- The Right To Go Heavier
Hold on a minute… Didn’t I just say that lifters needed to earn the right to lift for high reps? How can they avoid high-rep training and not lift heavy?
Simple: They don’t push their max. Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but there’s a big difference between “low-rep sets” and “brutal singes with the heaviest weight you can handle.”
Just as an example, let’s say you’re confident can squat 250 pounds for 5 typical, no-doubt reps, as your 5RM. Instead of seeing how much you can squat for just 1 or 2 reps, or pushing for a haphazard sixth rep with questionable technique, why not go the other way, and redefine your 5RM?
Take that 250 pounds and drop 15 percent of the weight off the bar. That should put you around 210. Now, try to perform the same 5 reps using a 42X0 tempo, or 4 seconds down, a 2-second pause at the bottom, and a strong concentric phase. Performing your reps this way will create a whole new 5RM that leaves that original 250 in the dust.
I talked about this in depth in my article “Stop Maxing Out! Lift This Way Instead,” but demonstrating that you can own weight in lighter loads is a great way to set your own standard of achievement before throwing more plates on the bar. No one says the maxes you train with have to be your true maxes, as long as you’re working in the name of quality and training effect.
- The Right To Get Serious About Supplements
I’ll leave the detailed nutrition articles for the true experts of that subcategory of this field. But I will say this: the word “supplement” implies you’re following a fairly proper and rounded diet that’s only enhanced by their use. Likewise, if you’re constantly jacked up on epic amounts of caffeine every time you train, it’s going to be that much harder to say no to that ill-advised max-effort rep.
Wanna have a shake post-workout? Take creatine? Hey, whatever—I won’t get in the way. But don’t think for a moment that either one will have nearly the same effect that your overall dietary approach does. Supplements should never replace whole foods—you’ve been told that before. But they also shouldn’t be your way of avoiding good eating habits in general. Not enough people have heard that.
Eat good foods, eat them consistently, and learn how to get your recommended amount of calories and protein for the day pertaining to your specific goals. You can get amazing results just by doing this—and you should, before adding any particular “stack” to the mix.