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Max OT: Muscle Memory - Is This True?


I've been reading through "Max OT" to see what it was all about and to try something different to what I've been accustomed to for the past few years.

The way I have been training is... I like to work in the 6-10 rep range so I start off with a heavy compound exercise (Flat Bench for example) for 3 sets of 6 reps. Once that exercise is done I move on to the next exercise but increase the reps so it would be 3 sets of 8 reps (Incline DB Bench). I then finish off the workout by doing something like Flat Chest Flyes or Incline Chest Flyes but I do 3 sets of 10.

So during this workout I have done exercises with 6, 8 and 10 reps so that I'm not missing out on a certain rep range.

Anyway... Having been reading through Max OT I came across a section called "Muscle Memory" and it says the following:

"If you finish each set with a heavy 4 to 6 rep exercise your muscles remember this and adapt accordingly. This memory effect is an important physiological phenomenon and should be used to your advantage in gaining strength and muscle size. The muscle memory phenomenon is another reason, and probably the most important, to never do a high rep set as the last set in an exercise or a workout. That last thing you want is for this muscle memory to be linked to a light, high rep set".

So does this basically mean that the way I've been training isn't optimal? I basically start my workouts with exercises doing 6 reps and then end with exercises doing 10 reps so that I am fresh enough for the heavy work at the start. But Max OT basically says to keep the reps in the 4-6 range constantly, even with the isolation exercises at the end of a workout.

If I train with 10 reps at the end of my workout, does that basically mean that any of the training I did earlier in the workout (6 reps) is null & void now because I ended the workout with a high rep range?

Thanks guys.


ya dude, once i told my muscles that they looked small and weak, well, they got angry, and remembered that i had said that for weeks and refused to grow. I had to apologize to them with a 6 rep set ending every workout for a few weeks before they forgave me and decided to grow



I remember Mike Matarazzo saying something similar in an interview back in the day.


Yeah some strength coaches believe this but my understanding is they are referring to rep ranges for the same exercise.
So they are saying if you do bench press for 4-6 reps then don't finish with a lighter high set of bench press. However if you used higher reps in another completely different exercise such as dumbbell fly then it should be fine.


There are benefits to either approach, finishing with either higher rep sets, or just sticking with the lower ranges.

IMO, I think there are too many benefits to utilizing multiple rep ranges in your training to ignore, even if you're just talking pump sets, or finishers here and there.

I have a difficult time believing that, for some reason, your muscles "remember" the rep range of your last set moreso than any other set during your training and that it will somehow go against a session of predominantly lower rep, more hypertrophy aimed work.



No. It's a misuse of the term 'muscle memory' and implies that ending a session with higher reps will lead to a decline in performance in the next workout.


Lol, I see where you're coming from but I just figured seeing as it was Max OT which a lot of people have said is great, then one of their points about what they call 'muscle memory' must be true... Which is why I came here for clarification.

Thanks for the responses guys, there's one less thing for me to over think.


max OT stinks! A 6RM on lateral raises or triceps extensions? Fuck that


From the actual plan:

So, what are you talking about?


I'm talking about my incorrect understanding of the program, obviously! Jeez...