Approaching Your Last Rep Like Your First

Lifting heavy is pretty awesome.

You load up a bar, ya move the weight through your ranges of motion, and you drop/rack the weight with authority.

Every PR week you feel awesome and your form is great!

But, what if I told you there was a secret that could help you move even more weight while moving just as safe as you have this whole time?

Moving with Power!

In the fitness community there are athletes known as Strongmen who compete to see who is the best at moving odd objects and applying their strength to barbells, logs, stones, planes, cars, and so on. 

Of these athletes, the 2017 Worlds Strongest Man (Eddie Hall) is the most outspoken about his training and what it took to be the first person to deadlift 500kg (1100lbs).

His secret to being so strong?

Hit every lift as if it is your 1 Rep Max.

PVC Pipe? 1 Rep Max

Empty Barbell? 1 Rep Max

50%? 1 Rep Max

100%? Surprisingly….also 1 Rep Max

Why Adopt This Mindset When Lifting?

When we lift, our bodies receive stimulus and respond with technique.

While we can’t control the stimulus (heavy is always gonna feel heavy), our bodies can learn to respond to a heavy barbell by moving our joints into safe positions. They can also respond in the intensity at which we contract.

With 1 Rep Maxes, it’s quite easy to respond with intensity as it is the heaviest load your body has ever moved. Fight or Flight kicks in and you push away the floor with everything you have.

The thing is, that if we wait for just 1 rep maxes to recruit our muscles this way, we really only ever train our bodies to perform their best for a 1 rep lift once per cycle.

Well, if you take a moment to think about how your muscles feel as you hit that 1 Rep Max a couple week ago during testing week (the quads squeezing tight, the abs giving everything they have to hold you up, and you moving away the earth as if it were a car on top of you pupper) and apply those sensations to an empty barbell squat, you’ll notice you move that barbell quite quickly.

Do it again and you’ll have the power to repeat that high contractile strength movement again as it wasn’t pushing into a heavy weight. Keep on training that and you start to wake up your type 2b muscle fibers up even earlier and prepare your body to move heavy weights with purpose, rather than moving just to move.

This form of muscle recruitment squeezes out those last little bits of strength left unused inside your muscles and keeps your body prepared to work on lifting those extremely heavy weights as well! (Just give it a try tomorrow during your back squats as you hit the warm-up sets and the 70-80-90 and see how much lighter those sets of 6 feel)!

Just treat each weight with respect and give that lift your full effort when you’re feeling good, and drive that floor away in every lift and you’ll notice an even faster increase in strength across your lifts!


If you’re feeling tired or just not very explosive, don’t try and push something you’re not feeling that day! Instead, go lighter to get that pop back in your lift and grease the wheels. Moving everyday and enjoying your routine is the most important thing to lifelong health! This tip is purely just a way of viewing all our lifts when we feel like we are ready to rock and roll a barbell that day (:

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