T Nation

Max / Grind Layers


#1

Its about that time again and max hyper layers off pins to begin. For the RM work and the other layers (clusters, HDL's) up to this point, is it still beneficial to hit max on all the sets of the last rep, or grind only, or smooth execution. There have been mixed reviews on maxing, and non-grind workouts.


#2

Brandon,

From what I’ve gathered - is if you continually grind out reps, down the line you may suffer for it performance wise.

Personally, I don’t think 1 ground out rep today is worth a future entire day of training :slight_smile:


#3

For me personally, I’d rather avoid grinding on most movements. I can grind 1 set of squats out if need be and it doesn’t seem to affect me the following day, but if I try and grind a press, the next day I’m toast when trying to train.


#4

I try to go by fatigue on a given day - if I know the next set might be a bit of a grinder, but I feel VERY fresh, I’ll go for it. If I feel like my performance is starting to go down, I don’t do it.

So in the first case, even if I’m being too optimistic I won’t cause too much damage, whereas in the second I can be almost certain that doing a grinding set would take a serious toll.


#5

[quote]BiP wrote:
I try to go by fatigue on a given day - if I know the next set might be a bit of a grinder, but I feel VERY fresh, I’ll go for it. If I feel like my performance is starting to go down, I don’t do it.

So in the first case, even if I’m being too optimistic I won’t cause too much damage, whereas in the second I can be almost certain that doing a grinding set would take a serious toll.[/quote]
Agree 100% Bip.That’s how I try to look at It.


#6

Beast Mode…approaching. “Its time to man up and listen to Terry.” lol


#7

I think its kind of an individual thing, but the more I read and longer I train and experiment I really dont think anything other than the occasional, unplanned, grinder is worth it.

From a performance perspective I’ve seen reps/set drop quite rapidly if you grind the last rep in the first set. Example:

Set 1: 9 reps but the last one was a GRIIIND
Set 2: 5 reps
Set 3: 4 reps
Total: 18 reps

Versus:

Set 1: 8 reps, last one was “tough” but not a grinder
Set 2: 7 reps
Set 3: 6 reps
Total: 21 reps

Its also fairly universally accepted that the deadlift, which is the undisputed king of “grinding” lifts, can devastate your recovery and performance for up to a few weeks if you are working with enough weight and the rep takes long enough.

My general rule of thumb is that if I have ANY doubt that I will MISS the rep I dont go for it*. Thats not to say I dont do hard freakin reps, but if I just did a HARD rep, I dont go for the next one. See the latest video in my log for when I decided to shut it off with push presses recently.

  • I do have times in my training where I go for these reps, but just every day training where I’m working on BUILDING strength and not TESTING it I do not consider these reps worth the cost if you miss them.

#8

After beating myself dowm trying to “smash” through plateaus, switching to this method of training avoiding grinding my reps and cutting the session short has really helped my strength improve. Checking your ego and listening yo your body, essentially “live to fight another day”.

I think this holds true for people with stressful jobs and hectic or unpredictable schedules.