T Nation

Psychological or Physiological?

I’ve recently had a training experience that I would like to share and get some input about if possible. I had been having difficulties getting reps in with 315. I know I should be able to get 6-8 reps with this weight, but I had been struggling to get 3-4. One day, I just decided to ramp up, 1-2 reps at a time, and stopped at 405. I then immediately dropped back to 315 and got an easy 10 reps! My gut tells me this is all in my head. After completing good reps with 4 plates, my mind feels like 3 plates are nothing. I think I could have even done more reps with 315, but I ran out of wind. (yeah, my endurance sucks). But then I thought maybe it is my muscles being fooled. I guess it doesn’t matter in the end if it works for my goal (hypertrophy), but it my make a difference on how I plan my training in the future. Do any of you guys train this way, going up to near max and then dropping down for reps? Thanks in advance for any input.

It’s very easy to let your mind limit your physical performance.

Honestly, I have no doubts ever when lifting and the reason is, I just have an, I don’t care attitude. Basically when I attack a weight I know beforehand I’ll be giving my best effort and whatever the reps are, they are.

I’ve also read that hitting a set close to your 1 rep max would make a lighter set much easier.

[quote]austin_bicep wrote:

I’ve also read that hitting a set close to your 1 rep max would make a lighter set much easier.

[/quote]

This is what I am interested in. If you can find me the source of this information I would really appreciate it.

I think I remember Poliquin writing about this. It was something like you hit a heavy single at like 90% of your max, then hit a high volume set after and your nervous system is supposedly all revved up, making you stronger.

[quote]rds63799 wrote:
I think I remember Poliquin writing about this. It was something like you hit a heavy single at like 90% of your max, then hit a high volume set after and your nervous system is supposedly all revved up, making you stronger.[/quote]
Poiliquin, eh? Thanks, that helps. He is a respected coach, so I’ll see what I can find out. I was thinking the CNS was probably involved.

I believe Poliquin called it “Post Tetanic Potentiation”, and Waterbury later called it “Post Activation Potentiation”. Regardless of the name it’s the idea that performing a near maximum lift (or isometric contraction) will excite the neuromuscular system for a period of time and allow greater performance at sub maximal loads.

I had a similar experience this morning. Just 8% less load felt like 18% lighter, and reps went real up to a point i was a bit surprised. I did more than my goal.

exactly the thought behind wave loading.