View Full Version : Concrete % calculations

Kristoffer Andersen
07-20-2014, 10:29 AM
Could someone be so kind to tell (examples) about how to calculate % of 1RM when creating a OL weightlifting program? WHEN should you lift WHAT weight in a realistic program?

Daniel Villarreal
07-20-2014, 11:06 AM
Seriously: I've tried. You're trying to get a simple, concise answer to a complex issue people spend years studying and writing books about. This is the best I can do:


Kristoffer Andersen
07-21-2014, 10:24 AM
Seriously: I've tried. You're trying to get a simple, concise answer to a complex issue people spend years studying and writing books about. This is the best I can do:


Thanks for the help! I understand that this is hard, but what i really wanted was inspiration as Ben Harlan replied:
"Just my opinions on these questions

1) Personally I try to avoid over training by only going above 80% of my max 1 day a week and every 4 weeks or so I do a deloading week where I drop the weight to 50% and take a set or 2 off of each lift. I've been doing a 5 day a week split and that deloading cycle seems to help me, it's also a good chance to work on techinque faults.

2) I shoot for 70-80% generally unless it's saturday than I push to try and match my current 1RM." at following post: http://www.catalystathletics.com/forum/showthread.php?p=102121#post102121

I would appreciate to know what you think, or how you use to train. I'm after general information about how to use the percentage of 1RM to create a training program, so that i can more easily understand the programming. Whats a little sad with the training programs (which is VERY good, by the way) you reffered me to is that it doesnt stand detailed information about the programs/cycles, f.example information about this I'm now asking about. But if you know if the programs have this information, I would appreciate if you helped me pinpoint where it stands! I'm a little new to this site :)

Javier Sanjuan
07-28-2014, 10:23 AM

This is a very difficult question to answer, but I will do my best to do so in a concise manner. Here it goes ...

First, you should pick up Greg Everett's and Bob Takano's book. Everett's book touches on programming and does a very good job at giving a nice overview, while Takano's book dives deeper into this subject.

The theory is that you're constantly trying to progress in a methodical and safe manner that stimulates growth and prepares you for an end state (a meet). A very crude approach could look like this (percentages are averages from a given number of sets; look at Prilepin's chart for a basic rundown on how many reps and sets to do at said percentages):

Preparation Phase:

Week 1: 70-75%
Week 2: 75-80%
Week 3: 80-85%
Week 4: Deload (~60-65%)
Week 5: 75-80%
Week 6: 80-85%
Week 7: 85-90%
Week 8: Deload

Pre-competition Phase:

Week 9: Maximal lifts to heavy singles
Week 10: Maximal lifts (you can do waves, such as three or four sets of 90-95-100%)
Week 11: Maximal lifts to heavy singles
Week 12: Deload/prepare for competition

Week 13: Rest/transition

In general, I use a target weight to attain as my goal 1RM throughout the training cycle. It MUST be realistic! This helps get the body conditioned and prepared towards that weight using your percentages.

If you go off the "by-feel" approach (which it does sound like you're currently doing), then you're going to have to really listen to your body. This approach also has its rewards if correctly used. Many go to a heavy single, double, or triple on the specific exercise, and then take a percentage (usually 80%) from that achieved daily maximum for another set of two or three. The idea is that this approach is self-regulating. Some days, you may be able to hit a PR, while on others, you may feel as though 80% is like lifting an elephant. Those days help you strike while the proverbial iron is hot, and take it easy when you're not so hot so you can come back the following day and lift heavier. The trick is to understand that this is a DAILY maximum. You're not always basing your performance off your intended goal weight; if you do, those days where 80% feels like 120% will mentally defeat you and cause unnecessary stress. Keep training fun!

I really hope this helps you get a slightly better understanding. It's a subject that requires dialogue with many other coaches. Eventually, you'll get the hang of programming and develop a style.


Kristoffer Andersen
07-29-2014, 03:54 AM
Many thanks Mr. Sanjuan! :) This helped a bunch! Good explanation, and good overview. Very many I have come in contact with in this forum are recommending this book, so i guess it really is an investment. Thanks for quality answer! :D