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  1. #1
    Not even my final form NZninja101's Avatar
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    Question about 1RM% and training

    "As an individual goes from a beginner to an advanced trainer, they tend to use weights closer and closer to their 1RM"

    I saw this somewhere, can't remember where, not important, because I'm not stating it as a fact. I'm asking, how true do you think this statement is? For bodybuilding purposes I thought the opposite would be true; start with heavier weights, as a novice like me would in SS, in order to build up their base strength and achieve some size, and then when their lifts are respectable then they go onto a hypertrophy routine and get big. Maybe the opposite is true for the ultimate goal of strength that a powerlifter would go for, they would start as a novice going quite heavy with 5RM like in SS, and when they are stronger, they start working on singles, doubles and triples, but I'm not sure about any of this, so what do you guys think?
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  2. #2
    Not even my final form NZninja101's Avatar
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    Come on guys, what do you think about this?
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  3. #3
    Methionine Squatz KeeronMac's Avatar
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    Surely as your strength increase, so too would your 1RM??

    Although with the experience of lifting, adaptations to the CNS etc, you would be able to handle weights closer to your 1RM.

    Depends what you are training for but i believe that strength is important, even when training for mass. If you want to continue to grow, you must continue to increase your reps and weight, hence your stregnth must increase too??
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  4. #4
    Not even my final form NZninja101's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by KeeronMac View Post
    Surely as your strength increase, so too would your 1RM??

    Although with the experience of lifting, adaptations to the CNS etc, you would be able to handle weights closer to your 1RM.

    Depends what you are training for but i believe that strength is important, even when training for mass. If you want to continue to grow, you must continue to increase your reps and weight, hence your stregnth must increase too??
    I'm talking about training in regard to a PERCENTAGE of one rep max
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  5. #5
    Methionine Squatz KeeronMac's Avatar
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    What percentage?? 60%, 70%, 80%??

    What i said earlier still stands. Say for example you trained at 70% 1RM, eventually you would get stronger, hence your 1RM would increase, and since your 1RM has increased, you would need to use a heavier weight to keep training at 70%
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  6. #6
    Training For Chest Hair rdferguson's Avatar
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    As KeeronMac said. If training at 8-12reps (~70%) works for you, then you'll probably keep doing that. As you increase weight for reps, you'll still be around the same %1RM, but you'll have a higher 1RM thus be able to lift more.

    That being said, longterm training in a certain rep range will make you good at that rep range. If you spend years strictly training in the 8-12 rep range (to stick to the example), 8-12 reps will probably nudge closer to your 1RM, so you may become able to do 8 reps with what someone else with the same 1RM might only be able to do 5-6 reps with.

    In any case, I don't think %1RM is the most critical factor in bodybuilding. Typically anywhere between 60-80% is recommended, and hypertrophy can be obtained from 50-90% and then some.
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  7. #7
    Methionine Squatz KeeronMac's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by rdferguson View Post
    In any case, I don't think %1RM is the most critical factor in bodybuilding.
    Agree with you on that. If you were a strength athlete then thats a different story, but if it is just with regards to mass, 1RM is nothing more than an ego boost. Nothing wrong with that either, I like knowing what I can do now compared to a few months ago, I wouldn't train rigidly by it tho.

    If your using a heavy enough weight for 6-10 reps, and are working hard, you will undoubtedly make some decent gains in mass and strength to a lesser degree...
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  8. #8
    Registered User Orks007's Avatar
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    To me, this questions doesnt make sense???

    for arguements sake, if your 1RM was 100Kg, then you should lift between 65Kg to 80Kg to gain mass and also strength.

    if you were then increasing towards your 1RM on the same reps, this means obviously you have gained strength, thus your 1RM would increase anyway.

    in all, if someone says they do 2-3 sets of 10 at 85% plus of their 1RM, then id probably suggest their 1RM isnt accurate, or simply they are lifting too heavy, or just doing split sets.
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  9. #9
    Not even my final form NZninja101's Avatar
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    Nope, you still don't understand. Say the 1RM is x, and that, regardless of x increasing as of course it would, the trainee would generally use a lower % of x as they advance. For example:
    Day one: novice squats 80 pounds for 5 reps for several months and increases strength over time, say his 1RM is 100 pounds.
    One year later: trainee can now squat 360 for 5 reps, 400 for one, and then changes his routine up, drops some weight off the bar and does higher rep sets, like 300 for 10 reps, and receives good sarcoplasmic hypertrophy.
    He is now working with under 75% of his one rep max.
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  10. #10
    Not even my final form NZninja101's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by KeeronMac View Post
    What percentage?? 60%, 70%, 80%??

