Outside of your buddies at the gym, no one cares what a person’s max bench, squat, deadlift etc. is.
But If I’m not max repping , weight slamming, and calling attention to my self. Can I still strut around the gym?
And get yourself knocked out
“never max out in the gym” is very different than (the title) “stop maxing out every time you workout” (1st line of the video)
Yeah, i actually wanna talk about this after i get off of work
I haven’t maxed out in years. I wouldn’t say it’s worthless for me, but it gets to a point where I know I’m at injury risk. My small bone structure isn’t really suited for heavy lifting.
There is an issue when my wrists and shoulders feel like they will shatter, well before my chest gives out.
I’ve learned that so long as I’m using progressive overload, I improve. Easier said than done as we age / but after getting a dexa scan, I learned my bone density is maxed out on their graph! Haha.
Point is, everyone “body” is different. For me, push heavy weight that doesn’t compromise my bio mechanical structure or integrity, activate the muscle, and squeeze the heck out of the muscle in every rep. This has worked for me and I hope it gets me to my twilight years of optimal muscle maturity.
But my goal is to add muscle, density, and maturity. Heavy lifting helps, but my goals are best achieved (for my body type) though years stacked on more years of lifting.
EDIT: I wish I could lift heavy and impressive weights, but I’d spend more time recovering from injury then I would actually growing or improving.
OKAY I AM OFF AND HAD A SHITTY NAP
@Extrabeef I don’t think you’ll actually disagree with anything i’m saying, but the video was so surface level that i feel the need to say it, especially after seeing @Anthony say in another thread that he’s been avoiding going heavy since watching.
For neural adaptation, realization of strength, and fully utilizing the mass you’ve developed, there is nothing better than maxing out.
There’s not even anything wrong with maxing out every day, as long as you have the recovery resources. There’s an an entire program based around it, and it works.
The primary issue is unknowledgeable sizelets who hit each body part once every 7-10 days maxing out every time. You’ll never put on size that way, but you’d never put on size even hitting your 12s with that kind of programming, so it’s a moot point.
The main idea here is that there are 2 primary ways to increase your strength, very much abridged as “get bigger” or “get better.” In getting bigger, the focus is hypertrophy, an increase in actual tissue size. This is usually accomplished by higher rep loads, but studies indicate that rep ranges as low as 5s may be the sweet spot here.
“Getting better” is very literally the mental aspect of it. Motor recruitment, movement patterning, “greasing the groove.” You are making your brain more efficient at telling your body how to perform the motion, and causing your nervous system to recruit more muscle fibers. This is undeniably best done under high, maximal or near-maximal loads in the 1-3 rep range.
It’s a good (possibly ideal) idea to alternate between Getting Bigger and Getting Better. Getting bigger raises your “ceiling” and increases the maximum POTENTIAL load you can move. Getting better moves WHERE YOU ARE closer to your POTENTIAL, and allows you to move more weight with your current mass, therefore making it easier to gain more mass when the goal once again becomes Get Bigger.
Maxing out your squat or bench every single day will not make you bigger, it simply doesn’t inflict enough of a stimulus to your musculature to induce hypertrophy. But it WILL increase your squat or bench, by fine-tuning your form, getting your nervous system adapted to firing all cylinders, and getting rid of any fear or anxiety induced mental blocks.
ALSO, heavy bench doubles just look fuckin cool.
Frankly, that was an awesome read, and first of all, thanks for writing that. It’s nice to see such passion for the subject. As someone who originally focused on nothing but 1RM maxes for ego lifting, I think you make a fantastic point on how they can, and should be used properly. I undoubtedly notice a drop in “strength” when I don’t practice my squat or other compound movements for some time, whether it be injury or gym situation, relating to your point about “getting better.”
Overall, I think it was a great read, and I’ll be back to heavy weights tomorrow for leg day!
Awesome Response! Thanks!
I’m a terrible co-host here and always forget stuff cross-posts to the forum. Hey everyone.
I don’t necessarily disagree with you, like you said. You make great points and this was, truthfully, a very surface level video aimed at people who are not competitive powerlifters or much interested in pure strength training. This was moreso spurred by watching (helping) kids in related fitness forums who couldn’t figure out why they couldn’t go up in bench every single week when they’re hitting a max single-triple weekly.
The issue here is untrained, unknowledgeable beginners maxing out frequently in the gym accomplishes:
-Destroys the CNS without much knowledge on how to recover in any way
-Doesn’t offer enough volume to achieve hypertrophy
-A huge risk by putting untrained individuals in a compromised position with (relative to their strength/potential) a lot of weight in a bad place
The overwhelming point is that there is no need to max out other than testing, especially if you’re training for hypertrophy. checking on paint doers not make it dry faster. Even as a (relatively) high level powerlifter I test 2-3 times per year.
The point is (as you wrote) raising the maximum potential load and increasing your working weight while not necessarily getting closer to your potential. In a program like 5/3/1 or the Cube Method you’re starting with a training max and you begin so light that even as your working sets increase, your potential has as well and thus the risk stays low. When you finally move into ranges where working weights are close to your previous PRs, your potential has increased to the point where these come easily and safely.
I will only say that I totally disagree with one statement, and in that it’s still conditional-
[greasing the groove] is undeniably best done under high, maximal or near-maximal loads in the 1-3 rep range.
I wouldn’t say this is true at all for anyone who isn’t ready (intermediate or above) to be under heavy weight week in, week out. I train conjugate style and even as such I don’t see the need for max effort sessions for anyone below an intermediate level. Speed and rep work will be plenty helpful to teach bar path and motor patterns, without much risk. I also think many of these beginners lack the tenacity and understanding needed to attack the barbell in the fashion needed to benefit from max effort work. Remember, even when training “max effort” for raw, we’re still moving 5+ work sets before the top single, double, triple, hell I even did a 5RM on concentric camber bar good mornings. That kind of covers your next topic, getting bigger/better. with conjugate you marry max effort and dynamic effort, training speed and strength. in my first cycle with it I both put 15 lbs on my bench as well as created some of the most drastic stretch marks on my pecs and lats I’ve ever seen. I was growing and gaining strength simultaneously, but I wouldn’t have been able to handle the training without years under the bar previously.
You made great points and I mostly agree. One of the worst things about these topics is the answer is almost always “it depends” but one of the times it is NEVER it depends is when people as how to squat heavy my answer is always “5 years progressively overloading a barbell”. No “method” or program will change that.
That’s the thing about everything… the proper answer to every questions should generally start with “it depends.” Hah.