How to Make Weight Jumps for a New PR

Nothing is more tragic. Did you know that you can miss a personal record for the sole reason that you worked up to your attempt incorrectly? Yup, you can miss a lift after all the work is done, even if you technically have the capacity to make it. 

Here are some basic rules to support what’s required for a new personal best in any lift:

  1. Do the minimum amount of work to be prepared to make the lift. 
  2. Weight jumps must be equal to or smaller than the previous weight jump. 
  3. Minimize attempts above 90% to three or less.
  4. Rest 3-4 minutes between lifts above 90%. 

The one rep max is a text of CNS readiness as it is a test of strength. 

This means you very well can have the muscles to make the lift but not the central nervous system (CNS) readiness to do so. More specifically, your CNS can be too fatigued (SEE: making too many heavy attempts) and your CNS can be underprepared (SEE: making jumps too big near your one rep max). 

Honoring the rules above may require peculiar jumps to accomplish the mission of setting a new personal record. Let’s take a student with a 200lbs strict press as an example. Here’s a viable warm up progression to accomplish this task:

10 Reps – 45lbs

8 Reps – 135lbs

3 Reps – 160lbs

2 Reps – 175lbs

1 Rep – 186lbs

1 Rep – 194lbs

1 Rep – 202lbs 

While it may seem like overkill to have such specific usage of micro change plates, the strict press is exceptionally finicky from a miss vs. make perspective. All of the CNS rules above apply with less wiggle room than nearly any other lift. The peculiar jumps above allow the lifter to maintain integrity of the jumps being equal to or smaller than the previous in a manner that gets to a new record in an expeditious manner. 

If the lifter smokes the 202lbs press, a fourth single is an option.

In this case, the lifter could make as much as 210lbs. Notice that if the lifter makes 210lbs, 90% of his one rep max is 189lbs (which beautifully maintains that only three lifts were performed at or above 90%. 

It’s worth noting that this isn’t gospel. Folks, especially those with a disposition for success at higher percentages, could very well perform more than three lifts at or above 90% in a day and not explode into pink dust. These “rules” are helpful guardrails to support intentionally training sessions in most cases. 

Good luck!

6/27/23 WOD

DEUCE Athletics GPP

Test Day:
1RM Strict Press

1 Bull Run
10 Sand Bag Squats(135/100)
12 Ball Slams
10 Athletic Lateral Burpees
10 Sand Bag Ground to Shoulders
-Rest 3 Minutes-
-Rest 2 Minutes-
-Rest 1 Minute-
For Time:



Odd: 2 1-Arm DB Push Jerks (ea)
Even: 6-8 Strict Pull Ups

Then, in 12 minutes, complete the following for reps:
Run 1 Mile
4 Plyo Push Ups
12 Toes-to-Bar
24 Double Unders