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Increasing the 1 rep max for strength training

  1. Jan 20, 2016 #1
    I am not studying physics so I apologies for my limited knowledge in advance. I felt if I increased speed of reps with sub-maximal weights this increase of speed would increase my 1 rep max using n e=mc2. I'm now not sure as this implies I'm using more energy not applying more force or power. According to basic physics which obviously I have little grasp of how should I be approaching this problem. What am I trying to increase to move most weight for one rep taking into account that a maximal weight will move slowly so their will be a significant time spent exerting energy and force.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 20, 2016 #2


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    Special relativity (where the equation comes from) has absolutely nothing to do with that.
    That does not make sense.
    If you want to move the maximal mass, then go for the maximal mass. Everything else does not make sense.
  4. Jan 20, 2016 #3

    Doc Al

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    E = mc2 will have nothing to do with this. If you want to talk energy, you can use kinetic energy (1/2mv2), but not sure how that will help you.

    I think you're asking: Can I improve my 1 rep max by lifting lighter weights more quickly? This more a question of biology than physics. I would say perhaps a bit, but I don't think it's a useful strategy.
  5. Jan 20, 2016 #4
    What is the most important factor for increasing maximum load lifted then? Am I trying to increase force or power and what are the factors for improving them
  6. Jan 20, 2016 #5

    Doc Al

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    If you want to lift heavy, you must lift heavy. There are various strategies, for example, periodization, high intensity, micro-loading, and so on. I suggest that you talk to a weightlifter/powerlifter, not a physicist!

    Force and power are different things. If lifting heavy is your goal, then it's force generation that you need.
  7. Jan 20, 2016 #6
    What you are attempting is dynamic training. It's one of the most effective ways to increase a max lift. When you lift for speed, you are training your muscle to do a few things. Number one, you are training to use more muscle cells. You are also training them to fire simultaneously. Another over looked point, your cns uses electrical signals to control your muscles. Think of this sort of training as lowering the resistance of the system.

    I trained in olympic lifting for a few years and powerlifting for 5. We split our training into technique, dynamic, hypertrophy/ assistance and max effort days.
  8. Jan 20, 2016 #7
    I am infact an elite level powerlifter and understand all of the above trainig protocols. I was speaking to a masters student in strength and conditioning who also competes in Olympic lifting who put the dout in my head about the worth of speed wirk for powerlifting. I am curious of the physics behind the lifting of max loads, just as a peice to the puzzle.

    So I'm looking to improve maximum force, mass x acceleration. This is why I thought moving Lower weights faster would help. I'm thinking now to increase force I need to move heavier weights faster, does this make sense or am I still way off
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 20, 2016
  9. Jan 20, 2016 #8
    Well, training with heavy weights, encourages an increase of muscle fiber recruitment. However, max effort lifts are usually long and slow. So incorporating speed training, and seeing improvement, usually means that the individual fibers are better able to fire simultaneously. Being a powerlifter, you know the big difference a sticking point will have on your progression. You may be able to lock out a 405 bench but you can't get 415, 3 inches from your chest. Dynamic training helps you blow past sticking points.

    Me in the good old days. So, how much you deadlift?

  10. Jan 20, 2016 #9
    My best deadlift is 290kg

    I made this same point about dynamic work helping you break through sticking points using momentum but was told the weight at jax loads is moving too slow for this to be a factor.

    I'm now thinking long grinding reps that have me applying high force for prolonged periods may be most beneficial. Perhaps isometric training applying max force into an immovable object would increase max force production.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 20, 2016
  11. Jan 20, 2016 #10
    Im not going to try and convince you to perform dynamic training. An anonymous voice on the internet will never convince you more persuasively than a master's friend of yours. However, the speed of the bar is not the only reason dynamic training helps with sticking points. When you train for maximum bar speed, your muscles learn to efficiently apply force to the bar in a way that increases momentum. How is this different? Go look at all the wr deadlifts. None of them stagnate in any position with the bar. Your friends argument would leave us to believe that they could increase the weight and perform the movement a little slower. That is not the case.
  12. Jan 20, 2016 #11
    This is exactly why I had the debate with him, your making a lot of points that I did. Perhaps on this point his opinion may be misguided. Dynamic work in a supplementary basis does seem to be beneficial along side force production. I've never ran westside though the theory is sounding optimal.
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