Starting this week, my Crossfit gym is programming in 1RMs. I haven’t maxed out in a long while… I am so excited!
If you’re like me, your personal results due to strength training may be obvious outside of the numbers. Carrying groceries is no longer a source of fatigue… you regularly take the stairs without breaking a sweat… you can pull yourself up with ease on the side of the pool. Whatever it is, your daily tasks are probably easier as a result of regular strength training. Regardless, tracking one rep maxes for a variety of lifts is a great opportunity to see your strength progress in a tangible way. There is nothing more satisfying than lifting 225lb on deadlift when before you could barely move 165lb (true story – this was my last PR jump). At the same time, your gains could very well be the result of an improvement in technique.
Personally, I have always struggled with the snatch. It has taken me a long time to find the correct hand positioning, balance, and direction of movement. My current “max” is only 75lbs. However, just yesterday I moved 65lb 8 times in a row (followed by 7 more rounds at 55lbs). Now that I feel more confident in my technique, the invisible barrier has been lifted (no pun intended).
Likewise, for a long time I was stuck at 100lbs for any type of clean – power, hang, squat. My coach always told me it was mental – and it totally was! Just this week I cleaned 110 multiple times with no problem, partially because I was thinking it was 95lbs! (Someone else set up my bar) Amazing how we can mentally lock ourselves down!
Of course, there is always the chance that you may have neglected some lifts since you last maxed out…. I expect my squat numbers (front and back) to be fairly low because I haven’t spent much time beefing them up, and my technique is not perfect (I am well aware).
All in all, I see maxing out as both an opportunity to quantify your hard work and create awareness for areas needing improvement. I have high expectations for myself, but I won’t beat myself up if I do maintain or go down a little in some of my more rusty lifts.
As always, you can see my progress on my PR page!