One Rep Max. Thoughts and comments

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Forums Training, Circuits, Exercises, Best Practices Exercises One Rep Max. Thoughts and comments

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    Profile photo of Thomas Stewart
    Thomas Stewart

    Thought that this was a great thread on the boards and had a lot of replies that were beneficial.

    The One-Rep Max: Most of the people I know say don’t use it a lot, there’s very little point to making it a regular part of a bodybuilding workout, and could in fact be hazardous. Your thoughts? – Benefits, drawbacks, etc.

    Here are the replies:

    Stacy Ford
    Stacy Ford Not sure who told you that, but with a spotter, doing a one set max is VERY beneficial. Doing the exact same thing over and over and expecting better, stronger, and different results is what causes people to quit. In your video, you were pretty far from your max. You handled the weight with ease and could have added 10 more pounds for a one rep max. As long as you maintain form, have a spotter, and can control the weight without breaking form, its good to push to failure. That is how I train anyway.

    Brian Johnson
    Brian Johnson I’m not advocating doing the same thing over and over. I’m saying that some have said (including Arnold S. in his encyclopedia) that the one-rep max as a >regular part of a bodybuilding workout< is not considered beneficial. None of my trainers have ever had me even try it, and Arnold stresses using weights that allow you to do just about 10-12 reps with some failure. Brad Collins
    Brad Collins I think your going to find that most of us will disagree. You have to remember that each body is different. what works for some may not work for others. If your training for power and strength, one rep max is definetly something that you need to be doing with a great deal of regularity. As Stacy pointed out, that rep you did wasn’t a max rep. You wouldn’t have been able to have such control and go for 2. When you get stuck at a certain weight and you just cant seem to get any stronger, yes, you need to go heavier and heavier to get to that next level. What Arnold was saying is going in and doing two warm up reps, then a one rep max and that is it, isn’t smart. He is right. Bodybuilding is a combination of multiple disciples.

    Taylor I personally dont train with one rep max, but my reasons are different. I am more into conditioning training as well as physique. I try to maintain a very lean body mass and go for definition. Its very true though that each body is different and it really depends on what the end goal your hoping to achieve is. I have tons of friends who are trainers and will put this out to the twitter world and see what kind of reaction I get.

    Doug Hampton
    Doug Hampton There are many benefits to doing max rep sets. Its the same with doing drop sets and training to failure. What I typically do is do a pyramid so that whatever I work up to my last set is pretty much a max set as my muscles are shot by the time I reach my final set. This really helps cause shocking and growth. True, you shouldn’t just go into the gym and just do a one rep max set as your not a power lifter. Power lifting and training for power meets that is all that they do. Draw backs, you can injure yourself, so don’t do them without a spotter. If you need to, pull a bench over to the smith machine and go heavy.

    Profile photo of Dominic

    Okay, so here is my take and what I think. There is no difference between a one rep failure max rep verses failure on your 100th rep on your 12000 set. When your muscles go to failure, it doesn’t matter what rep its on. Saying that a one rep max is not good is preposterous for many reasons. If that is all your doing for chest is just a one rep max, then yes, it is not a proper way to train. When you do pyramids and drop sets, you weed yourself down to a one rep failure, so its the same thing. If your bodybuilding, training for strength, or power-lifting, max outs are important. if your training for endurance competitions, iron man, or cross-fit, it is something to avoid.

    Profile photo of Harry Hayfield
    Harry Hayfield

    According to a one rep max calculator I had on my tablet yesterday by being able to do 5 reps of a single dumbbell curl with a weight of 16½lbs, it estimates that if I was able to tackle it fresh out of the gate, I should be able to curl at least 20lbs. Now, I have no idea if this is the case, but if that was the case would that be proof that these calculators work?

    Profile photo of Doug Hampton
    Doug Hampton

    yes, that is pretty much how it works, and if your doing 16.5, I would say that you could probably hit 22 to 25 pounds. Never try and go for a 1RM cold. Make sure that your warming up, make sure that you do some light weights and several reps prior. In addition, use good form. Keep the elbows tight to your body, back straight, and balance it off by holding the same weight in the other hand. You dont want to get off balance and lean or bend into the curl.

    Also, the 1RM is different for each body/muscle group. Legs will be much heavier than say curls. Same is true with bench. Curls you dont jump up considerably in weight like you do with larger muscle groups.

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