    What i said earlier still stands. Say for example you trained at 70% 1RM, eventually you would get stronger, hence your 1RM would increase, and since your 1RM has increased, you would need to use a heavier weight to keep training at 70%
    Nope, you still don't understand. Say the 1RM is x, and that, regardless of x increasing as of course it would, the trainee would generally use a lower % of x as they advance. For example:
    Day one: novice squats 80 pounds for 5 reps for several months and increases strength over time, say his 1RM is 100 pounds.
    One year later: trainee can now squat 360 for 5 reps, 400 for one, and then changes his routine up, drops some weight off the bar and does higher rep sets, like 300 for 10 reps, and receives good sarcoplasmic hypertrophy.
    He is now working with under 75% of his one rep max.
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  11. #11
    Not even my final form NZninja101's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by rdferguson View Post
    As KeeronMac said. If training at 8-12reps (~70%) works for you, then you'll probably keep doing that. As you increase weight for reps, you'll still be around the same %1RM, but you'll have a higher 1RM thus be able to lift more.

    That being said, longterm training in a certain rep range will make you good at that rep range. If you spend years strictly training in the 8-12 rep range (to stick to the example), 8-12 reps will probably nudge closer to your 1RM, so you may become able to do 8 reps with what someone else with the same 1RM might only be able to do 5-6 reps with.

    In any case, I don't think %1RM is the most critical factor in bodybuilding. Typically anywhere between 60-80% is recommended, and hypertrophy can be obtained from 50-90% and then some.
    This is probably my wording, but you still don't get what I'm trying to say
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  12. #12
    Lack of iron &or sleeping SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    I think that you just find it hard to believe that someone would be repping out 70-90% of a big number but they do. Weights that would have crushed me as a novice feel light now. I remember straining my back and getting a raging migrane first time I tried to deadlift 240lbs. Now, that is barely a warmup.
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  13. #13
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    I don't think anyone really did an adequate job of answering the question, and may or may not have understood it to begin with.

    Yes, as you get more advanced, particularly if you are strength training, you will gradually be more capable of lifting at percentages closer to 100% your true 1RM. Part of this is neural, learning to recruit more of your muscular strength. Part of it is form, and it goes double for relatively unsafe lifts. For example, if a beginner attempted a squat close to his/her 1RM, what are the odds of a serious back injury? Relatively high? As you become more advanced, your ability to keep your back and abs tight becomes better, and it becomes more realistic to squat close to your 1RM without a probable form breakdown.
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  14. #14
    Not even my final form NZninja101's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Lackeos View Post
    I don't think anyone really did an adequate job of answering the question, and may or may not have understood it to begin with.

    Yes, as you get more advanced, particularly if you are strength training, you will gradually be more capable of lifting at percentages closer to 100% your true 1RM. Part of this is neural, learning to recruit more of your muscular strength. Part of it is form, and it goes double for relatively unsafe lifts. For example, if a beginner attempted a squat close to his/her 1RM, what are the odds of a serious back injury? Relatively high? As you become more advanced, your ability to keep your back and abs tight becomes better, and it becomes more realistic to squat close to your 1RM without a probable form breakdown.
    Sorry, but that's not I mean. I'm not talking about working closer to your 1RM. The best way I can try and explain this is with this:
    Say the 1RM is x, and that, regardless of x increasing as of course it would, the trainee would generally use a lower % of x as they advance. For example:
    Day one: novice squats 80 pounds for 5 reps for several months and increases strength over time, say his 1RM is 100 pounds.
    One year later: trainee can now squat 360 for 5 reps, 400 for one, and then changes his routine up, drops some weight off the bar and does higher rep sets, like 300 for 10 reps, and receives good sarcoplasmic hypertrophy.
    He is now working with under 75% of his one rep max.

    And you say; "you will gradually be more capable of lifting at percentages closer to 100% your true 1RM"

    A 1RM is a 1RM, regardless of ****ty neural efficiency.
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    Originally Posted by NZninja101 View Post
    Sorry, but that's not I mean. I'm not talking about working closer to your 1RM. The best way I can try and explain this is with this:
    Say the 1RM is x, and that, regardless of x increasing as of course it would, the trainee would generally use a lower % of x as they advance. For example:
    Day one: novice squats 80 pounds for 5 reps for several months and increases strength over time, say his 1RM is 100 pounds.
    One year later: trainee can now squat 360 for 5 reps, 400 for one, and then changes his routine up, drops some weight off the bar and does higher rep sets, like 300 for 10 reps, and receives good sarcoplasmic hypertrophy.
    He is now working with under 75% of his one rep max.

    And you say; "you will gradually be more capable of lifting at percentages closer to 100% your true 1RM"

    A 1RM is a 1RM, regardless of ****ty neural efficiency.
    In that case... you don't seem to understand what the quote is saying, and I explained it just fine. We may have even read that quote from the same source, who knows.

    Otherwise, you seem to disagree with it on the basis that you think people start-out strength training and switch over to hypertrophy training later on. IMO, this is probably the right path to take for the average guy who wants to become a bodybuilder, but that doesn't encompass everyone. There's lots of other people like powerlifters who, on average, lower their rep range and increase their % of 1RM as they go from beginner to advanced. But none of that is the point of the quote. The point is... re-read my previous post.
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    Originally Posted by NZninja101 View Post
    Sorry, but that's not I mean. I'm not talking about working closer to your 1RM. The best way I can try and explain this is with this:

    ...

