Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Muscle Building Tip - Don't get too ahead of yourself with weight selection.

It is true that you want to continually strive to increase your weights when training Max-OT style, however, it is important to remember not to increase weights at the expense of form and control.

The idea is once you hit 6 reps on your own with good execution you should increase your weight for the next set by the smallest increment possible. If you are struggling to get 6 reps or if your form is compromised to get 6 reps then do not increase until you get 6 "good" reps.

What is a good rep? If you've seen any of my training DVD's you've seen illustration of what I feel is a good rep. To me a good rep is one with maximal weight that can be controlled through a natural range of motion.

If you feel your form has become compromised, don't be afraid to take a step back with your weights. Remember that muscle doesn't know absolute poundage, it knows a resistance level. In other words, you could have less absolute weight on the bar and be performing the movement better and thus be directing more actual resistance to the intended muscle group. More resistance/overload = more muscle growth stimulation.

Believe. Achieve.



  1. Great post Jeff! You really touched on something that has been a real issue for me. I started max ot about 8 months ago and it’s only been over the last 6 weeks that I’ve really paid attentions to heavy weight + good execution. It seemed like the number was the only thing important to me, but now I strive to create a better balance when I’m in the gym. It can be tough because I think I can lift more, but in reality if I go up I’ll just be sacrificing execution and range of motion. So I’ve been dropping the weight, and stimulating the muscle even more! I guess sometimes you have take one step back to take five steps forward.

  2. I agree. It's tempting to "cheat" and go up to a heavier weight, but if you can't maintain the form, then you don't derive any benefit from it. You may be fooling yourself, but you are not fooling the muscle.

  3. Great post. Plenty of good information. Thanks