Author: Bambi Panagiotis
Probably the best “P”(ersonal) “R”(ecord) celebration I ever saw was Hunner Huval’s recent snatch. Along with the jumping and hollering, he took off running ……. ran out of the garage door at CrossFit Breaux Bridge and in through the front door. IT. WAS. AWESOME!
But not every day is a P.R. day. Not every day ‘should’ be a P.R. day or an attempt at one. That’s not how it works. Sorry guys and gals! It takes a lot of lifts at lesser weights to get there.
Ever wonder why we train percentages?
First, when the goal is to develop maximal strength it’s essential to lift maximal or near maximal weights. While this doesn’t necessarily mean 100% of our 1Rep Max, it does mean that some portion of our training must include lifting loads at or above 90% 1RM.
Second, we must understand the importance of speed in relation to maximal strength. If we aren’t capable of accelerating quickly, then strength will be negatively affected.
Take, for example, the equation for force:
Force (F) = Mass (M) x Acceleration (A).
Greater acceleration leads to greater force, which leads to heavier weights being lifted. To train for improved speed one must use light(er) weights with the goal of moving them as quickly as possible. Generally, this requires some portion of our training to include lifting loads between 50% – 65% 1RM. That’s why we program sets like Wide Stance Box Squats – 8 x 3 @ 60-65% 1RM.
As you can see, to optimally train for maximal strength we can’t just focus on lifting heavy. We must also focus on lifting quickly.
Incorporating a wide variety of percentages with the consistent goal of moving weights as explosively as possible will lead to the best strength outcomes. And who don’t want that?