If you’ve done CrossFit or heard of CrossFit then the term 1 rep max shouldn’t be entirely unfamiliar to you. For the rest of us, the 1 rep max is the maximum you can do of any given exercise in one attempt. This can either be a movement with weights (back-squat, deadlift etc) or a cardio movement (1km run, 500m row etc).
When you attempt a 1 rep max, a lot of thoughts go through your head – the weight, the movement and even the fear of failure. At times when attempting to do a 1 rep max, you have to do it with support. For safety and more importantly, moral support. The InnerFight podcast#192 about getting your 1 rep max got me thinking, can the same principles when lifting that heavy barbell be applied to just about anything you do?
We all have tried to do something better with our lives. Whether it is writing, reading, taking pictures or just forming a good habit. But when have we thought about maximising that aspect our life – or reaching our 1 rep max?
If you listen to the podcast, some tips on getting your one rep max is to change your environment or not even think about the weight you’re lifting. I think that applies to the things you want to do in life as well.
Sometimes it’s worth just changing your view and it can ultimately change your perspective. I love taking photographs but I always found limiting myself to my environment. I would only go to certain locations, or be afraid to try new places. Mainly because I was worried about what people would think of me. However, once you get over that fear, the journey to finding new places only increased my passion for finding that perfect picture. Changing your environment can go a long way in attaining your 1 rep max.
Another way, and this may sound counterproductive, is to forget that you are doing your 1 rep max. Think about the effort and make that effort work harder. Referring back to the podcast, one idea was to cover your weights and not think of the number. Just think of the effort you put in when you last did your 1 rep max and dig a bit deeper and push yourself. My example to taking photographs has a similar analogy. Rather than hoping about taking a better picture than I did before, I think of the effort/skill I put into it and focus on trying that, but doing it better.
Sometimes you also need someone to tell you that you aren’t trying hard enough. Obviously you don’t want this happening all the time because motivation is a far better prognosis. But we tend to become complacent in our achievements and fail to realise just how much we have left in the tank.
Lastly, forget the 1 rep max. Stay with me here, because we are all human and we cannot always obtain a 1 rep max Be it in the gym or at life.