point on concentric
-Explode through concentric after a controlled eccentric
-On bench make sure to arch properly, get proper footing, have the spotter give a lift off over to on top of the chest, and make sure to rip the bar apart

what does “ripping the bar” achieve, io have seen this elsewhere.

[quote]miniross wrote:
what does “ripping the bar” achieve, io have seen this elsewhere.[/quote]

Im not an expert myself, but based on what ive read it is supposed to activate the triceps more.

[quote]miniross wrote:
what does “ripping the bar” achieve, io have seen this elsewhere.[/quote]

I’ve always just assumed it was a way to encourage lifters increase the tension throughout the body.

I’ve been taught to bend the bar as opposed to ripping it. Bending it helps to activate the lats which are the basis for a strong bench.

Just out of curiosity…why all the prp for a max? Are you planning on doing just a bench max or doing all three lifts the same day? I could understand this kind of prep if you are doing all three lifts in one day but I really don’t think it is neccessary if you are just planning on going for a max on your bench only.

Heh, I didn’t pay any attention to your advice, but I pulled a PR on my deadlift today.

Woohoo, up to 375 lbs, mixed grip, both weak and strong orientation! That 400 lb goal is looking more doable now. Yes, I know this isn’t very exciting to the real lifters out there… but it is progress and that’s all I can hope for.

Anyhow, to make this somewhat on topic, I’ve been doing lots of work for grip and recently added some heavy high pulls. I’m finding doing low volume near max efforts is leading me to strength gains on various lifts.

Good tips…i personally like a mix of
1 scp Drive, 1 spike mixed in chrystal lite…then a punch in the face and Rick Flair chop across the chest.

Hit the max…go outside, throw up…and then drink some beers and eat a LOT!!!

Dont do that over and over on ever event and attempt, you may get tired.

BTW congrates of the new PR…can’t build a fort without a foundation…400 is real close.

Stay stong,
SP

Ripping the bar is something that Westside Barbell is big on. I’ve found it very beneficial for bench press.

Most of this stuff can be used for any max attempt, bench or not. I don’t compete in powerlifting (yet), but I generally want to lift as much weight as possible when I max out on flat bench (which is about once every 1.5 months), so I try to prepare myself adequately. I’ve found that doing all of this stuff as opposed to almost none of it probably adds around 10% to my max bench.

One thing I want to add is that warm up protacal would take to much out of me for a true one rep max

maybe i have forgotten if this was done but i think there should be an article on this. sometimes i think i have forgotten as much as i have learned here with all this info, if so help me out, otherwise…

i motion to request “how to prepare for a max attempt routine”

[quote]TightInn wrote:
Ripping the bar is something that Westside Barbell is big on. I’ve found it very beneficial for bench press.

Most of this stuff can be used for any max attempt, bench or not. I don’t compete in powerlifting (yet), but I generally want to lift as much weight as possible when I max out on flat bench (which is about once every 1.5 months), so I try to prepare myself adequately. I’ve found that doing all of this stuff as opposed to almost none of it probably adds around 10% to my max bench.[/quote]

wow 10% is huge.
i think powerlifters would appreciate 1 or 2 % gains in such a short period of time (time it takes to do pre lift prep)

In powerlifting, I could be wrong but i think the ripping the bar thing is to recruit lats and rear delts … Someone above commented that that max warmup would wear them out but I didn’t think it would be that tiring. Generally when I max, prolly every 2-3 months on power clean, squat and bench, some deadlift, I would do at least that amount of warmup if not more. Prolly after a bar warmup with snatch squats, overhead presses, back squats and RDL’s just to get the blood flowing just a set of eight with each with only the bar…then 3x50%,3x60%,2x70%,1x80%,1x90%,1x95%,1x100%,and then move up by small increments until you reach a max. Just my 2 cents on how I max out on bench.

It’s possible that I’m overstating the additional weight moved by following a proper warm-up protocol. My bench currently is around 280 lbs, and so if I were to do none of these, my max should be around 255, which seems somewhat close to be honest. Lack of explosion, ripping the bar apart, energy, water, sleep, etc, etc. can really take a lot out of me, not to mention a good setup in and of itself adds a lot.

[quote]vroom wrote:
Heh, I didn’t pay any attention to your advice, but I pulled a PR on my deadlift today.

Woohoo, up to 375 lbs, mixed grip, both weak and strong orientation! That 400 lb goal is looking more doable now. Yes, I know this isn’t very exciting to the real lifters out there… but it is progress and that’s all I can hope for.

Anyhow, to make this somewhat on topic, I’ve been doing lots of work for grip and recently added some heavy high pulls. I’m finding doing low volume near max efforts is leading me to strength gains on various lifts.[/quote]

Congrats on your PR! It doesn’t matter how you compare to others its how you compare to yourself! (at least thats what I tell myself…that and people like me!)