Maximal lifts for Maximal strength Featured Image

There are a lot of ways to become stronger, each with their own benefits and drawbacks; and as we’re all different with changing lifestyles and stresses, no one training system will work for everyone.

It’s a good idea to mix things up every once in a while. It helps challenge your nervous system in new ways as your body will adapt to your usual training regime and its easy to lose mental stimulation doing the same thing week in and week out.

One approach to mix up your training is maximal lifting, more commonly referred to as the one rep max (how much you can lift for one full rep.)

So why lift as heavy as you can? Personally I like to challenge myself in strength training and there’s something exceptionally satisfying when you manage to lift a weight that tests your limits to know how strong you really are.

Lifting heavy has a host of benefits for your body and whether you’re in a fat loss program or hypertrophy program, I recommend one maximal lifting day every 10 days. Then adjust and fine tune from there.

By lifting your one rep max, your nervous system undergoes the following changes:
  • Increased neural drive to muscles
  • Increased synchronisation of motor units
  • Increased nerve connectivity/communication (impulse frequency)
  • Increased activation of the contractile apparatus (how strong you can contract your muscle)
  • Decreased inhibition of Golgi tendon organ (reflex response within muscle that inhibits any dangerous high tension.)

For the past month I’ve been trying my hand at the one rep max as I’ve been trying to increase the maximum amount I can dead-lift in my usual hypertrophy routine (higher rep ranges). Now my form’s not perfect (although im at no risk of injury) but I managed to lift 130kg (two times my body weight) so I’ll call it a win personally.

Hulk smash

Nick