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Dear Mike,

So you regularly use %1RM with all lifts, that's a given, as expressed as the max amount of wt lifted for a particular lift, or off of a max clean for 1 proficient rep.

So I'm wondering, when you go heavy you may, as an e.g., follow this for front squats: 65%1RM x 3 sets x 3 reps; 70%1RM x 2 sets x 2 reps; 85% x 4 sets x 4 reps (actual sets).

But... if you're having a medium or light intensity day, would you then need to work from two percentages? A percentage off of your 85%1RM, such as for e.g., say 1RM front squat is 10kg, then the above 85% of 1RM would be 8.5kg, but to go medium intensity you may have the athlete work only at say 50% of his above 85%1RM on this day. Therefore, 50% of 85% would only be 2 reps instead of 4 reps?

So to summarise this example, the athlete could perform 1 rep at 10kg as a 1RM test, but on the first heavy plan he/she performs 4 reps per set at 85%1RM, then on the medium day the athlete still works at 85%1RM but only performs half the reps per set.

Hummm, not sure if Iím explaining myself correctly, but Iím basically wondering how you work off percentages when going medium or light in a programme? Let's try this: Because, as soon as you go above singles (as you easily calculate a chosen percentage of intensity for a single), then surely you need to calculate a percentage off of a 1RM percentage when going lighter so you know mathematically how lighter or less intense youíre actually going? (So another way to look at itÖ say 85% of 85%1RM for the medium day but instead of looking at reducing reps you reduce wt: 8.5kg x 85% (medium intensity) = 7.2kg x the 4 sets x the 4 reps as above???) Now the athlete is performing at 85% of the wt of 85%1RM so this is medium intensity... How would you express all this please, Mike?

My best regards, Joe.

Joseph | 2011-05-30

the problem with mathematics is that it really does not take into consideration the lifter. the only reason i publish % on my site is because i am not working with a particular individual. if i wanted to go to a heavy-light-medium program with a person i was working with i would have that athlete go heavy as in a 2 rm or 1 rm for the day....then back him off to flushing sets...i.e. 90% of the wt. attained for today x 1 x 2-3 sets....then maybe 85% of the wt. attained for the day x 1-2 reps x 2-3 sets. then on the light day i would watch that individual and decide for today what is maybe at 60% or maybe today it might be 55% who knows....depends on the individual with whom i am working. same goes with the medium. but of course because i cannot work wtih everyone on my site i use % but i do know that 85% of a 1 rm for 4 reps is freeking heavy in theory!! hope this helps, mike
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