If you fail the prescribed number of reps in your training program… why did it happen, and what should you do?

In this episode, we delve into the intriguing nuances of rep max testing…

We uncover the occasional phenomenon where exceptional performance during testing doesn’t translate to sustained success in the training block. And highlight the importance of adjusting numbers and maintaining realistic expectations.

We learn about the recommended approach of leaving a certain number of reps in reserve for each training week, ensuring appropriate intensity levels.

Additionally, we explore how external factors, such as accumulated fatigue and life’s demands, can impact performance.

Join us as we uncover valuable insights to optimise your training journey!

by Don Heatrick

When You Fail The Prescribed Number Of Reps…

Sometimes what happens – and it can be a really weird situation – you do rep max testing and you end up, sometimes on just certain exercises, but sometimes it’s like the whole day, you were a monster on the day you tested and you got really great results.

And then we’ve calculated based on am out of the ordinary performance that you had, and the rest of your training block is based on those numbers. And it’s like, I can’t actually hit them when I get to high week.

Like you say, even medium week can feel like that was near the knuckle! If that’s happened, adjust your numbers.

The way they’re calculated. I’m looking for you to have about four reps in reserve on a low week, and two reps in reserve on the medium week, and then no reps, you should just about ground these out in full form one high week.

Reps in reserve adjustments if you Fail The Prescribed Number Of Reps

So if you’re feeling like medium week was like there were no reps left in me there, you know either that’s a bad week that week, and next week you’ll be okay again.

Or, I’m skewed on all my numbers here. And I’ve either tested really, really well for some freakish reason. I need to make adjustments.

So if you’re on medium, where it DIDN’T feel like I had two left… Ideally, I would adjust the weight if you can, so it feels about right.

Because, the intensity I programmed is designed around the number of repetitions to get the particular adaptation that we’re after.

So if you adjust the number of reps you’re doing, you’re sometimes taking it out of where we’re trying to aim – in terms of whether it was a pure strength development exercise, or whether it’s more strength endurance.

So it can take you out of the tolerance that we were really after. So adjusting the weight would be a good way to manually adjust that.

But worst case is, just adjust the number of reps so that you feel like, “I stop when I feel like I got two left in me on a medium week” or, “I stop when there are none left in me on the high week with the weight I’ve got and I don’t mess with it.” That that’s the way to do it.

And sometimes it’s just it’s the accumulation of fatigue from everything else that you’re doing as well – life outside of the gym. And sometimes it’s almost like the gym becomes the acid test of, “Oh, my body is actually this tired from everything”, because it is it’s quantifiable

It’s this number of reps, or this number of weight, if I’m firing on all cylinders and by I’ve been sleeping well and I’m not stressed and my nutrition has been good, I can do it.

And if those things are off. I can’t do it.

Don Heatrick

Founder of Heatrick Strength and Conditioning

Don Heatrick is a family man from the UK, former mechanical design engineer, European Muay Thai silver medallist, former pro Thai boxer (ranked 4th in UK while aged 40-years), a Muay Thai coach, podcast host, and the go-to expert on Muay Thai performance training with over 25 years of coaching experience.

Don helps ambitious fighters and coaches take their game to the next level by bridging the gap between Strength & Conditioning, Performance Science, and Muay Thai.

Follow Don Heatrick on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/donheatrick/

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