T Nation

Maxing Out On Ramps

Im seriously enjoying the layer system and its endless depths of variations. The only issue i have when i get in the gym i always end up chasing a PB on the ramps, especially 1RM ramps (which most of mine are at the moment). Has anyone else had to tackle this mindset? I know before i go in that the ramp is not about chasing a PB but its just like a switch flips once im in the gym and I MUST get it.

So far ive actually rarely failed attempts but i know this just setting my up to stall big time. Any tips?

One idea I had was to take a Wendler-esque approach and if i do a max day before each cycle, then take 90-95% of that 1RM and not exceed that during my training cycle. Essentially putting a top limit on my 1RM ramps. What do you think about is? I know in the long term i just need to acquire more self control but i felt this could work in the mean time

As always all advice and feedback is really appreciated :slight_smile:

Tom

[quote]Trevshenko wrote:
Im seriously enjoying the layer system and its endless depths of variations. The only issue i have when i get in the gym i always end up chasing a PB on the ramps, especially 1RM ramps (which most of mine are at the moment). Has anyone else had to tackle this mindset? I know before i go in that the ramp is not about chasing a PB but its just like a switch flips once im in the gym and I MUST get it.

So far ive actually rarely failed attempts but i know this just setting my up to stall big time. Any tips?

One idea I had was to take a Wendler-esque approach and if i do a max day before each cycle, then take 90-95% of that 1RM and not exceed that during my training cycle. Essentially putting a top limit on my 1RM ramps. What do you think about is? I know in the long term i just need to acquire more self control but i felt this could work in the mean time

As always all advice and feedback is really appreciated :slight_smile:

Tom[/quote]

I really don’t like that approach. On some days where you are in super shape I believe that you are missing out by staying too conservative.

On the other end it’s true that if you always shoot for PRs something bad might happen. Seriously it’s in your head though. You must realize that the purpose of the ramp is not to get a “high score”… but it’s not juste an activation/switching the lights on thing… it’s about finding what are your capacities that day and adjusting the training weight for the other methods used.

So really, if you want to get a PR at all cost, bad form, hitching the weight up, etc. You are only setting yourself up for failure for the other layers.

Shoot for the heaviest weight you can lift that day, but do not attempt a weight that you are not very confident on doing.

Ye,

I was of that mindset ; however I have been learning to “zone out” so to speak.

If you go in with the mindset of “Need a PR”; if you don’t get it, it screws the rest of your workout as you constantly review the miss.

Happened to me several times, and ruined the density part / next part of the layer.

So be aware of what your previous PR was… but don’t let it be the all and end all of the workout. Always a few days time when you return to it :slight_smile:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]Trevshenko wrote:
Im seriously enjoying the layer system and its endless depths of variations. The only issue i have when i get in the gym i always end up chasing a PB on the ramps, especially 1RM ramps (which most of mine are at the moment). Has anyone else had to tackle this mindset? I know before i go in that the ramp is not about chasing a PB but its just like a switch flips once im in the gym and I MUST get it.

So far ive actually rarely failed attempts but i know this just setting my up to stall big time. Any tips?

One idea I had was to take a Wendler-esque approach and if i do a max day before each cycle, then take 90-95% of that 1RM and not exceed that during my training cycle. Essentially putting a top limit on my 1RM ramps. What do you think about is? I know in the long term i just need to acquire more self control but i felt this could work in the mean time

As always all advice and feedback is really appreciated :slight_smile:

Tom[/quote]

I really don’t like that approach. On some days where you are in super shape I believe that you are missing out by staying too conservative.

On the other end it’s true that if you always shoot for PRs something bad might happen. Seriously it’s in your head though. You must realize that the purpose of the ramp is not to get a “high score”… but it’s not juste an activation/switching the lights on thing… it’s about finding what are your capacities that day and adjusting the training weight for the other methods used.

So really, if you want to get a PR at all cost, bad form, hitching the weight up, etc. You are only setting yourself up for failure for the other layers.

Shoot for the heaviest weight you can lift that day, but do not attempt a weight that you are not very confident on doing.
[/quote]

Thank you for the response CT. I think its a case of lack of confidence, as if, if i dont match or beat my last 1RM Ramp then im weaker this weak than i was last week. Which i know is ridiculous but just how my minds seems to work once im in the gym sadly.

I just need to change my mind set to see the ramp layer for what it is (activation) rather than a ladder up to a new PB every week. Thanks again for your insights.

By the way CT i went and bought your books “Black book of training secrets” and "Theory and application of modern strength and power methods ". Just started black book of training secrets and enjoying it massively. Im currently doing an internship to become a strength and condition coach and some of the info in there is golden!

[quote]Voluminous wrote:
Ye,

I was of that mindset ; however I have been learning to “zone out” so to speak.

If you go in with the mindset of “Need a PR”; if you don’t get it, it screws the rest of your workout as you constantly review the miss.

Happened to me several times, and ruined the density part / next part of the layer.

