Testing your 1RM is not only physically taxing but it also takes a toll on your mind too. Surely there is a better way to establish higher working weight?
There is, you could work up to a 2RM or maybe even a 5RM and then use a RM calculator to establish and estimated max, but there is another way that’s far more fun (and rewarding too).
Have you ever heard of a Bock Off Set?
Of course you have, this concept has been around for years but it’s not always used properly.
The idea of a back off set is to see how your strength is progressing on a weight that previously might have been challenging for a certain number of reps. Back off sets are a great way to judge if you’re getting stronger, or at least more efficient at the movement.
Personally I like to aim for one of the following guideline rep ranges for my back off sets:
15 – 20 Good Reps.
Why 15-20? That’s because a good 15-20 reps will be easily achievable for 70% of your 1RM, from my experience that is. Once I hit this I know to up the weight on the back off set by 5-10kg for lower body and 5kg for upper body while adding 5kg/2.5kg to lower/upper on the main lifts respectively.
Now this isn’t an exact science, but a 15-20 rep goal back off set work brilliantly if you’re following a heavy 8×3, 5×5, 6×4, 4×6 etc. You don’t have to use those rep ranges, you might prefer 8-12, but the concept remains the same, once you hit your guideline rep range with good solid reps increase your weights. Simple.
Try it and see how you get on.