A Little Perspective for Tackling 1RM Days
Written by Jared Enderton

It’s all about perspective. If we never test our 1RM’s, we never push our limits. And if we don’t test them often enough, we don’t learn how to lift heavy weights. Learning to lift 70% is one thing. Learning to fight with 95%+ is a whole different ball game. The timing of the lift changes, the feel of the lift, demand on positions, etc.

You only learn how to lift those types of weights by seeing 90%+ pretty often. Working to build to a 1RM is as much about practicing lifting heavy as it is about trying to hit a new PR.

Also – There will be a LOT of times where you’re sore heading into a 1RM day. That’s fine. Of course you are sore. If you’re pushing yourself, you should be sore. If we only ever maxed out when we were 100% fresh we wouldn’t ever train! It’s forcing the body to adapt and to push past what you believe you’re capable of. If your only marker for success on a 1RM day is that you PR’d, you won’t enjoy the sport for very long because every day will not be a PR day. The goal is to find a max for the day.

MY personal goal on max out days is to always raise my MINIMUMS. EX: I knew on ANY given day, at any time of day, when I was just weightlifting that I could Snatch 145kg (319lbs). If it was a max day I would NEVER miss up to that weight. My goal over time was to INCREASE that minimum to 147kg on my max out day (My PR was 157kg). I knew that if I could increase my minimums that my maximum WOULD go up because I was able to be consistent at a higher % over time. AKA I was becoming a more efficient, more skilled weightlifter. Focus on the minimums to raise your maximums! Hope this helps!

While it may not be an “ideal” time to have a max out week for a lot of you, THAT’S OK! If you don’t have enough weights to max or you’re not feeling up to it, just go as heavy as you can and do multiple singles if it’s 80-90% ish, or do multiple reps if it’s below that. The goal is just to get some heavy work in & to push the MINIMUMS. Don’t worry if you’re not able to max out, I know many of you are just doing what you can at the moment.

One of my first coaches told me when I just started: “Most of the time you miss a weight- you’re not missing because of a lack of strength. You’re missing because you haven’t figured out HOW to lift the weight yet.” This quote has stuck with me for almost 10 years. It has always helped me to change my mindset to RAISE MY MINIMUMS on 1RM days, SO THAT I can raise my maximums and in the process become a more consistent & more skilled weightlifter. Try focusing on that next max day, I bet it helps! 

For programming and more-personalized coaching from Jared, join the Invictus Weightlifting Program (3 & 5-Day/week options) that also includes an incredible community in the private Facebook group where you can post videos for review and connect with other Invictus lifters from around the world!

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