Repetition Max (RM) Vs Heavy Single

MUST READ

Commonly within our programming you will see our strength component of the day instructed as a 'Repetition Max' or a 'Heavy' eg: '3RM' vs 'Heavy 3'.

There is always some confusion between the two and often people will miss the point due to lack of understanding.

Here is an explanation to hopefully clarify the differences:

Heavy single indicates taking the exercise to the heaviest weight for a single rep that can be managed in that training session. This is determined simply by gradually increasing the weight until that criterion is met WITHOUT ANY FAILED ATTEMPTS. If an attempt does fail, but the reason for failure is obviously technical in nature, the athlete can make another attempt. Otherwise the loading increase should stop when the athlete completes a rep he/she or trainer is confident is approximately the best possible at that time. 

Max or max for day, on the other hand, is a genuine test of a maximal effort. In this case, the athlete can give him- or herself UP TO 3 ATTEMPTS at a given weight. If after 3 attempts the athlete is still unsuccessful, he or she is done with that exercise. An exception would be an athlete who is missing based on minor and known technical errors, and who is able to continue making attempts that are at least as close or better than previous attempts at that weight. In such cases, continued attempts are recommended until this trend reverses.

Similar to the heavy single would be multiple reps with the "heavy" notation, e.g. heavy 3. This simply means taking the exercise up to the heaviest set of 3 reps you feel you're able to do that day.

RM stands for "rep max" and means you'll take the exercise up to a maximum weight for the prescribed reps, e.g. 3RM, 5RM, 1RM. 

If a loading prescription is absent for a particular exercise, the athlete should choose the loading to approximate the heaviest possible for the prescribed sets and reps unless some other quality is prescribed. For conditioning workouts, attempt to select weights that allow you to perform the prescribed reps consecutively in at least the first set.

If a loading prescription is absent for a particular exercise, the athlete should choose the loading to approximate the heaviest possible for the prescribed sets and reps unless some other quality is prescribed. For conditioning workouts, attempt to select weights that allow you to perform the prescribed reps consecutively in at least the first set.

- Paul