Thursday 21st June 2012


Warm up! It sounds obvious but if your not properly warmed up the weights are going to feel heavier.

Working weight. Once you are warmed up you don’t want to start with a weight that is too heavy or too light – go for approximately 5 repetitions at 60% of your 1 rep max. If you’ve never done a 1 rep max, aim for a weight that you have done for multiple repetitions in a workout. For newbies we normally start with 40kg-50kg, as this is normally what they have lifted in a workout.

Don’t do too many sets and repetitions. You will fatigue yourself before getting to the goods and you could miss getting that 1 rep max PB (personal best)! We’ve found that starting with 5 repetition for 1-2 sets, then dropping down to 2-3 repetitions for another 1-2 sets, then at around 85% onwards you should be doing just 1 repetition. Listen to your body, if your going for 3 reps but the 2nd rep feels hard, save your energy and miss out the 3rd rep.

Don’t repeat the same weights unless you’re correcting a technique issue. Once you’ve started doing one rep, stay on that road. It tends to happen more with newbies, if you did, for example 160kg don’t waste energy by doing 160kg again, try 162.5kg.

As you get closer to your 1 rep max make smaller increments. Too many times people will do a weight and because it feels “good” they will jump up the weight by 15kg! In a 100 times I’ve heard people say they attempted this, I’ve only seen 1 or 2 people be successful with it and that’s usually because they had a pretty low one rep max to start with. Good rule of thumb is increase by 2.5kg or 5kg.

Ask your coaches advise. Funnily enough that’s what they are there for. If you’re not sure what weight to go to next, ask them.

Resting. You can take too much rest as well as not enough. When you’re warming up take shorter rests. At the lighter weights 60-75% you want to be taking no more than 1 minute rest, as you head into 80-95% you want to be taking longer rests of 2-3 minutes. Before you attempt a new 1 rep max rest as needed but no longer than 4-5 minutes.

It’s heavy. No shit it’s a 1 rep max! Accept that it’s going to be heavy before you pick it up and get into the mindset that you WILL do this weight!

Don’t let your head get in the way. The biggest thing with lifting heavy is people not committing to the weight. When you go for a 1 rep max you give it EVERYTHING, otherwise you never really wanted it in the first place!

Now let’s go lift heavy shit!