    And you say; "you will gradually be more capable of lifting at percentages closer to 100% your true 1RM"

    A 1RM is a 1RM, regardless of ****ty neural efficiency.
    A 1RM is not a 1RM regardless of neural efficiency. The body's ability to actually recruit muscles to accomplish a true 1RM develops over time. A first day weight lifter who thinks they just figured out their bench press 1RM has actually caused the body to adapt enough that their 1RM has changed by their next workout.

    I think the statement is absolutely true. In order to use higher weights in higher volumes for mass gains, a person will have to have further strength gains, and that will mean working with weights closer and closer to their 1RM. Continued strength training should be the basis of any program. Even for elite bodybuilders working towards size.
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  17. #17
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    Originally Posted by NZninja101 View Post
    Sorry, but that's not I mean. I'm not talking about working closer to your 1RM. The best way I can try and explain this is with this:
    Say the 1RM is x, and that, regardless of x increasing as of course it would, the trainee would generally use a lower % of x as they advance. For example:
    Day one: novice squats 80 pounds for 5 reps for several months and increases strength over time, say his 1RM is 100 pounds.
    One year later: trainee can now squat 360 for 5 reps, 400 for one, and then changes his routine up, drops some weight off the bar and does higher rep sets, like 300 for 10 reps, and receives good sarcoplasmic hypertrophy.
    He is now working with under 75% of his one rep max.

    And you say; "you will gradually be more capable of lifting at percentages closer to 100% your true 1RM"

    A 1RM is a 1RM, regardless of ****ty neural efficiency.
    Your entire premise is wrong from the start. For a beginner 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps with from 60-80% of a 1 rep max is optimal for all of the major compounds. But with training age due to the increase in neural efficiency the rep range slides down and the number of work sets goes up. So that after a few YEARS of training that same persons optimal training zone might now be 3-5 sets of 4-8 reps. AND that's only if their training a single quality.
    5 rep training is excellent for athletes, advanced lifter or lifters trying to gain mass and strength. There is no one size fits all method.
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    No not at all. I don't know where you got that quote from but it is incorrect. As you 1rm increases, your lifts on 10rm and under all increase as well. So say you got your 10rm to what your 1rm was a year ago...your 1rm would be alot higher, but to reach that strength potential you would need to do some doubles and triples to get your body used to a heavier load.

    1rm = raw neural strength so if you have never dealt with a weight X heavy, you ease into it.

    this chart is a good example: http://www.criticalbench.com/weight-training-chart.htm

    the lower the rep range you use, obviously it will be able to ease into that 1rm. So someone training with 10-12 rep range may need to incorporate a bunch of double and singles just to 'get used' to that weight.
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  19. #19
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    Originally Posted by all pro View Post
    Your entire premise is wrong from the start. For a beginner 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps with from 60-80% of a 1 rep max is optimal for all of the major compounds. But with training age due to the increase in neural efficiency the rep range slides down and the number of work sets goes up. So that after a few YEARS of training that same persons optimal training zone might now be 3-5 sets of 4-8 reps. AND that's only if their training a single quality.
    5 rep training is excellent for athletes, advanced lifter or lifters trying to gain mass and strength. There is no one size fits all method.
    Good answer, but how is my 'premise' wrong?
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  20. #20
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    Originally Posted by BarbellJester View Post
    A 1RM is not a 1RM regardless of neural efficiency.
    Sorry, but it is.

    Originally Posted by BarbellJester View Post

    body's ability to actually recruit muscles to accomplish a true 1RM develops over time. A first day weight lifter who thinks they just figured out their bench press 1RM has actually caused the body to adapt enough that their 1RM has changed by their next workout.

    I think the statement is absolutely true. In order to use higher weights in higher volumes for mass gains, a person will have to have further strength gains, and that will mean working with weights closer and closer to their 1RM. Continued strength training should be the basis of any program. Even for elite bodybuilders working towards size.
    I will say that I don't think it's a good idea for beginners to test one rep maxes
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  21. #21
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    Originally Posted by Lackeos View Post
    In that case... you don't seem to understand what the quote is saying, and I explained it just fine. We may have even read that quote from the same source, who knows.

    Otherwise, you seem to disagree with it on the basis that you think people start-out strength training and switch over to hypertrophy training later on. IMO, this is probably the right path to take for the average guy who wants to become a bodybuilder, but that doesn't encompass everyone. There's lots of other people like powerlifters who, on average, lower their rep range and increase their % of 1RM as they go from beginner to advanced. But none of that is the point of the quote. The point is... re-read my previous post.
    I'm afraid it's you who doesn't understand based on your previous post. But I can see how you would think you explained it fine. You say,
    "Otherwise, you seem to disagree with it on the basis that you think people start-out strength training and switch over to hypertrophy training later on."

    Not everybody does this

    "IMO, this is probably the right path to take for the average guy who wants to become a bodybuilder, but that doesn't encompass everyone. There's lots of other people like powerlifters who, on average, lower their rep range and increase their % of 1RM as they go from beginner to advanced."

    I absolutely agree

    "But none of that is the point of the quote. The point is... re-read my previous post"

    Yeah, because when you read something from somebody who doesn't understand the question, it actually makes sense when you read it the second time, ha, who'd have thought?
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