Fall Strength Challenge – Chapter 7

We are not the first individuals making the journey of getting stronger with barbells. There have been plenty of others on this journey for a long time. Instead of reinventing the wheel, it is nice to take a little knowledge from some that know. A man named A.S. Prilepin, a Soviet Sports Scientist looked at the training numbers of 1000+ lifters and came up with a table regarding loads and repetitions compared to 1RM. He was looking over the numbers of Soviet lifters who have long time been known to be amongst the very best.

Here is the table below.

Prilepin's Chart

In the left column you have the percent of the athletes’ one rep max. In the second column, you have the amount of reps per set to receive the desired stimulus. Reps below this amount didn’t cause a positive stimulus in their training. Reps over these numbers were found to cause negligible gains. The third column is the optimal number of reps adding all the of the completed sets. The last column would be the range of reps that the given stimulus would be represented by. If an athlete were to go below this, they would leave some benefit on the table, if an athlete were to go above this, they would be in a diminishing returns situation, meaning the effort required doesn’t pay off.

Having an idea of what is appropriate to put on the bar for a set is very important. Having a plan for your training is very important, whether this is something done well in advance or something done before you step in the gym. Now that we have information on what our one rep max in each lift is, I want you to have an idea of how to do some work in relation to this.

Let’s take a look at this example:

Say your back squat is 250lbs. You are coming into the gym and are planning to do sets of three for the day. If you use the chart, there is a choice on sets of three in any load under 90% of your max. Say that you feel like going heavy, so you go for 85% of your 1RM for a set of 3. Optimal training says to do fifteen reps in total for the day, so by the end of the day you will complete four more sets of three at 85% of your 1RM. When you leave the gym you will have done five sets of three reps at 212.5 lbs. This will be plenty of squatting. If you are a more proficient squatter maybe do a few more sets, or creep the weight up a bit.

This table is a good check to figure out if the weight and the reps you are doing is something realistic. Granted, there are examples outside this table, but as a general guideline this does a hell of a job. I hope your training has been going well. We have a week and a half left. If you have questions, use your coaches.

Finals are on October 31st. Wear your costumes!


Danny Lesslie


10/21/15 WOD

Complete 5 Rounds for time of:

12 Push Presses (95/65)
12 Kettlebell Swings (70/53)