For a new 1RM
Many of us define our strength based on how much weight was on the bar for a single rep, conducted over a single minute throughout an entire lifetime of lifting. Our best ever is the highlight reel, and the easiest way to communicate how strong we truly are. But how do we best prepare for that heavy single?
My recommendation? Have a number in mind and work backwards. Of course, this is after a reasonable pre-bar warm-up. Ensure that you’ve done work to raise your heart rate, activate key muscle groups, mobilize movement patterns, and THEN potentiate to the number you have in mind. Most importantly, the goal of the 1RM warmup is to achieve mental and physical preparedness while limiting fatigue.
Priming your body with 100 squats will definitely be enough mobilization and provide enough movement practice to prepare to squat, but by the time those reps and sets are finished, you’ll be gassed, bored, and no longer psyched to lift. Here’s a breakdown of how I approach warming up for a 1RM in a meet setting:
1RM Goal : 305Lbs For A New PR
The basics: regardless of weight intensity, I have my go-to numbers that I hit on any day. These are the obvious ones: barbell, 95lbs, 135lbs, 185lbs. Depending on your goal weight, your jumps may be smaller or larger. For example, my deadlift warmups on the way to a 400lb attempt would look like [bar-155-225-275], while my bench warmups while preparing for a 170lb attempt are more likely to be [bar-95-115-130].
If you’re lifting more than 100lbs for a single, I would recommend 6-7 warm up attempts between the bar and your “opener”. If your target weight is less than 100lbs, you may take fewer jumps to get to your top set, but I would recommend more time in your general warm up as well as more sets on the empty bar to better prepare you for your heaviest weights.