T Nation

Testing Training Max After Anchor


Say my training max for benchpress is 100kg, I do my first 3 week cycle with 100kg , second cycle with 102.5kg and the anchor with 105kg, when I test my training max after the anchor do i test against 100kg or 105kg?



105 is what you would test…




The “why” is where I get lost. If you’ve just used 105 for the anchor cycle, then testing it only tells you that what you already did was right. It doesn’t say anything about your next cycles. Why wouldn’t you test what you’ll be using next time, so 107.5?


The explanation I have seen for this is that, roughly, as long as you can get 5 solid reps, with great form, bar speed, and the like, at the current TM (105 in this example), then you can be very confident that you could get 5 good reps (at worst maybe they are a bit slower) with the next increment up (107.5 in this example). After testing, then you can change all of your TMs at once as needed, increasing the ones that passed the test, appropriately resetting the ones that did not pass.


I asked the same thing in another thread, this is what I came up with and what I’m using now to start the next program.
Test the following TM, if Anchor is 105, test 107.5:
-you get 5 solid reps, great, it’s your 85% TM
-you get 4 solid reps, keep the TM of the Anchor (105) for next cycle
-you get 3 solid reps, that’s the 90% TM, adjust accordingly (drop 5% if you want 85%TM, keep it if you want 90%)
-you get 1-2 reps, you screwed up at some point by doing weeks/months with too high of a TM. Go back 2-3 cycles, eventually re-test the scaled TM if you want to make sure.

If the program you just did includes stuff like PR sets, Jokers or “work up to TM for X number of reps” you most likely already have a very solid feedback about your TM and numbers in general.
I.e. if you had a 105kg TM and a 95% 1+ PR set week where you got 7 reps @ 100kg, you can be fairly confident you won’t have issues hitting 107.5 x5.


I say test with 105 and keep 105 if you get 5 solid reps. 5kg in however many cycles you did is good improvement you don’t need to rush it to 107.5 right away as it will get there in 3 weeks anyway.


When I do the TM test week, I make the weight increases fairly small when I approach the TM and use all sets of 5, so if I do not get 5 strong reps at the TM, I can just use whatever the highest weight I did get 5 strong reps with working up to it. Thus, no need to do a separate test. Otherwise I have been doing basically the same thing you propose.