T Nation

Nothing But Maxing

I’d like to have some input on this: the thing is I have been doing almost nothing but singles,the heaviest kinds,for a couple years,which is the extent of my training. I’ve got a lot larger and stronger too. During the first year I might have trained only once in a week but now do once in 3-5 days,when all soreness disappears. Most of the stuff I do is explosive,olympic type lifting,but a couple powerlifts here and there too.

Now a fair few people say this can’t possibly work,the nervous sytem is supposed to burn out hard and fast etc. but so far it has not happened,though I don’t know how much better I could have done differently. I just don’t feel like changing. During this time,I’ve only few times found myself unable to keep it up and have had to take a few weeks off.

As long as you don’t go to failure for the most part, you can do heavy singles all you want. This is especially true for oly lifts. Grind-out powerlifts are more taxing to the CNS.

I end up doing a lot of partials as a lot of the time either my technique or strength lacks and I generally try to hang on to a technique until I get at least one full repetition. That’s how hard I go.

I wonder who else is doing this.

And thanks for the reply.

alffi, how much strength did you gain, how many kg’s in what movements in how many time?

arnoud,I remember that when I had not trained for very long,I was once unable to deadlift 90kg off the ground,although I was probably a bit fatigued. Now I can deadlift that to above knee height at least,one leg.
I would say that’s in a couple years of training.

Curls with 16kg dumbbells were very heavy at first,then I was doing fairly long sets after pre-exhaustion with 45+ more than a year ago,though with quite a bit of back involvement.

You said you max every 3 to 5 days…so twice a week. That isn’t any more often than what the westside template calls for. If fact, if that is all you do then it is less CNS intensive than westside, so I am not really surprised that you can do this.

On my key lifts, I generally train singles as well. I might hit some 3s or 2s working up, but I almost always end up at heavy or max singles. But here’s the thing, I can only take a session like this for a given lift every 7 to 14 days. I seems like I need a good week to recover for bench, 10 days or so for squat, and two weeks for deads. Through trial and error, this is where I’ve ended up. Most folks that have been training hard for a while end up coming to similar conclusions

I strongly question using soreness as an indicator of whether your nervous system has recharged. My observation has been that when I have tried to squat or pull heavy every week, I could feel great physically and I could handle weights just fine until I got close to a max, then the lack of recovery became obvious. A weight I smoked the week before became a grind or a miss- I was tapped the fuck out.