I know star is going to come on here and talk about how powerlifters “only” get stronger doing sets of 1-3 reps, but I don’t know of any groups that used that type of training as a whole that really had any success. Even CF’s group never went above a 6RM.
And I knew when I posted above you would have a comeback which misquotes what I’ve said. Read again Davan, I said, and always say, that even powerlifters spend most of their time in the 70% load range for most of their reps. I would imagine Oly lifters do the same. In fact both powerlifters and Oly lifters probably spend as much time in the low load (85%) range. Where I disagree with not so much you, but dbandre, is that I do believe there is a need to wander into the high load (>85% 1RM) if you want to ‘maximize’ your max strength. Yes all powerlifters do that, and I bet not one weightlifter or thrower that showed up at the Olympics did so having never lifted higher than 70% in training. I’m sure they all did a significant amount of high load (>90% 1RM) reps. Did they do all, or even most of their reps at >85-90% 1RM? No. I don’t recall anyone, including myself, ever suggesting that they did or should. It would be silly. But I find it just as hard to believe that anyone would think that never training above 70% is a BETTER way to improve max strength. If it were, Oly lifters, powerlifters, throwers, etc. would never train with anything heavier than a 12RM, which is about a 70% load for most athletes. And CF had his athletes train with 6RM loads (85% 1RM) and for back squats, sometimes even higher loads. Not exclusively, and not all the time, but they did occasionally do heavy triples.
With that said, the improvements in max strength have not been as much as when using strictly max strength training.
I don’t understand this statement at all, unless your definition of max strength training means doing nothing but max effort (>90%) lifts. Even in a pure max strength phase for a powerlifter or Oly lifter, there are a lot of reps performed in the 70% and lower load ranges.
I am not against lifting for explosive power at all. As I always say, we do it, and all athletes would benefit from it. The two points I always try to make, even though it irritates Davan to no end, is that 1) I do believe that every athlete (except perhaps the most elite) would benefit from improving their absolute strength which is best done by occasionally including loads as high as 90-95% of 1RM for heavy doubles or triples, and 2) the younger the athlete (either age or training age) the more important absolute strength training, relative to explosive power training. As the athlete matures and begins to approach his genetic potential for limit strength, explosive power training becomes more and more important until it dominates the training.
I found this on the CF forum, a quote from CF himself about Ben’s training…
A few thoughts:
No 16: From my experience, Sprinters often have a higher than average rep capacity at 80%, perhaps due to their highly developed special endurance capacities (the capacity to recruit either the highest possible number of fibres at once, or maximized exposure of fibres in relays at sub-maximal loads.
As a pyramid example:
Ben- Bench Press 2x 450
We never tested for max squat but, certainly, Ben couldn’t squat 750!
Ben was obviously the elite sprinter of the time, and he was doing two sets of six at 600lbs. Thats probably at least an 85% load for him (if his max WAS 750, it would still be an 80% load), and his bench press was done at even higher loading, unless you think Ben’s 1RM bench was 550 or more.