15 minutes to establish a 1RM HBBS.

Once you reach the 75-80% range, take 2 minutes rest then perform a “Walkout” (simply setup like you’re going to squat, walk out of the rack, and hold the weight on your back for 5 seconds – DO NOT attempt to squat) with 5-10% more than your projected maximal Squat. If you are projecting 120Kg, walk out with approximately 130Kg. After your “Walkout”, rest 2 minutes then begin your near maximal and maximal attempts.


How to approach a PR lift – Colm

These are just some of my rambling thoughts on it.

  • Have a target in mind when you enter the gym. If you’re sitting on 60Kg and believe you’ve 65-70Kg in you it’ll make it easier on you knowing what warm up weights to do, and how to spend your time. It’ll also focus your mind.
  • …But be willing to adapt! If the weight is flying up you may have 72.5Kg-75Kg in you today. It could be one of those days where the stars align and the gravity in the gym is just right. If this is the case, go for it!
  • Bypass your old PR. I’m a firm believer in this, particular if your current PR is relatively fresh. If you’ve already hit 40Kg, you know that’s your 1RM (One Rep Max for those who are new) today is a chance to try something new. It’s okay to have a miss on a 1RM day because we’re testing where our limits currently are. If you’re not feeling particularly strong today (more on this in a bit) maybe you’ll do 37.5Kg and then 42.5Kg. Trust me, the feeling of even a small PR is better than just hitting your old PR
  • If you’re quite new to this whole lifting thing and don’t know how to approach the bar, listen to your coaches. As a general rule of thumb gents will make 5Kg-10Kg jumps and ladies will make 2.5Kg-5Kg jumps. We may stop you before what you feel you’re capable of lifting. This is most likely due to a lift breaking down due to technique, rather than strength. Parts of your body are most likely stronger than others and allowing them to continue to get stronger without bringing up the weak links is a recipe for injury. Maybe not straight away, but long term. The order of training is always technique, then weight.
  • Take out a heavier weight to prep yourself. Discussed above, helps prep you physically and mentally for the task at hand.
  • Warm up, but not too much. Make sure the movement is well engrained before you go to your heavy lifts. During the ‘light’ warm ups now is the time to focus on fix your technical issues (everyone has them – could be ‘knees out’, ‘heels’, ‘lead with the chest’). You want to warm up with just enough lifts that you’re well in the groove, but not so much that you are fatigued before you hit your max effort. Personally, I prefer singles once you start adding weight to the bar. This helps you prep the exact routine you’ll use when you’re attempting your 1RM. On sets of five we can have a different focus. With a single you can focus on your set up, taking the bar out of the rack, your stance, breath, and squat. If you feel like 100Kg didn’t go well. Feel free to hit that weight again once more (but only once more, don’t get too in your own head).
  • Give yourself time. When squatting heavy, you may need three plus minutes to recover between your maximal efforts. You won’t have this if you spend too much time messing about with the bar and lifts up to 80%. You should be able to warm up to 60% or so relatively quickly, and use the lifts between 60-80% to switch mentally from ‘warming up’ to ‘working.’
  • Be selfish. Oftentimes, too much time is wasted by lifting by committee, that is having a discussion about what weight everyone wants to lift next on the way up. This is the biggest time suck we see in timed lifting. If you want go empty bar –> 60Kg, load 60Kg. If your partner wants to go through 40Kg, that’s fine. Once you settle on the lifts you can switch the weights out quickly. There doesn’t need to be a big discussion on it. And you can still have the craic and enjoy lifting together.
  • Mentally give yourself one word or cue as you lift. This word really should be something that you can’t argue with in your head. Words like “strong”, “speed”, “fast”, “UP!” I find work well. You’ve probably had me shout this at you as you’ve lifted. It’s to drown out any negative thoughts that could cause you to miss the lift. One word cues are hard to fight against. Avoid phrases like “light weight” as if you pick it up and your body rebels with “it’s f**king heavy!” it can get in your head. If you say “strong”, it’s okay for the weight to be heavy, as you’re strong.
  • Make sure your PR is solid. Think video quality. All too often (though rarely at our box) massive drops in form are tolerated for a 1RM lift. It’s as if the numbers are the only thing that matters, and not the movement quality. Sure if your knees cave in a bit (that’s a bit!)on that 105% lift we can call the lift good and take the PR. This doesn’t mean we’ll lump on another 10Kg and see what happens. If you allow yourself to lift with terrible form/reduced range of motion you will not get better and that’s no craic.
  • Celebrate your achievements! If you get a 1Kg PR it’s worth celebrating! Sometimes, you progress at different rates and lifts can stall (sometimes, for a long time) so take your victories! ANY PR is worth celebrating. By the same token if you don’t PR it’s just one day, one test, one data point. One incident of anything isn’t cause to re-evaluate your entire existence. You’re still incredibly stronger, fitter and healthier than you were when you began this journey. You just got caught up in PRs and CrossFit because it’s such fun!