I just started the "Power to the People!" plan for deadlifts. Loving it. Was just wondering if one should test 1RM in the deadlift every few cylces. I didn't see anything about it in the book. May have just missed it. Thanks!
There is no need to test your 1RM in the deadlift every few cycles - it's not a bad thing, but a true 1RM is an all-out effort best reserved for experienced lifters and, even for them, in competitions. If you do, make it what Dan John calls a "sort of max" where, even though you work hard, you know you could do more if you absolutely had to push yourself to your limits.
As you start PTTP, finish a cycle as the book suggests by perhaps going for your best triple rather than set of five reps and, over time, you'll figure out how to work that into a heavy single at the end of cycle.
In other words, best to take your time and learn how to test yourself gradually. I don't think I'd go for a true 1RM until I'd been deadlifting for at least a year - a guideline, of course, but I think it's a reasonable one.
1 rep maxes are a sub par measure of for most people. Maxing takes too much time away from a program and too much time recovering from. If you need an idea of where you are at, just look up a rep-max calculator. You just enter how many reps you can do with a weight and it'll tell you around where that would be as a single repetition. Typically they are most accurate under ten reps. The one used in the 5/3/1 program is as follows:
JZB, I will respectfully disagree. This is highly individual and it's useful to know what your 1RM is and how close to that you can train and in what volume. I recently set an 8-year PR for myself (you keep track of these sorts of things as you get older, and I got within 4 lbs., at age 59, of my lifetime PR which I set at age 51) and in training, I never went above 88% of my recent 1RM, and my new PR meant I had been training at no more than 85% of my 1RM.
That's useful math for me - I tend to want to push too hard in training and need to save the true 1RM for a meet. I wouldn't, however, want to be without the 1RM number and knowing how I need to train to improve it.
I don't mean to suggest to the OP that he should follow my example, only that we're all different and, once you pass the beginner stage, you need to learn about what works for you and what doesn't and, for some people, a true 1RM will be an important number to have.
Steve, I agree about individuals responding differently and no one formula working for everyone, I've found that formula JZB provided from Wendler to be very accurate if you can hit a 2-3 rep max and input the numbers. While I wouldn't use it with someone that has your experience I have found it very accurate for students within their first year or so of learning the SF approach to strength training where hitting a true one rep max probably will provide more benefit to outweigh the inherent risk of going to one's limit.
Since it was mentioned I should probably go ahead and list my experience. I am an experienced kettlebell lifter, but I am fairly new to the barbell. I just never had access to one until pretty recently. I only practice two lifts with the bar: the deadlift and the full contact twist. I feel they are the two best lifts for my goals. I am primarily a martial artist, not a strength competiter.
Steve, I will stick with what was originally in the book; working up to my best triple. The formula JZB mentioned is interesting however and I might play with it a little after gaining some more experience. Thank you all for your help. I love this community.
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