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"I think I'll test myself t ...

Posted Jun 13 2009 12:01am
"I think I'll test myself today..."

If you are planning on testing yourself on something you have not been training or practicing you should hear the old Lost in Space line - "Danger Will Robinson - Danger...." - playing in your head. Especially if it is a 1 rm test.

Dropping and seeing where you are with push-ups (while not a perfect idea) carries far less risk then loading an un-practiced movement pattern with a maximal load. One wrong move and BLAMMO... There goes something wrong.

Unlike riding a bike there are a great many athletic movements that need to be trained and practiced before being tested. Squats being just one example (and a personal one).
I had built a great base of strength through deadlifting and single leg squats and decided I would set a squat 1 rm (so I could run my percentages correctly). Well after hitting my first squat attempt I was told that I wasn't quite deep enough and to "go deeper" on the next attempt. So I added some weight and tried to go deeper - and BLAMMO...there went my disc. (As I said yesterday this was an old high school injury)

Lessons learned -
#1 - Practice a lift before testing it.
#2 - Sometimes a restricted range of motion is there for a reason and going beyond it may not be a good idea.
#3 - Be happy with a PR and know that you do not have to shoot for a "max".

Practice a lift before testing it is self explanatory but let me explain further ;)
You should be familiar witha movement pattern before testing it. Taking 2-4 weeks to "learn" a lift before testing is essential. This goes for strength/endurance tests like push-ups - No stress on an area > to maximal stress and fatigue on an area might not be the best way to treat yourself.

Sometimes a restricted range of motion is there for a reason.
Your body builds in restrictions and asymmetries for any number of reasons (injury, posture etc...) and once they are there - they need to be dealt with before "pushing" through them. This is an example of the Jones Maxim - Just because you can doesn't mean you should. Screening and corrective strategies are there for a reason.

Be happy with a PR - you don't have to hit a "max".
Sometimes you end up at a true maximum attempt - but as a general rule this should be reserved for meets and competition. If your previous best bench was 255 and you hit 275 - walk away with the PR - don't figure that "you had 295 in you" - cycle back work up again and by the time you "test" again you might just break that 300 barrier. Pushing for a max might be the straw that breaks the camel's shoulder.

These are lessons hard learned and recovered from.
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