So be aware of what your previous PR was… but don’t let it be the all and end all of the workout. Always a few days time when you return to it :slight_smile:

[/quote]

Thank you, Im glad im not the only one thats fallen in to that trap! And i totally get what you mean about it messing up the density part, if you fail a rep or grind out a really hard rep then it drains you and leaves you using too much weight for the density portion.

Need to learn to look at the big picture and the long term gains rather than struggling to add each and every week. Thanks again :slight_smile:

It was the same for me as well. And it was essentially why I posted the question on the forum about autoregulating on max ramps. My solution was to just aim for the 2RM ramp each day, this way I wouldn’t always be shooting for a PR when ramping to 1RM. Bad solution as it didn’t fix the mindset problem. Just had me shooting for 2RM PRs each week.

…just gotta get my head in the right place and letting the system do it’s magic!

[quote]ggarrett wrote:
It was the same for me as well. And it was essentially why I posted the question on the forum about autoregulating on max ramps. My solution was to just aim for the 2RM ramp each day, this way I wouldn’t always be shooting for a PR when ramping to 1RM. Bad solution as it didn’t fix the mindset problem. Just had me shooting for 2RM PRs each week.

…just gotta get my head in the right place and letting the system do it’s magic! [/quote]

Exactly. Just got to put more trust in the system and stop stressing over weekly PRs. Easier said than done for me but im sure if we make an effort to change our mindset then the rewards will just reinforce it :slight_smile:

[quote]Trevshenko wrote:

[quote]ggarrett wrote:
It was the same for me as well. And it was essentially why I posted the question on the forum about autoregulating on max ramps. My solution was to just aim for the 2RM ramp each day, this way I wouldn’t always be shooting for a PR when ramping to 1RM. Bad solution as it didn’t fix the mindset problem. Just had me shooting for 2RM PRs each week.

…just gotta get my head in the right place and letting the system do it’s magic! [/quote]

Exactly. Just got to put more trust in the system and stop stressing over weekly PRs. Easier said than done for me but im sure if we make an effort to change our mindset then the rewards will just reinforce it :)[/quote]

It’s kinda weird though… you say that you feel bad if you don’t get a PR, yet you were asking about “doing a Wendler” and stopping short at about 90%.

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]Trevshenko wrote:

[quote]ggarrett wrote:
It was the same for me as well. And it was essentially why I posted the question on the forum about autoregulating on max ramps. My solution was to just aim for the 2RM ramp each day, this way I wouldn’t always be shooting for a PR when ramping to 1RM. Bad solution as it didn’t fix the mindset problem. Just had me shooting for 2RM PRs each week.

…just gotta get my head in the right place and letting the system do it’s magic! [/quote]

Exactly. Just got to put more trust in the system and stop stressing over weekly PRs. Easier said than done for me but im sure if we make an effort to change our mindset then the rewards will just reinforce it :)[/quote]

It’s kinda weird though… you say that you feel bad if you don’t get a PR, yet you were asking about “doing a Wendler” and stopping short at about 90%.[/quote]

I think the difference there is that there is a set limit on it so i know i cant go for a PR. If that makes sense? It probably doesnt, even i dont understand how my brain works. I did find 5/3/1 frustrating though personally, especially when i was having really good days and my heaviest set was 85% of 90% of my max. Hence why i much prefer the ramp. Just need to remember that its the density work that gets the real results.

What are your thoughts on applying giant clusters to assistance exercises? In my next block i was going to go with:

Main lift - 1RM Ramp, 15 singles @ 90%, maybe 1 HDL Set? (i.e. 5-4-3-2-1)
then
Accessory lift - 5min giant cluster

I find i lose focus on accessory exercises so was thinking a time limit would help keep me in the zone

My numbers had a LOT of room to improve when i started, so take that into account here.

I have found that, if I just put my mind to good execution, and being honest about how each rep feels, I end up SMASHING new numbers on a consistent basis. I think some of it may be mental as well, since the prescription for pin work takes a lot of the danger out of the movements (I do not EVER have a trustworthy spotter so that’s a big deal.)

Focus focus focus during the ramp. For me it’s led to large, rapid gains. When you hit a huge PR you are faced with an absolutely BRUTAL workout when you follow through with clusters and HDL. They are basically physically impossible, but then you won’t revisit that loading parameter on that lift for three weeks. So far I’ve come back over and over and still hit PRs on top of 10+kg PRs from the previous cycle.

This program feels like cheating.

[quote]mutantcolors wrote:
My numbers had a LOT of room to improve when i started, so take that into account here.

I have found that, if I just put my mind to good execution, and being honest about how each rep feels, I end up SMASHING new numbers on a consistent basis. I think some of it may be mental as well, since the prescription for pin work takes a lot of the danger out of the movements (I do not EVER have a trustworthy spotter so that’s a big deal.)

Focus focus focus during the ramp. For me it’s led to large, rapid gains. When you hit a huge PR you are faced with an absolutely BRUTAL workout when you follow through with clusters and HDL. They are basically physically impossible, but then you won’t revisit that loading parameter on that lift for three weeks. So far I’ve come back over and over and still hit PRs on top of 10+kg PRs from the previous cycle.

