There are two types of people on a one-rep max (or three rep max) day:

AVATAR 1: I’m freaking out! What if I didn’t get stronger since the last time we tested our back squat? What if my number goes down?

AVATAR 2: What’s happening? I don’t even remember what I did last time, let alone what I’m going to lift today. 

We’d like you to be somewhere in the middle of the former and the latter. 

Meaning, on the days we ask you to work up to a heavy triple squat or bench press or a heavy single deadlift, approach it as a small test that tells you where you’re at in this moment. As something that will help you optimize the success, you’ll have in the upcoming programming cycle or two. 

Here’s the thing: Progress isn’t always linear. And if you have taken a break from heavy squatting for a while, you might not hit what you did last time, and that’s OK. It could be that you have improved your clean technique and your pushing and pulling strength instead. So it’s nothing to be emotional about if your score isn’t the same as your last score.

On the other hand, paying zero attention to what you’re lifting isn’t great either, as it’s just going to limit your progress because you won’t even know how to adhere to the percentages on any given day. 

The bottom line: Pay attention to your numbers. They’re there to help you. But they’re simply a snapshot, a wrinkle in time, on your lifelong journey to live a great, healthy life.


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