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Question about 2RM for Layer System

Hey coach,

My competitive ultimate frisbee season is about to wrap up so I’m starting to plan out my off season workouts. The layer system looks perfect for my initial goals to regain the size and strength I’ve lost during my season that has a ton of running (7+ game tournament weekends).

I was a bit unsure about how the 2RM works for the 6-8 week cycle. Is the 2RM auto-regulated on how I’m feeling that day, or is the 2RM something that should be tested ahead of time and kept static for the cycle? If it is auto-regulated, how ‘safe’ should I be to not go to failure? I’m expecting some decent strength gains in a short time as I put back on some of the ~10 lbs I lost over the season. I like to push myself in the gym, but also want to train smart and make real gains. If I do fail a rep, it seems clear that the last weight I completed should be used for the calculations.

I’ve been a big fan of your articles - Athlete Lean Athlete Strong produced some amazing results. Any help you can provide will be appreciated!

Did you read the article? Because it’s in there word or word.

This layer is a ramp. You’re ramping up the weight and neural activation on every set. Take 5-7 sets to reach your 2RM. Start with roughly 60-70% of your max and perform only sets of 2 reps, adding weight until you reach the maximum you can lift for 2 reps with perfect form.

Every rep should be the same. No sloppy reps even with the lighter weights. And don’t do more than 2 reps; the goal is activation with as little fatigue as possible. Don’t rush between sets but keep the tempo fairly rapid. Ideally take 2 minutes or less between sets.

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Yep, that is the part I’m a bit confused on. Should I be starting with 60-70% of what I think I will be able to do on that day? And then based on how strong I’m feeling, keep ramping until the weight feels tough to do with good form?

Or should I be starting with 60-70% of a weight that I’ve previously tested my 2RM to be?

A different way to ask my question - should the 2RM weight stay static over the 6-8 weeks, or adjust to how strong I’m feeling on that given day?

Where you start really doesn’t matter… just start light and gradually build up until you hit your 2RM

You keep adding weight until you know that you wont be able to succeed if you add any more weight. It will vary from day to day and you should not have a specific weight in mind.

For example…

185lbs x 2
205lbs x 2
225lbs x 2
245lbs x 2
265lbs x 2
285lbs x 2 (starts to be tough)
295 x 2 (second rep was a challenge… you stop there because you know that even 300 wont go for 2)

So your 2RM for that day is 295

Makes a lot of sense. Thanks for your time.