This program feels like cheating.[/quote]

One thing that I like to add to this thread is that you should never go for 2 PRs in a session. If you break a PR on a lift, stop. Even if you feel like you have something left, stop.

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

One thing that I like to add to this thread is that you should never go for 2 PRs in a session. If you break a PR on a lift, stop. Even if you feel like you have something left, stop.[/quote]

Now that’s really interesting to me! So you suggest that if you hit say a +10lb PR during the ramp you stop there, regardless of if you “know” you’ve got another 10lb increase in you?

Is that because of the carry over effect it’ll have on your Cluster, HDL, or Density session?

I think he means for the layouts that include more than one ramp.

[quote]mutantcolors wrote:
My numbers had a LOT of room to improve when i started, so take that into account here.

I have found that, if I just put my mind to good execution, and being honest about how each rep feels, I end up SMASHING new numbers on a consistent basis. I think some of it may be mental as well, since the prescription for pin work takes a lot of the danger out of the movements (I do not EVER have a trustworthy spotter so that’s a big deal.)

Focus focus focus during the ramp. For me it’s led to large, rapid gains. When you hit a huge PR you are faced with an absolutely BRUTAL workout when you follow through with clusters and HDL. They are basically physically impossible, but then you won’t revisit that loading parameter on that lift for three weeks. So far I’ve come back over and over and still hit PRs on top of 10+kg PRs from the previous cycle.

This program feels like cheating.[/quote]

Don’t fool yourself mate, this is predominately newbie gains you are experiencing via a nicely developed program that is for once actually challenging you. You really don’t have the training years nor experience behind you yet so be mentally ready for your first growth plateau it is a real bitch! You definitely will not be whistling the same tune then…

Hint: Thib’s remark was in many ways directed at you… going after PRs every session (or even cycle) spells D.O.O.M. as the accumulative effects of doing such will catch up with you sooner or later. Train smart. Yes, you’ll have some awesome days but realistically these are far and few between. Steady wins the race especially when faced with a tough slope to climb during the race.

Many of your posts are coming across a little bit naive (and/or too experienced) in this regards, when in fact you are definitely a beginner and I don’t want you to be disappointed, frustrated, and/or quit when these gains come to a grinding halt. Thus why so many quit lifting when they hit this difficult stage. You have made excellent progress thus far (as your photos clearly indicate) just be prepared for the next stage so that you can successfully get through it and get even stronger! Good luck. Cheers and respects.

LOL

Been training for years. Have gone at it hard. Just not with this exact template. It’s a long way up when you start at 5’8", 142 lbs and benching 95 lbs on a good day.

Thanks for the kind words though. Sorry I don’t live up to your awesome standard.

[quote]mutantcolors wrote:
LOL

Been training for years. Have gone at it hard. Just not with this exact template. It’s a long way up when you start at 5’8", 142 lbs and benching 95 lbs on a good day.

Thanks for the kind words though. Sorry I don’t live up to your awesome standard.[/quote]

Reread what I wrote, lose the defensive attitude, and see it from a different perspective mate. You are most definitely still a beginner. Your first posts introducing yourself and your log are clear indicators of this, but there is nothing wrong with that. Nothing at all. Any how no harm was meant just some advice take it or leave it. Your life. Good luck and I do mean that sincerely. Respects,

Again, LOL.

My newb gains were had 5 years ago.

I’m sure you’re an expert.

One final LOL.

Since you had to dig up my profile I tried returning the favor. One unimpressive 3 yr old log and one photo of what might be you looking like a generic dude on a dirt road.

Kindly keep your opinion to yourself. I keep that log 99% for my own purposes. I don’t seek or need your approval, I really don’t. And as it turns out, you appear to be a nobody who’s opinion is worthless anyway.

Alas I have been unveiled and I stand before you as a “nobody.” Wait a minute isn’t that pretty much like the the entire population of Earth? Nobodies!

You are very emotional and sensitive I see; getting under your skin was not my intention at all. If you don’t want any opinions why post on a forum? Just saying.

By the way, I didn’t dig up your profile… I was one of the first individuals to read your log and posted some advice to you about Siam.

Respects.

BTW: That dirt road is in fact (and unfortunately) war torn Gaza. The dude on the right is me “the nobody” and the other dude (“a somebody”) is John Kerry, your current Secretary of State.

[quote]mutantcolors wrote:
Again, LOL.

My newb gains were had 5 years ago.

I’m sure you’re an expert.

[/quote]

Definitely not an expert mate, but more than 20 years of a physically demanding career requiring constant training has given me some valuable insight and experience. This may or may not count for anything but I have been contracted and even paid for my services as a Military Training Coordinator/Instructor, QRF Training Commander, and Tactical Athletics Instructor. Again, I honestly think you took my post a little bit too much to heart instead of seeing the point that Thib’s was trying to make. Oh well.