In our Conjugate Strength Program we have 2 Max Effort days per week; Max Effort Lower is on Monday and Max Effort Upper is on Friday. How should we approach these workouts?
Should you be putting 100% effort in? Yes.
Is the intensity high? Absolutely.
Is it ok to lose position and look like a dog s***ing on the lawn because you want a 40 pound PR (personal record) on your deadlift? Absolutely NOT.
On Max Effort days we need to approach the bar knowing we only have 3 attempts above 90% (of our last PR), and that a PR is a PR. If it’s 5 pounds, that’s a PR and something to be proud of because you’re stronger than the last time you performed that variation of that lift. On these days we also need to view that max effort lift as a Technical max. If your form degrades, even in the slightest, your max effort lift should be finished and the focus should shift to your accessory work and making sure that you’re training the weakest point in the movement where your form broke down. We should think of max effort days like this for a few reasons:
- It keeps us safe.
- 80% of your workout on Max Effort day needs to be in the accessory work; that’s how we get stronger and help prevent degradation in our form over the long term.
By saving some effort in the tank we guarantee that next time we perform that lift variation we will PR, which contributes to a more positive attitude every max effort day.
We can also apply this to all of our lifts in WOD classes as well. It does not just apply to Conjugate strength programming. “Technical max.” Remember that and apply it; it will help you stay safe, prevent injury, and help you become stronger.