There’s been some confusion from old heads and newbies alike concerning what those crazy numbers mean whenever we lift. For example, our workout on Monday, 11/30/09, included snatch balances in a 10×2 rep scheme. Before you have flashback nightmares to those 3rd grade timed multiplication table tests (I was terrible at them), let me break it down for you nice and simple.
The first number indicates the amount of sets that you are to complete. The second number indicates the amount of reps that you are to complete within each set. Easy, right? In the example above, you complete 10 sets with 2 reps in each set. Sets and reps, no problemo.
Now on to weight loads. In that particular snatch workout, we asked that you work at 70%. This means that you should be snatching at approximately 70% of your 1 rep max. Once you get to 70%, you shouldn’t be fooling around with the weight load any more. When you continually add weight, you are defeating the purpose of our workout design. Not every lifting day is for maximal effort, so we kindly request that you stop putting more and more weight on the bar! We promise that if you come regularly, you’ll get your chance to go for maxes in all your lifts.
The only time that you should keep putting weight on the bar is when we specifically indicate that it is a maximum effort day. These days will be clearly noted, so stick to the plan.
One other pet peeve of mine. If it is a maximum effort day, lift the most that you can. Period. Your lifts are either successful or not. If you fail a lift, but think you can get it, that’s not your max until you actually lift it. Your max is the weight that you move through full range of motion. Now, if you truly believe you can get it, then do it. All I’m trying to say is leave no doubt about whether or not you can lift a specific weight. We are a performance based program and you shouldn’t claim that you can lift more (or go faster) without accomplishing it. We don’t speculate at the gym, we deal in cold hard facts. That’s the end of my rant.
Back to rep schemes, you should ALL be clear on how it works now. If I have to start giving out timed tests to test your knowledge of how the numbers work, I will. I have a red pen ready. Don’t make me do it. See you at the gym.