There is a fascination with going heavy in the weight room. It seems logical. If I lift heavy weight I will get stronger in less time than if I lift lighter weight, right? Wrong. While you will likely make some initial progress lifting heavy and often, you will eventually burn out or hurt yourself, either one requiring the necessary layoff you could avoid by just going lighter. In short, going too heavy too often is counter productive.
The bulk of your monthly volume should actually take place around 80% of your 1RM. This sounds way too light to get strong but I promise you that is not the case. This doesn’t mean you don’t at times go heavier, nor does it mean you don’t go lighter. But that is the sweet spot where the majority of your monthly work should be done. Assuming you want to get a LOT stronger and remain uninjured, that is.
I’ve been at this game for a while yet sometimes even I get surprised by the fast and measurable progress I make when I follow a program at the appropriate intensity – aka not too heavy. For example, finishing up my SFL (StrongFirst Lifter) requirements this week I was able to easily add 15 pounds to my bench within 6 weeks of consistent training on a PlanStrong style model!
For more on this, I “strongly” recommend you attend the PlanStrong event offered by StrongFirst. There is one coming up in San Diego in March. The foundation of this approach is based on simple concepts that you can apply IMMEDIATELY for you and your students, assuming you’re a coach. If not, SEND YOUR COACH TO THIS COURSE!
Stay strong, my friends.