(This guy knows what I’m talking about)

Lately I have really been trying to find out my one rep max on the various lifts that I do. This includes bench press, cleans, deadlifts, and jerks at the moment. This, however, hasn’t been what I’ve done for the past few months. Before the past few weeks or so, I kind of fell into a complacency in which I would only lift weights that I was comfortable with and not try to test my limit by doing a max lift. In essence, I was afraid and nervous to actually go out of my comfort zone and test myself at heavier weights.

This mentality is what may derail many of us when we are trying to do a one rep max lift, but that’s not a valid excuse. Although there are some good reasons to abstain from a one rep max lift (i.e. injury), if you’re musculoskeletal system is okay then there really isn’t a good reason why you shouldn’t max out 1-4 times on any particular lift about every two weeks depending on your program. And just know that if you are afraid of failing a one rep max it’s not the end of the world. Before every success there is most often a failure and the same goes for strength training (check out my post on failure here).

But why is a one rep max really necessary to grow stronger? Well simply put, in order to get stronger you need to lift more weight. So attempting and completing a one rep max is really the only way to do that. If you don’t believe me then just look at any powerlifter or olympic lifter and tell me they aren’t strong as an animal. I do understand that it is essentially their sport to max out, but the reason why they’re so strong is because they max out. Maxing out forces your muscles and central nervous system (CNS) to work to their limits resulting in increased strength. When you max out your muscle fibers grow back stronger by becoming more dense while your neuromuscular system becomes more accustomed to lifting heavy ass weights.

If you fail to max out regularly then you fail to truly become stronger. And if you’re anything like me then you don’t want that. In the past few weeks alone I have already increased my max in the bench press from 245lbs to 265lbs while my deadlift comes in at 365lbs (trying to keep good technique at same time-Ha!). If I keep going on the pace I’m on right now, by the end of this semester I will be looking at some serious strength gains and I encourage you to do the same!

Thanks for reading and please don’t be shy by leaving a comment down below!

For more on rep max info check out these links below!

Demystifying the 1 Rep Max

Muscular Assessment

One rep max calculator

(Photo Credit)


2 thoughts on “Why You Need to Max Out

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